Don’t trust the staff in the fish store!
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Don’t trust the staff in the fish store!

This may sound like a provocative suggestion but it still remains true. You shouldn’t automatically trust the store keeper when you visit a fish store. Only trust those who have proven themselves worthy of your trust and there are a lot of trust worthy persons working in and running fish stores. Unfortunately however there are also large amounts of less than trust worthy people who work in fish stores. The reason that they shouldn’t be trusted can sometimes be that they want to sell something to you but might more frequently be a lack of knowledge about the fish species they sell. The fact is however the same regardless of the reason behind the often less than value advice, that many store keepers can’t trust: evidence of this is the fact that I get emails on an almost daily basis telling me about that advice that people have gotten from fish store personal and are starting to doubt after reading more info online. Examples on such advices that been mailed to me include:
- Yes, You can keep an alligator gar (a fish that grows 6 ft long) in your 40 gallon tank.
- Yes of course you can keep a N. managuense (a 1 ft long very predatory cichlid) with your zebra Danios.
- Yes you can keep a Malawi cichlid in your Amazon aquarium. The fish want very different water values.
- Yes. You can keep discus fish and Frontosa cichlids in the same aquarium.

All of these advices are extremely poor and shows n extreme lack of commitment to the fish welfare or an extreme lack of knowledge. So what does this mean for you the consumer?

It means that you can’t depend on the judgement of the store keeper unless you for some reason know that they are knowledgeable and trust worthy and that you have to make some research before buying a fish. If you se a fish in the so store, remember the name and search for information about it on the internet or in a book and se if it suits your aquariums. Make sure that you find out which water values the fish needs, how large it grows, (never buy fish that will outgrow your aquarium in a matter of months), how aggressive the fish species is, what it like to eat and what kind of decoration it needs.

If a fish want the same water condition you have in your aquarium, have about the same temperament as the fish you have now, can be feed the same food, does well in your setup and don’t grow to big for your aquarium you can consider buying the fish. And only then should you consider this.

Millions of fish dies each year because people don’t make research before they buy them and we should do what we can to make those numbers shrink The fact that people due to bad research and bad advice purchase fish that isn’t suitable for there aquariums also leads to that fish gets released in native waters (which is illegal) and that new population of tropical fish species gets established. This problem is especially large in Florida and other southern states.

In conclusion! Don’t implicitly trust your store keeper and make your own research before buying a fish.

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