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JPS 10-08-2006 10:06 PM

Help a good cause...
 
I'm new to this forum but like what I see. I'm an admin at Badman's Tropical Fish and wanted to spread the word about something. The administrators here have graciously allowed me to do so.

I have an issue - it is correct, species specific, information being delivered to hobbyists by retailers. Information typically provided by retailers that should know better to hobbyists that don't. It is information delivered to hobbyists that rely on retailers to provide honest, accurate information about fish they sell.

I wander a number of forums. I see, like most of us do, the endless threads that get into LFS or mass merchandiser bashing. Over the years I began to tune them out - even avoid them. I always thought if it bugs you that much - do something productive - let's not just complain to ourselves.

I recently stumbled into a couple of those threads elsewhere by accident. I am a long time member at one of the sites where I saw the bashing. I knew the person bashing well enough that I shared a letter I had sent to PetSmart a couple of days earlier. Only the second time in my life I had penned that type of letter - the first time dealing with the fishkeeping hobby.

The response was interesting. Never really expected it. As I said to an online friend, had I expected the letter to be anything other than a single "angry man" letter that mass merchandisers receive I would have written it in an entirely different fashion and with an entirely different style. But, since it was a single "angry man" letter it is what was sent.

It turns out that a number of fish-keepers from a number of other sites liked what they saw. And thought they too could do the same. I guess it turns out that fish folk do want better.

It seems a number of people scattered about the country, members of several other sites, have decided they dislike wrong info and are writing letters and sending e-mails.

POP signage is such a routine thing. So easy to update - and frequently updated and reprinted anyway.

I just want accurate information about species.

All the stuff with pH Up and Down; Bacteria in a bottle; Aquarium Salts.....is incidental. If consumers start getting basic, accurate, information I will feel like a victory is achieved. The other crap - caveat emptor - in most cases, from my view of the world. Stores have to make money. As long as they do not harm fish with product or lie to a consumer.

I found the address and names contained in the letter I set on the Petsmart website. It wasn't too hard to find.

Hopefully you feel as strongly as many others do and participate in sharing your thoughts about misleading in-store signage.

Further notes:

Let me stress that this is not about bashing. In fact that is frowned upon by myself and most others. This crusade of ours is getting something done in a respectable and sincere way. Please help us.

Several domain names have been registered for this endeavor. A couple of them were the simple .com and .org variations of the .net name.

And web hosting has been setup for the next three years. The loach lovers out there should appreciate the sentiment in the name:

"No Clowns In A Cube"

This is not a quick, easy thing. But, I think it is important that people get the appropriate information and that the species we all enjoy are treated in a humane way. Send those letters and e-mails.

The site will not be working for a while. Myself and some others have to sit down and design something. It's easy to make a page; more difficult to make a useful site. If anyone has any ideas let me know.

When it is up and running it will be www.noclownsinacube.net. The .com and .org extensions will forward to the site.

Messages just like this one have been posted or linked to at over a dozen different sites. More than a thousand hits so far between the various forums. Hopefully the numbers grow. Hopefully there is a big percentage of people that take the extra step to mail letters and send e-mails or even both.

Thanks for reading,

JP Smith

roka64 10-09-2006 11:24 AM

I am not exactly sure what you are asking....? Sometimes my brain doesn't seem to work right.

JPS 10-09-2006 12:53 PM

I'm not asking much at this point. Simply trying to raise awareness of an issue that as fish-keepers we need to work together to fix. That is the information provided in stores such as the one mentioned above that are misleading and often times completely false. At this juncture all I am trying to do is create traffic. Catch their eye with an uptic in letters and e-mails. If you feel strongly about this, let them know. I provided an e-mail in my first message and also have an address and sample letter that has been sent (the admins requested I not post those in public, but if you would like to have them please e-mail/PM me and I will gladly pass them along). And I realize that many believe letters are a waste of time and will not accomplish anything, but it is a start.

roka64 10-09-2006 01:02 PM

Ok, I got it! Sorry, I read the post a few times trying to figure that out. I will be willing to help, in any way possible! Thanks for the "dumbing" down for me. I believe we are getting a Petco or Petsmart in soon, so I will check out how they do. Thanks for bringing up my awareness!

