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View Full Version : Petco- Butterfly fish


nursedude
10/28/2016, 07:52 AM
Our local Petco, here in small town Colorado, has a butterfly fish for sale. You might have to pay a premium because this one has cool white spots on it.

I just don't understand how they can think this is responsible husbandry. In the first place, why stock such a difficult species in a chain store. Next, no quarantine/hospital tank, put this guy out for sale. Then, let the sick fish share the same water with other fish. :headwally:

tkeracer619
10/28/2016, 08:45 AM
I've seen male genicanthus angelfish several times at the one here. It's best to avoid that store so you don't see it.

The shame is they have the opportunity to revamp the whole process and now with the LA purchase the know how but they continue along the same path. I guess it isn't profitable.

I've seen them sell a clownfish whos jaw was rotting off and dangling to an old lady because he was so adorable. Then the same sales guy turn around and ask me if this NO t6 bulb would be enough for their anemone. Turns out it was but only because the anemone is on the background picture... and no... I did not just make that up.

falcona2552
10/28/2016, 12:54 PM
I've seen some poor practices in petcos, but in my area of colorado it extends to most LFS as well.

1stanker
10/28/2016, 05:49 PM
It's not just Colorado, at the union city Petco here in the Bay Area in Ca I recently saw a quarter sized blue tang with full blown velvet in a sales tank, it looked like he was dipped in sugar and swimming into the pump return, the other fish in the tank were glancing on the decorations as well. I almost bought it just to humanely euthanize it. I talked to the clerk and pointed out the situation and recommended they dose there whole SW system with Cupramine, they had it right there on the shelf. The kid said the "fish guy" was off that day and that he would tell him when he came in the next day. Ughhh!

Flip side of that coin- here in my home town of Alameda Ca, the Petco fish dept is one of the healthiest lfs I've seen, I complemented the clerk on their good practice. He was great full for the compliment and remarked they were lucky enough to have a couple of "real fish people" who run the systems as if they were their own.

The tank is only as good as the person behind it IMO

Another thought- I used to work at the Oakland Zoo as a gardener, whenever there was aconflict between profits and animal welfare the animals lost.

nmotz
10/28/2016, 06:17 PM
Yeah I'm always amazed by how many people work at fish stores that know almost nothing about the animals they are keeping. I also avoid places like Petco so I don't have to see the god-awful stuff they have going on in there. Like anything else that makes people money, people don't seriously consider anything else but sales potential. Selling "Dory" or "Nemo" is the first priority, learning about their care is a distant second.

Ironically, businesses don't choose to accept that they would fare much better financially if they learned how to keep healthy fish in the first place. They'd have better reputations with experienced aquarists like many on this site, wouldn't lose as much money down the toilet, and would be acting more ethically in the process. Win-win-win.

tri4god
10/29/2016, 12:05 AM
I agree. Going to Petco does not help one learn about fish at all. Are the fish treated before added to community tanks there?

tkeracer619
10/29/2016, 12:48 AM
No, they aren't.

Tripod1404
10/29/2016, 10:19 AM
This is probably an exception but one of the Petco stores in Spokane, WA that I regularly visit has one if the healthiest and most extensive fish stock in the city. They even have quarantine and hospital tanks with separate filtration systems (I was really surprised to see that in a Petco). The guy who is responsible for the saltwater tanks is a real reef enthusiast, so he keeps really good care of the fish and inverts. If Petco is really interested in going into this kind of business they should get people who know what they are doing...

nmotz
10/30/2016, 10:08 AM
This is probably an exception but one of the Petco stores in Spokane, WA that I regularly visit has one if the healthiest and most extensive fish stock in the city. They even have quarantine and hospital tanks with separate filtration systems (I was really surprised to see that in a Petco). The guy who is responsible for the saltwater tanks is a real reef enthusiast, so he keeps really good care of the fish and inverts. If Petco is really interested in going into this kind of business they should get people who know what they are doing...

