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Sick fish at pet shop


Puggle
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I went into a pet shop yesterday and all of their bettas had velvet. It's not the first time they've had obviously sick fish. I've pointed it out before and just get the standard "yeah, yeah, we'll take it out the back and treat it..." response. But it's still there when I come back the next day. Or there will be a new fish in the tank with the same disease because they didn't clean the tank.

I hate just leaving them there, but I can't do anything. I've tried pointing it out to the staff on numerous occasions and it doesn't work.

Another time I heard one of the staff explaining to a customer how bettas can't live in aquariums and those tiny overpriced containers are so much better for them.

girl: They live in hoofprints in the wild, so they freak out with too much space.

me: No, they live in creeks and rice paddies. They do really well in aquariums.

girl: The breeders told us they need small spaces.

me: I'm a breeder.

girl: The overseas breeders told us...

me: I've imported bettas from overseas.

*mr puggle starts sneaking away like he doesn't know me*

Is there any way to make them listen? They must be losing so many fish.

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I think we have all experienced this is some way or another. I managed to get into a fight one time with a pet store owner (for a large chain store lfs) who labelled a double-tail a split-tail. Unfortunatly, most of them will ignore you, because you are not comming from the source. They would much rather believe the head people they get the fish from, rather than a hobbyist like us (whether if we are right or not). The only way to make them listen is to continue telling them what they are doing is wrong. They might ignore at first, but they should eventually listen(unless there really stubbon). My thoughts anyway.

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I have a feeling its just more cost-effective not to treat. If they treated everything that came in that was ill, the store would probably be full of green tanks with NFS on them. If they leave it, then many an unsuspecting fishkeeper will buy the sick fish and infect their entire tank, wiping out stock and requiring more :) If you had no other fish, perhaps you could arrange some sort of rehab program, but it'd be too much of a risk with your own stock :( Maybe supply them a care sheet they can photocopy and hand out? Even a "how to breed" sheet might do it, you never know. Its a hard one :(

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ahh.. flashbacks to my last lfs trawl with Tammy... Unfortunatley there seems to be a mentality by lfs staff that they should be the experts on all fish since they work there. You as the 'customer' know nothing and have to take their advice as gospel since they are after all 'fish gurus'. Most of the time they have practically no idea what they are going on about but seem to feel that siphoning fish waste from a hundred tanks should automatically make them a leading expert. There is only one lfs that I know of that will actually stop and hear what I am saying (if I do it diplomatically)

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I had a 9 year old kid come to visit my son and the conversation between them went like this: My Son: "Yeah, she's mad about fish. They're everywhere" (Rolling eyes madly). Other boy (looking at 2ft tank with 4 bettas in it): "They don't need that much room, they live in hoofprints in the wild. You could divide that up and get 10 more in there." He then went on to explain to my son how the tail dropped off his siamese fish that was living in a hoofprint sized container in his bedroom (in a house with no central heating) and then it died. I asked him if he realised it was a fish from Thailand which was really hot and that it lived in rice paddies there but only got into an argument about where Siamese was. He wasn't interested in any place called Siam or Thailand. So that hoofprint idea is pretty persuasive despite all evidence to the contrary.

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My local petshop has the nicest cleanest betta displays and the tanks are always at least 1.5l and have lights over them to keep them warm. I talked to the owner about it and she said that if the betta water didn't smell sweet it wasn't good enough for a betta, so at least her customers will have a slightly better idea of a betta's needs.

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Hmm. I find that I lack what seems to be a critical appendage for most people at a LFS to take me seriously... I also look younger than I am. Permanent impressions are made in the first 7 seconds of meeting someone. It's hard to get paid attention when people have such entrenched preconceptions based on age and gender.

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I read an article written by a pommy woman who emigrated to Aus and she complained that women were almost ignored here. Which got me thinking about when I lived in Germany, I learned German from local women and picked up their manner of speaking as well, which is quite serious and forthright and got a good response. Women here tend to think it's more important to seem amicable (almost biddable?), until they turn 40 and realise it hasn't got them anywhere and decide they haven't got the time to care whether other people like them or not. I take 20 kids for lunch at Southbank regularly and when I lay down the law in a German accent, in my German state of mind... they do as they're told. So think Bruinhilda next time you're at a fish shop, Lilli! :)

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Women here tend to think it's more important to seem amicable (almost biddable?), until they turn 40 and realise it hasn't got them anywhere and decide they haven't got the time to care whether other people like them or not.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

YES! How very true. That was one of the many lessons I learned from my mother -- that becoming middle-aged was the REAL women's lib. :( I have a most impressive glare, and have learned to use to good effect. :)

I have a good relationship with the lfs owners and staff, and they tend to refer betta questions to me. Although they still keep their bettas in fast-food containers, they are at least always clean and in reasonable health. I am quite confident that they never let sick fish be offered for sale.