JRagg 10-09-2006 03:04 PM

If I read this right JPS is trying to get the major chain stores to better inform customers about the fish that they're buying. This is to start with the fish information cards under each tank. Telling a customer that a Red Bellied Pacu maxes out at 6" is an example of the misinformation found on some of these cards.

I applaud the effort and will make sure to check out the website when it's up and running.

roka64 10-09-2006 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRagg
I applaud the effort and will make sure to check out the website when it's up and running.

Me too, keep us updated!

JPS 10-09-2006 05:55 PM

I apologize if my original post didn't make a lot of sense. I edited it pretty quickly so the admins here would allow it to be posted. JRagg is correct. Right now, however, the focus is on PetSmart alone. You have to start somewhere. I am a huge fan of their store and in fact do all of my pet shopping there (I live in a zoo of dogs, cats, birds, and of course fish) but I believe that if better information was provided to new fish-keepers a lot more people would have success in this hobby.

Be sure to at least send an e-mail. That's all any of us can do at this point.

JPS 10-10-2006 08:07 PM

I'm going to post a copy of a message I've posted at several other sites with members that have been a bit more skeptical (and maybe help clear up any concerns people who haven't spoken up yet may have). Some of this is repetive (it was copy/pasted together after all). Here goes:

Right now the only retailer we as a group are focused on is PetSmart. There has to be a starting point. Don't want to get things out of hand right off the bat.

There is a group of about 15 people working on getting some activities planned and organized. Members of the group come from several of the on-line forums. I am sure some of the people here have seen the topic posted elsewhere.

A fairly typical set of questions have been:

"Why PetSmart?" Because they are obviously a company that cares. They are obviously a company that strives to keep tanks clean and livestock as healthy as possible in the store environment. They are obviously a company committed to promoting responsible pet husbandry (90% of their charity dollars are directly returned to pet welfare). They are a national presence. They are a leader in the market.

I have been reminded of one of PetSmart's competitors making a comment years ago along the lines of "we are here to sell pets, not cure them" (not an exact quote). PetSmart obviously realizes the need for the opposite approach. Just look at the Banefield brand of vets in their stores.

"Why not all retailers?" If you get a leader to embrace the concept others will follow. There is a competetive advantage for PetSmart to set the pace. And, from a pragmatic view they are convenient. It is far easier to effect a change with a single retailer than it is to effect an industry wide change. It is the simple one-step-at-time philosophy. Basically crawl, walk, run. A lot of energy and effort can be expended chasing after all the national, regional, and local stores. Flailing madly about will be a waste of much of that. Focused effort and energy holds a better chance of positive results.

And, since responsible husbandry starts with the aquarium we have and how it is stocked POP information is the baseline for all the other issues. Basically it is an approach that starts with step one of fish care.

At the same time it recognizes that every one of us will make the choice on how to stock a tank. We have responsibilities of our own as fish-keepers practicing responsible husbandry. The only way people can learn to be responsible is through the use of accurate information. Some of which is the responsibility of a company to provide. Some of which is the responsibility of fish-keepers to seek out.

"What can sending letters accomplish?" Letters are a first step, and a tiny step. A small group of fish-keepers has assembled on a very private forum to discuss the best ways to attack the issue. It will expand significantly beyond the few forums where the letters are being shared (and whose members are probably already getting bored with me) in an attempt to engage clubs, organizations, and the hobby media in the discussion.

Some interesting offers to help out have been received. Hopefully they pan out. Our three biggest problems right now:

- Assembling a panel of volunteer experts to review signage (the content or actual photos of which are being assembled from cities across the country). I can use fishbase.org as my touchstone. I don't have the credentials though to actually endorse or condemn any changes which may occur. I have just kept fish for a while.

- Letters. As many as possible. They serve to get attention. and they will serve to keep the issue alive for at least one retailer (have to take it a step at a time) as a complement to other publicity tools.

- Additional visiblity. Next week (hopefully) we will begin to work the media side of the hobby. At least pet media from the industry and consumer side. It is a slow process, being taken an element at a time.

