What NOT to expect from your fish store
If you buy a rump roast from the grocery store, do you ask a worker how to cook it? If you buy your first car, do you ask the saleman how to drive it?
Fish stores are hired help that stock shelves, dip your fish and check out customers. It is not their job to tell you how to cycle your tank, what fish to buy, what size they will grow and what size tank they belong in. Not only do they not have time to spend hours with each customer that walks through their doors each day, many of them simply do not know themselves and possibly never kept a fish tank themselves.
And seldom does anyone know about every kind of fish in every fish store and it's requirements. If you wish to keep fish it is your job to do the research yourself rather than blaming the employees at fish stores for everything you did not take the time to learn.
It's no different than asking a waitress how your meal was cooked. Her job is to deliver. The cooks job is to know.
You are the cook! Learn these things yourself and stop placing the blame on every fish store in the world.
Research, research, research!
I agree to some extent, but I think this is a bit extreme. This puts ZERO responsibility on their end to know anything? I agree that they probably shouldn't know everything about every fish and whatnot, but I don't agree that their only job is to scoop the fish and bag them for you. You should know about what you are selling. does a car dealer just take you for a test drive and know nothing bout the car he's in? Or a Butcher know nothing about the meat in the counter? Or your tax accountant know nothing about what's behind your tax return? Or most important, you go and adopt a child, but the adoption agency knows nothing about the baby? I mean lets get real here. Yes the local high schooler at Petco or Petsmart or wherever is most likely not going to know the breeding habits of every fish in their tank, but they should at least have a clue about things to answer a question. There is definitely a degree of acceptable knowledge, but to take all responsibility off of them, I find a bit ridiculous.
I get the point of your message Lady, and I'm not saying you're wrong, but there is a degree here to this claim. You can't sell a product and know zero about it.
Great thread Lady Hobbs
After all, if you (as the fish keeper) are going to be a responsible pet owner, caring for a living animal, you need to know how to provide that care BEFOR taking the fish home. In this day and age, there is no reason for not being able to find the information you need to properly research and learn how to care for fish
I dont mean to come off as implying all the employees at LFS do not know how to care for fish, but they certainly will not know your tank or completely understand your level of knowledge. Therefore, even the best and most knowledgeable employee still will not have all the required information that you have and may be limited to how much they could help you.
If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
"Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info
They can, and they do. I agree with everything you said from a "should be" perspective. But there's a difference between what SHOULD BE and what IS. Hobbs isn't trying to make excuses for fish stores and the employees that work there, she's trying to prepare new fish keepers for the reality of the situation.
Originally Posted by Grangers710
Frankly, I just wish employees would admit that they don't know things, rather than giving out terrible advice. When I worked in a lumberyard I didn't know anything about home construction, and I didn't pretend to. If someone asked me where the 2x4s were, I helped them. If they asked me for tips in building a deck, I didn't make something up, I referred them elsewhere.
300 gallon mega tank
: sailfin pleco, clown loaches, silver dollars, roseline sharks, congo tetras, new world cichlids
75 gallon community tank
: bolivian rams, black skirt tetras, dwarf neon rainbowfish, corys, harlequin rasboras, otos, bristlenose and bulldog plecos, assassin snails, various shrimp
60 gallon goldfish tank: fancy goldfish
Well said Brhino....this is the problem with this world. Its all about the $. No one cares cause they know that people will keep coming thru the doors. Maybe not you or me, but someone else. And once that person has a bad experience and doesn't come back, someone else will be coming through. The nature of the beast.
They know dechlorinator goes in the water, they know fish swim and eat.
It's a hobby we are taking on and it's our job to know about the hobby. That butcher knows a rump roast from a chuck roast. But he probably never cooks one nor should he have to stand there telling us how to marinate it, what size pan it goes in, how long to leave it in the oven and what the temp should be set on. And then, how to make the gravy? His job is wrapping the roast in paper, pricing it and handing it to us.
People in this day and age have such easy access to learning by having computers. If we do not do our own learning but get wrong answers from someone else, who is really responsible for the lack of information?
Lady Hobbs is right on. Grangers710 is also right on. Since being on this forum and doing research I now pay close attention to what employees at the lfs are saying. Some know what they are talking about others don't. If an employee is having a bad day he will not help where is one having a good day will. Some people immerse themselves in their job and try to learn everything about where as others just collect a pay check.
People like me shoot first and ask questions later hence my first 55gal disaster. It was an employee at petco that told me about cycling and ammonia which lead me to the Internet and this forum. It could go either way but still i like lady Hobbs suggestion of research. This is in hind site though. It just "SEEMS" that fish keeping is relatively easy. But once in and you have to learn a little science all over again.......... My 2 cents.
If an LFS is family-owned and family-run, with maybe just one or two additional employees which they make a practice of training well and educating, and that family has owned and run that business for many years, you're likely to get really knowledgeable help from the staff there, and looking around at their tanks and stock will show you instantly whether they care enough to keep their environment clean and their animals healthy. If you communicate with them information about your tank and your goals for it, folks like these are likely to be quite helpful. That doesn't mean they know everything, and you still need to do some research on your own.
On the other hand, if you go to some big box store or chain outfit with minimum-wage kids working there who really just want to collect their paychecks and go home, you aren't going to get much service and their tanks and stock will often show poor management. There are exceptions, but generally, that has been my experience.
I am fortunate enough to have found the first type of LFS, and they really do know and care about their inventory. I rarely see a dead fish in any of their tanks, and if there is one now and then, an employee comes around and removes it. They make the rounds and check their tanks, frequently. They remove uneaten food from the substrate, and their quarantine process for new arrivals is rigorous.
It all depends on who owns and runs the business, who they hire and how they treat them, and also their suppliers, as far as selection goes.
I have found that the more you learn on your own and can discuss your concerns and desires intelligently, the more they respect you as a customer and the more likely they are to work with you to your benefit. On the other hand, if you walk in knowing absolutely nothing, you can't expect them to take time out of their busy schedule to educate you on every issue you might encounter.
The only beef I have with my LFS is that their selection isn't as broad (not as many choices and not as much availability) as I would like, but they have explained to me the situation with their suppliers, and there really isn't a lot they can do about it short of changing suppliers.
It's a two-way street -- you have to educate yourself, then you can expect a reasonable amount of knowledge and conscientiousness from them. I do feel that if someone is going to work for a business, they should make some effort to learn about that business and the products it sells.
20 gal. high: planted; 7 white cloud minnows, several RCS, 2 blue shrimp, 5 Amano shrimp, several snails; AC50, Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 7 rosy barbs, 3 yellow glofish,, 3 zebra danios, 1 rosy red (fathead) minnow, 5 white cloud minnows, 3 dojo loaches, 6 crimson spot rainbow fish, several snails; AC110.