First it was Wal Mart now Petco

kirap(TN z7)September 18, 2005

I got into such a ruckus in Wally World one time I was escorted off their property and told I was banned and if I setfoot on that stores property again I would be arrested for tresspassing.......all over some issues with the way they maintain and keep their fish.......

So along comes Petsmart and then a few months later we get a Petco......I do not have a problem with Petsmart here and they do perhaps have the best selection and care of fish.

Petco started off fine, but soon got careless and their fish soon started looking pityfull. They eventually got two assocaites that gave a rats behind about maintaiing the fish, but they are staffed minimally so they have to work multiple departments a lot of times. However their saltwater fish section is maintained perfectly and its awesome in how they are taken care of.......especially by one female associate in particular....She really cares about the fish's environment....Awile back I decided to get a neon goby for my one pico tank.......the LFS wanted $20 for the fish without a warranty, the other LFS which is strictly SW fish did not have any nor did he expect to get any soon, so I checked out Petco...........Only $9.99......So the fish department was pretty busy, and one indiviudal was netting and bagging fish.......The regular two that worked the fish section were off.....I watched this individual who stated he was a fish specialist technician, jab, poke, stab, swipe and all but mangle fish in the process of trying to net them.....It was pathetic. When he managed to net a fish, and tried to dump it into a bag, instead of a hang on container until all fish were netted, he would miss or the bag would fold over and the fish would fall on the floor, where he would pickiy up with his hanbds and toss it into the bag......He would net each fish, and then pick each fish out of the net with his hands, wipe his hands on his pants and do it again. I could not stand it any longer and told him it wa not an acceptable practice to touch a fish with anyhting other than a wet net.......and in grabbing the fish with his hands, laying the net on the floor etc he was potentially introducing stress and injury to them and they stood a real good chance of getting sick.......His reply was they have a 14 day warranty and if they are gona get sick and die they will do so by then, so bring the body back and we will replace it free......Besides they are just fish anyhow and they do not feel pain or such.......It was hard to belive folks buying those fish he was misshandling were accepting of the way he was doing it...... Finally it was my turn, and I told him what I wanted, BUT before he was to get my Neon Goby, there was two things had to be met..If he could not net it quickly and not chase and stab and poke it, I would not take it, and #2 he needed to keep his hands off it. If he cold do that go net my goby........Well it took about 5 minutes of him chasing it around.....he had that tank all stirred up...and I called it quits........Fine he said........and closed up the tank......He went back to opther customers, and I decided to go for another goby I had seen, another Blue Neon. I got a net and in a mnute or less had the fish all netted. The wife called him over and said here is a neted fish now can we have a bag so we can pay and get out of here.....His reply was we are not allowed to net fish as if its done improperly we can stress out the fish.......duh!!!!!!like what was he doing for over 5 minutes of not netting the fish we wanted? He gets a bag, while I held the net with the fish in it so the fish could not get free, and what does he do when he returns, but reach into the net and grabs the fish and drops it into a bag with his hand.........I told him keep the %^*(&% fish, and walked out..........On the way out I was really disturbed........and asked the cashier if the manager was in, to which she replied, yesm, but he is not there at the I made a complaint with her and asked her to tell it to the manager.......A few days later I walked into this same Petco, and that idot fish tech was still doing the same thing grabbing fish by this time I sent an email directly to petco telling them exactly what all transpired in their one store and the managers lack or associates lack of fixing the situation....and I have now gotten a reply back from Petco, wanting permission for the manager of that district to contact me in regards to what I have seen and told them.....Well to make this long rant shorter, there is now a new manager in the store.....and that Fish Tech does not work there anymore meeting personally with both the original stores manager and district manager went good, and the stores manager was at a loss of words for what the associates do in his store. I have to think the district manager paid a visit first unannounced, and seen other things being done and it was not just the inept handling and caring of the fish that got the store manager bumped and the fish tech fired........but there are places and people that will do what it takes to make things right for the fish and other critters they sell, its just a matter of weeding though all the lazy ignorant types to get to who you have to talk to. Petco will try and handle a situation as such, so don't be afraid to speak up and make noise to their bosses if need be......

