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Old 05-28-2013, 03:57 PM   #1
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LFS Made a HUGE Mistake

I was out on Saturday when I decided to drop by my LFS for a few items (carbon, filter media, ball valves etc). They have always had a very impressive Discus display tank with some of the most beautiful fish and plants I had ever seen. I had always dreamed of having such a nice setup someday. To my surprise, I went to look at the Discus display as was my usual habit only to discover none in the display / show tanks as well as none in the stock tanks either. I asked "where are the Discus?" The guy working that part of the store said with a rather embarrassed look on his face..." one of our employees put Koi Angels in with our Discus fish." Discus 101 says NEVER put Discus and Angels together for a number of reasons. All of the Discus were sick (about 40 of them) and taken off display. They were all in hospital displays in the back of the store as well as the Angels. The total retail cost to the store was somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-5 Thousand Dollars (when I include treatment meds, lost revenue, tank, biological, chemical and mechanical filtration for the entire Amazon line up. The same person used the same nets, filters, pumps, buckets...the list goes on and on. As a result, the store is selling their entire Discus which they know to be sick or at least infectious at 50% off on 27 May. After they sell the remaining fish...they are no longer going to sell Discus because of (demanding care requirements, water requirements, overhead and finally cost as Discus don't sell as quickly as compared to neons or goldfish) return on investment VS Profit. Shame for the fish as well as the unsuspecting aquarist that may have just purchased a ticking bomb. I asked what happened to the bumbling employee....to which the answer was "he no longer works here." LOL was my first reaction....followed by pity for the sick fish and the store owner who just lost his shorts. Anyone looking for healthy discus from a reputable Discus only breeder give me a jingle...I have about 24 from the same breeder and they are ALL doing great.
Dwayne
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:29 PM   #2
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That's too bad!!!
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:42 PM   #3
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Wow thats a shame. It's crazy how much damage can be done because of a lack of knowledge.. or caring. It's hard to tell with some people.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:32 PM   #4
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Dwayne you need to empty your PM box so I can shoot you one! Your full up!
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:38 PM   #5
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I saw the limit and deleted old traffic. I should be good to go now.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:21 PM   #6
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That's really sad. My lfs has a 200 gallon display tank usually dedicated to one species.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:25 PM   #7
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That's sad, for the fish and the shop owner. And for anyone who buys those "sale" fish. I hope they disclose why they are half off.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:50 PM   #8
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That's a bummer.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:52 PM   #9
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This LFS isnt Marine Warehouse in Tampa Florida by any chance is it? Thats the name of my LFS and all of their discus also just disappeared.
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:01 PM   #10
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You are exactly right Mr. Pinguin 4! The best place I can suggest in the Tampa area is a discus breeder named Joe Gargas. I get all of my Discus from him. If you need a website...try this one:

Aquaresearchcenter.com

Joe really knows his stuff and you can maybe drop by and select your own fish among hundreds he is growing out. I put my orders in even before the eggs are laid. I have 24 Discus in my 135 gallon tank ranging from dime size to palm size, and they are all doing fine.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:37 PM   #11
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Sorry to hijack your thread - seeing "Tampa, FL" excited me!

I live in Tampa and recently got into fish when I started working at the S. Tampa Petsmart in May. I have been DYING to talk to people in the area who really know their stuff and who have some great local resources for good fish and supplies, because even though I work there, I understand that big chains are generally not the best for consistent, quality stock. I got pretty lucky with our branch, pet care manager has been in the fish business for 30+ years and has a lot of good advice, but I would definitely like to expand my knowledge and my boundaries.

Anyway, what shops and stuff do you guys recommend? For anything, really! I'm looking to set up a 55 gallon tropical community planted tank as soon as I have the funds. I've visited Marine Warehouse once just to see what they're all about because we always recommend them to customers who need to get rid of fish, but I didn't have time to look around and explore everything they had to offer. The only other LFS I've been to is Coral Reef Aquariums in N. Tampa. They do mostly saltwater, but had a small freshwater section.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:47 PM   #12
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enlighten me please, what's wrong with keeping angels and discus together?
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:52 PM   #13
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For foods (dry and frozen) as well as rocks and substrate I recommend a little place in Gibsonton (HWY 41) called "4 fish stuff". There is a delightful woman there named Alma who is about 900 years old but the sweetest most knowledgable person you will ever meet. Additionally I recommend becoming a member of T.B.A.S (Tampa Bay Aquarium Society). You can find them on the web. Dues are $15.00 per year. We meet once per month usually at the Tampa Aquarium on the second Monday of each month. There you will find a host of hobbyists and local breeders of fish and growers of plants. Mont of the members are fresh water aquarists, but there are a few salt water members as well. We usually have a guest speaker each month with imparts information and knowledge to the members as well as occasional marine biologists from the Tampa Aquarium as well. We have a number of fish and plant auctions. The breeders are local so you know where the fish were born, their diets and water parameters. I don't know where you get your fish, and not to bash the chain stores, but you get a better product when it comes direct from the breeder to your tank. Do you have any idea of what king of fish you wish to keep? I get my Discus from Joe Gargas. Discus are not for everyone and can be quite a challenge to the newbie. I get my Angels from a guy named Hank Darren. He is also a local breeder and has great stocks of other fish as well.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:01 PM   #14
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Angels can out compete Discus for food. The Discus are NOT aggressive eaters and will not get enough to eat...leading to stress, disease and later death. Additionally, Angels have a bacteria in their intestinal tract that can be harmful to Discus, causing a large number of problems. Angels are aggressive at spawning time and can easily bully Discus causing stress, injury and death. Don't take my word for it....this forum as well as other research will give you the pros and cons of Discus with Angels. The biggest con is disease transmission.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:07 PM   #15
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Oh wow, I had no idea anything like the TBAS existed around here...I definitely want to check that out, hopefully next meeting! Not sure if my work schedule would allow me to go every month, but something like that was just what I've been looking for. Do you have to pay to get into the aquarium as well as the dues for membership?