This is getting long winded, as many of my posts do. Like I said, about 15 people are planing and organizing several areas of activity that are required to give this effort a realistic chance of success. We will keep people informed. But, nothing we do will work without your support and help.

All we ask is you take a few minutes to send an e-mail or snail mail. Write a letter (even copy one of the above). We want to keep the message on target. We hope you agree with the message and the approach.

Remember PetSmart is an excellent organization. Trying to do what is right. We are just trying to nicely help them realize something needs a change.

JPS 10-14-2006 07:20 PM

Have you written letters yet?

Here is a file you can place in the letters to let PetSmart know that it is a growing group of hobbyists speaking with a more unified voice.

http://www.mcssupport.com/noclowns/noclownsemblem.jpg

sully 10-15-2006 03:33 PM

PetSmart has been the topic of discussion in threads on this and many other boards. We keep getting the question “have you heard back from PetSmart yet?"

The easy answer is, “yes we got a reply. The perfunctory pr driven deflection. We have yet to receive a response.

Here is the heart of the reply (by a Pet Care Specialist responding for several Management Team members that received letters) “…your concerns…have been brought to the attention of our Management Team. They periodically review our signage…and will make changes as appropriate on the next review”.

It seems PetSmart finds it more convenient to let low-level employees to reply to correspondence received by corporate officers. It makes one wonder just what will be “changes as appropriate”. The Management Team that will review and make appropriate changes are the same group of people that have let the current signage be placed in their stores. I don’t doubt their ability to run a company—I question whether these are people with the expertise to decide what is right and what is wrong. Given the track record, I think I have the only answer I need.

We need your continued support. It is the request, once again, to send letters to PetSmart calling for an immediate review and revision of signage. Fishkeepers cannot permit PetSmart to decide when to correct a problem. We deserve honest advertising and technical information. We do not deserve to be routinely misled until they find it convenient to change their business practice. Unknowing hobbyists do not deserve to be deceived until PetSmart finds it fits their budget or their strategic plan to make a change.

Responsible fish care starts at the store. Right now it starts with misinformation that only leads to irresponsible and inadequate care. You can make a difference. You can help create a change. Send letters to PetSmart voicing your displeasure.

www.noclownsinacube.net is now on-line (at least partially). We finalized a few of the pages and created a temporary welcome page in order to more fully discuss the reasoning behind the campaign, to share the full text of the response from PetSmart (not a whole lot there), display letters that have been sent, and provide a couple of sample formats if you do not have time to write your own.

If you don’t make it to the site we ask you to include a couple of things in every letter. First a topic line that reads RE: POP Signage – Accuracy in Information. And, if possible copy our avatar and place it in the upper right corner of the letter. Those two simple steps will help PetSmart understand that fishkeepers are beginning to speak with a unified voice demanding a change and we won’t be easily deflected with the perfunctory PR Reply.

Follow the only active links at www.noclownsinacube.net. Names of PetSmart Senior Management, as well as address info can be found there. Don’t hesitate to use e.mail and snail.mail. As the next couple of week’s progress the site will change—but we will strive to make it a quick, easy, and enlightening resource.

Thanks,
Sully

JPS 10-22-2006 12:36 AM

We've finished putting together an on-line communities page with a list of all the sites that are up to this point involved in the Accuracy In Information campaign. It's a great list.

Right now we're putting together a discussion forum that will focus exclusively on retail trade practices relating to fish-keeping. We will be inviting all the retailers to join the forum so that it is an even-handed approach. Our goal is not to pillory retailers, especially PetSmart. PetSmart does so many positive things. Perhaps if we can get consumers and retailers together on neutral ground something good can come out of it. Not only in regard to POP signage, but to issues like appropriate community tank setups, staff education, hybrid and painted/dyed fish, over use and improper use of medications as a result of availability.....the list is long.

Accuracy in information is about fish welfare, appropriate treatment, and responsible husbandry. We hope PetSmart helps us by taking the lead in the retail market.