One more thing, the local walmart I h ad a run in with no longer sells anyhting live except for lobsters in the seafood department any more......All they have is drygoods in their pet if all other wal marts would follow suit, that would be good......unless they can prove they have the ability to keep fish properly

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RodeoSquirrel(zone 6 SePA)

i hear ya on the petco, they are morons in that store and it doesnt matter what state the petco is they all are bad! they hire a bunch of kids maybe thats the problem.
i was there the other day and i asked the sales person for a gold severum and a pleco. the fool asked which one was the pleco and which one was the severum. i can see the severum but the pleco? lol how can any body in a fish department not know what a pleco was. well it took him a good 7 minutes to net the pleco, thank heavens the severums were begging for food and were easy to catch (gotta love those cichlids)
a few months back while purchasing a fish at lovely petco the sales girl (she had to be 16) squirted a bunch of stress coat in the bag. one squirt will do its just a few cups of water the fish are in, but no she kept squirting and squirting lol i had to tell her ok thats enough.
dang i give up lol but they do offer a large selection of fish and thats what brings me back, just gotta keep an eye out for signs of illness and dummy sales people

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 12:53PM
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Maybe some Petcos are bad but not all. The local one that I go to take very good care of their animals. Everything is always caged in appropriate sized and outfitted habitats and the people usually seem knowledgable.

I buy fish fairly often (you can't collect birds or dogs like fish!) and the people in the fish department always are able to answer my dozens of questions and handle the fish very well. A few get dropped once in a while but it happens.

And when I buy fish from them, they never seem to just die like some of the other places I've gone to. Infact, today there were some ich infested fish being quarantined and treated that weren't for sale.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 5:08AM
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kirap(TN z7)

The big thing is....Fish breeders and wholesalers would not stay in business ong if they sold sick fish....I will accept the fact that out of the thousands and thousands of fish a wholesaler or breeder may sell and ship there are bound to be a few sick ones along the way that will not make it no matter how good of care is given to them. Stores that buy from these breeders also do not arbitrarily buy sick fish and sell sick fish, at least not originally.......Its at the level where the fish are in the "keepers" hands at the LFS that most problems occur......later on down the road from inept skills used to care for them......Thats one reason I prefer small shops to large shops, but thats not always true in all cases.......but usually a mom and pop type shop will take better care of their merchandise than a large chainstore will as profits take too miuch of a hit with a lot of losses of improperly cared for critters.......Retail chainstores on the other hand with idiots they hire most of the time could care less and they know they will get a free replacement from the vendor to take care of those they they really are not out any money overall either....There was a good article in an Aquarium magazine awhile back that covered the trials and tribulations of fish and sickness and such from breeders to the home aquarium, and it simply stated, most fish are healthy when received by the retailers, its at that point that they start going downhill, and folks do not know how long that particular fish has been in the stores care, it could have been there for weeks or hours, so its a real crap shoot on buying fish from any retailer without doing your homework. They suggested finding out when a retailer gets their shipments, and try and make it a point to be around there a few times when shipments arrive and see what condition fish arrive in and how they are handled in acclimation..............then come back the next day or so and buy if your satisfied, and also to look at ALL tanks, not just the tank with the type fish you wnat, but to check em all out for signs of sickness etc......and it was also a good idea to get there early at the time they open up and look for dead and dying fish that have not been removed since the day before.....and look for any signs of fish etc thrown in trash can...Your gonna get a few here and there that die, thats life, but like at Walmart and some others where there is literally dozens of dead and dying fish still in the tanks, and lots of fish with fungal problems and signs of emanication, its time to bring the situation to managements eyes and find another place to buy your fish at.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 8:45AM
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njdjs(6 OK)

I hear horror stories on Walmart but I go to a few Super walmarts and usally the fish tanks are nice. I just purchased 5 subunkins (goldfish) and brought them home and put in my hospital tank and they are such happy lil guys. I even got a betta at Walmart and haven't had any problems.but I learned to always have a hospital tank for any fish you buy new and I learned the hard way.But Walmart has always been good to me and I never had trouble with them on fish. the tanks are clean and people are always helpful. I will say some know little about fish so your better off learning about something on your own before going to Walmart.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 2:23PM
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sjv78736(austin texas)

Kudos To You For Not Letting This Go Unnoticed!

'All that is required for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing...'

Yes, Kudos To You!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 6:56PM
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bigpaulie1972(9B Melbourne FL)

all i can say is.......thats what people get for not supporting small, local fish stores and for shopping at any large petmart....or whatever they call those huge superstores. Most small petshops barely make a decent profit anymore with mail-order shops and huge petmarts ruining the industry. People should never buy livestock from those superstores. Anyone who gets a bad fish or pet from them....deserves one.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 1:24AM
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Congradulations, you cost some guy a job. Get a life.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 2:37AM
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I was just at Petco today to compare prices to Drs Foster and Smith(of course there was no comparison) and all the tanks were crystal clear. Three of the bettas had blown bubble nests, not to mention their clear water, and Petco also just started carring crown tail bettas(I check to make sure it wasn't fin rot((though I am questioning their blood lines but what can you expect from Petco))) so that just goes to show, it depends on the management!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 7:13PM
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My local Petco is o.k., they just moved into a bigger store and it's MUCH nicer. The tanks are clean, the staff seem o.k., naturally prices for most stuff are better online but I go in for an occassional fish besides the normal food,filter replacement,light bulb,etc. stuff.

