British Columbia Aquarium Forums banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am posting because I am extremely disappointed that a friend of mine was a victim of either blind profit-making dismissive advice giving, or simply pure ignorance on the part of a certain sales associate who works at a pet store. Much of the public place staff who work to catch and bag fish for them in high regard. They are seen as "experts", if not" if not at least somewhat informed. I don't know if it is appropriate to name the pet store, though I can assure you that it is not one of the sponsors of this forum.

Here's the story:

Earlier this week, my friend bought fish to refill his 23L (6 gal.) Fluval Edge aquarium. It's purely decorative and he's far from being an informed or even semi-experienced hobbyist. I've been helping him restore his aquarium and it has been a long process because he has little time to maintain it himself. So he wants low maintenance fish. He went to this pet store (I won't name it yet until I know it is appropriate to do so) and asked about what fish would be appropriate for his small tank. My friend described the size of the tank, he visually demonstrated the approximate dimensions. My friend picked out a Tanganiyikan ciclid (Neolamprologus tretocephalus), a rainbow shark (red-tail shark), and an angel fish. The sales person gave my friend the OK, they were great choice,s and it will be fine for his small tank. REALLY!? Am I overreacting?

Because in my 10+ years of freshwater aquarium keeping experience, I have never thought it acceptable to mix Tanaganiyika ciclids with southeast Asian and Amazonian fish - all in a 6 gal. aquarium! The rainbow shark can reach at least 4 or 5 inches and the ciclid at least 6! Even if the sale associate mistook my friends description for a 10 gal. tank, there is still not enough space for such fish, not to mention the grossly different water requirements of the ciclid versus the other fish. To add to this my friend bought 4 tiger barbs at a later date from another pet store.

Some would call me a purist, but over recent years I have learned to appreciate mixing species from one region of the world with another, but not if they have significantly different environmental preferences/requirements. Who mixes the above fish together in a small tank is outrageous to me. Does anyone else agree? Disagree? I want to know if this is the right place to speak my mind about this as well.

Cheers,

Drew
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,107 Posts
I agree. They are either getting commission or have to make a certain amount of sales or just not up on their fish.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
678 Posts
Yeah, that's terrible advice. I hate when I see these types of posts, because I'm always fearful it's one of the non-fish people at my work.

Aside from angels and rainbow sharks being compatible, it's setting your friend up for failure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
That's just responsible fish keeping. I don't know about the forum policies about naming an actual pet store due to liability issues, but what your friend was sold is so wrong. Is there any way that he can take the fish back in exchange for more appropriate fish?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No. I just remembered that he bought them almost two weeks ago therefore there's no option to return them. To make matters worse, he bought more fish last weekend from Pet Smart. I agree that a Bala Shark is compatible with an angel fish. The 4 additional tiger barbs are as well, but to have all that in a 6 gallon is ludicrous. I have asked my friend to sell the ciclid first and foremost, then sell the rainbow shark, and later the angelfish. I have already posted an ad for the ciclid in the classifieds.

If anyone wants to adopt a beautiful angelfish and/or a red-tail shark, both juveniles, please let me know via a private msg. I do want to sell them at a reasonable non-retail price though. He was conned into spending a total of $80 for all those fish - for his Fluval Edge - ridiculous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
678 Posts
No. I just remembered that he bought them almost two weeks ago therefore there's no option to return them. To make matters worse, he bought more fish last weekend from Pet Smart. I agree that a Bala Shark is compatible with an angel fish. The 4 additional tiger barbs are as well, but to have all that in a 6 gallon is ludicrous. I have asked my friend to sell the ciclid first and foremost, then sell the rainbow shark, and later the angelfish. I have already posted an ad for the ciclid in the classifieds.

If anyone wants to adopt a beautiful angelfish and/or a red-tail shark, both juveniles, please let me know via a private msg. I do want to sell them at a reasonable non-retail price though. He was conned into spending a total of $80 for all those fish - for his Fluval Edge - ridiculous.
I wouldn't even keep those tiger barbs. The edge is more for dwarf gourami, betta, neon tetras, nano fish, inverts, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Unfortunately, I see this quite a bit on other forums and Facebook groups and the most common advice responding to these threads is don't trust what the store associate says. Always go home and do your research before buying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
519 Posts
People on forums and facebook groups always have terrible stock lists and should never be compatible with each other. This happens to often sadly in not just the aquarium hobby but also every other pet hobby out there. People will be ignorant or misinformed forever, sadly there's no universe in which this won't happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,006 Posts
I agree also with April. The store employee can only offer what they think they know (remember, they are there to get pay and most of the time; their first job). The buyer should also do a little research before buying fish as well.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,612 Posts
Yes, tell your friend to Google info on any fish he's interested in before buying. When I was starting out (8 yrs old), I was given bad advice by a petshop owner who way over sold me both the number and size of fish for a little tank (he also sold me). Back then, there was no internet or smart phones, heck no cell phones period. Now there is so much info available to us even when we're out and about that it should be possible to do our own research, as stated by others above, rather than rely on the advice of someone who's job/priority is to sell & make a profit.

