General maintenance and interest at fish stores

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by TetraJacques, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. TetraJacques

    TetraJacques

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    105
    Location:
    Nelspruit
    What are your guy's opinion on tank maintenance and care of fish and plants at local fish stores ?

    I have been purchasing from a specific store as there is a variety of fish, equipment etc., who has ornaments in their tanks covered with BBA. I lost count on the amount of tanks I have seen with dead fish floating around. These tanks are usually over stocked but who says there isn't a disease in the tank?

    Personally, I think tank maintenance is not done enough and there is a lack of care and interest from employees in stores. We as customer support these shops hoping we receive healthy live stock etc. but I sometimes feel they there just to keep cashing in.

    For instance, I have seen mixed species with larger oscars in one tank where one oscar decided he is in the mood for some fish. The employees just had a look and did nothing about it, all they needed to do was to move all the oscars to their own tank. They had enough open tanks for them.

    One guy came in and said he caught a small bass and put it in a tank and was looking for food. The employee said he must feed the bass koi pellets. In my opinion, this was completely the wrong advise. One, a person shouldn't take a fish from its natural habitat and put it in a tank if you have no idea what you doing and second, if you know fish, you will have an idea what to feed them, again an employee selling fish, should know about fish, right ?

    As we go over to plant care !! I have to ask myself, why do they even care getting stock on plants if they don't know how to care for it? Planted aquariums in Nelspruit is not popular so these guys need to keep plants alive and healthy for when the odd person comes in looking for it. They also sell non aquatic plants, for example, I bought purple temple exotica, which I later found out is not a true aquatic plant. The employees should have informed me about the plant, but as I said above, as long as they can cash in and move stock they happy.

    I was there over the weekend and one guy bought how many plants and in between that was mondo grass:confused:. Once again, it was someone who doesn't really know true aquatic plants. They come in, see plants and take it. I think its the employees responsibility to inform the guy that you can't really use it in a tank and to give correct advise.

    My only interest is keeping fish, I will not buy fish or plants that came out of a tank among other dead fish or ornaments covered in BBA. I will not buy unhealthy fish or plants due to the lack of care and interest. Whether I have 1 tank or 10 tanks. All I want is the perfect environment for my fish and to keep them healthy.

    I am sorry if I offended anyone with this thread. It was not my intention. It's just my opinion from experience at my local store and I am sure others has had the same problems.:thumbup:
     
    A new day and Cale24 like this.
  2. Guest




  3. BoelderBeestie

    BoelderBeestie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    955
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Over here things are just as bad, I don't go to petshops anymore. It just upsets me and then I create scene. Dead fish in a tank is seen as animal cruelty by the law in a retail setting. If you see dead fish you call the authorities. Police vans pitch up, I kid you not.:lol:
     
    Whoknows and A new day like this.
  4. Cale24

    Cale24

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2018
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    77
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Yup, it varies among shops, and employees.
    I'll never buy anything from a tank that looks dodgy, no matter what. I also point out dead fish in tanks to staff if ever I'm there. Some are knowledgable and do a great job though, so it certainly varies.
    I recall chatting to a nice guy at a LFS for a while - a Discus keeper with a 2m tank that volunteered there. That for instance is great!
    Ultimately the management needs to instil the right attitude and practices to their staff.
     
    Whoknows and A new day like this.
  5. BoelderBeestie

    BoelderBeestie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    955
    Location:
    Cape Town
    The main problem is the staff is very young and in their first job just to have a job and doesn't want to be there to begin with. They also get payed almost nothing. The owners doesn't want to splash cash on people that are knowledgeable as knowledge in the workplace costs money. The more you are educated in a subject the more money you can charge for your services.

    Well with all this said, the petshops are closing down one by one as private trading is taking hold. It's just a matter of time before they can't pay the rent anymore, and they did this to themselves so no sympathy from me. When I was a kid the petshops where always spotless as they where normally run by the owners themselves. It was a case of their hobbies becoming profitable and setting up shop, so they had the knowledge to care for their animals correctly.

    Use this example, will you leave your child with a 19 year old kid with red eyes that reeks of last nights alcohol....., how about noooooo.
     
