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View Full Version : Are there good Petcos?


Vadafallon
01/06/2014, 10:03 AM
I have a Petco in my area that is very clean. Has a ton of stock and just seems to good to be true. However i have been in several times and everything looks good and no sick fish. Well not that i see at least. Could there be this one where someone actually knows what they are doing???

fishfreak2009
01/06/2014, 10:28 AM
My petco is pretty decent. Purchased a few fish from there already, and won't hesitate to purchase more from there. In fact they are ordering me in a powder blue tang for their online sale price of $35, and then I can use my $5 in pals rewards plus the 25% off coupon in Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine. I bought multiple copies of the magazine. On February 22-23 they have 25% off saltwater fish, and that can be combined with the 25% off coupon.

I always quarantine anyways, so not too worried about ich. Never seen a sick fish at the petco by me though. Great selection and dirt cheap prices compared to the LFS. I actually bought a pretty large heniochus a little while back and payed $20 for it after coupon and pals rewards, and one LFS by me has them at the same size for $55, while another LFS is charging $75 each with visible ich...

Vadafallon
01/06/2014, 10:30 AM
Think i should even bother with Quarantine if they are the going to be the first ones in my tank anyway? I have two Bangai Cardinals i will add later but they are already in a tank upstairs. My only worry would be adding them later and then some of the more aggressive fishing picking or killing them. Thoughts?

albano
01/06/2014, 10:49 AM
In the tri-state NY area there seems to be 3 types of Petco...1 without a SW dept, 1 with a small SW section and inventory controlled by corporate and the 3rd with a large SW section that has a manager that orders and controls his inventory.
The stores with the small SW sections are usually not well maintained, and seem to be the source of most complaints. The large SW section stores seem to have more knowledgeable employees, and often have some nice fish at good prices!
I really haven't seen descent coral inventory at any of their stores.

fishfreak2009
01/06/2014, 10:59 AM
Think i should even bother with Quarantine if they are the going to be the first ones in my tank anyway? I have two Bangai Cardinals i will add later but they are already in a tank upstairs. My only worry would be adding them later and then some of the more aggressive fishing picking or killing them. Thoughts?

Always quarantine no matter what! I lost too many fish from skipping quarantine. I wiped out thousands of dollars worth of fish in the 4 times my tank has been wiped out from skipping quarantine. All the beautiful lives that were lost because I didn't bother to quarantine or a family member decided to add a fish as a surprise.

SGT_York
01/06/2014, 12:09 PM
Most Petco's I've seen are dependent on their employees if you get a good concerened supervisor/employee, they look nice however those good employees are quick to find a better job and things degrade rapidly after they leave. You just won't get a good quality corporate store where wages are so lo.

Reeferz412
01/06/2014, 12:11 PM
The Petco I go to is pretty nice. A limited SW collection but they are building a frag station to start selling corals. Kinda pumped to see what they got. I got my maroon clown from them and it was a great deal and a healthy guy. Been through it all. It could be that this is a new Petco and most of the staff transferred from the old facility and have been working under Petco for 5-10 years oddly enough.

Calappidae
01/06/2014, 12:21 PM
My local petco, they keep half their lights off on the tanks so no body can see the livestock each and everytime. There is labels on every single SW tank that says "Under observation" and they won't sell half the livestock they get in.. one employee said they only sell 1-3 fish a week.. and they order in 50 a week and I can only find 10 or so.. what happened to the rest? I have yet to get an answer other than silence..

But I've been to a couple decent ones before where they looked like a nice LFS.


If the employees and manager don't know what their doing then the store will be very unwell kept as they have to listen to corperate no matter what and get in the livestock.

Fishfirst
01/06/2014, 01:17 PM
The short answer is no... supporting the stores that do well only encourages this monster of a corporation to keep the bad stores selling livestock as well. I have experienced several different companies/stores first hand by working at them, from top of the line to bottom of the barrel. There is no other corporation/business that gives me more of a gag reflex more than petco. Their policies are terribly backwards, and they do not care about their fish at all and are not willing to learn anything.

Calappidae
01/06/2014, 01:27 PM
The short answer is no... supporting the stores that do well only encourages this monster of a corporation to keep the bad stores selling livestock as well. I have experienced several different companies/stores first hand by working at them, from top of the line to bottom of the barrel. There is no other corporation/business that gives me more of a gag reflex more than petco. Their policies are terribly backwards, and they do not care about their fish at all and are not willing to learn anything.

