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Old 08-01-2013, 03:53 PM   #21
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:00 PM   #22
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My two cents - be prepared for people who ask for your advice and then won't take it. You'll find yourself recommending a test kit, which they won't want to buy because its "expensive", and you'll then watch them spend twice as much on day glow decorations and such. They will think algae is the reason all their fish keep dying. Some will finally come in with water to test and be shocked that the ammonia and nitrites are through the roof because the water "looks fine". And then they will want to buy more fish to put in their tank anyway.

You will occasionally meet people who listen and really take your advice to heart, but an awful lot of the time you won't. Sad, but true.
This happens all the time. I am a witness to some of these things. You will eventually get over it because they WILL be back to ask for more advice
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:02 PM   #23
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I'm sure they know who to go to know.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:29 AM   #24
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There are ignorant customers. But the ones that made me want to scream thought of fish as disposable moving decor. They didn't care if the fish died , they'd just buy more.

One of my favorite success stories ( I've shared this one before), was a couple came in completely discouraged. They'd lost 2 tankfuls of fish in a row by overstocking a brand new tank.

( Petsmart customers typically will NOT agree to fish less cycling )

I had them get the water to good levels and sold them 3 Cherry Barbs to start. Mine were super hardy. We kept testing water. Added some plants. Only added new fish if water stayed stable for more than a week. Stocked lightly.

About 2 months later they came in smiling and so excited. They had 30 baby Cherry Barbs
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:57 PM   #25
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I still enjoy trips to the 3 Petsmarts near me every week. I always go there to see if they got any random weird fish mixed in with their regular stuff

One of their departments is manned by an older guy, probably in his 50's, that has been keeping fish forever. He's very good at what he does. Another store has a very enthusiastic young guy who isn't the most knowledgeable but he's enjoyable to talk to and willing to listen to people with more experience.

I've never actually had a bad experience with Petsmart oddly enough. I've bought tons of fish there over the years (I always find a fish, check back in a week and if its still healthy/there I get it and QT it for a bit).

My only real complaint is that I wish some of the employees were more aggressive in informing the customers that what they're about to do is a bad idea, but I understand why they aren't. Retail can be a PITA sometimes.

OP; let us know if you find something weird/amazing mixed into your store's regular shipments. Some of the things you find randomly at chain stores are pretty amazing/a great deal
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:02 PM   #26
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[QUOTE Even a Petco manager got her fish from us [/QUOTE]

LOL, that's funny but not surprising.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:16 PM   #27
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Great thread by the way.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:40 PM   #28
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Oh, I forgot to add a useful 'rule' for stocking fancy goldfish;

I like to use 30g for the first one, then 10g per subsequent (you can get away with something like 4 in a 55g). And always upsell filtration with them - the starter kit type of tanks don't have adequate filtration to deal with goldies, IMO.

As a food for them I would recommend Omega One goldfish flakes since (to my knowledge) Petsmart doesn't sell NLS. I would also recommend suggesting that when people feed their fancies, they pinch the food and dip it in to get it completely wet so the fish don't take in air with the flakes at the surface, since it can cause floating problems due to the unique bodies of our short, fat fish friends.

Fancies are perfectly fine on a sand substrate as well, which makes it very easy to clean (if the waste hasn't already broken down and been picked up by the filter). You can also encourage folks to keep plants with their fancies - they'll eat the tender stuff like Anacharis, but leave things like Watersprite and Crypts alone. The growth rates of various easy stem plants and mosses go off the charts when I put them in with my fancies. One thing a goldfish tank is never short on is fertilizer

Hope this is useful. When I'm inspecting the local Petsmart tanks I see a lot of people who seem to want goldfish.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:43 PM   #29
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Oh, I forgot to add a useful 'rule' for stocking fancy goldfish;

I like to use 30g for the first one, then 10g per subsequent (you can get away with something like 4 in a 55g). And always upsell filtration with them - the starter kit type of tanks don't have adequate filtration to deal with goldies, IMO.

As a food for them I would recommend Omega One goldfish flakes since (to my knowledge) Petsmart doesn't sell NLS. I would also recommend suggesting that when people feed their fancies, they pinch the food and dip it in to get it completely wet so the fish don't take in air with the flakes at the surface, since it can cause floating problems due to the unique bodies of our short, fat fish friends.