Before I had a smartphone and data plan, I bought a tang that I was told would max out at a certain size. Went home, Googled it and found out the species was different from what we thought and the fish grew to almost 3' adult size. Had to drive back to return the fish, but I did it right away, after calling the LFS to explain what happened and what I found.

Just last weekend, I found a new fish I've never seen before, but went outside the store to Google details such as adult size, diet, reef compatibility.

BTW, I Google stuff all the time before making a purchase decision and not just on fish/pet stuff. Customer reviews, going prices, etc. is usually very useful and available for making an informed decision.

Anthony
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I will second the above post! AqAdvisor is a great tool. Even in places that I usually trust, I tend to do a quick look up of the fish anyway. I learned my lesson after believing someone who said a goby I was looking at wouldn't make a mess of my tank. Got him home and lo and behold... sandstorm (<-- that became his name). No one can know everything, so even if you trust the people giving you the advice, it's never bad to do a quick google search before committing. Just in case. Though I do try to be politely discreet about it so as not to offend and do so before asking questions so it doesn't look like I just don't believe them. Generally speaking, I don't ask questions of the staff at all. Then I don't need to worry about it!

That said, I do wish some pet store staff would just admit to not knowing rather than pretend and give bad advice. It can turn people off of what is usually a very enjoyable hobby! Hopefully your friend can get past this bad experience without giving up!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
When it comes to fish (and I'm under the impression this applies to other small animals as well) it's typically up to the buyer to know what they're getting and know if it's compatible with their tank and/or stock. But I feel like this shouldn't be the case. If someone is manning the fish section at a pet store, one would assume they're knowledgeable about the fish they're selling. For example, if I'm buying a dishwasher or another large appliance or a computer, I'd expect the salesperson to be knowledgeable about the various models and talk me through the pros and cons of each.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
When it comes to fish (and I'm under the impression this applies to other small animals as well) it's typically up to the buyer to know what they're getting and know if it's compatible with their tank and/or stock. But I feel like this shouldn't be the case. If someone is manning the fish section at a pet store, one would assume they're knowledgeable about the fish they're selling. For example, if I'm buying a dishwasher or another large appliance or a computer, I'd expect the salesperson to be knowledgeable about the various models and talk me through the pros and cons of each.
In theory yes, in the real world it`s rare.
More so when shopping at Big box pet stores, in most cases it`s students just earning a few bucks ( kudos to them), the big box employer could not give a rats ---, if they are knowledgeable or provide any training to impart product knowledge, It not right but it`s reality.
What is curious in this case is that the rookie in this instance, is that access was there since they had a seasoned hobbyist assisting , i would think stocking would be one area the seasoned hobbyist would be tapped into for guidance.
It`s not my intent to fault anyone, only to say what the real world scenario is.
Regards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
AqAdvisor is a handy tool . . . but it is only a GUIDE.

According to it, I have 6 more fish than I "should" in my freshwater community tank. I am diligent about filter upkeep, water changes (20% on Wed. and Fri.; 40% on Sun.), and siphoning off debris in the sand. Also, there are live plants and any "yellowed" or broken leaves are removed daily. All fishes are 1.5 inches in length (or shorter).

However, if one only does basic/minimal maintenance with the tank, go on the conservative side for the number/size of the fishes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
If I was the costumer who bought the fishes due to mis guided info of the rep sale, I would talk to the manager and maybe see what can be done. I would guess the manager would at least replace the fishes to less expensive but more suitable to the tank the costumer has. Most reps in big petstores get hired just because they have a pets. Rarely are they really knowledgable about other pets they sell in the store
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
I agree. MOST managers will be happy to resolve any issue with some kind of compromise.

The original poster has not identified the retailer. However, there are SOME shop owners who take the position that "once the fish leaves the store, any problems or issues are the customer's" and no returns or exchanges are permitted under any circumstances.

P.S. On this site earlier this year (in June) I gave a recounting of my experience with one such manager/owner in Chilliwack.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top