Please send a letter if you haven't, and if you have thank you, and keep sending them. :-)

JPS 10-29-2006 11:49 AM

The forum's now live. If you'd like to stop by and see what all is going on please do. Our on-line communities page is continuing to expand. Soon we'll have a club/association page up.

Don't forget to send a letter.

JPS 11-02-2006 05:04 PM

There are times I feel like the Accuracy In Information threads are becoming mini blogs. But, I hope that people appreciate our posts keeping them up-to-date with our thoughts, activities and calls to action.

Hopefully you read what is below, then go back up to the post above and send an e.mail or snail mail.

One of the individuals involved in the Accuracy In Information campaign found something on the Point-Of-Purchase signage that fascinates me. And, it reinforces, at least in my mind, the value of the approach www.noclownsinacube.net is taking. The item was an 800 number. The number does not lead back to PetSmart. Rather, it leads to a supplier of tags.

Buying from a third party does not relieve a retailer of responsibility for the information contained. The odds of hobbyists having any influence with someone we do not buy from are nil. The third party does not need to keep the ultimate consumer of the product advertised happy. All they need to do is keep their customers satisfied. Their customers being the retailers. By voicing our concerns to a specific retailer we can create an awareness of a problem that may not have previously existed.

PetSmart says it is the leader in the retail pet trade. They are a company that has very publicly committed themselves to Responsible Husbandry and Animal Welfare. As a leader with an ethical pet treatment agenda they can cause a change in signage to occur. An additional benefit of having that change occur as a result of PetSmart's commitment to animals is that the manufacturer of signage will be able to sell the "new and improved" signage to retailers throughout the retail trade. With a dedicated effort we can encourage one change that ripples from the mass merchandiser down to the local fish store level.

A single focus. A single change. An industry wide correction.

Send those letters. Keep it polite. Keep it dignified. Treat PetSmart with the same respect we provide our fish.

JPS 11-10-2006 08:33 PM

There are things that you can work to change. POP signage is one of them. We need retailers to provide accurate information.

Have you sent your letter this week?

We have samples you can use as is or borrow bits and pieces from and then compose your own.

www.noclownsinacube.net

JPS 12-01-2006 08:58 PM

I apologize for the lack of updates these past few months - things have been hectic.

I've been working on giving the site a makeover. Please stop by and take a look if you get the time. Things are growing and changing and we have several new pages and projects in the works.

Linda Scott with PetSmart's Corp Communication department has been sending responses to individuals throughout the course of the week as result of letters and e.mails concerning the need for "Accuracy In Information". It is an interesting e.mail and will be posted in its entirety at www.noclownsinacube.net over the weekend. It was a thoughtful answer. Unfortunately it has created the need for additional help and assistance.

We are soliciting photos from hobbyists of tank reared specimens of certain species. here is what we are after:
•Clown Loach / Botia macracantha / Specimens in excess of 7"TL
•Tin Foil Barb / Barbus schwanenfeldi / Specimens in excess of 8"TL
•Green Terror / Aequidens rivulatus / Specimens in excess of 6" TL
•Midas Cichlid / Amphilophus citrinellus / Specimens in excess of 8" TL
•Oscar Varieties / Astronotus ocellatus / Specimens in excess of 10"
•Jack Dempsey / Cichlasoma octofasciatum / Specimens in excess of 6"

We will need to be able to visually verify the TL in the photos. And, information regarding tank size and age of fish would be very beneficial.

Our photo gallery link: http://www.noclownsinacube.net/gallery/index.php

We need the support of hobbyists to accomplish this. The conversation with retailers must remain an active one. Your help is appreciated. If you have any questions about our effort feel free to PM me.

If you are gifted with the camera and have the ability to visually document the TL of your fish, but don't have the specimens we listed above, visit our site. Click on the Retailer v. Reality link. Scroll through the list and find the fish with disparities between the retailers and the species information listed. If you have a species with a disparity of significance, take a photo of that species and upload the photos to our gallery.

JPS 12-09-2006 02:25 PM

Thanks for all your help. Hobbyists coming together in a cooperative spirit supporting a worthwhile effort and shared concern produces results! Progress is being made. An update of details:

We have obviously been sending letters and e-mails. Turns out lots of them. They made it to the desks of the addressees and were routed to the DVM responsible for Quality Assurance.