Every now and then I hear about local Petco's like the one you are talking about. Keeping fish commercially should be done only by those with specific qualifications in my opinion. I'll just say it like this: if I ever opened an LFS, I would make some kind of qualifying exam for hopeful employees. If they passed then they could get the job, if not they would be welcome to try again once they had learned the prerequisites.

But this is generally speaking not the way that Petco employees (or any minimum wage paid position for that matter) are selected. They just need someone to watch the fish department and find anyone they can. I'm sure it's easy for me to say, but it seems to be a much better idea to find people who actually care about what they are doing to maintain the fish department. That way more Petcos like yours in Spokane become the norm. Unfortunately, I just don't see that happening.

reef thief
10/30/2016, 05:32 PM
I went to Pco for some vitamins for my son's panther chameleon today. They sell "frags" at this one. Frag rack tipped on it's side with standard T8 lighting in an open system to all of the cyano rocks they sell there. On the plus Banggais were on sale for 13$ juvies!

atraperegrinus
11/01/2016, 10:56 PM
most petcos will threaten to fire any employees who try to take it upon themselves to set up QT's and hospital tanks in the back.

my buddy here at the local petco was told he had to remove the LED's over the coral tanks and put the shitty lights back over it because it was company policy, and he was told where the door was if he didnt like it.

TauntingBeef
11/07/2016, 09:18 PM
My petco tries there best

aznflyfisherman
11/08/2016, 12:14 PM
I dont think most lfs qt their fish either, i see it all the time they get it in and straight into the tank. Those small lfs cant afford to qt them imo, if they qt them and they die the loose money so i guess thats why most dont qt, they just want to sale them asap. Petco just dont care, if the fish dies, it dies. Just like thye sell corals and anemone all bleach and they just let it slowly die and wont even put them on sale to get rid of them.

noob916
11/09/2016, 09:59 PM
Yea i agree. Same goes with live plants for aquarium. Their light isn't sufficient enough to keep them alive. They just slowly die off unless someone pick them up.

Kjreiner1
11/15/2016, 12:58 PM
It is definitely not beneficial for Petco or LFS that don't have knowledgable staff to bring in saltwater species that require advanced care. My local Petco is now stocking corals and the corals don't look that good but they are putting fish in with them that are not reef safe.

Sk8r
11/15/2016, 01:43 PM
The problem is not the company, but the hiring practices. They NEED somebody to manage the tanks: they HIRE the local who didn't understand that the blue water the specimens may be shipped in should not be poured into the tank. You cannot manufacture 10 years of reefing experience in an earnest teenager who says, I have fish tanks and you will not look for it as a manager if you don't understand the problem.

dallen2233
11/18/2016, 08:01 PM
Petco is one of those places where I'll look at the fish, but I'd never buy one from their tanks. Al most all have ich or something worse after being in their tanks for a few days.

ncaldwell
11/18/2016, 10:17 PM
I go there to see what I can buy cheap to nurse back to health. Just bought a purple tang with bad ich that is almost gone after some simple tank transfers for $50

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MrDaniel
11/21/2016, 04:51 PM
I'm surprised Petco even carries salt water fish. It takes a lot of knowledge to care for so many different animal species. I doubt the people working there are properly trained or paid enough to understand what is required. It is exciting to see so much progress in fish breeding, hopefully that trend will continue.

ncaldwell
11/21/2016, 05:29 PM
I'm surprised too, it's their biggest loss of revenue with how poorly they take care of them

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nate16
12/04/2016, 05:26 PM
My local petco is a disaster. Ich everywhere. Would never buy out of those tanks and it makes me sad just looking at their creatures.

GTR
12/06/2016, 06:12 AM
The corporation has operating procedures in place, the stores just need to follow them.

lespaul339
12/06/2016, 07:26 AM
I did something I never said I would do. I bought a fish from Petco a couple weeks back. I was surprised to see the quality of the tanks and fish health had gone up since last time I had been there. It's either that or they just got some new fish in and that's why everything was looking better since disease hadn't set in yet.

