PDA

View Full Version : What is your favorite Pet Store for Fish?



abraham3660
07-22-2010, 03:00 AM
I have recently been buying almost all my fish from PetsMart, but it seems more and more of them have sicknesses. I was wondering what place you have the best experience with. PetsMart, PetCo, or Uncle Bills?

Meenu
07-22-2010, 03:10 AM
I have recently been buying almost all my fish from PetsMart, but it seems more and more of them have sicknesses. I was wondering what place you have the best experience with. PetsMart, PetCo, or Uncle Bills?
Our Petco is way better than Petsmart. I'm unfamiliar with Uncle Bill's. I prefer a LFS, but I have purchased at the chains before, as well as Walmart.

I think you need to visit all of them and look at the tanks. Experiences vary greatly between cities and stores.

Sursion
07-22-2010, 03:11 AM
There's only three places that sell pets here, due to new laws. One is Petsmart; cheap, but half dead. The other is Petland, they have great selection, but 90% of the fish are suffering from finrot, and the prices are very high. Then there's a little petstore in the mall. The people there don't know crap about fish, but they always bring in a diverse variety of fish, and their prices aren't too high.

Petland is my favourite. Second would be the mall.




Edit: Out of the three you listed, I'd say Petsmart. I don't have experiance with the other two.

SMichele
07-22-2010, 03:13 AM
I think it really depends on the location of each store..
No clue with Uncle Bill's - never seen that one, but here? Pet Co is AWFUL. I've written many letters to the company before complaining about how all of the animals are kept.


The Pet Smart... Usually seems okay, though I did go in this week and leave wanting to cry after viewing the tanks -- first time that ever happened. Usually the tanks in the store here look great. But, I wrote an email to the company as soon as I got home and was told that they were going to file an official complaint with the store, and have things checked out.. So, hopefully it'll improve.

No other fish stores around here that I know of, so when I get mine, they'll unfortunately have to come from Pet Smart. Unless I get them from 45-60 minutes away.

EmmanuelJB
07-22-2010, 03:16 AM
Pet Quarters fish are REALLY good, but they are only in Maine and New Hampshire so if you dont live around there it will be hard to get fish from them. Generally the Petco I go to has good fish, but it all depends on which one you go to. I have only been to Petsmart once so I cant really tell you how they are. Lots of people seem to like and recommend locally owned stores, so I would definitely check those out if you have them.

Pleco380
07-22-2010, 03:22 AM
I always go to Petland for my fish. I very rarely get fish with problems. Here we only have Petland, Petcetera, and an LFS. Petcetera's fish here don't look very healthy and the LFS is a bit of a drive yet does have good fish.

Sursion
07-22-2010, 03:23 AM
I always go to Petland for my fish. I very rarely get fish with problems. Here we only have Petland, Petcetera, and an LFS. Petcetera's fish here don't look very healthy and the LFS is a bit of a drive yet does have good fish.

I'm in BC too. What Petland do you go to?

Pleco380
07-22-2010, 03:36 AM
You mean city? I'll send you a message.

korith
07-22-2010, 03:39 AM
Smaller independant fish stores I find I get better things from. Usually the advice and variety is better. Though the pricing can sometimes be more than at the chain stores. For me it's worth it, I leave knowing I'm getting a healthy fish. Also do some research on your city, there may be an active fish club in your area. A lot of the fish/plants I get these days come from the local fish club auctions.

I try to avoid the larger chain stores. Would rather support a local business than a chain.

DrNic
07-22-2010, 04:16 AM
As far as retail stores are concerned PetSmart is better than Petco in my area, although Petco is significantly closer so it's kind of a toss up. I never by fish at either though, usually just supplies. For fish there are a handful of shops in the area that are pretty good. I usually shop at 4 of them, although 2 have gotten kind of bad in the last couple years.

Lab_Rat
07-22-2010, 04:46 AM
Dave's Rare Aquarium Fish is my best LFS for African cichlids, hands down. Fintique has awesome prices on fish and plants and will carry some unusual ones. Texas Tropical has a good selection of CA/SA cichlids but is pricey. Those are the best in my area.

wolf_eyes
07-22-2010, 05:30 AM
I try to buy local when I can just because I like to support those stores more. They also seem to care at least a little about the fish. The best local store in vegas, IMO, is F.I.S.H. HUGE selection, amazing rare species, and a good turn over of different fish. There are three other stores in town that are pretty good as well, but I don't go to them as often.