Their youtube channel is a prime example. Especially the tanked ones where they give the most useless information on setups.

Reeferz412
01/06/2014, 02:23 PM
It depends on location as well. Being in Miami, it is a lot easier to come by various aquarium stores and you can run your tank without a heater for most of the year. Large distributers dont have to worry much about temperatures during shipping either so I assume there is a lot less DOA when they hit Petcos and other stores. A lot of factors to keep in mind.

Vadafallon
01/06/2014, 03:22 PM
Don't get me wrong, i support my LFS, but the prices seem nice and everything seemed in good shape. Just seems like a place to pick up a few cool fish. Infact they had something i had not seen at any of the LFS's.

On the quarantine note; The ones i would get from PETCO, if i get them there, would be the first ones in the tank. So my thoughts are the main tank is the quarantine tank. After all is well i would move other fix into the tank. The only thing that will be in the tank when i start to repopulate will be two cleaner shrimp and some snails. I am totally redoing my tank.

Dmorty217
01/06/2014, 04:28 PM
No there aren't any good Petco stores you can just walk in but Petco.com will sell you the same fish you can buy from LA, since they come from the same supplier but you will pay less, sometime much less thru Petco.com

ca1ore
01/06/2014, 10:57 PM
I have never bought a fish or invert from Petco, but it is my goto for smaller tanks when running the $1/gallon sale.

atreis
01/07/2014, 05:57 AM
The Petcos near me seem okay. They haven't carried livestock in years, but obviously once did - they have a row of tanks in a corner covered over in pretty pictures of various different types of animals.

Mark9
01/07/2014, 09:49 AM
Petco near me is quite good.
Bought 7 fish from them, all are doing great, except for the one that jumped.

peter15
01/07/2014, 09:58 AM
We have a Petco and Petsmart nearby. Never bought a fish but the prices are much better than LFS. Dry goods in store are poor.

reefsandrotts
01/07/2014, 02:06 PM
I snagged a red blue eye goni baseball size for $25.00 at a petco

jmski333
01/07/2014, 06:50 PM
Their youtube channel is a prime example. Especially the tanked ones where they give the most useless information on setups.

Hahahaha! I thought the same thing when I saw that!

I find that my local Petco's are only good for their $1 per gallon sale. Otherwise I don't think i'd buy anything from them.

shamus
01/07/2014, 08:20 PM
I actually have a good one near me. Either the management likes salt water or they have an employee that does. Anyways, they have nice frags, fish and inverts. Even the tanks are clean and algae free and the prices are good. It's the only one I have seen that hasn't been a joke.

Aquat
01/07/2014, 08:24 PM
No there aren't any good Petco stores you can just walk in but Petco.com will sell you the same fish you can buy from LA, since they come from the same supplier but you will pay less, sometime much less thru Petco.com

Is this true? Can anyone speculate this? If I had known, I wouldn't of used my Pal Reward, it could of covered overnight shipping

Calappidae
01/07/2014, 08:27 PM
Is this true? Can anyone speculate this? If I had known, I wouldn't of used my Pal Reward, it could of covered overnight shipping

IMO all their anemones look bleached to some degree in the provided photos but other than that not much I can say..

Travish881
01/07/2014, 09:38 PM
My petco here in myrtle beach is an excellent store. The guy who runs it really cares and you rarely see a sick fish. Allays getting in new stock and have never seen ich or algae which is more then I can say for the other 2 local fish stores around here.

alton
01/08/2014, 06:07 AM
Is this true? Can anyone speculate this? If I had known, I wouldn't of used my Pal Reward, it could of covered overnight shipping

Don't even compare Petco.com with LA! I ordered a Redsea Small Regal Angelfish that was available. With shipping less than $100, sounds too good to be true? It was I never received my fish instead after a few days it came back as back ordered. Of the few individuals that where lucky to get a Regal one came in as a blue belly (definitely not Redsea) and when they where called on it they where shipped a large yellow belly which may or may not have been a Redsea one. At least when I order from LA I get my fish that I ordered (unless UPS messes things up)

pktech
01/08/2014, 09:00 AM
I'm 50/50 with Petco versus a few LFS around here. I've gotten great specimens & lousy ones. Petcos vary, like excellent LFS to flat out crappy stores - like any business, it depends on the people running them.

