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Old November 5th, 2013, 01:01 PM   #1
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Default How To Buy Healthy Salt Water Fish At Petco

As many readers know, Petco has added fairly large marine sections to their retail fish departments. In my experience, in the Manhattan stores, the staff are friendly but not very knowledgeable. You will often see dead or injured fish in their tanks. So how do you get good healthy fish from Petco? First, if they are already in the tanks, look for ones that eat and are somewhat aggressive. If you see a fish you like, ask them to feed it (they are always agreeable to that) and don't buy it if does not make some attempt to eat. Also, while you are there, find out what day their new fish come in. Wair around until they line the styrofoam packing boxes up in front of the tanks and examine the new arrivals' health and behavior. If you see an active healthy fish you like, again ask them to feed it. If it eats while still in the packing box, you've almost always got a winner, and it won't be exposed to two tank changes in a short time.

Since June I have purchased 4 fish at Petco, an Orange Toadfish, a Dragon Wrasse, a Niger Trigger, and a Radiata Lionfish, all juveniles in the 3-4 inch range. The Orange Toadfsih ate a baby Goldfish in the store, and now has doubled its size eating moslty 3/4 to 1 inch pieces of shrimp which it waits for in the same spot every day. The Trigger Fish was eating mysis shrimp, and continues to eat and grow after taking only 1 day to adapt to a new FOWLR tank. The Dragon Wrasse was chewing up live rock and I was told it had just come in that morning (Friday). It was eating live rock and dried baby shrimps within hours after i bought it. The Lionfish was stil in it's packing container, and was fully flared out, pointed its venom spine at an employee, and did give a little chase at a baby goldfish. Radiatas often don't travel well, and aren't the most aggressive eaters, but this one looked like it was in the Red Sea yesterday. After taking 3-4 days to settle in, it moved to the corner of the tank where the rest of its tank mates congregate to eat, first ate a baby Goldfish on the 4th day I had it, and within another week was eating dried baby shrimp, pieces of cooked grocery store shrimp, and even an occasional Krill Flake.

This post is based on my experiences with Petco on 86tth and Lexington and Union Square in Manhattan.
Dr. Robert Price

Last edited by robertprice; November 5th, 2013 at 01:10 PM. Reason: punctuation, omission
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