Our Petsmart gets fish from somewhere in Georgia, they have to be flown in. I'm not sure exactly where..but therefore, a lot of them die within the first week due to stress. Yesterday we received a whole bag of dead platys. I'd much rather buy locally from breeders.

My eventual tank plan has some standard "beginner" fish - mollies, platys, guppies, school of skirt tetras, a few dwarf gouramis, cory cats, maybe a swordtail or two. And a bristlenose pleco or some other type of pleco that does okay in harder water and stays under 8 inches. Maybe a school of neons once the tank has been up for a few months...I know at Petsmart we have a lot of issues keeping those alive. Discus are beautiful, but I think they're too advanced for me right now. And these are all fish that Petsmart carries that I'm exposed to every day...maybe if I start going to the meetings, I'll change my mind on some parts!

And I know little about plants. My plan was to just buy eco-complete, make a nice aqua-scape and buy good lighting, and hope for the best...googling issues as they came up. I suppose having better knowledge about them will help too!

Thanks a lot for the info!
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:45 PM   #16
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Then T.B.A.S is the place for you. We have members that are newbies as well as folks who have been in the hobby 40+ years. There is always someone who has something to sell, as well as big discounts with other items. We meet at night after the aquarium is closed to the public, but we get special tours and behind the scenes exposure to see how a place as big as the Tampa Aquarium keeps their fish stocks. Don't discount this forum...there are genius members here as well. I have been in the aquarium hobby since 1984 but have learned volumes of information here. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to have a nice setup like back in the old days. Ebay, craigslist etc is loaded with aquarium stuff. My biggest advise to you is the following:
1) be a voracious reader...learn as much as you can about aquarium chemistry, filtration and water quality.
2) Water changes are the life blood of any aquarium setup. Don't skimp on the water changes. Most aquarium problems can be traced back to water or disease.
3) Be patient....do one step at a time and give it time to work.
4) Never add a lot of fish to an un-cycled tank. The fish WILL die. Start with 2-3 fish and let it be your goal to see them thrive. (fish that are spawning in your tank are happy fish).
5) try at first to get fish from the same geographical region (their care and water requirements will be similar)
6) Fish temperament is important...don't get a fish because you think it is cute, only to take it home where is will become stressed and die.
7) Find a mentor on this site and get them to help you through the 'baby steps".
8) Frustration is part of the game. At times you will become discouraged...your fish will die for no apparent reason..........Keep a positive attitude, learn from your mistakes, never give up!
9) learn about fish diseases and how to recognize and treat them. Your fish may become sick, but it should not be a death sentence for them. Avoid impulse purchases from the big box stores. These fish are usually NOT quarantined and are usually heavily dosed with antibiotics and salt. They can be ticking time bombs in the right conditions.
10) keep a journal of your activities (water changes, PH, Nitrite, Nitrate, Ammonia, GH, KH, plants, fish additions as well as fish losses, lighting etc. Your journal will be the biggest asset to you in good times as well as bad. If you have a problem, these areas are probably where people trying to help you on this forum will want to start.

Good luck!!
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:31 PM   #17
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Thank you so much!

One more thing, do you know anywhere locally that sells driftwood?
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:22 PM   #18
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Marine Warehouse and the big box pet stores sell it at aotlandish prices IMO. 4 fish stuff in Gibsonton (HWY 41) sells it at very reasonable prices. If you get any from the big box chain stores that is already in one of their display tanks, be sure to boil it when you get it home. 5 to 10 minutes at a rapid boil should be quite adequate. Put it in a plastic bag and let it cool overnight. Then it is good to go. 4 fish stuff sells dry DW so you will have to soak it in a bucket or whatever until it becomes water logged and will sink to the bottom. You can also attach it to a heavy rock in your aquarium with zip ties etc. DW may leach tannins into your tank and thrn the water a tea like color. This is perfectly normal and actually desired by many aquarists.
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