HumbleFish
01/08/2014, 10:15 AM
Anytime I buy from Petco (which is rare), I consider it to be a "rescue" sort of thing. Fish goes right into QT and treatments begin. :lmao:

Now I have heard if you buy from them online that the livestock comes direct from Quality Marine. If true, it would be the same as buying from Liveaquaria. Except you probably won't get the impeccable shipping methods and customer service Liveaquaria is known for. ;)

Calappidae
01/08/2014, 10:53 AM
Don't even compare Petco.com with LA! I ordered a Redsea Small Regal Angelfish that was available. With shipping less than $100, sounds too good to be true? It was I never received my fish instead after a few days it came back as back ordered. Of the few individuals that where lucky to get a Regal one came in as a blue belly (definitely not Redsea) and when they where called on it they where shipped a large yellow belly which may or may not have been a Redsea one. At least when I order from LA I get my fish that I ordered (unless UPS messes things up)

I've had ALOT of species mixups from LA, but I can say the same about petco..

Calappidae
01/08/2014, 10:55 AM
Anytime I buy from Petco (which is rare), I consider it to be a "rescue" sort of thing. Fish goes right into QT and treatments begin. :lmao:

AAANnnnnddd this is how I ended up rescueing two clarkii clownfish hosting two bleached condylactus anemones and then they nuked and crashed my entire 55 gallon system.. Why does kharma hate me.. :facepalm:

KafudaFish
01/08/2014, 02:42 PM
I've had ALOT of species mixups from LA, but I can say the same about petco..

Please quantify what you mean by "alot".

Calappidae
01/08/2014, 05:59 PM
Please quantify what you mean by "alot".

Quite a few species off diver's den, and special orders the LFS places.

I ordered a pair of camel shrimp and recieved two saron shrimp instead (actually have no clue what they are but they looked like sarons). My LFS actually questioned me a few weeks ago and asked if they really got camels.. which I'm assuming is just a repeat of the same mistake as before..

Every single mantis shrimp I ordered from them was a completely different species. They claim they sell "O. scyllarus" and even provide a picture of a true "O. scyllarus" and after several orders I only recieved G. ternatensis.. same story from the lfs as well, except they've got a G. chiragra from them once.

My LFS also claims they've been sending them the wrong tangs.. where they order in sailfins and get in the other variation (forget the name but it starts with a D)

Out of 5 orders I made to liveaquaria... 3 mess ups plus stories from the lfs is what I define as ALOT.

I've also seen a couple mis-id'd specimens in diver's den before.. once again a type of mantis shrimp being confused for a peacock just recently, and then two months ago they got in a Calico crab and gave it the wrong species name (They refered it as calappa calappa which is not even the same genus as the specimen in the photo)

KafudaFish
01/08/2014, 08:11 PM
Did you point it out and get things corrected?

albano
01/08/2014, 08:22 PM
Quite a few species off diver's den, and special orders the LFS places.

My LFS also claims they've been sending them the wrong tangs.. where they order in sailfins and get in the other variation (forget the name but it starts with a D)

Your LFS special orders from Live Aquaria/Divers Den ?

Calappidae
01/08/2014, 08:34 PM
Did you point it out and get things corrected?

I called reguarding my G. ternatensis and they were kind enough to fully refund for it which I never asked for.. it ended up not eating for 2 weeks and starved to death on me so I don't feel as bad now that it got refunded.

I later emailed interested in trying again to see if they would actually send me the right thing months after that.. and what do you know another G. tern after in the email they said their manager would double check the species I'm requesting and make sure it's the right one before shipping it...


My lfs occasionally orders livestock from liveaquaria, not diver's den items that I'm aware of. If their main supplier, segrest, is out of something that a customer is requesting on special order than they'll just order from a different supplier based on whats in stock.

As far as DD I'm just saying from viewing the provided photos that they sometimes misidentify things.. I check DD daily and notice an error here and there.


So whats my point? We're comparing LA to petco.. if LA has plenty of flaws here and there themselves.. how is petco going to be that much better when they don't half the stuff as LA.

biocube101
01/08/2014, 08:40 PM
My local petco seems to go thru aquatic staff like crazy. It goes thru cycles where they keep the tanks looking great and stocked to looking run down...

albano
01/08/2014, 09:00 PM
We're comparing LA to petco.. if LA has plenty of flaws here and there themselves.. how is petco going to be that much better when they don't half the stuff as LA.