Fancies are perfectly fine on a sand substrate as well, which makes it very easy to clean (if the waste hasn't already broken down and been picked up by the filter). You can also encourage folks to keep plants with their fancies - they'll eat the tender stuff like Anacharis, but leave things like Watersprite and Crypts alone. The growth rates of various easy stem plants and mosses go off the charts when I put them in with my fancies. One thing a goldfish tank is never short on is fertilizer

Hope this is useful. When I'm inspecting the local Petsmart tanks I see a lot of people who seem to want goldfish.
Yes they always want goldfish! Its because they are .15c a piece
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:02 PM   #30
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I wish the employees at my petsmart talked a bit more i have never been asked a question or told about the fish I'm getting, also the tanks are a bit dirty all the time. Although last time I went some lady tried to questioned my fish purchase when I was checking out and I corrected her lol.
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:27 PM   #31
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I wish the employees at my petsmart talked a bit more i have never been asked a question or told about the fish I'm getting, also the tanks are a bit dirty all the time. Although last time I went some lady tried to questioned my fish purchase when I was checking out and I corrected her lol.
Not all petsmarts are like this. 1 bad experience doesnt mean you should hate all of them. Some of the workers are just misinformed. We should all take the time to help these people help others. Thats what makes a happy fish
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:34 PM   #32
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The danger of this thread is in the title-ie naming the company. Rather than branding all employees of this chain, maybe it should be things every person in an aquatic section should know. We don't have this company where I live, but employees in my local fish stores should know lots of the info suggested here.
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:38 PM   #33
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I know and I didn't say I hated them.
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:39 PM   #34
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I know and I didn't say I hated them.
I know I wasnt pointing at you! I always quote the post above me. I was saying as a general reference to everyone
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:51 PM   #35
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I just put petsmart in the title because I work there. I really meant just general information for people who are selling fish to the general public.... I've already learned so much from having fish myself and this forum, and now I'm learning a lot being on the sales floor as well. I still have a lot more to learn. I wish I could carry my phone on the floor that way I could get correct answer fast to things I'm not entirely sure on.... But I've already advised 7 people about this forum and aquadvisor
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:34 PM   #36
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I just put petsmart in the title because I work there. I really meant just general information for people who are selling fish to the general public.... I've already learned so much from having fish myself and this forum, and now I'm learning a lot being on the sales floor as well. I still have a lot more to learn. I wish I could carry my phone on the floor that way I could get correct answer fast to things I'm not entirely sure on.... But I've already advised 7 people about this forum and aquadvisor
I carry my phone everyday I work with no problems. I use it as well to help others if I dont know the answer
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:08 PM   #37
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Based solely on my experiences of THE 2 big chains, a couple of smaller, local chains, and a couple of nearby LFSs, I rank *my local* Petsmart #2 to my perferred LFS which is about 30 miles away. After last night, I REFUSE to ever step in the *other* big box chain - but that's a different story.

But, yes, for things I'm too lazy to drive the 30 miles for, I get at PetSmart, but I only get my stock from the LFS. I've found the employees at PS much more knowledgeable and helpful.

Good for the OP for doing the right thing, taking pride in what you do and trying to do the right thing whenever you can.
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:39 PM   #38
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LOL went to our local petsmart today to look at the angels, came around the corner and both gals there looked around and laughingly joked there wasn't anyone for me to talk to today...so I watched the sad show of them putting in brand new stock into tanks after only floating the bags a bit..did come out with a little tiny black angel that had been there a week for a buck less than marked.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:12 PM   #39
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LOL went to our local petsmart today to look at the angels, came around the corner and both gals there looked around and laughingly joked there wasn't anyone for me to talk to today...so I watched the sad show of them putting in brand new stock into tanks after only floating the bags a bit..did come out with a little tiny black angel that had been there a week for a buck less than marked.
Its petsmart policy to float the bags for the acclimated. They then grab a 5g bucket and put a net on it and dump the fish im the net and discard the water and place fish in appropriate tank. Not by far the worst way of acclimation but still not the best
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:21 PM   #40
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We aren't allowed to carry our phones, our managers get really mad... If I had to guess they probably had a texting problem once upon a time....

We float our feeder fish in the water systems reserve tank, then put them in a bucket, and net them out. We then discard the water... With other fish we float their bags for at least 15-30 min.
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