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Old 06-26-2013, 05:56 PM   #21
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Hey where can you find a qt tank at good price? Walmart or something?
Don't make yourself crazy. The term "Quarantine" tank only refers to any container that holds water that you can hold fish in for observation and/or medicating. You want it to be empty of any gravel or decor that might absorb medications or leach things into the water. (Depending on the fish, I'll use PVC pieces if the fish are hiders.) You can check out pet stores for used tanks, use plastic containers, heck, I even used old bathtubs in one of my warehouses . I've also found tanks on Craigslist, the local newspaper's classified ads, garage sales, thrift stores and penny saver magazines. If all else fails, you buy a new tank at the cheapest price you can find it

Hope this helps
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:25 PM   #22
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Don't make yourself crazy. The term "Quarantine" tank only refers to any container that holds water that you can hold fish in for observation and/or medicating. You want it to be empty of any gravel or decor that might absorb medications or leach things into the water. (Depending on the fish, I'll use PVC pieces if the fish are hiders.) You can check out pet stores for used tanks, use plastic containers, heck, I even used old bathtubs in one of my warehouses . I've also found tanks on Craigslist, the local newspaper's classified ads, garage sales, thrift stores and penny saver magazines. If all else fails, you buy a new tank at the cheapest price you can find it

Hope this helps
Cool thanks!
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:11 AM   #23
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So just an update. I got a 20 gallon at petcos dollar per gallon sale for my new quarantine. The ICH was treated with Heat and Salt. Meds made by Tetra did nothing for my fish and I lost half of them. Once using the salt and heat method things started clearing up with in 24 hours.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:31 PM   #24
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i once bought a fish from petsmart and ask for a algae eater for my cichlids and the recommended me with snails! that's stupid cichlids are natural predators of snails
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:40 PM   #25
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Also remember that all the big commercial wholesale breeders/collectors have horribly diseased conditions. They turn over tens of thousands of fish to worldwide markets. The ones in the orient are especially bad. All wholesalers cost each species by the expected mortality rates during shipping. Some more sensitive ones are costed and 50-60% mortality. Terrible, but that's the world we live in. The buck rules. So the chain stores are getting diseased fish from the start. You HAVE to assume every fish you buy is diseased. QT tanks are a must. OS.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:45 PM   #26
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I did... I have had bad experiences with petsmart.. and I noticed that my local petsmart have dirty tanks... I went to petco and I compared tanks' quality... Petco's tanks are cleaner than petsmart...
Here in my city the petco tanks are filthy and I got ich from them..... The petsmart tanks are fabulous... I think it has a lot to do with management and workers.... Not so much the chain
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:18 AM   #27
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Also remember that all the big commercial wholesale breeders/collectors have horribly diseased conditions. They turn over tens of thousands of fish to worldwide markets. The ones in the orient are especially bad. All wholesalers cost each species by the expected mortality rates during shipping. Some more sensitive ones are costed and 50-60% mortality. Terrible, but that's the world we live in. The buck rules. So the chain stores are getting diseased fish from the start. You HAVE to assume every fish you buy is diseased. QT tanks are a must. OS.
I was gonna let this one go but I just couldn't .
For starters, Have you actually seen, with your own eyes, all or even ANY big commercial wholesale breeding facilities to say that the fish are all diseased from the start? I have ( not all, but some. ) Plus, I WAS ONE Disease was not a common occurance in my facility as a breeder. Some of my former customers are still in business and can verify that.
Second, When fish are shipped, the amount of fish placed in a bag is dependant upon how long the fish will be in a bag. Fish numbers/ bag would be higher if they were going locally or in the bag under 24 hours. Less fish / bag for longer periods.
Something you may not be considering is that sometimes fish are handled improperly by the airlines or improperly acclimated by the wholesaler or pet shop with the end result being fish getting sick AFTER they arrived not while they were in the bag. But let's take this a step further, with all the "new" variations of fish on the market today, these come from generation after generation of selective inbreeding which is known to cause weakened immune systems in livestock. So a perfect fish leaving a breeding facility might get sick on the way because it cannot withstand "normal" water variations or disease exposure leading them to get sick. The shipper or breeder would not know that the fish was unable to handle the shipping prior to it actually being shipped.
As for the Far East, most of the fish you all are buying today originated in the Far East. Not that they were found in the Far East but it was the Asians who first were capable of breeding fish , selectively, to create all these different color morphs. By doing so tho, there are now new diseases that never existed say, 40 years ago. One, for example, is the Dwarf Gourami disease. There was no dwarf gourami disease when there was only the regular colored dwarf. Now with neons and flames and whatnot, there is a dwarf gourami virus. How did that happen? I'd be willing to say that there would be a lot less diseases if we only stocked wild fish in our tanks. There's a catch tho, all Swordtails would be green, All Guppies would just be Endler "style", Berry tetras would cease to exist, Neon Glow fish and Balloon fish would be gone, All Angelfish would be Silvers, None of the "fancy" Discus would be available, etc. You get my drift? There probably wouldn't be as many people enjoying fish tanks if that was to happen either. So there's a price you pay for the variety you have available. (Which in my eyes is an unfortunate byproduct.)
As for mortality, I can't say what it is today but back when I was importing and shipping, the expected mortality rate was only 10%. (You are dealing with live animals and not all of them can handle the stress of shipping. Another unfortunate byproduct of transporting them.) If today's shipping is producing 50%-60% mortality as you stated, my opinion is that either the shipping methods should be changed or those fish shouldn't be bought as they are OBVIOUSLY a high risk fish to own. I've shipped wild fish around the world where they arrived to their final destination alive and in good health. If today's fish can't do that, maybe today's fish aren't worth buying?
I said this back in the 1970s and 1980s and I'll say it again, "If you don't want crap, stop buying crap!" If you don't buy the crap, the stores will stop selling it. (That's just good biz sense as nobody wants to pay for the upkeep of an animal noone wants. THAT costs too much money.) My preference is to buy from old time Mom & Pop shops ( a dying breed and another unfortunate byproduct from the discount chain stores). These shops HAVE to know how to keep the fish they keep alive or else they can't afford to stay in business. The bigger chain stores do not make a living from selling fish. It's all about the merchadise. You all see it in the people they hire to sell their wares. Most, not all but MOST, are not even qualified to change the water in my tanks. That's another sad truth. And yet you go to them for advice on keeping your fish. What's wrong with this picture?