Walmat is another story though:

Walmart sucks, next time you go go check out their dead fish! They're REALLY good at stocking those.

The Walmart in (Ironically) Fishkill N.Y. had DOZENS of dead fish when I went there for the first time last fall. Someone put soap in the water recirculating tanks. They believe an employee did it the night before. Parents and their kids and seniors were staring in disbelief. It was really sad. A few fish weren't quite dead yet but close to it. Some small frogs as well. Really horrible. I couldn't believe it, I had heard that they were bad with fish. A few of us asked them to put some tarps or something over the tanks. I'll NEVER buy fish or even fish supplies at Walmart. Matter of fact, I'll stay away from that store all together, it's WAY over rated anyway.

(who has several small to medium sized freshwater tanks....)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 3:16PM
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kirap(TN z7)

Quote of: tfraleigh Ont (My Page) on Mon, Oct 24, 05 at 2:37

Congradulations, you cost some guy a job. Get a life.

I did not cause him to loose his job, he did it to himself...Whats the matter he your brother or something like that? The fellow had a few chances from what I hear, and he just ignored to do his job properly......From talking to other emplyees there he wa a regular screwup....Like the time he sold a 210 gal tank setup complete with everything, and they did not have a proper stand to fit the tank, but he told the folks that another stand there would work as the tank fits on it perfectly........yea right, the tank fit on the trim that goes around the bottom of the tank when placed o nthe stand, not the frame which was meant for the support of the tank.......Needless to say what happened there......The entire nine yards sat behind petco for about 1 month busted, and not to say the customer was not probbaly T'd off as well with 210 gal of water and gravel all over his floor..But .you say....."I cost him his job", well thats ok, I'll be glad to do it again if the need or opportunity ever arises.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 8:21PM
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hvaen't seen it yet, but i keep hearing our walmart is carrying fish now. i could just scream! they didn't have fish before and they don't even have an adequate aquarium supply section.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 8:22PM
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TaniaMKM(zone 6 NY)

MY petco seems great, better than the one local shop, that's for sure!

Can't say I've been to the Fishkill Walmart... BTW, The 'kill' part of the name of the town is from the Dutch word for 'stream' ;)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 8:52PM
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rokoku(z6b PA)

My local Petco was always OK with their livestock, just too expensive. I like the Petsmart near me and usually go there when I'm not up for the 45 minute drive to That Fish Place, which is the best fish store I've ever been in. One of the multitudes of Walmarts in my area has sold fish for years and has usually done a great job. They've had a nice variety and the fish look good. For a long time they had the same clerk running the area. The best thing about shopping there and other walmarts is that the prices don't seem to be related to the type of fish, so great deals can be had if you keep an eye out.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 10:58PM
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mamabirrd(z5/6 PA)

My sister and I visited Petco in Cranberry, PA yesterday, and we were apalled at what we saw in the tanks. So many dead fish, some being eaten by other fish, and some that were so decayed, you could tell they had been left in there for days.
Many fish were on the verge of death and appeared to be suffering. Several were also visibly diseased and in obvious stress.
One tank of goldfish was so horrific, I can only hope that a child didn't see it. The pump was so strong, and quite a few fairly large sized goldfish were sucked to the filter intake and were in various stages of decomposition.

There was no one "punched in" other than a girl at the cash I will be making a call this morning.

tfraleigh, kirap was correct in saying the guy lost the job on his very own. He was not the man for the job, and hopefully was replaced with someone a little more in tune with the position.

It is NOT okay for these chain pet stores to keep hiring un-trained people to tend to these animals. I am tired of seeing sick, half-dead, or rotting creatures for sale in these places.

Like the obviously sick, baby Timneh African Grey I witnessed at Petsmart Monday. My heart is so sad for that poor little thing. The only thing "Smart" that place could do would be to quit selling birds. A month ago, at the same store in Greensburg, PA, I saw a Gouldian Finch bleeding very badly in one of the cages. I quickly ran and got a manager, and the bird was roughly removed from the cage. I hope and pray they gave that poor little thing proper treatment.
There have been several other incidents in that store over the years regarding the birds.
I shop there frequently and enjoy the large selection of items they stock. I just don't believe they should be in the business of selling animals.
I never walk in there with the expectation of seeing something terrible, but it has happened over and over.

I have come across several very good employees at a few local shops, but it is much more common to see young people with little or no knowledge about the pets or the products they are handling and selling.

I did recently meet a young girl working at Petco in North Huntingdon, PA, and was very impressed by her knowledge and ability. Their tanks and fish were beautiful and I did not see one fish that didn't look 100% healthy. This girl was also quite friendly, which was a nice change. She seemed happy to help me. During the time I spent chatting with her, she was also handling a young bird that was for sale in the store. She was so good with it and spent some time giving it a bath while I pondered my fish selection. I was very impressed. I will also be making a call to that Petco manager this morning to praise a job well done by a super employee!

