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is it my fault or the stores?


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hey everyone! 5 days ago i bought six neon tetras from my local petco, since then 5 of them have died, i think this is the stores fault, cause they looked a little crappy there and the employee that helped me was, in my eyes, an idiot. she literally couldn't tell the difference between a neon tetra with full color, and a baby brown fish. so i paid more money for them. so i dont think they were attended to well or taken very good care of. is this the stores fault, or am i the idiot who is pointing fingers?

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Doesn’t matter if you think they did it return but regardless go get money back. Bring water sample I just use bottle water there looking for reason not refund don’t give them one.

I brought 6 glow tetras and 1 died my water lvls perfect but just give them 0 reason.

Simple test kit will tell you if your the murder you should have one.

Edited by Maximus297759
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lol well Petco people have no clue they will sell you whatever.  I talked to dude today said worker recommended he use flourish when he adds water. And he didn’t tell guy to use something like prime. 
I’d kill have local pet store but closes one is 2 hours away in big city. The only deal Ghosh salt and fresh. 

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12 minutes ago, Maximus297759 said:

lol well Petco people have no clue they will sell you whatever.  I talked to dude today said worker recommended he use flourish when he adds water. And he didn’t tell guy to use something like prime. 
I’d kill have local pet store but closes one is 2 hours away in big city. The only deal Ghosh salt and fresh. 

Not all of the employees are bad. I’ve talked to some that really do know what’s going on.

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That is true they have like 1 expert at each store but idk there always not there when I am. I usually have them asking me questions I’ve been keeping fish 30 years I’ve learned a little. Im just new to planted aquarium I’ve always preferred coral reefs. But atm can’t do it because $. 

Edited by Maximus297759
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The Petco that is closest to me has a few great fish people working there, they are hobbyists themselves. One guy told me he has in the neighborhood of 40 tanks in his basement. 

As for if it's the stores fault, or your fault, it could be both. Could the fish have been sick? yes. Was your tank ready for fish? If the fish looked crappy in the store, why did you still buy them? Look at the fish in the store, if they don't look healthy, don't buy them. I am not sure what Petco's policy is for returning dead fish. You could try going back in with the dead fish and then in a separate container have a sample of your tank water for them to test.

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Hello,

If Petco has a return policy, then you're in great shape. I know Petsmart has a 14 day guarantee. Water parameter levels and acclimation are important. I like Cory's video regarding a "seasoned" tank.

I am very new to the hobby and still learning many things by trial and error.

Youtube, Youtube, and more Youtube! https://www.youtube.com/user/AquariumCoop

Best wishes and update with future progress, Donna in North Carolina

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I'm in the habit of not making livestock purchases from Big Box stores if I see any questionable looking fish, as their tanks all share the same water. If you see any sickness, they've all most likely been exposed. I have better luck when visiting right after they get their shipments; for my area it seems to be Wednesday/Thursday, so I'll go take a look on Friday if I'm in the mood to go fish shopping. 

Edited by H.K.Luterman
typo!
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Before I buy from a pet shop, I look at all of the aquariums to determine the over all level of care first.  Go back to your Petco and check out the neons again.  If something looks off, it probably is.  If the store has "sold" most or all of the fish, than give them your receipt and ask to refund all of the fish.

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thank you so much for all your responses. my water parameters were great. in did a water change when they started to not do so well. just in case there were undetectable things. the tank was an established tank that i had going for a year and a half with zero problems. on of them died of neon tetra disease. but the other ones just spontaneously died without warning. there were no signs of bullying in the fish, and i didn't see any aggressiveness. i have the fish bodies frozen in a bag to take back to the store. since my last post two more have died. but the last one looks perfect. biggest on of the bunch. thanks again everyone!

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Big pet stores aren't all bad. If you are looking for neons or other readily available fish often times this is the only place you can find some varieties. I have talked with quite a few LFS in Seattle. Most, including the co-op, won't stock fish that they can't beat the prices of from Petsmart/Petco. It's smart business. Especially fish that don't transport well big chains can eat the cost. When I worked at one of those chains they sold silver-tip sharks (a brackish/saltwater catfish) at a 700% loss. Thankfully they don't sell them anymore.

 

Also yes the water all runs through one filter except the quarantine tanks and goldfish. Although the store I worked at took pride in our fish so we had a chiller for the koi goldfish and dojo loaches. Ran a cold water stream tank for our cloudfin minnows and reticulated hillstream loaches and a brackish tank for our red claw crabs all on separate filters. We also fed our reptiles and rodents garden fresh UV treated vegetables. But I digress.

 

Both chain stores do not care what your water parameters are we are still required to allow returns of deceased fish. Granted if you come in 3-4 times we were allowed to turn you down, especially on big fish orders.

 

While we were also not allowed to sell sick fish to customers for this reason, some inexperienced pet care employees are not trained in that area so if you grab them and have them pick out fish they will just grab whatever you point at. Best way to see if they are experienced is have them try to grab a pictus catfish and see what they reach for. If they reach for the net and only the net, they are most certainly not trained.

Long winded way of saying both parties can share the blame here

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Yeah, I've learned the hard way that you're really rolling the dice with any fish kept in poor conditions at a pet store, especially for a fish as mass produced as neon tetras. Unfortunately, I've seen terrible things at every pet store near me that sells fish, so my options are getting more and more limited for buying or selling. Thank god for the internet!

For your immediate situation, see if they have any guarantee on fish, but be prepared to bring in a water sample from your tanks to prove it wasn't your fault. It will probably be easier to give you a store credit than to refund you cash, so make a short mental list of stuff you could use from a petco before insisting on cash. Water conditioner? Fish food? A heater?

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I’ll add this - I picked up 9 male guppies from a big box store.  They looked good in the tank - no shredded fins, no odd swimming, no bullying, etc.  The fellow who helped me was knowledgeable, as I saw when he explained how best to house a betta and that if the patron wanted such a tiny tank to go with something like shrimp instead.  Over the course of quarantine, about 4 weeks, I lost all but 2 of them.  The deceased showed no outward signs of illness and observing them every day in the quarantine tank I saw no chasing, bullying, fast breathing or erratic swimming.  Just one day there, the next dead.  The dwarf neon rainbows in the same quarantine tank were fine and passed with flying colors.

However, I purchased rummy nose tetras from a local shop.  I didn’t really get to see how knowledgeable the employees were as this shop is’t well known for customer service.  I shouldn’t have purchased the fish - all but 1 died in a 48-hour span.  They weren’t quality fish.

I purchased more rummies from a different local shop and haven’t had 1 die yet.  However, this shop is reliable.  I’d tried to purchase cardinal tetras and the fellow didn’t want to sell them to me because they’d just arrived and hadn’t been through quarantine.  He knew they were wild caught and likely to have parasites.

Long winded way of saying - you just never know.  The fish may look perfect but have some underlying issue.  The shop may not be pretty but have the most knowledgeable employees.  I will say this, though - that third shop is the one I’ll use for the majority of my fish purchases.

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I will happily support most any LFS that properly quarantines their fish and pay more money for those fish. 

As hobbyists, we also should be prepared to quarantine, medicate, and feed with quality food fish newly arrived to our care. Shipping will stress the healthiest of fish and reduce immune function. Also, a good tip is if you live close to your LFS/LPS, to check on the same fish a few times over several days or a week after they arrive to the store to see if they stay healthy or if their health worsens. Or, if there's something particular you know you want, to see if you can order it before it arrives, and show up the day it's delivered to the store and take it home immediately before it's added to the tank in the store.

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