You do make one VERY STRONG and IMPORTANT point and that is that ALL FISH today should be properly quarantined prior to being put into the main display tanks. You have to assume that any fish you get these days, no matter where you get them from, is carrying a potential disease organism within their system. Maybe they aren't sick themselves but they might be carrying spores or germs from some other fish that was in the same system or tank with them. ( Another unfortunate byproduct of the 1 system for all fish world THEY want us to shop in. BTW, I don't buy any freshwater fish from stores with centralized systems for exactly this reason. I will take them from the tanks that are self contained )

Listen, I understand the frustration many feel in the hobby today. ( Especially us old timers ) Where do you get fish from when you only have a limited number of places to go? In my case, I have to travel almost 40 miles to get my "local" Mom & Pop shop but the trip is worth it. In my recent travels, I saw some excellent Mom & Pop shops in other states that I bought fish from and transported them, for a week in my car, and they arrived in FL just fine. Good stores are still out there if you are willing to find them. Chain stores and diseases are always going to go together but YOU don't have to buy their fish until they get better fish. That IS the power the customer has. The store doesn't take your money, you give it to them. If you stop, they either get better or go away.

Sorry if this sounded negative but it was just to inform, from an insider's viewpoint. Thanks for reading.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:06 AM   #28
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I sincerely hope you are right. But I DID see it from the inside when I lived in Thailand two years back in the 70's. I want to believe you that things have improved since then for the fishes sake. However, I've been in this hobby since 1958 and have never seen such post purchase mortality rates as we have now even with better technology. Yes, we have more varieties of forms and color than we had years ago. But at what cost to the fish's vitality? You are correct also about shipping procedures being a big factor. Let's hope and work for better conditions for our finned friends. Repectfully, OS.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:16 AM   #29
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I've used all sorts of containers for QT..5 gallon buckets, spare tanks, etc. Right now, I picked up a 10 gallon at petco during the dollar/gallon sale and use that, along with a little tetra heater (nothing fancy since it's not my main heater in the tank) and a spare koralia powerhead.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:30 PM   #30
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I sincerely hope you are right. But I DID see it from the inside when I lived in Thailand two years back in the 70's. I want to believe you that things have improved since then for the fishes sake. However, I've been in this hobby since 1958 and have never seen such post purchase mortality rates as we have now even with better technology. Yes, we have more varieties of forms and color than we had years ago. But at what cost to the fish's vitality? You are correct also about shipping procedures being a big factor. Let's hope and work for better conditions for our finned friends. Repectfully, OS.
I'm not far behind you I got into the hobby in 1964 but I also spent 40+ years in the fish biz where I got to see and deal with many fish and fish farms from all over the world. There were instances where certain fish were better from one country than another so it is possible that what you saw created that need to be selective as to where you bought your fish from. ( The old " you get what you pay for" experience. )I'm not saying ALL are good or bad, just saying that some are good and some are bad. ( I was one of the good ones lol)

