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t2000kw 01-26-2007 02:51 PM

PetSmart -- good LFS?
I visited the Grove City (SW Columbus) PetSmart today to get a nitrite test kit refill and saw their fish. They had cardinals and neons and they looked healthy.

I asked when they came in and some of them had come in recently. However, I was also told that the store chain gets fish from their suppliers shipped to their regional warehouses. Then they are held there for about 2 weeks before they are brought to the store. So the fish have gone through the most stressful part of getting them into the store, and losses are incurred more at the warehouse level than at the store.

The person who told me this said that he used to work at another large chain pet store and that they had large initial losses with neons and other fish. He said that they have much fewer losses at PetSmart than at the previous place he worked at.

Another nice thing about PetSmart in Grove CIty and other Columbus area stores is that the Columbus area warehouse is in Gahanna (NW Columbus), so the amount of time in transit from the warehouse to the store is very short.

The guarantee is good, too, unlike some other pet stores or LFS. You have 14 days, and it doesn't matter if the fish are bought on sale.

The neons are on sale $1 each. The cardinals were almost $4, so I passed on them for now but will probably get some later this year, maybe in the spring.

I thought I'd mention what I learned today since it is unlike most LFS and pet shops. It should make a difference in the initial losses I'll see, but that remains to be seen.

This doesn't mean that they will be the same as a private breeder, but it sets them apart from other stores I've been at.

Does anyone know how Jack's Aquarium handles the shipping of their fish? Are they kept for a couple weeks in a warehouse before being shipped to the stores, or do they get shipments direct from suppliers?


jonathan03 01-26-2007 03:16 PM

Well I'm not sure petsmart is an LFS. They are more of an FS because they are such a large chain.

I would only recommend them if you know what your doing. They have some knowledgeble workers there, but you'll get the best advice from an LFS.

What I like about Petsmart is the price challenges and their 14 day fish garuntee. They used to do price challenges from any web site, but now they do it just from their own web site. I bought a Rena XP1 from them for 61.99. It was marked 109.99 on the shelf. So their challenge was pretty close to half off.

The 14 day fish garuntee is great if your just cycling a tank for the first time. I've never had them refuse to give me a new fish even when the water was full of ammonia.

Some of them have a small selection of live plants which isn't bad. I liked the swords that I bought from them once.

The bad is that they don't always have the best selection. Pretty much the same old stuff all the time. They rarely have full grown cichlids or larger fish too. The cichlids they usually have are young (which can be good if thats what your looking for).

And ofcourse there are plenty of people who say support the real LFS's just because they are local which isn't bad either. They are more likely to special order for you.

Six 01-26-2007 03:43 PM

Hrm... i wonder if that's a guy i know that works there. depending on who you talk to, some pet stores have good information.

IMO, petsmart puts a lot of effort into trying to maintain their fish. their system is very high tech and does like 3 water changes a day. the fish health is always pretty good, at least at the one up here at polaris.

Petsmart has a warehouse like jacks and some other chains. this doesnt mean all the fish are 100% heaalthier than other stores, but it's a good amount of effort and impressive for a store that sells dog food the most. LOL. As long as you're happy with the service and product, many different fish stores may float your boat. IMO, petsmart doesnt have the fish i personally desire, but it's not a bad place for new aquarists.

t2000kw 01-27-2007 04:16 AM

Maybe I misunderstood what LFS stood for.

I thought it meant local fish store. What does it mean?

And, it it does mean local fish store, we don't have one. Not locally, I mean.

As for the other post on the PS in Polaris, I didn't know there was one there. One of my doctors is near there. Where in Polaris? Our doctor is on State Street and Commerce Drive (or Park). I know where the Kroger is, and that's about all.

Rob Tetrazona 01-27-2007 05:59 AM

I made about 10 purchases in a row from the PS in Tri-County with few losses of Tetras all of which I ended up breeding successfully. My most recent purchase of 10 Neons for $10 though was a disaster. All 10 died in under 2 weeks. My last purchase was about 3 weeks ago. :-(

Other than occasional disasterous fish purchase, I like to take advantage of the price matching.

JRJ 01-27-2007 08:19 AM

I don't buy from them on a regular basis because when I look in their tanks there is invariably a lot of sick or dead fish and their tanks are on a central system which means everything has exposure to everything else. They are big corporation, not a LFS.

Neons and particularly cardinals are always problematic. They are fragile when taken out of their natural environment. Jason at A&E used to get several thousand cardinals directly from South America from a supplier that had a secret recipe for conditioning them. The last order he got I bought 40 of them and only lost 4. That was a couple of years ago, the guy in S.A. got cancer and doesn't ship cardinals any more.

I bought 15 two weeks ago and now have 4 left. There is nothing more beautiful a school of them, but it's always a problem actually achieving it.


brynnhilde 01-27-2007 01:55 PM

At petsmart, the sawmill one use to have the best selection, but one day their whole system crashed and killed almost everything. That was the only petsmart with variety. Pet supplies plus is a good store, but only some of the stores have good quality and variety. The one in Dublin closed, but there is a store over by Easton with a small variety. I wish I knew where they got their plants.
I have had much success with fish from Byerlys on bethel road, but not so much from Aquarium Adventure up on sawmill. If you like Jack's, I personally do not, they do keep their fish in a holding area for atleast a week. Check out their website and it talks about it.

Six 01-27-2007 10:06 PM

LFS can refer to pet stores that carry fish, but should only be applied to fish only stores so that local fish store or LFS becomes a more clearly described type of store.

IMO, any store that carries more than fish is a pet store. pet stores do not make money, or depend on fish sales or products or happy fish customers to run. buying fish or supplies from pet stores may mean you are getting something other than a quality product. this isnt written in stone, but can be a good indicator of the quality of care, knowledge, and sales representatives. there are always exceptions on both ends.

just make sure when you use LFS that you describe it as fish-only or pet oriented. JMHO.

t2000kw 01-30-2007 07:52 AM

So far, not too bad on those fish we bought there. Two neons died for sure (maybe a third one--or I just can't count to 8 with them moving around--not sure) by Sunday but no more losses since then (yet), and one of the other small orange fish died out of the six (also no more losses there). We'll be going back for replacements under the guarantee this week.

We're going to pick up a few more rosy minnows, too. They're cheap and pretty to look at. And I understand that they reproduce easily, though I'm not ready to go fishing yet. :-)

Six 01-30-2007 10:27 AM

the rosy feeders? i think those do best in cooler water and as wih any feeder fish, be careful about buying them. they are kept so packed together that disease spreads quickly.

also, neon ans cardinal tetras usually have die off. id always get 3 more than you really want so when 3 die, which is normal for most batches from my experience, you still have a school.

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