Anyways, I bought a coral beauty angel. Just couldn't let the pretty fish meet it's doom there. Plus, it was only 30 bucks. I really liked the color of it and it was fat and healthy and eating. It definitely came with ich, but I get fish with ich from pretty much every vendor now. Whether I order online or buy locally it seems all fish are infected now days.

The coral beauty is almost on it's last tank transfer and now shows no signs of ich. She's gone through a couple rounds of prazi, and a formalin dip. After a month of observation she is going in my display if all goes well.

justindinh24
12/06/2016, 11:58 AM
I think it just depend on store manager who hired staffs. I have no issue with my local petco. I bought all fishes from them all time ( purple yellow safin tangs and flame angle).

RobZilla04
12/06/2016, 12:04 PM
I haven't had a problem with anything I've purchased from my local Petco in St Augustine FL. I know they take delivery of new stock on Tuesdays so typically I'll wait until the end of the week to purchase to ensure a healthy live animal.

pfan151
12/06/2016, 01:09 PM
I haven't had a problem with anything I've purchased from my local Petco in St Augustine FL. I know they take delivery of new stock on Tuesdays so typically I'll wait until the end of the week to purchase to ensure a healthy live animal.

I think you'd be better off buying them Tuesday as soon as they arrive. They get their fish from quality marine, just like live aquaria. It's not the fish that are the problem. It's the care they give them and the water quality so the less time they are handling them the better. Obviously pretty much all of their systems have ich but that is true of pretty much every fish store (even if it's not visible in many cases).

ncaldwell
12/06/2016, 01:34 PM
Company policy is they aren't aloud to treat for disease except for a couple of the fake snake oil cures that don't really work for saltwater. No cupramine, prazi or formalin. They are easy to cure though in a quarantine tank. I like going there first to see if there's anything to save. Like going to the pound instead of a breeder type thing, at least in my mind

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RobZilla04
12/06/2016, 01:34 PM
Good point, I always wondered which was better. My initial thinking was let them stay a few days so if they developed anything it would be noticeable. Guess I'll be going on Tuesdays. Thx

GTR
12/07/2016, 05:27 AM
They have multiple sources for fresh and marine, usually only one supplier per specie. The stores report all noticed issues to corporate which in turn communicates that to the source.;)

KingOfAll_Tyrants
12/08/2016, 07:35 AM
Yea i agree. Same goes with live plants for aquarium. Their light isn't sufficient enough to keep them alive. They just slowly die off unless someone pick them up.


Same here for all my local bigbox PetPlaces. The worst are the bettas - a whole rack of things that have been in for too long, and are just waiting a few days to die. You feel sorry for the occasinal alert one.

Funny, local petco was selling live rock with an aiptasia on it for like $10/lb.

exsequor
12/08/2016, 08:27 AM
I've bought over 30 fish from local petco's in the springs with no issues (I have 14 tanks). 29 out of 30 have survived perfectly.

exsequor
12/08/2016, 08:28 AM
My local one just got in some ORA Lightning Clowns. Original MSRP is $499.95. They were going to charge $129.95, but decided to charge me $34.95 due to the small size of the fish. Fish is doing well in hospital tank and eating great.

exsequor
12/08/2016, 08:30 AM
Gotta be careful with their liverock and aiptisa.

Spiffy
12/08/2016, 11:31 AM
The saltwater guy at the Petco here had no idea what a powerhead was.

KingOfAll_Tyrants
12/08/2016, 05:12 PM
I've bought over 30 fish from local petco's in the springs with no issues (I have 14 tanks). 29 out of 30 have survived perfectly.

Glad you had a good experience. :) Seriously, a shop is only as good as its people; so an LFS builds/loses a reputation, so BigBox stores of course vary. It's especially true if they sell products that require specialized help, i.e. it's more than just putting stuff on shelves, like in Petco's reef section.

All that being said, I could not bring my self to even semi-professionally devote space and effort to raise quality fish fry or corals, only to see the local store treat them the way they did at my local BigBox PetPlace.....