As for post purchase mortality rates, I believe it's a combination of poorer quality fish being offered at the most available places() and improper knowledge of the people ( hobbyist and retailer) handling the fish. The stores I mentioned in my previous post had BEAUTIFUL fish compared to what I see in many chain store branches. It's why I strongly urge people to keep those Mom & Pop shops in biz even if it means spending a few extra pennies or dollars. The end result is well worth the money IMO. ( and I don't get paid to endorse them either ) They are the places, not the chain stores, that will keep the hobby going
I recently was at a shop and commented to the owner about all the new shapes and "twists" in today's fish and his response was " I don't like them either but that's what I have to deal with cause that's what is most commonly available. I have little choice." THAT'S why I am getting back into breeding fish.

So I think we are on the same page, better husbandry will lead to better experiences and fewer mortalities. QT tanks are a must these days! Thanks for pointing that out
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:03 PM   #31
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Andy, I am with you 100% on doing business with the mom & pop fish stores. I have an EXCELLENT one about 60 miles away and it is such an enjoyable experience with them that the drive is worth it. Their tanks and stock are 1000% better then the big box stores and even then they have problems with incoming stock being sick once in a while. The owner is really aggressive about healing them before selling and really goes after his suppliers regarding their quality. I bought 10 rummy noses from him awhile back. A week later he calls and asks how they were doing. WOW! Ever heard of a big box store doing that?! Needless to say he has a totally loyal customer now. For everything, not just fish. LOL OS.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:16 PM   #32
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Andy, I am with you 100% on doing business with the mom & pop fish stores. I have an EXCELLENT one about 60 miles away and it is such an enjoyable experience with them that the drive is worth it. Their tanks and stock are 1000% better then the big box stores and even then they have problems with incoming stock being sick once in a while. The owner is really aggressive about healing them before selling and really goes after his suppliers regarding their quality. I bought 10 rummy noses from him awhile back. A week later he calls and asks how they were doing. WOW! Ever heard of a big box store doing that?! Needless to say he has a totally loyal customer now. For everything, not just fish. LOL OS.
Well if guys and gals like us keep spreading the word about good Mom & Pops, maybe we will have less threads on here about chain stores and ick
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:33 PM   #33
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Mom and Pops aren't immune to problems. I just picked up 8 Gold Tetras from my preferred "mom and pop" LFS and inside the 48-72 hour window 5 are dead. Unfortunately they only warranty fish for 48 hrs vs the 30 days that the big box stores offer.
I'll go back there though. I'm just chalking it up to bad luck. They have a larger and more varied selection and they are more helpful.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:21 PM   #34
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I find myself to be EXTREMELY lucky to have 2 good mom and pop fish stores within a 10 minute drive of my house. Over the past 10 months that I've been dealing with them I've seen a total of 3 sick tanks.

Between the 2 of them they can get their hands on any type of fish I could want. As well as great prices on the fish and used equipment. Just paid $110 for a 40b tank, stand, filter and lid and friday I am getting 6 praecox rainbows for $30

I would be a sad panda if they weren't around.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:27 PM   #35
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The Mom & Pop shop closest to me has a bigger community fish selection than the petco, also they breed most of their stock in-store. I've had a few fish die from there, but the success rate with them is pretty high.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:48 PM   #36
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Mom and Pops aren't immune to problems. I just picked up 8 Gold Tetras from my preferred "mom and pop" LFS and inside the 48-72 hour window 5 are dead. Unfortunately they only warranty fish for 48 hrs vs the 30 days that the big box stores offer.
I'll go back there though. I'm just chalking it up to bad luck. They have a larger and more varied selection and they are more helpful.
Sorry to hear that however, Old Scales and I both said that Mom & Pops do have problems as well because sometimes, it's not the store's fault that the fish are sick. It is the store's responsibility ( IMO) not to sell you those fish if they are sick. That being said however, Gold Tetras are a more fragile member of the Tetra family and a dieoff in 48-72 hours sounds to me more like an acclimation situation and not a sick fish situation. Did the fish look and act like healthy fish when you bought them? If so, this may not be the LFS's wrongdoing. Were your water parameters the same as the store's where the fish looked so good? Again, if not, not the LFS's fault the fish died.
For what it's worth, the reason big box stores can give a 30 day guarantee on fish is because they don't make their money on the fish so they do what they can to make sure you come back to buy their drygoods. THAT's their money makers. But remember, how you ( the general you not the specific you ) treat the fish between the store and where your aquarium is can have tramatic effects on the fish. I once had someone call me the same day they bought a fish from me to tell me the fish I sold them had died as soon as they put it in the tank. After asking some questions, I found out that she had stopped on the way home at the grocery store.... "for only 15 minutes." ( Remember, I am in FL and this was in the summertime ) Her acclimation method consisted of floating the bag for 15 minutes or so then opening up the bag and pouring the water and fish into her tank. Should I have had to replace the fish? For 1, 15 minutes in a closed car in the FL summer is like boiling the fish on the stove. #2- a 15 minute float after partially cooking the fish is not long enough. #3- considering I have no idea what her water parameters were when she got the fish, a slower acclimation might have still saved the fish IF her water was good. So what part of the fish dying was my fault that I should have to pay for replacing it? Good customer relations dictated that I did replace the fish for her but I also sent her on her way with a good book on tropical fish keeping so that she did not have the same experience again.
You are dealing with living animals and not everything is a "one size fits all" situation. In your case, maybe the acclimation was too quick or slow? Maybe the other tank mates killed off the Tetras? Maybe the water wasn't right for them while okay for your other fish? There's a lot of variables. If all your side checks out ok, you might want to mention what happened to the store owner or manager and you might be surprised with some replacement fish


