Maybe you’ve seen some of our aquarium tips about selecting fish. All of that applies and we will definitely get into that here, but choosing a fish store is also about personal preference. Do you like the sales force? Are they knowledgeable? Do they give you the time of day even when it is crowded on a Saturday afternoon? Are they fun people to chat with?
You may not even spend a lot of money at the local fish store of your choice. You may end up buying some small things like fish food, or your saltwater, but your local fish store may end up just being a place where you like to check out the new fish, look at their tank set-ups, and have some good fish talk. From my own experience I’ve found that I can find a lot of the actual equipment for an aquarium much cheaper on the internet. However, there are still some important factors that we should all take into consideration when choosing our local fish store.
Check the Fish Tanks
As your walking around the store make sure that you not only look at all of the wonderful fish that they have, but do a little inspection of the tanks and ask yourself a few questions.
- Are most of the tanks clean or are the tops and sides encrusted with residue?
- Is the water in the tanks clear or is most of the water in the tanks discolored?
- Are there any dead fish in the tanks?
- Are there any sick fish?
If you notice any of these unsightly conditions that make it look like the fish store does not do a very good job caring for its livestock, then you’ll probably want to find a different fish store. This isn’t to say that you should abandon the store all together if there is a little salt creep on one of their tanks, but if there is more than one dead fish floating around and all of the tanks look dirty with residue, then its definitely time to walk out and never look back.
Choose an Eco-Friendly Dealer
No, I’m not talking about a fish store owner that drives a Prius. I’m talking about a fish store that encourages conservation of fish, coral reefs, plants, rivers, oceans, and all of Earth’s environments. They can do this in several ways.
- Offer captive-bred fish
- Offer aquacultured invertebrates
- They have a live fish guarantee
- Participate in sustainability efforts and Foundations
- They know their collectors, harvesters, and distributors and know that they use responsible and sustainable methods.
The fish store you use should either have these items posted, and advertised in plain site, or if you ask them, they should be able to answer without hesitation. Selecting captive-bred fish and aquacultured invertebrates keeps organisms from being taken off the reef and out of their natural environment. If the fish store has a live fish guarantee, they are confident in their fish keeping skills. Keeping fish alive keeps more fish in the stock, and less fish from being pulled off the reefs. All you have to do to make sure that you’re purchasing items for your fish tank from an Eco-friendly dealer is ask a few simple questions.
Looking for a fish store? Leave a comment below!