Originally Posted by JanS
I trust our store because they have very strict requirements for the quality and health of the fish they carry, and it shows.
I hope to see the day when hobbyists will seek out stores like yours--- stores that make an effort to buy fish from reputable sources and to care for them properly.
With the prevelance of Fish TB in the aquarium hobby, I believe it is worth the trouble (and added expense) for hobbyists to seek out reliable sources of fish.
Most hobbyist fish breeders can tell (over time) if their fish are infected with TB. Unexplained deaths and fish producing much fewer young were what I saw in my own fish and what others have reported when TB infected their healthy fish colonies. Most hobbyist breeders would never knowingly sell infected fish. A fish breeder who sells infected fish directly to hobbyists can be held accountable.
Stores are much less accountable. If the fish dies 6 weeks later, was it from something the fish picked up in the store, or was the wholesale breeder selling infected fish to the store, or was the hobbyist providing poor care? It's almost impossible to sort out who's responsible, so the end result is no one's held accountable. Unless stores are vigilant, wholesalers can easily sell them fish infected with tuberculosis. This common disease often has no outward symptoms and is slow-acting. Its very easy for wholesalers to pass TB infected fish onto stores that don't care what they sell.
Six weeks after purchase, the outwardly healthy-looking fish simply stops eating and dies. The hobbyist shakes his head, wonders why, and maybe blames himself for something he did or didn't do.