As far as WalMart goes, I don't think they have any business selling anything live. But that's just my opinion.

I'm sure we'll all continue to agree to disagree, lol, but one things for certain......I will always speak up when I see any creature being mistreated. It's the right thing to do.


    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 9:43AM
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Despite my wish to find a local store that seems to have 100 percent healthy fish, so far it seems our local Walmart has had the healtiest looking ones til yesterday, and I've been making return visits to assess the health of their fish in general. If I recall, it seems buying fish almost anywhere in the colder months of the year can be somewhat risky , since it seems they often suffer with the shipping in the winter , with badly fluctuating temperatures in the shipping process , which makes them sort of weak and vulnerable to various diseases. It seemed yesterday, after waiting to see some angelfish in their tanks finally , that all the poor angels were "sulking" on the bottom of the tanks and breathing somewhat hard, but I suspect they may have had some cold water somewhere in the shipping process??
There were also a few other types of fish behaving the same way, and I'd suspect it was cold water affecting those as well. No obvious signs of finrot, ich, or other signs of disease however. Oh well, but I guess it pays to buy fish only in the warmer parts of the year to avoid those "shipping" shocks. Other than that, one salesgirl said they did have "state of the art" conditions and a "drip" water system there, and their tanks "look" very clean.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 7:33AM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

I may have wrote this allready in this thread, but most bigger chains petco, petsmart and even wal-mart have central filtration with UV sterilization and even DI filtration and fully automatic nutrient dosing (some not all). That being said if it is not maintained properly it is useless. You can give a hockey player a top of the line titan stick and he'll never score a goal. Give Wayne Gretzky a broom handle and he'll score a hat trick. Its all who is doing the maintainance. For a while my local Wal-mart had the best tanks in the area. The elderly gent that ran the dept. knew what he was doing and kept most everything alive and healthy. He stopped working there and everything went to hell. Sometimes new shippments will come in with problems. Good LFS's will QT the fish for a month or 2 before selling them. I usually try to visit a new shop daily for a week or so to get a feel of their quality and also to see if they QT fish or just dump them in on delivery. Only a handfull do this. Try to get fish from a reputable store. A QT tank of your own is the way to go so diseased fish will not contaminate your healthy aquarium. Fish are usually shipped in heavy duty styrofoam "coolers" and the temps cn be maintained well. No matter what season I transport my new fish in a cooler from the store to home. Before leaving home I put aquarium temperature water in the cooler to "charge" it and dump it out beore going in the store. The darkness also helps reduce stress and it keeps the bags from rolling around.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 1:57PM
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Woeisme, thanks for the extra information. I'd suspect, after seeing no visible signs of thermometers in any of the aquariums , that perhaps the water temperatures in all the aquariums may have been a bit low, but I'm not sure the people responsible for the tropical fish are checking those temperatures daily, though the water always looks very clean, and there did seem to be some discernable disease present in a couple of the tanks! I much suspect however, that the two locally owned pet stores have none of the more sophisticated set-ups in their tanks and the fish in those stores was even worse than the chains. In the case of one store I began to say "outloud", "I see you have some sick fish", while the owner or manager was sitting in an office just around the corner from me, though I heard no response and am not sure she even heard my comment, but if her very cold response to my later questions were an indication of her response to criticism, I'd suspect they're not terribly interested in maintaining the best possible fish for their prospective customers!!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 8:02AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Hey there. You guys must not have ever been in the retail trade. I used to run a store that had absolutely nothing to do with fish but I can tell you in the big box stores the fish are the bait and the hard goods are the $$$$$catch$$$$. As such the stores are counting on fast turnover and can't afford long quarantine times. If anything like that is needed they expect the suppliers to do it on their dime and since the supplier is looking at fast turnover too, he doesn't quarantine either. Why would he when the profit on one fish is just pennies? The majority of the fish are very common and are sold to people who may set up a 10 or 20 gallon tank, stock it with 10 or so fish and mostly forget it when all the fish die. Tell me how you make a profit on 12 cent comets?
For the franchise stores, the fish are better and the cost higher so the in store care is better but the bottom line is still the important factor so the available hardware is more exotic and expensive.
Please excuse the lesson in economics. It is necessary to explain the big box store manager's neglect of the fish. He is only interested in the bottom line because his supervisor is only looking at the bottom line. Most see no benefit in keeping the fish healthy or maintaining the tanks because the fish are just a cost of doing business not a real part of the economic picture. As a result the shipment arrives and is dumped in the tanks. Most of the time a clerk will net out the deaders but after that it is considered wasted time that is better spent elsewhere.
I have seen young people who have raised fish as a hobby hired to work in such a department actually prevented from doing the kind of work that benefits the fish and being fired if they persist or they leave to work elsewhere because it is too stressful to see all those deaders every day. Recently I spoke to one on those had nothing but disgust for management's point of view. He had managed to get his supervisor to allow him 1/2 hour a day to maintain the 30 tanks in the store and they were the best I had seen in the area but he was looking for other jobs that didn't force him to kill fish through neglect. Ironically he had been hired because his hobby was tropical fish. He found a new job that week. Two nights ago I was getting aquarium plants at a store that has recently redone its pet section. I had to use a phone to get a clerk to come to the department. When he came I mentioned there were too many dead fish in the sparkling new tanks. His response was the manager was an idiot who wouldn't let him remove them because it took too long and his time was more profitable stacking dog food.
There's more but you don't really need my lectures. I think you may see a point here somewhere. Sandy