  6. OP
    TetraJacques

    TetraJacques

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    105
    Location:
    Nelspruit
    I agree 100% with you. We unfortunately live in a place where work is scares so many people end up in our LFS with no knowledge at all. They should be mentored by management and also do their own research. The best way to learn is to read. With all the info on the internet I am sure employees can gather an array of knowledge which they can share with customers.
     
  7. A new day

    A new day

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    206
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Yes can be very hit and miss here too. Re plants I’ve come to realise that I know more about aquatic plants than the lfs staff do, and I’m a newbie. Plants aren’t well labeled etc.

    At one particular well known lfs I’ve also inadvertently bought non-aquatics sold as aquatics, and blacklisted plants (which they continue to stock). Also some plants that were obviously sourced from someone’s tank and potted up - as soon as you removed the rock wool that becomes clear, eg no proper roots on some root plants.

    It’s a real pity what some okes are up to
     
  8. OP
    TetraJacques

    TetraJacques

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    105
    Location:
    Nelspruit
    "The main problem is the staff is very young and in their first job" so true !!!!! No interest but its a job.
    I am myself planning on gathering as much plants as possible. My goal will be to trade in plants specially in the Lowveld area, it's not something we easily find here. And when we do as mentioned above its never in a healthy state.
     
    A new day likes this.
  9. Whoknows

    Whoknows

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2018
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    146
    Location:
    JHB South
    I never knew this, very interesting :thumbup:

    Also if you don't go to petshops, where do you buy supplies from?
     
  10. T. Guppy

    T. Guppy

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    77
    Location:
    Edenvale, South africa
    I can definitely vouch for this.. I started my first job at age 16 at a plant nursery and I've been there ever since. Luckily I love plants but so many of the people I work with are definitely not like that.. Especially now a few of my coworkers are in school and literally only work because their parents told them to. They never want to help people and when our boss tries to teach us or get us to read up about new plants they show the least interest possible.

    At my local fish shop there was a guy there who was always stoned, he's gone now at least. But now there's a new guy who knows absolutely nothing but will confidently tell you all the wrong things (he told my niece she could put 2 rainbow sharks in her 60l fish tank that had 1 ornament in it and they'd be ok. Needless to say the one died from stress and fighting.

    However at this same fish shop there is another young guy about my age who also knows nothing, but I have so much respect for him because he'll admit he isn't sure and then runs off to ask the owner who definitely knows his stuff.
     
    Whoknows likes this.
  11. BoelderBeestie

    BoelderBeestie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    955
    Location:
    Cape Town
    I build my own filters and have my tanks are custom built. Pumps and water pipes are from agricultural stores. Other things I get from private guys that import or have contacts that buy in bulk. The only thing I buy from a petshop is my dechlorinator when I'm in a pinch and the store I get it from is owner run so it's spotless.
     
    Whoknows likes this.
  12. fux940510

    fux940510

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2019
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Weltevreden Park
    I've visited 3 LFS, and only 1 of them has had repeat purchases from me.

    1 of them i purchased my tank from - the staff had no clue about any of my questions, which were mostly ignored if they couldn't answer. Pissed me off, but the tank was cheap. Not a great selection of hardware or dry goods either.

    The 2nd had absolutely terrible looking plants. They were all spindly and yellow. Not just the usual melt. Their stock of hardware and dry goods is exceptional though.

    The 3rd has great looking plants almost all the time, and pretty solid advice around lighting, substrate, ferts etc. When asked in detail, they were actually able to provide acceptable answers that passed my BS radar. Not the greatest selection of hardware, but acceptable. Maybe it's because it's usually the owner who helps me. If i've seen any dead fish, it's usually in fresh arrivals that are not for sale yet. Prices are also the best i've seen.

    The most notable surface-level difference between the 3 is that the first 2 are general pet stores, while the 3rd is aquatics only (Small reef setup by the counter, but the focus is definitely freshwater/tropical)
     
    Whoknows likes this.
  13. A new day

    A new day

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    206
    Location:
    Cape Town
    @fux940510 the lfs in Cape Town I mentioned above (selling BS plants) is owner run and well known. So you just never know unfortunately.
     
  14. BoelderBeestie

    BoelderBeestie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    955
    Location:
    Cape Town
    yes, you just have to wing it sometimes.
     