CrayolaViolence
12/12/2016, 06:55 AM
Our local Petco, here in small town Colorado, has a butterfly fish for sale. You might have to pay a premium because this one has cool white spots on it.

I just don't understand how they can think this is responsible husbandry. In the first place, why stock such a difficult species in a chain store. Next, no quarantine/hospital tank, put this guy out for sale. Then, let the sick fish share the same water with other fish. :headwally:


I was in a petco yesterday and they had a stars and stripes puffer with obvious illness (idk or marine velvet take your pick). Anyhow, when I spoke to one of the cashiers she said that corporate office would not allow them to administer anything that was't "natural". I.e. they could not give the animal medication.

I don't doubt she was telling the truth. Corporations are all the time coming up with odd rules like this. Rules that often seem against common sense (and usually are) but are done so from a legal standpoint. Idk what that legal standpoint is in this case. I suspect it has to do with practicing veterinary medicine without a license but it's not as if the fish was purchased and then they are treating it.

I really wish petco would come to their senses on stuff like this.

CrayolaViolence
12/12/2016, 06:59 AM
And I agree with what others have already said. The store is only as good as the people who run it. Most of the people in the fish department are barely paid minimum wage if that. The only knowledge they are ALLOWED to have is what the big box store tells them. When you work for these place you are given "classes" and "tests" which you have to pass. Even if the information is WRONG in those test you'd better have what THEY think is the right answer. You are retested on these anywhere from six months to a year. They don't want people to be knowledgable. They just want people to do as their told.

Zatoichi
12/22/2016, 12:14 AM
The first time I saw coral and fish in a Petco I was a bit flabbergasted but luckily they looked pretty healthy... Seems like they need to hire at least one expert per store or do some better training of the people maintaining these systems

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taby15
12/22/2016, 08:54 AM
The petco I leave near has cyano in every display tank. The women in charge of the aquatic seconds own a betta and keeps it in a small bowl. I would like to apply to work there on the weekend and tweak the filtration system.

Elricsfate
12/22/2016, 09:49 AM
I went to my local Petco to see if they had an ammonia product with which to start my cycle. The woman working aquatics said, "You don't want ammonia in your tank". I asked her how she advised people starting a new tank to cycle the tank. She said, "Put your water and rock in the tank and wait 4-6 weeks". I asked her how she expected nitrifying bacteria to grow with no food source... she just looked at me. No clue whatsoever.

VGT
01/18/2017, 06:01 AM
Company policy is they aren't aloud to treat for disease except for a couple of the fake snake oil cures that don't really work for saltwater. No cupramine, prazi or formalin. They are easy to cure though in a quarantine tank. I like going there first to see if there's anything to save. Like going to the pound instead of a breeder type thing, at least in my mind

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I recently 'rescued' a BTA from them. Looked miserable under whatever shitty lighting they had. Brought it home and its doing great. Hid from the bright lights for a few days, but now found itself a nice spot.

Str8linespeed
01/18/2017, 04:21 PM
I've bought 4 fish from my Petco and all are still doing very well! Now I will agree that they do not have the best practices and the tanks are usually full of Cyano as stated. Most of the time Im in there the tanks all appear to have bubblers going, Im not sure if their system is that low on saltwater and the pumps are just sucking air or what..

What I have found is you can wheel and deal on prices. I was in the market for a pair of clowns. Well they had 1 Mocha that had been there for at least 3 months and was priced at $40. They also had a small lone clown which was on sale for $14.99. Well I asked the gal that worked in the fish dept. if she would sell me the mocha for the same price since its been there for so long. Not a problem she said, it worked in my favor and those 2 are paired up and doing great! I also watched another customer get a $80 piece of coral for $20, I dont recall what it was, but I was surprised he got it down that low.

scybulski
01/18/2017, 05:04 PM
A lot of people find some good deals there. Guess it depends on the store. We checked out our local one. Would not waste a penny there. Also would qt anything from them, double dip corals, med the fish as part of qt, etc


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coralmoral
02/07/2017, 10:22 AM
I usually steer clear of chain stores like petco. Local vendors are more reliable.