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 3:25AM
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vaderbanger(Z6 SE PA)

ive bought fish from walmart, petco and petsmart. ive never had a problem with them, in fact the fish are still alive and doing well

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 6:42PM
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Sounds like Petco was unfairly lumped in with Walmart in this thread. Petco did the right thing and dumped the careless manager and employee. Kirap didn't cost anyone their job, the careless actions of the Petco manager and employee cost them their own job.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 9:51AM
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fgilles02420(z6 MA)

Well, at least let's hear it for the good Petcos. I go to the one in Burlington MA and, although I'm unfamiliar with birds and reptiles and their care, the fish department always looks great (goldfish, tropicals, cichlids and saltwater). I bought two Ancistrus and eight serpae tetras there a year and a half ago and all are thriving. Probably depends on the individual department managers.

But I'm glad you stuck to your guns and changes were made at the one you're talking about. If you do your job incompetently, you're SUPPOSED to get fired!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 12:02PM
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vaderbanger(Z6 SE PA)

any one responsable for getting someone fired is evil, im sorry, but these people have families to support and getting someone fired over a fish tank???? thats sick and heartless

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 4:46PM
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kirap(TN z7)

VaderBanger stated:
any one responsable for getting someone fired is evil, im sorry, but these people have families to support and getting someone fired over a fish tank???? thats sick and heartless

And "EVIL" Kirap says: Anyone taking an empployers money and not fullfilling their obligation is stealing and not accepting the responsibiity of their employment agreements and needs to be fired.......and in some cases along with the manager for allowing it to go to that point by not ensuring he or another asst super is not checking to see that the employees are actually doing what their paid to do......

I take it you musts be a slacker on your job too, as you seem to have a bleeding heart for folks that do not accept their full responsibility family to feed or not.....I'd fire you or anyone else in a heart beat if a word or two of warnings did not set the employee straight and he/she failed to do what he was being paid to do........They are part and parcel of why prices get higher just like shop lifting....Steal merchandise or steal employers time by slacking off or not doing things correctly and its no different. Prices go up to reflect losses.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 9:24PM
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tropicalfreak(z10b Ft Lauderdale)

*clap, clap, clap* *whistle* "way to go!!"

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 10:43PM
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beavisbmx(IOWA, US)

Well, if he isnt the usual person, than he must have been asked or even forced to do that station. Its not his fault that he isnt the usual person and was forced to do it, and if he got asked to do it he probably did it for overtime and needed the money. I suggest you dont just go around getting people fired until you know the whole story.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 9:32PM
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imaginators(z6 KY)

I too have a Petco store in our town. Most of the fish tanks look fine except for the section where they sell baby koi and goldfish fish. I have seen sick koi or goldfish with ick, fins clamped to their sides and dead fish. I gather all the same water is filtered in all their tanks so if their is one sick fish all the fish will get it. So when I do buy a small fish there, I immediatley do Clout treatment for precaution. The people that work there are getting min wage and not all are fish hobbyist. So you get what the store will pay for. No it isn't right the way many fish and animals are treated in retail for the all mighty dollar.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 10:55PM
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I took a part-time job at Wal-Mart years ago just to work in the garden and pet section, two of my passions. I was often called over the PA system to come back to the garden section and check-out customers. I decided that the ony way those fish and the customers were going to be treated right, was for me to take matters into my own hands.

It took months to get the aquariums/fish healthy and I must admit, it was a dream come true to know every day I went into work, I was giving them the better care and keeping them alive.

I did have conflict with those idiots that insisted on gettting the plant or fish that I well informed them would not live in the environment they were going to provide. I refused to sell the fish to them, it made some of them mad of course, but, I would usually just tell them that they were under quarentine or something.

