Don't Buy From Petco!!!!!

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1 week ago a bought a clownfish and a butterfly fish from Petco. The next day when I got home the buterflyfish was dead and the clown fish was well on his way. They both had Ich. The next day the clownfish was dead. I took them both to back to the store the next day and they told me that they could do nothing for me and I have to just take the loss. I went to the tanks were the fish were taken out of and all the fish that were in the tanks were all sick with ich or dead afnd the employees just left them in the tanks. PLEASE PLEASE DON'T BUY FROM PETCO!!!!! They really don't care about the customer or the health of their pets!!!!
It depends on the particular store, some are good and some are bad. I have bought 4 fish and a star from them and have had no probs yet. You have to watch closely before you buy, or ask them to hold it till 1 day before there new shipment comes in and check it again before you take it home.
I agree with bobby. I've been to some good petcos. Luckily, I can get my fish extremely cheap and healthy from my job, before they even touch the tank water.
Like Bobby said it depends on the petco. Before going to a reef aquarium I bought all my fish from them and they were all good hearty fish. My 7 month old Porcupine puffer and semi recent clown fish are from petco.

Sorry about your fish / experience :( If you roll over the Petco link above, contentinfo doesn't like them much either lol, but probably for a different reason :).
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Im sorry you had a bad expierance but as stated above it really does depend on the store I purchased 2 maroons 3 wks ago and there doing great. When purchasing fish you need to look at the tanks inspect them well is it clean? Do the fish look sick? Ask to watch them feed. Check to see if there are any dead fish in the tank. Check to see if the fish look stressed or deseased. If all that checks out you should be fine. Hope this helps.
I wouldn't buy fish from the Petco's where I live. Of all the fish I've had, not one that I bought from my LFS has died. Of my Petco fish (living in the SAME tank as my LFS fish) only 1 of 8 has survived. Most died within a couple days of me buying them, inexplicably, with no symptoms. That was about a year ago, after that I decided I'd never buy another fish from Petco again, I'd rather spend 4 times as much at my LFS but know that they will survive!
Remember that Petco's and other chains do not have good 'stock' nor ideal environments for any live animal. They purchase from a bulk wholesaler for pennies on the dollar with the goal of a quick turnaround. Typically fish that you see in a Petco or other similar chain were recently put in there with no time to acclimate before you purchase them. There is a very high stress factor involved - hence a very large risk factor as well.

The general rule of thumb with any Petco animal purchase.. is to not buy something on your first trip there.. no matter how good of a deal. Stop in after a week and see if the fish is stil there. If you are worried about it being purchased by someone else, most will hold the fish for you for a fee. This will give you time to make sure the fish relaxes from its flight over, it's introduction to a new tank and most importantly has started eating again.

Most LFS are the same way, but do not have as quick of turnaround as Petco so there is a greater chance of a strong fish.

I used to run and manage a reptile speciality store.... you don't want to know the inside runnings of pet stores.. trust me on this one!!!
Another problem is that some of them don't have real "fish" people. They just want a paycheck that they can earn after school and petco is only 2 miles away.
Actually, I'd say the majority of employees at the major chains are knowledgable in what they are doing. Sometimes, you might catch a bad shift where the fish person is sick and a stock boy is watching the area.. but... the people are not the issue

Watch out though.. I'd guess about 90% or more of online 'fish people' aren't qualified to give out advice either :) Yet.. that stops nobody :)
I don't buy from petco anymore as their demographic is a FO tank, at least the one by me. I guess a lot of people try to buy marine fish thinking they are fresh water because they would always ask me "You know those are saltwater fish right?". Most reps I dealt with at the store by me were pretty knowledgable about which fishes got along with each other. I learned a great deal from them.

However, I have learned more reading through posts on here than ever before. I couldn't ask for better people and information on reef tanks.
Adrastos said:
I'd guess about 90% or more of online 'fish people' aren't qualified to give out advice either :) Yet.. that stops nobody :)

Good point. :mrgreen:

Bobby said:
It depends on the particular store, some are good and some are bad.

Guess this is true about the employees as well.
Yea, I think they should step up to the plat and have a warranty on there fish like most places..Petsmart even has a small warranty on fish(only fresh)..Also I wouldnt trust what they have to say considering half the people there have no clue what they are talking about..I think they should be fined for the way they take peoples money like that, most of the time you can see how bad the fish and tanks are taken care of but it could just be the one location near me..Last week (while I was picking up bird food)I was lucky enough to notice the test results(for the fresh water tanks) Nitrates in the tank couldnt even register on the test kit ammonia was extremly high (Cant remember exact, the tester was dark green)..The lady told me those were the normal readings for those tanks LOL,and I asked how they were going to fix the problem and she shrugged her shoulders and said she only takes and documents the results..Before u stick more fish in the tank I would let the ick die of first:twocents: sorry to hear of your loss
I think it is very hard in marine aquariums to hold a warranty on fish.. there are way too many variables. Also throw into the mix how little is truely known about saltwater fish and how to duplicate their proper ecosystems that even the most advanced keepers will lose fish quickly for no reason.

Personally, I am tired of the major chains getting a 'bad wrap' because of buyer incompetence. I'd be surprised if this next comment was wrong. The majority of people that complain about the Petco fish dying and taking out others in the tank have never even thought about using a quarantine tank.

For the most parts, those large chains have helped this (and others) more than most will ever know.

Sure, they have a bad image in some areas but I can tell you with 100% certainity that the majority of "mom and pop" stores have much worse conditions than the majority of chain stores.

okay.. I am done with this rant.. but watch out.. there is always more :)
As I said previously I have two beautiful maroons that I purchased from petco there doing great eating always out have yet to see an issue if I do see one then there is usually an explanation for it, ick has to be brought about by stress if there were no stressful situations in the tank then the fish would not be stressed and the ick wouldnt hit. The slightest issue whether it be temp, salinity, ph, nits, ammonia, other fish, parasites, lack of food, lack of oxygen, and with some fish like the ones that have sex for pleasure, lack of sex (dolphins).
My Potters Angel is from a chain... We have had him for over 2 years now. A great fish from day one (we were recently told it's rare to keep them alive for more than a year....)
The last time I went to Petco they asked me to leave because I brought my test kit with me so I could compare water conditions. I was told I could not test the water. When I said I would buy the fish (clown trigger) if allowed to first, they politely suggested I try to find one somewhere else.
I don't know any store that would allow you to do that! I know when I ran my pet store.. if someone asked me if they could monitor the individual environments of the enclsoures... that was a quick no.

The Petco should keep a running log of their test results - maybe next time to ask to see their log book.
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