I was very pleased to visit a pet store in Brisbane yesterday that I'd never been to before (Pet's Planet at Windsor) and see that all their bettas were in spotless 4 litre glass betta tanks, with gravel and a plant in each. Just everyday VTS, but all clearly in excellent health.

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We've prepared information brochures on a number of topics, including: *setting up a basic tank for one betta *tail types (VT, DT, HM, DT, CT incl DR DDR and Cross Ray, and Plakat) *sorting the girls from the boys: how to tell a female betta from a male betta *betta anatomy (internal and external) *FAQs The idea behind the first brochure was to prepare factual information on bettas and ask lfs to hand it out to customers. So far, Malcolm at WetPetz is providing customers who buy bettas with the first brochure. We're still hoping to get other lfs to provide the first brochure to their customers... Sue

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I have a leaflet that I give with all my fish that I sell privately to explain tank sizes, types of food and where they can buy them, how often to do water changes, and water temp. My number is also attached so that if they have any problems they can contact me. So far I have not asked the LFS that I deal with to hand these out as they have a good understanding of basic care. Not one of my private sales have rung with a problem. The ones that do contact me have had problems with fish from different stores. I try to educate one person at a time and hope for the flow on effect, but it will take time, patience and persistence.

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i have several friends who keep their betta in no more than 400ml or half a medium sized jam jar of water. however, they change the water everyday without fail. the fish are in excellent health. i think that with extremely regular water changes, bettas can be kept in tiny containers. probably not the longfinned varieties though.

Edited by loongfu
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So think Bruinhilda next time you're at a fish shop, Lilli! smile.gif

LOL, good advice - the thing is, when a 5'1 teenagerish person gets Brunhilda it just seems strident and embarrassing :).

That's interesting about the Australian woman's typical approach though. Unfortunately I think that being aggressive and under 40 (and looking roughly 20) results in you being perceived as temperamental and stroppy, rather than intelligent and authoritative.

I get the same reaction from every new person I meet in my job (which demands that I be quite aggressive and forthright, so I have had plenty of practice). Once people/collegaues are forced to listen to me, as professional courtesy dictates they are, they realise I have something to say and they are more inclined listen - and also to hear. Sadly the LFS staff are not obliged to afford me that opportunity.

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LOL, good advice - the thing is, when a 5'1 teenagerish person gets Brunhilda it just seems strident and embarrassing :blush:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

An approach that worked well for one of my old bosses -- pitch your voice low and speak quietly when you want to be emphatic. That forces the person you're speaking to to lean toward you and listen closely. What happens is that, by having to adopt an attentive, slightly deferential physical posture in order to hear you, the person's attitude also becomes more attentive and deferential.

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LOL, good advice - the thing is, when a 5'1 teenagerish person gets Brunhilda it just seems strident and embarrassing :D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You see, you're still young enough to care. Do it anyway and throw in some effusive manners and heap praise on their assisting skills to make yourself feel better and then they'll just write you off as eccentric not stroppy.

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Just for the record, I am 33 - I just look teenagerish. So I'm not really young enough to care. Just tired of trying.

It would actually be nice if I was still young enough to not care whether I am treated as a 33 year old ;). convincing people gets tiring sometimes.

PS looking young is not necessarily the same thing as looking good, for those about to tell me to shut up and be grateful that I look youthful :D .

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My Grandfather used to use the softly spoken approach. As Pop got angrier he got quieter, so if he started whispering at you you knew you were in BIIIIIG TROUBLE!!! I must have Italian somewhere in my background though, I tend to get louder and gesticulate a lot :D Isn't it amazing though that some people who work in pet stores become an instant expert. I wish I could learn that fast, then maybe I wouldn't have killed so many fish over the years. I, too have heard the 'live in hoof prints in the wild' bit and the one about needing a small container. But at least I have managed to get one LFS to stop calling CT's 'clowntails' so I suppose that is an improvement in a small way.

Edited by Canfeleq
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I never have any problem dealing with people in petshops. There are some i dont even bother going to anymore due to fish being sick all the time, but the remainder are usually pretty good. I find alot of the time, when it comes to bettas its really best to keep your mouth shut, since all the petshops i go to know nothing about bettas, you usually get a better deal than you would if they actually knew a thing about them. Ive got HM DT at delta prices, wild splendens as female fighters and lisa once got a SD at a ct price at one of them :D

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The one thing that gets me, is one 'well-recommended' aquarium down in Melbourne has a massive sign saying 'COLD WATER FIGHTERS' :) These 'cold water bettas' were actually young plakat males and they looked so miserable... Considering how many people swear by this particular aquarium it's scary to think how much of their 'advice' is being taken as gospel. Remember this aquarium Jess? It's the one where they had all those window tetras with paint injected in them... AND came with free finrot and whitespots...

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