One guy wouild wait until I was at my full-time job and constantly bring back the dead fish only to get more to kill. The manager finally told him that he couldn't exchange them any more.

whenever I can, I will defend/protect GOD's creatures, my grandmother use to tell me to take them back whenever I confiscated abused animals as a kid, until she simply gave in and let me keep them once she worked out a deal with the owner. I know you can't help them all and it hurts too, but, whenever you can, DO.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 11:34AM
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Well, as far as being responsible for getting someone fired.....why anyone would even apply for a job that includes taking care of ANYTHING alive....if you don't want the responsibility...haul garbage. Hopefully you won't be able to hurt anything at that job.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 10:43AM
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Bully for you speaking up to the mgrs and district mgrs about the fish abuse. I wish more people would.

I'm glad the loser fish abuser lost his job. Now he can go flip burgers like he should have been doing in the first place. At least he can't kill them (the burgers)!

Last month I made a rare trip to Wal-fart and "rescued" a betta. The poor thing was in water so dirty he looked like a lugy floating around. Clogged pin holes in the lid of the container so he didn't have much air. He was the ugliest one there. I knew he wouldn't sell and would probably would be dead within the week so I bought him. Put him in fresh warm water and the next day he turned purple and red! I was prepared to bring him home to die in a caring environment. The next day he had turned purplish red and was moving around.

I don't know much about bettas, but I'm learning. Its satisfying to see this little critter enjoy a new lease on life. I taped a pic of a female betta to the side of his bowl so he'd have company. He built a bubble nest next to it!

Does anyone's bettas favor any particular kind of food? I'm giving mine the betta pellets, tube worms, blood worms.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2006 at 7:45PM
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Just give him good quality food. I use Hikari or HBH. And although you may be thinking - what? Just a few pellets? Don't be tempted to overfeed.

If you really want to give him the best care, buy a small tank 3 gallon tank for him - with a filter and heater. :-)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 6:27AM
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starfyre(z8 wa)

I was at a walmart superstore last night. Was buying charcoal for filter. A lady with two kids was talking to a sales associate about the feeder fish. Apparently her two kids wanted fish BAAAAAAAD. So she is asking a sales associate who probably stocks shelves in shoes or something if these two fish will do ok in a bowl "this size" (she hold up a tiny bowl thats maybe a half gallon size).
He says sure.
They don't need a filter do they?
Nope he says.
Does this stuff work? (holding up a little bag of "soil absorbing crystals" designed to absorb fish dirt and bacteria)
Associate reads the back of bag for a moment, hands it back and says YES.
As the associate leaves (Headed towards the bedding department) and the kids stare into their bag of poor little fishies I hand the lady a bottle of start right and parasite meds, told her she'll need these and to make sure she change a little of the water each day to make sure it's clean and wish her good luck.

Was I wrong to intervene? Couldn't they at least hire ONE person to do the pet department who knew SOMETHING about the fish? Heck, couldn't they have someone who knew about the cat food?? (I have a slightly (read: VERY) overweight cat and was asking about a specific food) This lady and her two kids are doomed to return to buy new fish very soon...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 11:33AM
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jimcanada(z3a sw Sk. Ca.)

Was in a Walmart last night. I heard a couple ask the lady in the pet section if salt water fish and tropical fish were the same. She told them they were and they proceeded to pick up a couple of boxes of aquarium salt and were looking at some tetras to buy. She also told them that ick in fish was the same as people getting a cold, and that's why it was so common in their tanks. I had to explain to the clerk what freshwater and saltwater fish were. I didn't even try to explain ick.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 7:04PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Wal*Mart should not sell fish. They should not sell plants either. Overall, they do a horrid job with both. Sometimes you have an employee with a clue but most often not.

Sleeplessinftwayne is right about management in big box stores. So, even if the employee has a clue they aren't allowed the amount of time it takes to do a good job.

Some are better than others. There is a Home Depot near me that has an excellent garden center, most are awful. There is a Wal*Mart near a friend of mine (who is a very experienced goldfish/koi keeper) where they do an excellent job but I've never seen a Wal*Mart that didn't have horrible foul fish tanks. It is very sad. At least they don't have baby turtles like when I was a kid....