We have spoken with Dr. Saint-Erne. We have exchanged e-mails. The topic of concern that is the common thread of the exchanges is Accuracy In Information as it relates to:

Context of data provided. Point of applicability to the time continuum defined by the life of the particular fish.
Point of Origin. Turns out that the data provided (South America, Africa) was not intended as consumer data. Rather it is plan-o-gram data for use by store associates when stocking tanks. A bit confusing.
Fish Size. The primary source to be utilized was provided nearly two weeks ago. PetSmart has suggested several secondary sources as well as asking for hobbyist input for additional resources.
Stocking Guidelines. Currently the 1 per gallon rule. They will examine alternative methods.
Tank Size. They recognize clarity of information issue. Currently defined by need at time of purchase. We are striving to achieve a size based upon authoritative resources that describe typical size achieved in home aquaria. A tough task.
Additives. Some signage suggests a certain additive. The utility of which is questionable depending upon actual chemistry of source water and changes that may be occurring as a consequence of substrate of other dcor.
Care Guide water testing description.
The Care Guides in general.

The discussions and correspondence have demonstrated the willingness of PETsMART to include hobbyists and customers in the process. It does not mean that every item people dislike or could argue with will be changed. Rather, the information will be provided in a fashion that is clear to the consumer and is clearly based on authoritative resources. We can ask for no better commitment than that.

We have more detail, and more detail will be posted over the weekend, than this for viewing and comment on our forum. We will select critical passages from additional correspondence exchanged. We will extract not edit any comments. At the same time the extracts will be provided with any commentary required to place them in context.

We do not wish to misrepresent or allow individuals to misconstrue the discussions that have occurred. At the same time we have no desire to present verbatim transcripts and copies. PetSmart does have competitive and confidentiality concerns. We will honor those very legitimate concerns. They have fish to sell. We have fish to buy. Open and honest discussions can be held only when the concerns of all parties are respected.

The discussions have only bolstered and reaffirmed our respect for PetSmart as a responsible retailer concerned with responsible husbandry and the humane and ethical treatment of animals.

sully 02-02-2007 04:24 PM

Round 2 is beginning. lol. As we examine information with other retailers some common problems seem to exist. Here is a letter recently mailed to PETCO. It once again address a very common theme--accuracy of information. We ask hobbyists to join us in sending letters and e.mails to discuss the importance of information and its relationship to the practice of Responsible Husbandry.
------------------------------------

1/31/07

Mr. Jim Myers
Chief Executive Officer
PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc.
9125 Rehco Road
San Diego, CA 92121

Dear Mr. Myers,
I am a fishkeeper. I have shopped your stores for many years. More recently I began to study the species-specific information contained in your Point-Of-Purchase Signage. Within the past several weeks I have also scrutinized the information provided at corporate web site.

During the 4th quarter of 2006 an organization of fishkeeping hobbyists was born. Our focus is to encourage retailers like PETCO to provide information that accurately describes the nature, origin, and characteristics of fish sold. We believe hobbyists will be able to more adequately practice responsible husbandry with better information. Responsible Husbandry. Humane Treatment. These are the two very simple and fundamental goals that underpin our effort. They are two simple goals that PETCO seemingly embraces as evidenced by the PETCO Foundation.

An interesting disparity exists between the Point-Of-Purchase Signage and On-Line information. In-store there is no mention of tank sizes required for the species sold. On-line tank size suggestions are made. The size of an aquarium is one of the most important elements required for the practice of responsible husbandry. The importance of tank size is obviously recognized. It is significant enough to publish on-line. It should be considered important enough to include with in-store advertising.

Some of the suggested tank sizes are interesting. The tank size suggested for the Tiger Barb at your site is 10-gallons. Many authoritative resources suggest something significantly larger. In fact Aquarium Fish by Schleiwen suggests a tank of at least 32. The suggestion by one of your sources of fish information is significantly larger than the size advertised. There are other instances of this issue.