You realize that 'technically' NEITHER Petco (online) nor LA (not DD) has any 'inventory'... it's all sitting in Calif at Quality Marine, waiting to be sold and shipped. The mistakes are made by QM...the difference is when the wrong is made right by LA or (maybe) Petco

Fishfirst
01/08/2014, 10:20 PM
Supporting the "good" petcos equals supporting the bad ones... I personally have never been impressed by a petco, and I have been to maybe a dozen of them.

Joe0813
01/08/2014, 10:55 PM
I know the one in Quincy, Massachusetts is.awful. I was there today and every single fish they had looked so bad that me and my girlfriend felt awful. Bad cases of ich and other diseases.. foxface was so so k it lost all its color(forgot the disease name) but it was so sad. Ill never buy fish from them

alton
01/09/2014, 12:51 PM
I thought Petco used CIS?

reefrider
01/09/2014, 02:15 PM
My petco here in myrtle beach is an excellent store. The guy who runs it really cares and you rarely see a sick fish. Allays getting in new stock and have never seen ich or algae which is more then I can say for the other 2 local fish stores around here.

The Myrtle Beach Petco is full of Ich. Have you seen the Purple Tang they currently have? It is constantly scraping on the rocks. The Miniatus Grouper in the top tank has Pop Eye. Unfortunately I have witnessed them selling sick fish. Beginner and impatient aquarists is their customer base.

Travish881
01/10/2014, 03:51 PM
The Myrtle Beach Petco is full of Ich. Have you seen the Purple Tang they currently have? It is constantly scraping on the rocks. The Miniatus Grouper in the top tank has Pop Eye. Unfortunately I have witnessed them selling sick fish. Beginner and impatient aquarists is their customer base.

I haven't been there in a few weeks but I am also new to the hobby they looked fine to me but I guess that's not the case lol. Where do you purchase your fish from ?

Aquat
01/10/2014, 05:13 PM
My PetCo is reasonably good compare to others.. Being that one of our club member actually works there. So he's quite knowledgeable and does a good job at keeping things in check.

Though the last time I stopped by, the tanks looked oddly different. Tangs were crammed with Damsels, hermits mixed in with snails, and the familiar sight of ich infested fish caught my eyes. I'm guessing he finally moved on to a better job

I'll still most likely shop at PetCo cause their dry goods are cheap, I can get food, media, and chemicals here at half the price of the LFS. Not to mention their "dollar per gallon" sales.

Biotopes
01/15/2014, 04:21 PM
or a family member decided to add a fish as a surprise.

I'd have one less family member if someone added a fish to my tank without telling me :strooper:

Biotopes
01/15/2014, 04:45 PM
I'll still most likely shop at PetCo cause their dry goods are cheap, I can get food, media, and chemicals here at half the price of the LFS. Not to mention their "dollar per gallon" sales.

:beer:

Dmorty217
02/04/2014, 12:32 PM
Is this true? Can anyone speculate this? If I had known, I wouldn't of used my Pal Reward, it could of covered overnight shipping

LA gets most all of their fish from QM, guess where petco.com get their fish from??? You guessed it QM. I know this because I ordered a Red Sea regal from petco.com for 90$ (when LA had them for 300$) I called petco.com when the order said it was shipping because I never got a tracking number, they gave me another phone number which was the number to QM (although they don't say QM when they answered the phone) and received my tracking info from them. Long story short the regal wasn't from the Red Sea so I called the QM number back that I was given and talked to the woman there and told her I was sent a regular regal. She sent me out a Red Sea regal the next day, no questions asked. Bottom line all saltwater fish come from QM in this country for big online retailers, it's just a question if you want to pay more for a fish from LA

Tahiti
02/04/2014, 01:10 PM
The petco near my house has very dirty water. I wanted to buy a maroon clownfish but decided against it.

albano
02/04/2014, 01:29 PM
The petco near my house has very dirty water. I wanted to buy a maroon clownfish but decided against it.

Maroon clownfish deserve dirty water!... They can be very aggressive, you should decide against it!

Aquat
02/04/2014, 03:15 PM
it's just a question if you want to pay more for a fish from LA

Well their customer service is great! Along with their 14 Days guarantee.
I think as long as people are treated right, they'll keep coming back.