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I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

Posted by Birdinthepalm (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 14, 05 at 18:40

I went to a Meijers and Wall Mart today to see what's available in the way of tropical fish locally, and I must say I was somewhat shocked to see such tiny fish sold nowdays, or at least in those two chains. It seems most of the smaller fish years ago ,when I had my aquariums were at least twice the length ,and much more robust looking. The one in. long fish offered weren't any cheaper of course than years back and some were even what I'd call pricey considerint the size. Anyway, most looked like they'd die, if you were even to sneeze on them. My question is , "Is that the run of the mill size most stores are selling these days, or must you go to a small non-chain aquarium specialist store to get bigger specimens?? Of course they'd cost more , but I never liked buying the smallest avaiable years back , or only in the case of quarter sized angel fish that grew like weeds with a little food, the other varieties I always purchased at two or more inches for most except the smallest species of fish. I have only one more store locally to check out , but have a feeling they'll have those "dinky" fish as well. Oh my, how times have changed in the past thirty or so years, and the prices of course!! I see there are some on-line sources that will ship fish, but how are those, and how do the fish do in shipping?? Also some very hign shipping charges!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

I guess most of the chains have a pretty poor selection of fish, local shops are in general are much better. I think fish are reasonably priced when you think of how much more it costs to sell them. Rents, electricty, insurance seems to have gone up much more than most FW tropicals. I can still get a cardinal tetra for $.99.


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

stores can stock more juvie fish than adult sizes and most people probably aren't willing to pay the price of an adult angel. imo, the larger and more mature the fish, the more likely it stresses and dies from being moved.

i hvae never ordered fish on line...i have been tempted but definitly trying not to in this season.


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

The reason I'm asking is, that my choices are limited by my lack of a car, and I'd have to buy fish and supplies very close to home. I live sixty miles from Detroit, but there's not bus service from here to there nowdays, and I had a very good friend , who even owns a pet and fish store there, who always carried a good selection of healthy fish.
I'd agree with the huge amount of inflation in the past thirty years or longer, that you'd expect fish prices to be much higher than years back, though as I said larger, but still juvenile fish were offered, and even then the largest fish were much more expenisve. Seems angels were under a dollar each for quarter sized ones, but three or four inch ones would cost ten or more dollars each. I did notice that swordtails and many of the other most common fish were't a whole lot more that they were then, and I guess that might be surprising. I also realize that for some fish, the younger ones may be more adaptable than those that's spent years with the same water conditions etc. most of their lives , or at least in theory, but I'd think most of those very young fish would require lots of very fine dry food and lots of hatched brine shrimp and other small foods for such tiny mouths and that's also more work and expense I'd think. Oh, well, I'll make one more stop locally, and "pray" they offer a little more in the way of choices and "healthier" fish. I noticed the Meijers offered one inch red chromides that all suffered from ich, and I was sorely tempted to call a store employee or someone in that department to tell them to "quarantine" their fish and please to "treat" them for the disease. Makes me sad to see that, but that hasn't changed in all these years either , though I even saw worse years ago in some stores, and for the most part most of the fish looked relatively healthy , but a bit thin!


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

could you do a search for a club near you? I was given that advice, and it seems that club members often have fish for sale. They might be able to bring them to you. Local clubs were given as an excellent source of fish and also used equipment.

You could see if anyone could take you to meetings if you were interested in the club ... I'm not much of a club person...

Or, possibly they could take you with them when they go to the larger town to the big aquaria store?


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

Thanks for the club idea , but I'm not aware of one in this area. I went to store number three but was reminded how some stores let their stocks dwindle to the point where half the tanks are empty and the others only half full!! I remembered that years ago , my friend who still has a pet store in Detroit, used to let me know when he'd be getting a new order in and I'd rush over to get the best pick of the new fish. I may have to let the third store know, that they should inform me of new arrivals. Afterall , it would mean more business for them. I got an estimate for a comlete 29 gal. setup today, and it was roughly $250, complete with filter, stand , heater ,etc etc. and I guess I spent $150 minimum over thrity years ago for something similar , though with not as modern a power filter. How does that compare with prices you've seen? One store had a setup however for just over $100 , but no stand included nor I doubt the best filter etc. Doing a lot of reading on-line lately, I'm reminded some of my old information may be a bit outdated , so I need to learn more. If I was to buy the thrity gallon set up , I'd at best put no more than two young oscars in that size of aquarium and that seems a lot of space for just two fish. That's another big decision I'll have to make since I do like big fish!!