On-line descriptions of environments conducive to the species being sold are provided. Hiding Spots is a phrase utilized in many of the descriptions. The same phrase is used to describe a parameter for plant dwelling fish as with cave dwelling fish. Yet, the definition of hiding spot for each is radically different. Indeed, a hiding spot utilized by one will often be a hiding spot shunned by the other. Based upon the information provided your customers may mistakenly believe they are providing a suitable environment for the fish purchased at PETCO when they are in actuality not meeting the needs of the species purchased at all.

Fish size. In-store and on-line information is sometimes contradictory. For example, the Hypostomus plecostomus is listed as a 4-12 fish at one brick and mortar location. At another store it is listed as an 18" species. On-line it is a 24 fish. Only one can be correct. Other instances of this situation exist.

Jim, it is my hope that PETCO examines POP signage and on-line advertising to assure consistency and accuracy. Responsible Husbandry and Humane Treatment start at a store. Neither can be practiced by hobbyists without accurate information.

Respectfully,

----------------------

The e.mail method for PETCO is form based at their website. The link to this form is:

http://www.petco.com/petco_Page_PC_c...-ftr-_-contact

e.mail or snail mail. please help us voice our concerns with your participation.

Thanks,
sully

ps. We have a topic in the public area of our message board that we are hoping for some input. It is a question concerning consistency of information being presented. We would love to know what you think about the subject.

http://www.noclownsinacube.net/forum...hp?topic=132.0

We are almost through with the final review of species info with PETsMART. Just got the last of their revised data Tuesday of this week. We will say something of a more specific nature soon.

sully 02-10-2007 01:39 PM

We seemed to have wrapped up our end of things earlier this week. Anything left to do is firmly in the hands of PETsMART.

Here is a copy of the e.mail sent summarizing where we are with the review process.

Nick,
I have enjoyed the process of the review. Albeit longer than either of us expected. The people at No Clowns In A Cube.net appreciate the willingness exhibited by PETsMART to accept input from the hobbyist community. We appreciate that the information from many "authoritative resources" was examined.

I spent several hours last evening perusing the responses this discussion has generated at on-line fishkeeping communities across the web. I wanted to be certain the basics of the discussion were reviewed so that I did not lose sight of hobbyist concerns on a generalized basis as the details of species-specific information were reviewed.

1). Point-Of-Origin: A topic that was originally discussed during our e.mails and conversations. The use of Plannogram information on in-store signage is often misunderstood. In several instances it is often misleading. An easy fix that was discussed was the use of "New World" to define the North American, Central American, and South American species often clumped under the existing "South American" definition. And, the movement of obvious South American or Central American species from the "Tropical Community" tag into this category would be helpful.

And, a species that clearly demonstrates the potential misunderstanding by a consumer would be the Carinotetraodon travancoricus as a Tropical Community fish when it is indeed best suited for a species specific tank.

Or, a change that would not destroy the use of plan-o-gram information would be the simple inclusion of an additional "Species Origination" line of copy. A line that is used by many of your competitors.

Our early conversations led me to believe this issue would be rectified. Our discussion Wednesday of this week left me in doubt.

2). Species Size: As discussed, if the changes you have noted during the exchange of information are implemented there will be a near universal correction of the problem. The obvious exceptions have been discussed and noted.

3) Tank Size: Dramatic changes have been seen in your revised data. All of which are positive. There is still a surprising contradiction between your sizes (once again, substantially larger tank sizes are now being used by PETsMART) and those listed by the source Linda Scott mentioned in her e.mails to hobbyists as the reference PETsMART utilizes as the basis for Point-Of-Purchase signage data for a limited number of species.

Hopefully you will take one last look at the tank sizes and upgrade many of them.

At worst we hope that a line of copy to the point that as the fish grows to "Adult" sizes a larger tank is required. Especially in those cases the stated length of the fish (based upon authoritative resources) equals or exceeds the depth of the suggested tank front to back. A size derived from exterior dimensions.

The Betta issue is a discussion that is more wide ranging than PETsMART. As a result, in our minds, it is unfair to target specifically to PETsMART.

