I use to have store #1 in my area until the economy killed it. The place was unbelievable and everyone knew their stuff. They had uncommon fish and it was such a great place. Then they had to move to a new store and the place has gone way down hill. I'd go to Petsmart before I go back to this place type of situation....very sad.
Exactly. Many fish store employees are very knowledgable and been doing this a long time because they love fish themselves. Some are simply knocking down a part-time job because they need to have a job and being experts is not required of them.
Those are the ones who we should not expect to know everything when we don't know everything ourselves.
I should preface this with, I'm a knitter from way back. And a lot of what I learned about being an educated consumer, came from my experiences at LYS's (Local Yarn Shops.)
When I walk into a big box store to buy yarn (or fish), I don't expect the employees there to know everything about everything. I don't ask the guy in the paint department about what size needles I need for my yarn. I don't even ask the person stocking the yarn about that. Their job is to get product on to the shelves. Same thing at a place like Petsmart or Petco. Do you ask the employees there for advice on what food to feed your sick cat? Why would you ask them about how to take care of fish? Their job is to get it out the door.
When it comes to the locally owned, Mom and Pop style of yarn shops, or fish stores, I don't expect the owner to know everything about each item. Yes, Wanda started stocking a new type of sock yarn, does that mean she knows about how it will knit up? Or how it feels after wearing? Probably not. But she knows it's sock yarn, and can suggest some ideas on what to use it for. Well, why would you expect your LFS owner to know about each fish, and whether or not it's ok with your combination of livestock? Or what it takes to get it to breed? They should be able to give you a basic idea about the fish, ie it's a soft water FW fish that eats only algae, and it has a reputation for killing everything else in the tank. Beyond that, it's your job to know if it will work for you.
Yes, Mom and Pop's should know MORE than the big box store. At an LYS, I can get instruction on how to knit, how to turn a heel, basic things. (Can't do that at WalMart) But, if I walk in, and I don't know the vocabulary at all, and all I can say is "I want to make a blanket," then I can't get mad when they teach me to crochet and not knit. It's not their job to know that I wanted to use two pointy sticks instead of one hook. (or FW instead of SW)
Well, if you walk into a LFS and say, I want Nemo, they should be able to tell what you need for a saltwater setup, and how to cycle. It's not their job to tell you that maybe you should start with some danios and freshwater.
All that said, at least with yarn, if I get home and it's not the right thing, I haven't killed anything. When it comes to live animals, it's up to the person purchasing the animal to know if they can take care of it. An LFS should be able to direct people, but you can't plan on it.
(A very long winded, +1 to LH)
20 Gal - 1 Dwarf Flame Gourami, 5 CoryCats (3 Green Laser, and 2 Bandit), 6 Assassin Snails.
I would also like to further clarify what exactly I meant by research. You have to use information from credible sources. Not everything you find on line is good and you have to be able to tell the difference. If you are new to the hobby, I would recommend buying a book or two wrote by a experienced author (experience in the hobby I mean). Once you have a good foundation of knowledge, forums and on-line articles can really help to fill in the gaps or answer your questions.
The below article is a example of information that is not the best (IMO), but may seem OK if you are just starting to learn about the hobby
Last edited by Cliff; 06-13-2011 at 05:08 PM.
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
Here's the one thing that is significantly ruining good customer service: "The Customer is Always Right"
Somewhere along the line, this little phrase entered into shopping. Some stores live by this phrase much to the detriment of their employees. And because those stores have beat their employees over the head with this as their policy, the employees learn what sounds good will not get them yelled at even if its incorrect; whereas the truth is a crap-shoot.
This whole thread on customers that come into pet stores illustrates this in several post:
A few selected quotes:
I would later be fired from the said job for refusing to sell a woman a parakeet cage that she was going to stick a cockatiel in.
I actually at first refused them,had a powow with management,and they made me sell them. I have refused people in the past numerous times,and they still made me sell the fish.
Also, I've come to the conclusion that because I work in retail, everything is my fault.
I didn't realize it was necessary to be so incredibly rude to someone who was being polite to you, even though it's something you don't want to hear.
This is extremely rare these days do to a variety of reasons. If you do find a good locally owned, family run fish and supply store nearby these days, try to form a relationship with them based on honesty, open communication, and respect. The return on that kind of investment is invaluable and will be a win\win situation for a long time.
Originally Posted by mermaidwannabe
When in doubt, do a water change.
"This ain't rocket science!"
One thing I'd like to add is (and I'm sure most members know this) when you go into let's say Petsmart, there are signs all over saying if you have a question, ask one of our "Pet associates" - if someone brand new at this hobby walks in, they assume the employees have been trained properly and will steer them the right way.
This thread is really nice because as we all know, most new fish keepers assume their fish store is giving them accurate information and they panic when fish die so soon.
46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted cory catfish, cherry barbs, guppies, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies
It really is a sad thing. I watched a guy last night at petsmart buy 2 parrot fish at $25 a piece. He was chatting with the associate just discussing how quickly they die and they're just so expensive to keep! I bout fell over. I mean shoot I am far from an expert, but wouldn't you get a clue after a few deaths that something might be wrong!
Two other guys last night were walking around with all their equipment for the 75 gallon tank they just bought and they were asking the associate could they mix this fish and that and the guy asks them how big a tank they got and they tell him 75 gallon and they're headed home to set it up, and he proceeds to say "sweet, lets get some fish".
If I didn't have my 2 little girls with me I probably would have made a scene :-)
I have also heard decent advice coming from people and the customer will ignore it and buy the fish anyway. Last month a guy was buying a clown loach for his sons 5 gallon tank. (Son was about 5.) I told the guy this fish belonged in groups and would never survive that small tank. He bought it anyway.
You see it here when people are way overstocked but simply will not repair their situation. Even if decent advice is given, no guarantee anyone will listen anyway.
Some simply do not want to learn or don't accept any advice given.
Where's the dog food? How much does this cost? What time do you close?
Originally Posted by andreahp