Welcome to Canadaquaria. Members please log in.

Please register to view all topics

Guests may view and use the Aquariums for Beginners area, Freshwater General Section without registering.

Registered members see Canadaquaria advertisement free.


Pet-this, Pet-that - starting with bad directions.

Post new topic   Reply to topic

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Pet-this, Pet-that - starting with bad directions.

Post by GaryE on Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:38 am

I did it again. I went into a large US aquarium chain store and looked at the fish.
Tank # 1 - 6 Goldfish. #7 baby oscars, # 8 baby Jack Dempsies, # 9 baby Aulonacara, #10 Astyanax tetras, #11 hybrid flame gouramis...

On sale? 10 gallon tank kits.

Now there has to be a connection between buying those tanks and those fish, yet in their first dozen tanks, there was one species that could survive in the tanks they were selling. There were two species that could do well in my 50 gallon tanks, and all the others would rapidly outgrow my tanks and die.

Nothing is more discouraging to a new hobbyist, who is very likely to blame him or herself and get out of this wonderful pastime. What are these stores thinking?

Do the big chains in Canada stock like this? We don't have the chains in Montreal - they gave it a shot but went under and never returned. Our large stores are locally run. So I can't go see if somehow there is a strategy, or if the fishroom managers at the corporate chains are uninformed fools. If you have one of these Petco, Petland, Petwhatever chains, do they stock this shortsightedly here? I lnow most of those fish are the cheapest to buy from the farms, but these stores are like birds pooping their own nests.

Newcomers, beware! Always research for fish yourself and never trust the uninformed kid on minimum wage who's only there 'cause he/she needs a job...
avatar
GaryE
Veteran Member
Veteran Member

Posts : 2471
Join date : 2013-09-07

Back to top Go down

Re: Pet-this, Pet-that - starting with bad directions.

Post by Suprd71 on Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:41 pm

Reminds me of when, just about this time last year, I was in Pet-not-too-smart, and a guy asked if this tiny, cute little gold colored fish was ok for his molly tank. Oh, sure, the flunky says. He buys it. It was a Red Devil. In actual fact it was a Midas/RD cross, as true RD's are not found in Pet-whatever. No matter, same result. Bye-bye mollies.
avatar
Suprd71
Angel Fish
Angel Fish

Posts : 286
Join date : 2013-09-08
Location : North Bay On.

Back to top Go down

Re: Pet-this, Pet-that - starting with bad directions.

Post by cephalotus on Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:35 pm

it really depends on the specific location and staff. there is a store by my house with one employee that has these weird ideas about stocking... like schooling fish *have to* be in multiples of three or they'll kill each other? not sure where she got that one from. on the other hand, another chain store across town has the nicest, most well stocked fish room of any I've seen... the fish/herp manager there just happens to really actually care about fish/herps and he makes sure his employees know what they're talking about too.

I had a really bad experience once when i decided to get land hermit crabs and relied on the store to get me set up. they came home in a tiny critter keeper with a half inch of sand. once i started reading about them (which I should have done first!!) I found that they can actually live for like 30 yrs but the average lifespan in captivity is like 2 yrs max... they are actually really hard to keep successfully and do not breed in captivity at all. I felt so guilty i ended up finding them a new home, after spending like $300 improving their setup. I doubt any of them are still alive.
avatar
cephalotus
Angel Fish
Angel Fish

Posts : 401
Join date : 2013-09-08
Location : Saskatoon, SK

Back to top Go down

Re: Pet-this, Pet-that - starting with bad directions.

Post by Sbenson11 on Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:04 pm

I pop into the local ones on a fairly regular basis and sometimes it's hard to hold your tongue.

Tonight was no different,

While browsing through the goldfish section I overheard a woman buying two fantail goldfish for a goldfish bowl that she had at home.

She asked the salesperson "will the two of the them fit in the bowl?" reply  "sure they should be fine"

The conversation went on with a few more bits of ill advise, but the best was saved for last.

"I have to go to the mall to do some more shopping, will they be ok in the car for a couple of hours?" reply "Sure they should be fine, they are a cold water fish"

Current temperature outside -11c

Sad

Steve
avatar
Sbenson11
Support

Posts : 2580
Join date : 2013-09-08
Location : Mt.Pearl, Newfoundland

Back to top Go down

Re: Pet-this, Pet-that - starting with bad directions.

Post by hello_rockview12 on Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:17 am

Our chain LFSs are exactly the same 10 tanks full of goldies, 1-3 tanks of various sized oscars, 10 tanks of cichlid babies that get extremely large and an entire store full of bad advice.
avatar
hello_rockview12
Support

Posts : 703
Join date : 2013-09-08
Location : Regina

Back to top Go down

Re: Pet-this, Pet-that - starting with bad directions.

Post by kpoet on Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:28 am

Hey cephalotus,, maybe you could let me know which store it is with the nice fishroom and knowledgeable staff? Since we're in the same city I'd like to shop at a place you've had success and maybe save me some future disappointment! You can pm me your thoughts if you'd like.

kpoet
Shrimp
Shrimp

Posts : 95
Join date : 2013-09-17
Location : Saskatoon

Back to top Go down

Re: Pet-this, Pet-that - starting with bad directions.

Post by Biulu on Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:13 pm

Here in Mexico most sellers openly admit that they don't know enough about fish. Regularly names are wrong, but that is how they appeared on the importers or sellers list. It is a bit like with wood; every region has there own trade names and here Latin names are only used when no common name is available.

