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Old 05-20-2015, 02:06 PM   #21
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In my short experience I've been to 3 LFS 3 Petsmart and 2 Petco stores. Of which only 1 Petsmart was good enough for me yo even stand there and watch the fish. And that's where I got my Orandas. I don't even want to talk about Petco. And the LFS near my house for some reason always has sick Orandas. Rest of the fish seems to be okay, but the store stinks. The girl working there told me just buy the fish put a filter and you should be good !!! So I don't think LFS by definition means they know what they are talking. IMO if a hobbyist is in this business then he/she might do better a job of caring for the livestock. If it is a pure business person then they might treat the livestock as just an inventory than a living thing.
Back to OP's mission, being an hobbyist you will be a better person to deal with the livestock. At the same time just look at the overall culture of that business and tune your strategy to achieve your goal. As others said, you don't want go to extreme right away and loose the opportunity. Good luck in your mission.

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With you being a hobbyist you may grow frustrated with the way people treat their fish. Just try to compartmentalize that and try not to let it bother you. A brief education may work but some people will just do what they want. Customer service is key, get the employees trained up on knowledge.

Also as a previous poster said if you deny a sale to someone, you basically just lost a customer and they will probably not come back because they may feel embarrassed. However if someone comes back every 7 days with a dead fish, maybe kindly ask for a water sample before you sell them another fish.
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:12 PM   #22
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thanks for all the great advice/suggestions. i suppose i should tone down my approach and focus on getting settled in, educating, and learning the ins and outs.

rather than flat out denying a sale, i could inform them of why i think it is a bad choice and offer better alternatives. i certainly do not want to drive people away. i also like the idea about the sign on sick tanks, not currently up to our standards.

they sent me an email yesterday saying i had the job. i think i will be starting on sunday.

i am not going to try and shake everything up completely right away. my initial goals will be to:

increase the water change %. they currently change less than 50% a week.

make the water testing procedure more efficient. they currently are only allowed to use test strips. the manager said i could take a liquid kit to use. im thinking if the water is tested with the kit 1x/week, that would be good and give more accurate results.

get those sick tanks back in order. the manager says they are only allowed to use certain treatments off the shelf. not sure which, but with ich being the main culprit, i think elevated temps and increased water changes would be effective and save them money on meds.

thanks for all the constructive advice. keep it coming. i will be sure to give some updates, as well as seek out advice when i am stumped, which will likely happen.
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:56 PM   #23
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I am so glad to hear that you want to do something to help bettas. The suggestion to put them in your display tanks is a good one, provided they are with fish they won't attack, and vice versa. As far as keeping them in containers and assigning someone to do lots of water changes, I would be surprised if those little containers ever see a water change. At my local big chain store, I don't see any evidence that these poor bettas ever get a drop of fresh water, let alone water changes. I wish you lots of luck with your plans. Please keep us up to date on how it all goes.
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:01 PM   #24
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i was actually thinking about the betta displays as just a single betta, perhaps with some shrimp or snails. i have very little experience with them, and will have to reach out for advice if/when i actually do this. i was assured the bettas they have do get water changes, and will make sure that this is true when i start working there.
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:22 PM   #25
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i was actually thinking about the betta displays as just a single betta, perhaps with some shrimp or snails. i have very little experience with them, and will have to reach out for advice if/when i actually do this. i was assured the bettas they have do get water changes, and will make sure that this is true when i start working there.
What might be better than just a cup of water is something my lfs has. The cups but the rack has an air stone for each cup. Not sure how much it helps, but they seem to be healthier than ******* bettas.

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Old 05-20-2015, 07:48 PM   #26
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I am just curious, what do you think the wholesale price on a ".99" fish is?
Well I have traded fish for a few decades so here is my take on "business"
Good math says your $.99 fish cost the store NO MORE then $.25!
This is probably high,with $.15 -$.20 being more common IMO.
Most stores have a common "mark up" so a X profit on $.99 and $99 is the same percent.
That is where how many of what you sell make or breaks the bank.
Then figure in returns/and in store deaths(no one really returns the $.99 fish),and it is easy to see why so few carry "anything special" of real value.


On topic a polite friendly informational employee would be refreshing change in any business today.
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:51 PM   #27
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Definitely bump up those water changes. Back when I had a shop my wholesaler that had the best fish suggested I shoot for a 75-85% WC the day before a shipment. I went to that and about 15-20% two days after the shipment and my fish illness and losses became negligible. 85% might be extreme, but if they have the ability to make WCs with water to proper temperature by turning valvesn a good 70-75% the day before the shipment will ensure your new fish are arriving to good water. I started to do the 2nd water change a couple days later because I was noticing protein film on the surface of tanks I added a lot of new fish to 2 days later, the 2nd WC helped with that.

As far as the bank of 12 tanks and water quality goes, if they've got the nice central wet/dry systems the water levels could very well be near perfect... but do make use of better quality test kits than strips. 1 fish with fungus says cull or quarantine that fish to me, and watch that tank for a day or two. Any fish with ick says don't sell out of that tank until everything has cleared up for a couple days. If you don't trust that the UV sterilizer is working, or the bulb is beyond it's useful life, then the whole bank can be at risk. A proper UV sterilizer should pretty much ensure disease does not pass from tank to tank in most cases if you have good water quality.

Assuming you have a pretty good handle on fish, fish keeping and compatibility, talk fish with your co-workers as much as possible so they get a good handle on it. The more well informed sales staff the better, you can't be around all the time.

Good luck and enjoy the work.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:06 PM   #28
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People who buy fish that die are going to be frustrated. If it happens over and over again, they will probably just give up the hobby. That equals one lost customer. Unless these large stores are counting on new people entering the hobby all the time, they need to do enough educating to let people have success with their fish. Education equals success. Success equals happy. Happy comes back to buy again. I think educating your clientele is the way to go. People will be happy, fish will be happy and bottom line will be happy.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:59 PM   #29
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The main issue with refusing sale to anyone without a "proper" tank or "compatible" tank mates is that both of those conditions are anyone's opinion for the most part.

Education is a more management and customer friendly tactic. Like telling people 5 bala sharks in a 10 gallon is torture and WILL result in dead fish. Putting more realistic minimum tank size recommendations, etc etc

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Old 05-21-2015, 08:35 PM   #30
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Not sure if standard over there but the better stores here have a well thought out card of fish habitat preferences on the tank. This includes something important beyond temp range etc to a note like 'does not play well with small fish'.
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