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 8:33PM
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OMG what idiots! I got my first betta at a flea market (i know, i know, but he was so pretty and so sad in that tiny vase, i had to get him! oh, a btw, he's in a much bigger tank now with a filter and plants), so i didn't see them handle him. but then i got my second betta at Jacks Aquarium and Pets. It's a small place, so it wasn't busy and there was always several people available. It's a great little shop. I didn't see him take any fish out (bettas are sold in seperate jars), but I could tell the way he packaged them was that they were careful. Plus, he really knew how to take care of fish. He knew what kind of food they ate, what plants are healthy, and a great little aquarium. I don't know if they are a chain, but I definately suggest you look around for one!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 9:34PM
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isis_nebthet(8b/11suns SoCA)

My walmart has locks on all the tanks now because some incredibly horrible person chlorinated the water. I bought a pearl danio that day and it survived. A sales person (she didn't usually do pets) came over saw all the dead fish and was horrified. I looked and saw the ghost shrimp were dropping like flies too. I stuck my nose up to the tank and it smelled like chlorine. Next time I came back locked tanks. For once they did a good job.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2006 at 11:52PM
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Iopah(z4 NY)

I just came across this thread and felt compelled to say something as someone who keeps fish *and* works at a petstore. I've been to wal-mart (not quite the horror stories posted here, I admit). Plenty of net-challenged people though. All I buy there are flourescent tubes (cheaper) and the occasional live plant (I admit, our selection is pitiful). I would be the first person to admit I don't know everything, but we have a nice set of fish encylopedias and three other stores that are bound to have an employee that has the answer, and anyone who cares about their fish loves talking about them... how I got hooked onto replacing plastic with ALL live plant (gentleman with a gorgeous planted 30 gallon). Sorry, this was so long and fairly goal-less, but I just wanted to say not all fish stores are dirt.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 12:04AM
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Whoa now you guys. It is not whole chain stores that are corrupt at all, each individual store is different because of the employees and the employers. I don't know about Walmart, but both Petsmart AND petco hire people of at least 18 years of age, so no one is hiring kids, or at least more than the other. They both go thru training, but its really up to the hired employees to retain information and learn on their own since there is so much information to know. Walmart's the exact same. The whole chain is not corrupt (at least with caring for their fish, heh), its who its the individual employees that take care of the fish and give advice. Small specialty fish stores are generally better, but sometimes not even so. It STILL relies on the individual employees. I've been to multiple petsmarts, petcos, walmarts, and small specialty stores around here and actually all are poor quality. On the contrary, many others find great stores. I guess I'll keep looking. Quit bashing chains though. It does no use but get forums in trouble. If you are upset with how fish are being treated or mislead advice, talk with the manager as many times as you need to get the store to shape up.

Just my two cents.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 7:00PM
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Iopah(z4 NY)

I'm sorry if that was an indirect response to me. I just re-read mine and I didn't mean to be defensive at all. Some people sincerely care about the integrity of what they tell people and the health of their fish and some don't, that's really all it boils down too. Stores with good (good=first priority are the animals) management (and from the conflicting opinions, it's not always a certain chain) will weed out the "bad ones". Personally I feel if you have no experience or interest you should not be advising a customer. The starting rate for a pet store typically is not really all that much... comparable to grocery store/fast food jobs...


    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 12:27AM
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isis_nebthet(8b/11suns SoCA)

I never got minimum wage working in the food industry...

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 10:48AM
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PhoenixRain(z8/ Katy,Texas)


    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 6:03PM
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way to go for getting that guy fired. he should not be allowed whithin 100 feet of anything aquatic.I dont mind clerks that dont know that much but they should at least have a bit of common sense. The type that really ticks me off is the type that is wrong and just wont admit it. you know that guy that gets all in your face because you just told him that his horned nerites(clython brevispina) are not at all "punk apple snails".The same guy that sells really young pacus to people with a 10g.this guy accounts for numerous drive by eggings of his LFS. i know its immature but i was 16 at the for pacus have only met 2 people in my lifetime (not that long really) that can house them properly. both had tanks over 1500 gallons. these fish should not be on the market at all (unless by special order from someone who can house them well)im not at all against teenagers working at my LFS but they should know what they are doing.Age doent really have anything to do with it. there is a 9 year old discus breeder that hangs out at age of aquariums.Hope my kid will be like that.oh and to the people who were against firing this guy YOU should get a life. the reasons were already mentioned.

P.S Fish Rock Bush Sucks

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 12:29AM
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okay, i already said something here, but i want to say to those people who said it was bad to get people who suck at their job fired this:
THEY WILL FIND ANOTHER JOB, HOPEFULLY NOT AT ANOTHER PETSTORE! THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR HURTING INNOCENT CREATURES! I'm sorry to yell, but I would have done the same thing if I saw someone like him.
Obviously some people need to get a reality check. "They're just fish and they don't feel anything" *spits at person who said this* I think all animals are great, and deserve good handling. These little creatures depend on us to take care of them and NOT MANHANDLE THEM. I'm sorry if I'm being harsh, but it's the truth. Kudos kudos kudos and a clap on the back to Kirap.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 1:18PM
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I use to work for Petsmart when I was 16. Not all chain stores are bad. It all depends on the management and how run their stores. I didn't know anything about fish when I was hired to work as an aquatic clerk. I was trained and educated about fish and found it interesting that I would spend some free time to research more about the aquatic hobby. But my opinion about owning a live animal is do your own research before you buy it.