I'm just sayin......
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:11 PM   #37
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Sadly the mom and pop we have near us is just as bad as the box stores in telling people the wrong info and having dead fish in the tanks..even worse if you happen to be there when they DO deal with it...I watched a kid (5 or 6) almost cry when they pulled a dead fish out and tossed it into a turtle tank in front of him... Our petco can't seem to keep fish alive and I have stopped going in at all, petsmart is about the only place I go into and depending on who is working that section you either get the real dope or the basic pile of dog poop (1 inch per gallon, 24 hours is all you need)
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:46 PM   #38
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Sadly the mom and pop we have near us is just as bad as the box stores in telling people the wrong info and having dead fish in the tanks..even worse if you happen to be there when they DO deal with it...I watched a kid (5 or 6) almost cry when they pulled a dead fish out and tossed it into a turtle tank in front of him... Our petco can't seem to keep fish alive and I have stopped going in at all, petsmart is about the only place I go into and depending on who is working that section you either get the real dope or the basic pile of dog poop (1 inch per gallon, 24 hours is all you need)

I hear ya on that too. Not all Mom & Pops are the best. Here's what I do when I go to a new store to " check it out": #1- I don't let the sales people talk to me. I walk around and look at everything. ( how they do one thing is how they do everything.) I listen to what they tell their other customers. ( Granted, I know better so I can catch crap when they are spreading it. ) In my recent adventure to buy Angelfish, I was in 2 different states at stores I've never been to before. I found what I was looking for rather quickly but I spent almost an hour just looking at the other fish they carried. Did they look good? How many sick tanks were in the section? Were there many junk fish mixed in with the good fish? etc. Then I started asking questions: How long have you had the fish? Are they locals or imports? Do you get them often? etc. There were a few stores I walked in to and was out in 5 minutes. When the first tank you see is in bad shape and then many more are in the same condition, there's no need to continue cause either they don't know how to keep fish and I wouldn't trust what they have even if it did look good, or their suppliers suck and I wouldn't trust the fish even if they looked good at the moment. This is also why I don't buy from centralized systems. The fish are subject to what all the other fish in the section might be carrying.
So sometimes you have to shop around to find the good stores. The rise of the chains and decline in the number of Mom & Pop shops is definitely a problem. I also look for old time stores. Ones that have been in biz for a number of years. These are generally the ones who really know how to care for fish cause they have been doing it for a long time. The distance to get to them almost becomes irrelevant ( if you have transportation. ) I know it's not always easy. But in the long run, a good store is going to take care of you just as well as you take care of it.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:46 PM   #39
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Pet smart gave my tank Camallanus worms and I lost almost every single fish I bought from them within 2 months.

Correction: It was Petco. Petsmart, Petco, Pet... whatever

Never would I ever buy fish at either... again.

I have on LFS that is pretty good. The other one nearby I checked out and it had black algae all over the tanks and dead fish and fish gasping for air being blown around by the filter currents. Sad.
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:22 AM   #40
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Any store can have sick fish. I've gotten perfectly healthy fish and very sick fish from the big box stores (petsmart in most cases, I just made my first visit to petco today and only brought home one seemingly healthy fish) and from mom and pop stores. But if you qt your new fish, you can greatly reduce your chances of spreading disease.
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