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Old 03-31-2013, 02:59 AM   #21
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I am now an aquatics specialist at petco and I have made sure that I know as much as I can so that I can help the customer as much as possible. I have even refused to sell fish to people who just dont want to listen and are intent on not properly caring for the fish.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:06 AM   #22
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5-6 Oscars in a 30? To be honest it depends on the situation there... If they are at the lfs who is to say someone cone in and said I have 4, 20gallons with these Oscar in it and wanted the lfs to take them. Unfortunately that lfs does not have the tank quality or quantity to house them properly but don't want to turn them away and not give the chance for someone else to properly house them. And don't want to turn them away because who knows what will happen.
If its at someones house. They should properly educate themselves on their fish
I was actually referring to turtles when I said "slider" sorry for the confusion but your right about the Oscar situation.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:22 PM   #23
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I just got my aquarium 2 weeks ago and wish the person at Petsmart had pointed me to this site or one similar. Looking back, she actually seemed to know a lot on the topic, but I think her own experiences with impatient customers had caused her to give up on trying to explain everything. I did pick up some pamphlets there, but I don't any of them mentioning it will take 4-6 weeks for the first cycle.
I take some responsibility for not doing my own research, but I also had no idea there was a need to do research in the first place lol.

Luckily I found this site and it has been amazingly helpful. So I would restate previous advice and point people to AQAdvice. There's even a free app for your phone or tablet.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:16 PM   #24
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I think it's great that there is LFS staff coming to our site looking for our, the customers, point of view. Fair play to this employee, they obviously want what's best for the fish and customers, not the shop. All too often, lfs's and their staff get a bashing here but education works both ways.. I love the leaflet idea. Some shops only think short term and I believe diliberatly sell stock like this because some people don't have a choice of many stores where they live, so they have to go back for more, before they end up eventually, giving up keeping fish. The shops short term gain, is their long term loss. I think you have gotten some great idea's and suggestions here and I wish you well in your job. I think you deserve a big pat on the back for taking the time to learn and share your knowledge with your customers. I know people will say, well that's his/her job but I work in retail(not lfs), so I know that it can be next to impossible to advise some people. Some people have ideas in their heads and will not be convinced otherwise. I have 2 shops in my small town, a large box store, which I hate and a TINY store, which I love. He WON'T sell just anything to anyone and he is busier than the other shop which is 10 times his size!!!!....
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:56 AM   #25
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As a customer I would like to have been told "the bigger the tank and the slower you build a bioload, the more long term stability you will have. And essentially this allows you to do LESS WORK. After much independent research after one of my fish died the first week I discovered that if I didn't want to do daily water changes on a fishbowl I should upgrade. Now I keep a 29 for my Betta. I added over $100 of plants, 5 neons, RCS and ramshorn snails.

Also got into saltwater and started with a 55, so most of the money I wasted was on mini sized items for the tiny tank I started with. Went to a ten gallon after the vase period which leaked and allowed me to find out about a $1 per gallon sale that was actually a nice savings. Since then I cruise CL for used acrylic but I buy all my fish, inverts, foods and medications at a lfs with great employees.

The youngest worker there helped me decide on a skimmer and saw that I used the AA app on my phone and shared that he used a similar reef keeping app. It made me feel better to know he took the hobby as seriously as I do.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:24 PM   #26
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Oh ya, a petco employee refused to sell me fish, because "you have to wait at least 4 weeks before you can buy fish. Your tank hasn't cycled". I told her I know about cycling and I don't have fish yet. But she's convinced I couldn't buy fish yet.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:41 PM   #27
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Oh ya, a petco employee refused to sell me fish, because "you have to wait at least 4 weeks before you can buy fish. Your tank hasn't cycled". I told her I know about cycling and I don't have fish yet. But she's convinced I couldn't buy fish yet.
Something similar happens to me.

Employees don't know that my 13 year old self probably knows more about "cycling a tank" than the pamphlet they read told them about it.

Not trying to bash on pet store employees because it is not their fault, but it is annoying.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:02 AM   #28
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I love the idea of a pamphlet.


But if that wouldn't work for your situation. I'd let them know that they should get the biggest tank their budget will allow because the water parameters remain more stable. then I'd briefly explain the types of cycling, emphasize that fish-in will be a lot more time consuming because of all the w/c's I'd have to perform and how much longer it takes to actually cycle. Point them towards a water test kit and all the other supplies they should have for the tank they picked out, and if it's a smaller tank emphasize the idea of live plants to help with water parameters.
If they are still set on fish-in, ask what type of stocking they are interested and have them point out a few fish they like. Once they have picked them and if this were me, I'd tell them why or why not they work for the tank, and then try to keep their interest on the hardiest fish they showed you.
I'd then try to talk them into trying only that species and either a single if its not a schooler, or the smallest sized school you can get away with. Tell them something like "see how this guy works out for you before you spend money on anything else just in case something happens you will only have one or a few dead fish rather than an entire tank full"
You should also try to explain the importance of not over stocking their tank. Tell them that it might not seem as interesting without a ton of fish in there at first, but there will be a lot less aggression and stressed fish if you keep stocking levels right, and it will help prevent deaths. Also you will really get to know the personality of each individual fish that way.

That may be too in depth, but personally, I would have loved to have all that explained to me when I started out.
The fish lady at petsmart when I got my first tank helped me a pretty good amount. She asked me my tank size and then when I picked a fish would tell me, they are too active to keep in a small tank, or that the tank should be established before I added something because its too fragile to handle swings in parameters, or that the heat I needed for some fish wouldn't work with others. She really helped with my stocking, but didnt help much with cycling or anything else.

(Sorry for such a long post!!)
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:07 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Bubbles0oO View Post

Something similar happens to me.

Employees don't know that my 13 year old self probably knows more about "cycling a tank" than the pamphlet they read told them about it.

Not trying to bash on pet store employees because it is not their fault, but it is annoying.
Well we are also technically not allowed to sell to people under the age of 18. However I understand that it is annoying and that is one of the reasons why I have done a lot of my own research on stuff and why I joined this forum. That being said when I get a customer who is intent on putting a gold fish in a bowl and will not listen when I tell them that a bowl is way to small I will not sell them the goldfish.
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