  15. Whoknows

    Whoknows

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2018
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    146
    Location:
    JHB South
    You seem well prepared, very nice :thumbup:
     
  16. A new day

    A new day

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    206
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Ok on a happier note :)
     
    T. Guppy and Cale24 like this.
  17. OP
    TetraJacques

    TetraJacques

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    105
    Location:
    Nelspruit
    LOL, you completely of the grid in sense of aquariums
    I can understand why so many people lean towards DIY. Sometimes it's easier, cheaper and a lot of the times it works better than store bought products !!
     
  18. T. Guppy

    T. Guppy

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    77
    Location:
    Edenvale, South africa
    It would be so amazing to have shops like this here in sa :(
     
    A new day likes this.
  19. BoelderBeestie

    BoelderBeestie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    955
    Location:
    Cape Town
    I think I should start selling my filters in kit form.....
     
    Whoknows likes this.
  20. OP
    TetraJacques

    TetraJacques

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    105
    Location:
    Nelspruit
    Good idea, a great way to make an extra buck for more tanks lol
     
  21. David Kusner

    David Kusner

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2019
    Messages:
    450
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    Sydenham, JHB
    @BolderBeestie same here I DIY what ever I can for a number of reasons. Mainly because I can and I know how to. Secondly due to our poor performing currency everything is so expensive in our hobby and most of the cheaper Chinese stuff is just rubbish. And if you want to purchase a decent filter like a fluval or ehiem you end up paying a fortune if you buy it new. And then try get spares when you need them!

    For this very reason of my battles to get spare parts for pumps and filters etc that cost me a lot of money over the years I decided no more purchasing new expensive kit. I rather buy second hand, DIY and have found as was mentioned already above, you will be amazed at what you can build from irrigation parts and other things, by just simply thinking out of the box and been a little creative. You will be surprised what you can achieve with a discarded empty water or cold drink bottle, some filter media and a power head.

    LED lighting the biggest rip off in SA when it comes to the aquatic products in our hobby. Not entirely the LFS fault, the importer/distributor is also to blame here.

    Just like most of the local hobby stores dissapeared over the last 10 years, due to guys in the RC hobby figuring out that you can import the stuff much cheaper than its been sold locally, so slowly the same thing is happening with LFS. I even stumbled across a website that sells every type and brand of fish food and they ship to SA and their prices look ok, although I never bought anything from them.

    An example is for a long time I have been trying to find some filter intake sponges to use on both canisters and hang on backs. My biggest pet peeves are the instakes getting blocked up or small fish or fry been sucked in the filter. I challenge anyone in GP to find a LFS that actually sells the correct size or type of filter intake sponge if any. Mostly they dont sell them at all.

    But I found a solution at a pool shop believe it or not. I purchased a couple of sand filter, filter fingers. Perfect size, they come in black and they even have a 20mm screw on profile on the top. So you simply add on a quick connect garden hose connector to the top put the correct fitting on the other end of your hose and bang you have a quick and easy removeable filter intake tube that is easy to service does not get blocked up as quickly if at all and cost around R40.

    Try find empty filter media bags. Most LFS dont stock them and those that do go out of stock very quick. I got tired of this, so back to the pool shop or local builders or even your hypermarket and purchase a 3 pack of pool gobler socks and you have enough filter media backs to last quite a while since they are quite long you can cut them up....anyhow thats enough ranting and giving away to many secrets, so guys the next time I go to my local Hyperama to puchase my pool gobbler socks and they are out of stock then I will know that everyone is copying me now. LOL only joking, happy to share my ideas with TASA. Enjoy!

    Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
     

Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - General maintenance interest Forum Date
Who is in charge of general maintenance at local fields/parks? General Discussions Oct 14, 2011
Best general anti fungal and anti parasite Diseases Thursday at 1:14 PM
Some general plant help Aquatic plants Sep 11, 2018
General Information General Discussions Apr 25, 2018
Should you do a general treatment of new fish in a quarantine tank? Beginner Discussions Jan 27, 2017
Some of my general photography General Images Dec 2, 2016
breeding between general ancistrus and longfin ancistrus Breeding Oct 12, 2015

Share This Page