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

you should probably recosider 2 oscars in a 30 gal. it seems the tank is never big enough, huh? i am always wishing for a bigger tank and the room for it. i am starting over also...trying to relearn old stuff and learn the new.

i forgot about fish clubs. i do love going to their auctions! you hvae to be firm with yourself though with all the temptation(and know what a reasonable price would be)!


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

The oscars will out grow the 29G after a while, maybe a yaer or so. Best bet if you want larger fish is a minimum 55G. Look in garage sales, newspapers and ebay. As a matter of fact ebay has about 10 large aquariums 75 to 125 gallons in the Michigan area ( checked to see on your profile). They are pickup only, but it may be worth it to rent a van for the day or ask a good freind with a P/U Truck to do you a favor. Fair price for a tank alone is about $1 a gallon used for 55G and larger. If equiptment is offered as a package deal then you have know your prices. Also, "most" large fish grow rapidly, so getting younger ones that are smaller may mean you can enjoy them for a longer period of time. A 29G is not adequate for the bigger guys maybe angel's or gourami's tops.


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

Thanks again for more information. It would be nice to find a good used setup as well, but my big problem would be getting it delivered, and the extra cost to move one might be a bit out of my budget. I know what you mean about those big fish needing space, and though I never had oscars. the Giant Gourami I bought at three inches was only in a ten gallon tank by himself. I can't remember why I put him in there alone , but he was probably bugging the other fish, and I'd say it was within a year , that the poor thing could barely turn around in the ten gallon tank without bending his body from side to side, and he must have been ten to twelve inches long by then. Talk about fish cruelty, but I did decide it was better to return him to the store rather than buy a new larger aquarium just for one fish. They're interesting , but somewhat drab in the color department, so I didn't think it was worth that expense. Smaller fish are probably the way to go, and considering how small and crowded my house is and the "doubtfullness" of the strength of my floors, a 55 gal. could be too much weight for my floor, and would be hard to even find space for. Darn!!! I did have a 55 gal. when I last had my fish, and loved it, and would like one again, disregarding the possible problems with that big a tank. I guess I'd be farther ahead considering other smaller , but interesting and colorful breeds, and could have more variety that way , unless I got some very agressive cichlids and I"ve had those before and had to give them their own small tanks. Jewel cichlids, but the Kribensis were ok with the other fish.


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

Example of oscar growth...

In late june about 1 1/2- 2" now bigger than my hand.


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

Some of the reasons why smaller fish are stocked is space, number of animals that can be transported and air fares. The ammount of money you have to pay to transport the fish to your store represents from 10-15% of the total cost of the shipment. As a store owner what do you think is better for your business, shipping 100 dime size angels or 5 full grown ones ? they occupy the same space and weight the same, add to that the mortality rate ( in excellent managed fish the mortality rate is 5% ), if you loose 5 dime sized fish you loose only pennies, if you loose a full grown you loose dollars and its easier for a full grown to die during transport than it is a dime size to die. Live animal shipping charges are twice as expensive as regular fares. I know about this because I used to own an aquarium store, the mark up percentage in fish is 100-150% depending upon the species and even with that mark up percentage you dont make up a lot of profit selling fish, the business of aquarium stores is in everything but the fish, food, tanks, air pumps dont eat, dont get sick and dont die.


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

My friend in Detroit had a pet store and with the moartality being as high as it is, the owner I know has to at least double the wholesale price to make a profit, and cover the losses from fish, that die on the way and also soon after delivery and before they're sold. I guess it's almost the same for other pets as well. I'm still wondering obout that on-line ordering, since I think it's a similar situation, where the price is high , but up to a certain point you can order many more fish for the same shipping price , provided they're not large fish. I guess in a sense the shipping direct wouldnt' be that different than many fish store owners get , since I know my friend had to order his fish direct from the breeders in Florida or wherever they came from and he'd have to drive a long ways to the airport to pick them up at the airport , I guess. I imagine though in some large cities the retailers might have local wholesalers to buy from??? I am thinking about "Freecycle" to locate possibly even a free aquarium, and setup, but I can't seem to get back on their site, and it's maybe a matter of fogetting my right memebership name and password. Seems I have so many different ones nowdays I can't remember them all sometimes, and I must start writing them down. I've heard of numerous people , who for various reasons decide not to continue their aquarium hobby and then just give away all their equipment and aquariums etc. I'd be willing to pay for a used one, but is there a problem with disease or "sterilizing' all that old equipment??


