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Absolutely Horrifying LFS (long story)

Posted By: Nikki <akastes@yahoo.com>
Date: Friday, 12 April 2002, at 12:32 a.m.

I had to stop by an lfs near my sister's home today as I am doing maintenance

on her tank while she is away. This is one that I have never been to before. I

had spoken with a clerk there several months ago and was treated very rudely

on the phone, so I wasn't expecting them to be any better in person, but It is a

"pet centre" of some notoriety where I live so I was expecting good things. I

walked in and the first thing I noticed was the horrible stench of decay. The

store was very large, very messy, with items just chucked onto the floor below

the displays if there was no more room. They had pet supplies of every

description, packed in every conceivable space. I descended the dark stairway

into the basement to the fish room. The stench of decay was actually the smell

of death and it emanated from the room. The fish are not in proper tanks, they

are in long tanks with dividers. There are no plants in most of the tanks. some

dont even have gravel. Most tanks were overcrowded. Many tanks had dead

fish in them. There is one employee whose job it is to constantly circulate the

room and pull the dead fish out. I peered behind a divider and noted several

tanks stacked on a shelf in the dark. Some of these tanks had water so black,

you only knew there was fish in them when they pressed the glass. Another

tank, was a tank bare of decor, with injured or sick fish unceremoniously

dumped in to die. I saw various marine fish in various stages of death left to

suffer. Most memorable was a Yellow Tang, lying on its back with shredded fins

and unable to get up. Their stock tanks as I said were very over crowded. I saw

ill fish in most of the marine tanks and several Freshwater tanks. I witnessed 30

spotted puffers in a "cubicle" literally swarm and shred a live fish. I saw

carcasses on the bottom of cichlid tanks. I questioned an employee and was

told that they regularly feed live food to the fish throughout the day because

the customers enjoy it. I pointed out to one shopper all of the decay in the

tanks and advised against purchasing anything from the store. It reminded me

of a puppy mill. The prices for most fish were 1/2-1/3 of what I pay at my lfs

but they buy so much and stuff them into small tanks, they try and sell them

before they die off so they can afford to be cheaper. They do not quarantine

new fish for one week as they do at my lfs, thay sell sick fish, also unlike my lfs,

and obviously, because of poor conditions, they refuse to put any guarantee on

their marine stock citing "fragility" as the reason for death. I tell you, I will go to

my lfs tomorrow, tell them of my experience, and thank them for being honest,

ethical and considerate. Moral of the story: "Cheaper is not always Better!!!"

sometimes paying more for livestock is good, you are paying for humane

shipment and treatment. You are paying for someone to care for these delicate

animals as you would. You are paying for people to quarantine sick animals for

treatment and lose a sale rather than dump them to die or sell them anyways.

You are paying for people to continue making a living doing a job they truly care

about. I thank God for my shop and it's staff. It could be the stuff of

nightmares.

 

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