4). Suitability of species sold: The obvious species is the Pangasius Sutchii. As we review your suggestions of species size and tank size we still note a severe departure from that data provided by recognized "authoritative resources". We question how suitable the species can be for a mass merchandiser to sell if the mass merchandiser believes their data is a better representation than that provided by the scientific community. More specific concern is created when the representations of sizes still remain far smaller than documented reality. Yes, That fish will not grow to its potential size in the confines of the tank suggested. We question whether responsible husbandry and humane treatment is being actively promoted through this type of sales approach.

5). Diet and Dcor: Obviously mostly in order.

6). Tank Strata. In some instances it is different than the "authoritative resources' discuss. In other instances we have difficulty understanding where the information was derived. And, as we discussed so many factors are involved in that definition that a captive (tank) environment will rarely if ever reflect that behavior. In many instances the depth of the water column in home aquaria is many meters less than the depth of the strata as seen in native habitats--let alone the total depth of the water column found in native habitats. Are the species being sold with this line of information going to live up to the representation made in home aquaria? Are false expectations being set-up in the mind of the consumer?

It goes back to one of original points of information that, while not inaccurate, becomes very confusing when utilized out of context.

7). Aquarium Salt as a "Required" item. I am gratified to see it nearly gone from signage. I understand your perspective on others. Hopefully you can understand why we will question the use of "Aquarium Salt Required" for the remaining species. Especially as it relates to the Leporinus Fasciatus.

Nick, once again, thank-you for the time you took to discuss the issues with us. And, thank-you for the review of the information we provided.

Respectfully,
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
we will post the final result at our site when possible. don't forget to send PETCO e.mails

sully 06-03-2007 10:00 AM

Just a quick note to let everyone know that while we have not been as visible we have been active.

For those of you that have been curious about revisions made by PETsMART the new signage should have begun to show up in some stores. How they are rolling it out is a different discussion, which will be talked about soon.

Here is a link to a quick and dirty spreadsheet presentation at No Clowns In A Cube.net. We have been playing with a database presentation of the data--it will be neat and it will be soon.

http://www.noclownsinacube.net/fish_chart.html

There are two types of PETsMART entries. One is simply PETsMART Revision. In instances the PETsMART line is indeed a Revision. Our data was sufficiently incomplete--or absent--that we utilized the most recent data without differentiating between the previous and current iterations.

You will also notice the inclusion of data from a couple of the web based and catalog retailers. At the same time you will also see the beginnings of the inclusion of data from "Pet Connection Mfg". Pet Connection Mfg is the company that provides those incredibly incomplete--and often inaccurate signs for the lfs market.

We have significantly more species form both the retailers and Pet Connection Mfg to add. We want to be as accurate and thorough as possible so it will take another 30-60 days to get a more comprehensive look at the retail market. It is a great beginning.

We will be resuming web-based efforts asking for letters very soon. We needed to back-up a bit and get better organized. Thanks for all your support so far--we will need much more in the future.

sully

PS. Sorry for the link. There is just no other way for the information to be easily presented. Site admins/mods please send us a 468 x 60 banner for inclusion in our banner programit is freelol.

sully 06-04-2007 08:08 PM

An update it seems to be the week for those.

We tried a slightly different approach with PETCO. We combined the public letter writing campaign, which so many of you participated in, with behind the scenes letter writing, phone calls and e.mails. In part a different tactic to make sure everyone does not burn out sending letters, in part to accommodate the schedules of people atNCIAC.net (all volunteer groups are toughlol).

We received an e.mail from PETCO today that is very encouraging. Here is the PETCO response.

Tom,

We would be glad to work with you. What do you have in mind?

Thanks,

Tom

Thomas M. Edling, DVM, MSpVM
Director, Veterinary Medicine
PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc.

"At PETCO Animals Always Come First, and Our People Make it Happen" Happen"

Nominal editing of phones numbers has occurred.

The information is not changed yet. Yet, it is an indication of openness and willingness to examine change. As always, we will keep the hobbyists that have supported our efforts up to date.

PETCO is to be commended for their response. All of you should be commended for your support. Nothing happens without the fishkeepers that make this hobby such a great pursuit.

Thanks!

sully


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