I think the associate was right to be fired. If not fired he should have been retrained. If I had done something like that when I was working at Petsmart I would've been fired. Not only was he not handling the fish properly he was showing poor customer service. He should have at least gotten the manager on duty to handle situation.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 3:42PM
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kirap(TN z7)

Just another follow up from my oriignal post of some time ago that started this thread. About a month or so ago we recieved a letter from Petco, and it asked us if their performance has improved for the better since the time I called and filed a complaint on the dumb associate they had. I had an option of mailing it back in a prepaid envelope even....I did say yes they have improved greatly from what I see on my bi-weekly or so trips in there. I did mention that htye really need to take a look at how and what they have housed together in their saltwater tanks, and low and behold when I went back to that store some time later on thngs were changed..They will listen, espeically when the corporate office comes down on them, they set up and take notice. So don't be afraid to call somehting that is not right to their attention "in the store and to aa manager not an associate" first, and give em some time to rectify the problem, and if nothng is done, then bring it to corporate headquarters attention.

I just giv eup on Wally World. Two of the three nthis area have stopped selling fish totally, but they are opeing iup yet another new super center this July so I guess I'll have to see if they sell any fish. Probably if they do it would be the best time to buy any right when they open up so they do not get a chance to create tons of health problems later on.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 3:39PM
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I have to admit that most Wal-Marts have really bad fish sections. But for once I have to say that the super Wal-Mart in Amelia Ohio is really good with their fish. I've gotten 2 pictus cats, a pleco, a swordtail, and a gold fish and they have all lived. And I just got 2 guppies from there too just yesterday (come to find out the female was pregnant and had some babies last night). But I'm glad that some one said something about the person at Petco!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 11:56AM
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When one WalMart is bad, do not blame all of the stores. Period! I work at a WalMart store in Oklahoma and its currently the largest Supercenter store in the state. Yes, thats right, I work in the Pets department overnight. This is a really tough decision on my work hours. I like working at nights, because it pays more, but I want to work during the day, because I want to be around more customers to teach them more about fishes. I stock the Pets department, but I do assist customers with fishes. Its a real challenge, because of right now, I am basically deaf without the use of my hearing aid and all my life, I've been wearing my hearing aid and was able to hear great as other people can, but there is a problem right now in my ear, so its tough. I can speak to people very clearly and I try to read their lips and when neccessary, I have them to write down on paper. All stores that sells fish are bound to have a dead fish here and there... thats perfectly normal. One night, this customer was an idiot, actually very rude somewhat. He wanted the entire tank of a specific fish that cost 5, 10, or 15 cents each (cant remember at the moment), so I went ahead to net out all of the fishes, but let one fish in the tank, because it had some kind of fungus. I told him that the one fish is bad. I went ahead to prepare the fishes into the bag and while I was doing that, he went ahead and netted the sick fish out and I tried to tell him, but he wouldnt listen and he put the sick fish in the bag. I went ahead to tie up the bag and note the price and amount of fishes, but I did not add the sick fish to the total price. While I was doing that, he went ahead to net up 4 dollars worth of goldfishes that costs 15 cents each and I told him that I will do that. He wouldnt listen and by the time he was finished, I prepared the fishes into the bag and then he went and got some more and put it in the bag. I tried to count the fishes in total and estimated it to be 50 fishes, which came to about $7.50. He wouldnt listen to me and he wanted things his way. There was this one night, I spent nearly an hour educating a lady on fishes and tank care. She ended up on picking two fancy goldfish and the alage eater that sticks to the tank glass. After everything was done, about an hour or so later, when I walked by the fish tanks, I noticed two bags in the sink. I was shocked, she changed her mind at the checkout. Made me furious. Its alot of stress a fishes to net them out and bag them. Another night, this guy wanted several fishes, which was divided up into two bags. After all was done, he came back about 15 minutes later, saying the prices on the bags came off, so I wrote it on the bags again. Later that night, my coworker brought the two bags back and dumped the fishes back into the tank. What is wrong with these customers?! Anywayz, I still work there and I still enjoy educating people on fishes and tank care. Just because there is a lazy associate at a store, the entire company should not be blamed. Its very simple to talk with the store manager about whatever. PetsMart is a good place and they have much more selections. WalMart is good, but not enough selections. Petsmart is generally more expensive but there are some fishes here and there thats cheaper than WalMart. There are PetCo stores in this state, but I have no clue where they are. I've seen commericals, but they failed to show the locations of the stores. So, I have no clue about PetCo. Anywayz, all of these stores sell good and healthy fishes with top technology fish tanks. It all comes down to the services of each associates for each stores.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 7:21AM
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