However, if i had to choose I would say Petco is the better of the two for me. They seem to have some rarer species every now and then and of course they have better bettas lol. The Petland near me also has a good selection... but their staff is HORRIBLE. They suggested a bala shark, a puffer, and an african cichlid for my 20gL tank as a "signature" species which was a peaceful tetra setup at the time.I tend to find that they sometimes get fish with such bad ich infestations that they're more white than normal coloring.... yet the fish are still for sell. I also have an issue with stores selling puppies, so while they have some good fish, I really only buy new life spectrum from them when I need it, which is rarely ever lol.

Of course the disclaimer that should be put on here is that while one person's experience may be bad with a certain store, that doesn't mean that another store in another part of the country is just as bad. The problem with chains is that the staff and way the store is run can really change the whole experience for the shopper.

souly
07-22-2010, 06:46 AM
The Wal-marts in my area are terrible for fish, in fact most of them in Sacramento are getting rid of their fish stock, which leaves me trying to get their display setups :P

But petsmart is good here over petco, the fish manager actually knows what she's talking about and has made the tanks way cleaner, and she explains cycling and setups to people.

Some of the LFS in my area are terrible to. In fact, it saddens me that the closest one to me, which is about 10 blocks down the street is the worst in Sacramento. I have to travel so far out of the way to get to the three good ones.

Out of those retails: Petsmart. But its all based on each store.

SunSchein89
07-22-2010, 06:55 AM
All basically depends on which store you go to. Even though those are some big name chains, it all depends on the staff and whichever vendors they are getting their stock from.

jford21
07-22-2010, 03:35 PM
Most of the big retail stores I try to stay away from...Seems most people on here would agree that the fish they keep are not always in the best of shape and neglected for the most part. I'm lucky to have a fish store where the owner and employees take the time to answer all questions and remember who you are when you come in.

Lady Hobbs
07-22-2010, 03:50 PM
Every store is only as good as their management. You can find some Walmarts that have well cared for fish or have one that has dead, diseased fish (like mine.) I have gotten good stock from Petsmart and bad stock from Petsmart. I have probably purchased more fish from my Meijers store than from anyone. It's similar to Walmarts but has well cared for fish and nice clean tanks.

I also buy fish from private breeders on Aqua Bid. Never gotten a bad fish by mail.

stw9495
07-22-2010, 03:59 PM
I went to a PetSmart in Louisville not long ago. They had a good selection, and maybe 10% of the tanks had some fish which were in rough shape. A couple guppies I saw surprised me...I thought they were just big...they were bloated, non moving, and barely breathing.

On a side note, I used to go to e-town and aside from Feeder's Supply there was a nice Store, it was a bit rough around the edges but they took better care of the fish. The bigbox stores are kinda in it for money, I've always thought...But thats just my ten cents.

rangur1
07-22-2010, 04:07 PM
i live in an area blessed with many shops. of the chains like petco or petsmart the stores are clean but i can recognize signs of stress on the fish stock. the only chain i buy fish at is "aquarium adventure", however , they only have 4 locations nationwide. most of my fish purchasing is through "live fish direct" - but i keep strictly african cichlids. but online suppliers are usually take great care of their stock.

rothenb1
07-22-2010, 04:21 PM
It definitely depends on the individual store. I work at PetSmart and according to Policy and Procedure the fish are supposed to be taken care of very well. Sick fish are quarantined and the system is treated with antibiotics twice a week. At my PetSmart the fish are generally quite healthy. I've never seen ich on the fish. We do pull deads, of course, mostly guppies, dwarf gouramis and neons though (these fish tend to be less hardy anyway), and the occasional common pleco. Some PetSmarts will not follow P&P to the letter, though, and these stores probably have sub-par fish.

I've never been into PetCo for fish, but I remember being disappointed in the store in general, and the way they house/take care of the animals. I have not heard of Uncle Bill's.