I have come to the state that people that know me, ask me about the fish or aquatic plants they sell so they can pass on that knowledge to their customers. Since they have a lot of competition around them (in Mexico they tend to organise themselves in markets, streets and even complete neighbourhoods for selling the same products) they realise that if they have a satisfied customer, they will come back for more instead of going to the neighbour.
avatar
Biulu
Support

Posts : 3690
Join date : 2013-09-12
Location : Montreal, Quebec

Back to top Go down

Re: Pet-this, Pet-that - starting with bad directions.

Post by GaryE on Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:57 am

When I posted, I didn't see the problem as bad advice. That's available for free, everywhere.

What bothers me is the Chains' fish choices. A remarkable percentage of the fish in the average chain store are animals that can't live a healthy active life in the average aquarium. These stores make a big show of not selling larger mammals (dogs and cats), but they sell pacus, oscars, goldfish and larger frankenfish - offering next to no other choices. They direct new aquarists to failure.

It clearly works, and the business model must have been researched to the nth degree. They've killed a lot of the smaller, responsible Mom and Pop operations, so they bring the money in.

It's interesting though. The big fish were specialty orders when I was a teenaged thug cruising the pet stores, and stores (even large ones, still run by aquarists) went out of their way to stock smaller species that could thrive in our aquariums. The focus was on the long term, return customer.

It makes you wonder if the hobby would be more active and vibrant if it were still run by aquarists who had gone into business, rather than corporations who had targeted aquarium sales. Idle thoughts, I guess.
avatar
GaryE
Veteran Member
Veteran Member

Posts : 2471
Join date : 2013-09-07

Back to top Go down

Re: Pet-this, Pet-that - starting with bad directions.

Post by alexmtl on Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:38 am

I would think that the economics of the fish trade are the reason for poor fish selection and the supplies being offered.

The cost of a twenty gallon kit would be around $100 (example). Add on the gravel, filter and heater plus fish food, another $100. A stand would be nice ($$$) or you can put it on the cabinet in the livingroom. Most families will purchase an aquarium at some point, so the appeal is to get as much revenue from a purchaser when they are at the point of buying a setup. They most likely will only have one aquarium, and this one is it. The purchase pattern is usually one big upfront investment.

What type of fish ? Well the colourful ones that are large and active, of course. This probably explains the reason for the species. Longevity does not play a factor in the choice, rather the immediate visual feedback of colour, activity and the glow of a new piece of living room decor that quickly sets up.

Avid aquarists on the other hand, shop frugally and shop for long term investments. While most aquarium shops have a good clientele of the avid hardcore fish keeper types, the bulk of sales comes from the casual buyer, with one aquarium. Avid aquarists will keep their fish for the life of the fish, or in the case of long lived species, find a suitable home when they get larger.

For the casual fish buyer, most fish do not live beyond a year, and boredom may set in, and a change in species is in order.

I guess the best advice, for the casual fish purchaser, is to buy fish that a relatively short lived, and are active and do not grow beyond one or two inches. Perhaps the aquarium purchase may be on impulse, but the outlay of several hundred dollars to set up a tank (or even $100) means that some sort of investigation is warranted. While the fish store employee is available to suggest equipment and fish supplies, very few are avid fishkeepers. The avid aquarists who work in aquarium stores are very knowledgeable, and you will be extremely fortunate to have one guiding you through.

If you go to W_lm_art and pick up a 20g setup for $100, you certainly will not get the fish advice. So take the time to research what you want. There are many small species of fish available that a inexpensive, readily found in pet stores, and do not live too long (ie years).

My two sense. Fish this. Fish that. And always look for good advice from reliable sources.
avatar
alexmtl
Veteran Member
Veteran Member

Posts : 3073
Join date : 2013-09-07
Location : Montreal Quebec

Back to top Go down

Re: Pet-this, Pet-that - starting with bad directions.

Post by Biulu on Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:41 am

Everybody knows that the money is not made with fish, but with the equipment. Even staff from one of our biggest aquarium stores in Mtl say this; they lose money on the fish and make the profit with the equipment.

So they buy cheap, aka proliferous/easy to breed and big colourful fish. Unfortunately several of these ill-suited aquarium fish combine all these characteristics.

And honestly, it is very difficult to explain somebody, even if they mean well, why you should keep only 1 goldfish in a 20 gallon tank. They always say: but look, there is so much space in the tank! And/or: but the tank looks so empty with only 1 fish....

I agree with Gary's observations that it are mostly the large pet chain stores that cause this phenomenon to thrive. But I would go even a bit further: it is phenomenon that you see mostly in general pet stores; the ones that are not specialised and sell everything. Even if you are an avid pet keeper, you cannot be a specialist on every type of pet and it shows in small stores where the owner occupies all the posts and he only gets help from part timers or 1, 2 full time staff.

In the Netherlands I befriended a guy that worked in a large pet store and was responsible for the aquarium department. A guy like Gary that kept fish since he knew how to walk. When the store reduced the variety of fish and started selling inferior quality to improve profits, he quit. With a school friend, an avid bird keeper, they started a neighbourhood pet store. Because of their bird and fish expertise, the real hobbyists know where to find them, even though it is a small store. However, if they would have catered only for fish and birds, they wouldn't survive. He told me that they exist thanks to the 'gourmet' cat and dog food lines that they sell and the fact that they are not looking for high salaries, but a decent sustained income that allows them to survive also in times that business is lower. They both still live in the same workers' neighbourhood they grew up in and don't drive an Audi. Now, how many people have the discipline to do that when they are business owners?!
avatar
Biulu
Support

Posts : 3690
Join date : 2013-09-12
Location : Montreal, Quebec

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


Post new topic   Reply to topic
 
Permissions in this forum:
You can reply to topics in this forum