Ou8me2
02/07/2017, 04:58 PM
The problem is places like Petco don't pay enough to get the proper employee to run their tanks. Do any of you think you could support a family on what Petco pays employees? I'm gonna guess most everyone will say no.

Petco will not close up shop even if they sold no fish as that is not their bread and butter where they make, money. I think they should do the responsible thing and not sell saltwater if they aren't going to use the proper care and methods to ensure people get quality fish.

I don't go into Petco often myself but I noticed a month ago the tanks looks amazing recently. They have hired a decent guy who has cleaned up the tanks and seems to have some reasonable knowledge. However, I find most the time these type of people don't stay long.

I have never bought a fish from Petco but I know local reefers who have and they have had positive experiences.

While some of you think Petco is bad there is an LFS here that has been in business for 40+ years and I can assure you their tanks are worse than Petco's have ever been here.

I will say this though and I can say with a lot of confidence. I have not been to a single store who QT's it's fish before sale and that's covering several hundred mile radius from me.

Sadly the name of the game with fish is the quick turn around and getting them out the door before they become ill or die this is a pretty standard practice in the industry.

This practice starts from when the fish is being caught and shipped to distributors and to the pet store and to your tank. Dead fish don't make money. The average cycle for a fish being caught and to the pet store is 7-9 days and it's basically a big game of hot potato. The consumer is usually the loser.

monkeysee1
03/04/2017, 06:41 AM
It's not just Colorado, at the union city Petco here in the Bay Area in Ca I recently saw a quarter sized blue tang with full blown velvet in a sales tank, it looked like he was dipped in sugar and swimming into the pump return, the other fish in the tank were glancing on the decorations as well. I almost bought it just to humanely euthanize it. I talked to the clerk and pointed out the situation and recommended they dose there whole SW system with Cupramine, they had it right there on the shelf. The kid said the "fish guy" was off that day and that he would tell him when he came in the next day. Ughhh!


Yep. Which is why I would not so much as to buy a pencil from those bozos.
Saw a yellow tang in one if their tanks once - it was so pale it was white, flailing around on the bottom so much because the poor thing had a power head blasted in its face putting out current with so much force a Great White would have keeled over in there. The kid (he couldn't have been older than sixteen or seventeen) said " we don't know what's wrong with him but hopefully all this oxygen flow will help him". I shook my head and walked out, empty handed.
NO knowledge of the animals they are keeping, NO consideration for their welfare and NO system in place to ensure their livestock product goes to the customer in good quality and disease free. It's not just Petco either. It's ALL those anonymous big box chain pet stores. Pure marine disease factories.

But like many, I was stupid enough to go to Petco about four or so years back too. Bought a feather duster from them, thought it was perfectly okay - and safe thinking inverts don't get ich. Or carry it.
WRONG!! *buzzer*
Within one week after putting it in my tank, one of my seven fish had white spots on his fins. Within a week after that, I had NO fish left; my tank had been wiped out and I had to start over.
The WORST nightmare I had in this hobby - the hairs on my skin STILL bristle at writing this! :( :(
Now I only buy livestock from my LFS in town (the owners I have known for years) or I order pre-quarantined WYSIWYG fish and corals from BLUE ZOO or LIVE AQUARIA! And I put them in my QT tank for a month in addition to that as well.
I haven't had ANY issues with these stores and now my fish in my tank are doing great!
So do yourselves a favor, folks - NEVER buy ANY fish, invert or coral from ANY big box pet chain. You'll save yourselves a LOT of grief and heartache, not to mention in HEADACHES!

exsequor
03/05/2017, 06:46 PM
Petco in North east COS, CO is both great stock, great prices and good fish. Gotta be careful and still quarantine but the LFS cannot come close to beating their prices or their out of season avabilities.

LFS IS GREAT TOO THOUGH!

bltc
03/10/2017, 05:25 PM
Chain pet stores are the worst. A petco by me sold my friend a brand new tank and fish the same day. Luckily it was fresh water and they seem to be doing alright but still its irresponsible.