If you've got them, go to a privately owned fish store. Their fish tend to be quite healthy, and each tank is run on it's own filtration system, so if one fish gets sick, they can hold sales on just the one tank until the sickness is cleared, and the fish in the rest of the store are fine. Most chain pet stores have the fish on one system, like PetSmart.

troy
07-22-2010, 04:24 PM
Souly, have you gone to Exotic Aquarium? They have a lot rare fish and are one of the biggest fish stores in the entire state.

abraham3660
07-22-2010, 05:10 PM
I guess i should have added that i live in fishers, indiana.

stw9495
07-22-2010, 08:16 PM
On another note, I remember a very small pet store that was very near my town. It kept individual tanks and would not sell anything that was sick. Unfortunately, they stopped selling fish...not really a market for them in some places, which makes it hard for them to stay afloat.

KatzeSlaugen
07-22-2010, 08:34 PM
Everystore differs in different areas. i have 3 fish stores within a 15 min drive one is petsmart. the Petsmart near me has an excellent selection and rarely has unhealthy fish (im in 3 times a week for crickets and i always have to look at EVERYTHING they have haha). my PetCo has a smaller selection but their fish are more modestly priced and also i have never seen fin rot or any disease there either. the thrid is Petz Unlimited ( formerly a petland) i do go in to look but i will never buy from them. their stock is horrible most tanks have dead fish, ich, fish missing fins. after telling one of their employees that their oscar tank had ich he said "so, whats that matter". i told him they will all probably die without medicine and he then proceeded to correct my that "Ich is natural and it comes and goes" ....uhhh what?

before it was Petz Unlimited it was a Petland. the dogs it bought were from puppy mills and they were shut down due to putting dogs in the freezer to "cull" them if they wernt sold in time. it may be under a new name and management but i will still never buy anything there

SkipW
07-22-2010, 08:55 PM
"Ich is natural and it comes and goes" ....

So is swine flu .....

I have a good LFS but it's about 45 min away. I have two PetSmarts within 15min, one I will never buy fish from. Always dead fish in probably 50% of the tanks. Last time I was there I counted at least 10 swirling around and another 8-10 stuck on the intake. It was a minnow tank and most likely feeder fish, but still.... The other PetSmart is better. Not so many dead fish and some of the employees seem to know a little about fish keeping.
I'm still looking for a store I can trust.

rothenb1
07-23-2010, 02:56 AM
So is swine flu .....

I have a good LFS but it's about 45 min away. I have two PetSmarts within 15min, one I will never buy fish from. Always dead fish in probably 50% of the tanks. Last time I was there I counted at least 10 swirling around and another 8-10 stuck on the intake. It was a minnow tank and most likely feeder fish, but still.... The other PetSmart is better. Not so many dead fish and some of the employees seem to know a little about fish keeping.
I'm still looking for a store I can trust.

I wouldn't base a store's fish quality by looking at the feeder fish. At least at PetSmart, the feeder minnows and comets are actually run on a separate system than the tropical/goldfish. Also sometimes the shipments are duds. Last week our shipment was very sickly. I pulled almost 75 deads yesterday at the end of the night, and deads are pulled throughout the day. Other times it's just 5-10 in a night.

tori.lock
07-23-2010, 03:57 AM
There's a Petco, a Petsmart and a local shop all on the same block where I usually go. It's handy because if one doesn't have what I need, one of the others is bound to have it. I usually go to the local place first because it's local, and because they seem to have a better knowledge of fish. I actually can trust what they say (for the most part) about their stock.

I was just there today and it seemed to have gone downhill a little. I hate their betta section, I don't even look at it anymore. They have beautiful display tanks, and they have a pretty good discuss section, and huge variety of cichlids, and lots of rare plecos and oddballs. Today when I went to pick up some food and plants I will a little bothered to see that a lot of the fish looked stunted, and there were more dead fish than I'd seen there in some time, though that could have been due to it being the end of the day. Service was also much worse than I'd seen it, and I was "cut in line" by a few groups of people before they remembered they hadn't helped me yet.

Edit: I also noticed that they had a tank of dyed strawberry tetras, which seemed really out of place next to the rest of their stock. They don't seem to target people with colorfish, but seem to go after people who know what they're doing and are willing to pay top dollar for good fish.