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

Common bleach will sterilze anything in 20 min.

And yes you do have to take a big drive to the airport to pick up your merchandise which usually arrives late in the night and there you are awake at 3 AM in the morning unpacking fish. Most fish are not ordered direct from the breeder, only some varieties are available through breeders, but the vast majority have to be ordered from a wholesaler like Dolphin International or Aquarium Seasons, besides, they have better prices.


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

Most "disease" causing bacteria or toxins or parasites will be dead if the tank has set over a month unused. If you suspect a problem or for piece of mind you can run the tank and equiptment with 1 gallon bleach per 19 gallons water for an hour. Drain it and run it with fresh water with a double dose of dechlorinater for a day or 2. Drain it and run it with all fresh water for a day. This is a little over kill, timewise but is easy enough. Smaller things like some rocks and gravel can be boiled for 15 minutes. Never bleach driftwood. Shell dwelling dwarf cichlids would be a nice choice for a 29G. Also dwarf gouramis, German rams, fancy guppies, alot of colorful small to mid sized fish to choose. A school of 8-12 small tetras always look nice.


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

yes!!! Microgeophagus ramirez--- can be a challenge though. dwarf rainbows and blue eyes- can also be a challenge and some prefer brackish. i have always wanted to try shelldwellers!!!

here is one that i had even purchased eggs at an auction, raised the eggs, and had them breed in my tank: (there is a better pic elsewhere, but it was a cmmercial site unsure of being able to post that.)

quite a growth spurt, adrea!

Here is a link that might be useful: dwarf neon rainbow


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

WOW I remember 30 years ago..My dad was raising angel fish. I remember the tanks lining the basement. I remember going to a store called Two Guys and dad selling small angels (today would be Med angels) for 25 cents each to the store. I remember him having a old glass water bottle that he cut in half and made a brine shrimp breeding tank. Mom was the filter cleaner which back then was square plastic bubble filters and she had that fiber glass itchy stuff she had to put back in the clean filters. Boy thanks for bringing back the great memories. But I will say I have been in Walmarts that have Wonderful fish,nice tanks. Then I have been in others that have a bunch of dead fish and the others have something. I live in the boonies and its hard for me to find much. I need to drive a hour or two to find a decent place to get fish. Just found a lady who's guppies breed like crazy and she sold me some guppies for 50 cents to a dollar. Never find those prices. Good luck on getting a tank.


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

I do think I had one breeding pair of angels many years ago, but I wasn't sure of the gender , so I never moved them to their own breeding aquarium, though watching the eggs it seemed that none were fertile, though I did discern different "tubes" for the two fish. I guess that's the only way to tell the sexes at breeding time, when the females have a larger tube for depositing the eggs , when it extends outside the body. And the males tube maybe somewhat longer but much thinner. They went through the motions , but it never looked like any of the eggs were fertilized and they soon covered over with fugus a few days later, when they became white or opaque. I think the fertilized eggs must remain somewhat clear and show signs of an embryo?? Anyway it is fun. I looked at the last local place today, and they had even more sick tanks than the other three places I already visited. I guess I'll just have to be very careful , when purchasing any fish here, to watch for all signs of disease, even though it doesn't always "present" until you've had the fish in your own tank for days sometimes!!


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

TWO GUYS, that brings back memories. I remember i used to get fish from a "Woolworths". I bought my first ever angels there, 3 dime sized for 75 cents on sale. 1 lived 7+ years. Drs Foster Smith deliver continental US to the door. Shipping is pretty good considering the "freight". Fish price is fair and they have a 14-day guarantee.


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RE: I'm sure this is no 'new' news , but is to me

hmmm, i will remember the to the door part! i soooo miss woolworths!

hey, bird, yes...feritlized eggs would not have gone opaque. i used to fall asleep on the floor watching my angel "wiggles."


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