Hillbilly88
07-23-2010, 04:25 AM
the only thing i but from walmart is ghost shrimp, and thats only cuz they dont get ich and they are like 24cents at my LFS they are like 87cents, the LFS mom and pop store i go to is one of the best ive ever been too, their fish always look healthy and in the 2yrs ive been going there ive only seen a few dead fish in any of their tanks. they are more geared to salt but have a decent selection of freshwater fish too and ive gotten to know the owners son pretty well so if i ever got a request they are pretty good at getting it for me. we have a superpetz in town too but i never shop there its like the ghetto fish store theres always stuff dead in most of the tanks and its just really dirty theres no gravel or deco in any of the tanks

Mark Hewitt
07-23-2010, 07:25 AM
In the UK we have 'Pets at Home'. They have branches everywhere!
Like others have said the quality of the shop and the quality of advice on hand can vary, however I've found that most branches have at least one person who really knows their stuff and keeps fish themselves, but they will also have a team of assistants who don't really know what they are talking about.

There's one local to me and the guy there is a super fish guru! Really knows his stuff, on a few occasions we were like "Shall we buy this potion to cure our fishes problem" and he was like "No point, that stuff is rubbish anyway, keep up your water changes and put some salt in".

Whereas at the other shop only a few miles away the assistant there could only give us advice by reading off a photocopied checklist...

One thing I've noticed in visiting around 6 branches of Pets at Home is that some have fantastic display tanks with lots of big healthy looking fish in them, some don't. The ones that don't tend to be the ones that lack anyone with a real passion for fishkeeping and the stock tanks are likely to be in a bad state too.

SkipW
07-23-2010, 12:58 PM
I wouldn't base a store's fish quality by looking at the feeder fish.
I wasn't too concerned with the feeder fish, but even in the other tanks you could tell that the dead ones were sitting there for a few days. Some were half eaten, or just rotting away in the corner. And the people working there would rather sit and wait for someone to approach them. Maybe that's store policy, but it shows a lack of quality. The other Petsmart near me always has someone checking the tanks every time I go in there. They seem busy and at least make an effort. Don't get me wrong, they have dead fish in their tanks also, but it's less noticeable and I would be more likely to buy from them.

Gisela
07-24-2010, 09:58 PM
The best fishstore here in Winchester is a family owned LFS. I also get my plants there. Petsmart is second (I like that they give the plecos fresh zucchini) and usually get dead fish out right away. Petco on the other hand is awful. I depends a lot on the manager and staff.

Garrett
07-24-2010, 10:06 PM
I deal with "mom and pop" LFS for the most part-Magic Isle, Aquahut, and Country Critters are all good, all ten minutes or less from my apartment, and that's basically the order I visit them in due to proximity. I do hit Country Critters for cat food as well.

The Petco by our house isn't bad and I don't feel like I'm going to nuke my tank if I do pick up something from them, their tanks are in pretty good shape. The kids usually have no idea what they're talking about, but someone apparently taught them how to take care of the tanks at least. It's funny because they'll sometimes have a pretty basic fish that the mom-and-pops are out of because they use different distribution channels. I got my bronze cories from Petco because none of the smaller places was getting in any of the more 'basic' cory species at the time I was adding them to my tank.

FishyPastor
07-25-2010, 01:58 AM
I usually go to Petsmart here the prices are lower than at Petco. I also go to a family pet store here called Pets Inc they have a huge selection of freshwater and slatwater. Great variety and peole are very knowledgeable.

twiggie
07-26-2010, 10:10 PM
My options are a 40 minute drive to the closest Petsmart. I have a LFS but they almost never have any fish besides goldfish and marine fish. And then there's wal-mart. I've never bought anything from walmart just because they only keep a handful of species that i'm not really interested in. It took a month to order a fish from the LFS and it was the wrong fish. So if I really need anything I go to petsmart.

Glyn
07-27-2010, 01:57 AM
The local petsmart has the cleanest fish section ive ever seen. The staff is very friendly and they have the most common fish but a slim cichlid choice. Good prices on just about everything.

My favorite local store is a little dirty but it isnt too bad and by far isnt the worst ive been in. The tanks are ok, maybe a little overstocked with the bigger fish. Naturally the prices are a little high, others not so much though. He has clown loaches for $4.99 while petsmart sells them for $8.99. He has fish that ive never seen anywhere else. He is very polite and helpful and always has plenty black worms.