The Reef Tank banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Thank God for you guys. Seriously, that fat kid at the fish store has given me so much false advice. It started off with him saying my tank would get here in like a week, and it took 4. Then he told me that I shouldn't get a filter with my protein skimmer because it was bad, but you all told me to get one for the mechanical filtration. Then he told me that I was supposed to scrub off the whole surface of the live rock and to leave the lights off for 3 weeks, but I found outthat would have killed the organisms on the rock. Then he told me that I could keep a mandarin fish after 3 months and that it eats algae, but I know now that they eat pods. And the worst thing, was he told me to buy the mixed water off of him and that it would be almost the same amount of money as instant ocean , but thanks to you guys, I realize that it would be much cheaper to buy a salt mixture and a RO unit. I should go to the LFS and punch this guy in the face! No serious, I should just go up to him and be like "hey, hows it going?" and he'll be like "good man, you got any questions?" and I'll be like "Yes, um actually I got just one if you please: WHAT THE HELL IS THAT (and I point to the sky)!!!!!????" and then punch him in his face!!! "Ouch!!!!!"

You guys know that Im kidding right?? I would never hurt anyone!! I love everyone, especially awesome people....
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,142 Posts
Yup, it happens all the time,,,sorry to say,,
that's why it's best to get knowledge under your belt b4 you walk into a shop,,kinda ask questions you know the answers to, and go from there,,
In my experience there are many LFS's and people in them that i will either ask questions, or just buy stuff, some good shops have good people,,,some bad shops have good people,,,you know what i mean,,,
it scares me to think that a bad person is spouting off info to people that don't know better,,,and that is bad for the hobby,,,
When i was either a manager of a LFS , or co-owned my own, i always had "school" for employee's on dry goods, filters, heaters, food , etc,,, on what it does, who needs it , and why,,,and the difference between the many products out there,,not so much to push something on someone, but to educate the consumer on what was out there,,,,
same thing on fish, i used to grill customers on what size tank, how long up, what fish already in there,,,,b4 i would sell them a fish they picked out,,,,
it's better to squash a sale then to sell , just to sell and PO the customer , when trouble occurs,,
one of my credo's:
You please one customer, they tell one person,,,
You PO one customer, they tell ten people,,,,you get the point,,,,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
Some LFS are just bad - but some are very good as well. As you become more knowledgeable it is less frustrating when working with the "bad ones". Play fair though and when you find a good one support it with your business when possible - if the price is close to what you pay online plus shipping give the benefit of doubt to the LFS - by keeping them in business you avoid the only other option of shopping in large chain petstores and having your questions answered by the night cashier that says "oooo....yuck" when you ask if they have any blood worms.
 

·
Little fish in a big pond
Joined
·
5,916 Posts
Another LFS gets us all tarred with the same brush :( Yeah there are some bad apples out there, but honestly I think you're being a bit harsh in this case.

As to the delivery on the tank taking 4 weeks - cut the guy some slack. If it was back-ordered at the wholesaler, it's not the LFS worker's fault.

I recently sold a big tank that was a monthly special with my vendor - it was ordered at the end of the month, the price was way sweet and I warned the customer that if it was out of stock it might take several weeks (being the last week of a substantial sale). However if it was in stock it would have been here in 4 days -- turns out it took 4 weeks - he was mad -- well for full price he could have bought it off the floor in another store :rolleyes: We can only do what we can do.

As for the filter vs. no filter -- that's not necessarily bad advice - it's a difference of OPINION. I've seen the same discussion held here several times and you'll get both opinions thrown out there... Yes a mechanical/chemical filter is a good thing to have, even if you only use it occasionally - some say use it all the time, some say don't use one at all - and both schools of thought are "correct", as long as the tank has 8-10 times water turnover per hour, and a good nutrient export such as a protein skimmer.

Plenty of people scrub the gunk off uncured live rock to expedite the curing process - plenty of others don't. If there's a lot of dead/decaying matter from recently transported rock, I often brush off the chunks of stuff while the customer is cherry-picking the pieces. That doesn't kill off all the organisms, it removes the ones that are already dead, and creates less ammonia toxicity for the surviving organisms. That was not bad advice at all.

Many people cure rock in the dark - the bacteria don't care, it can cut down on nuisance algae growth and the coralline will come back once the tank is cycled.

So he gets 40 lashes with the wet noodle for telling you that a Mandarin eats algae, but at least he suggested waiting 3 months. Most LFS can't bag it up fast enough for you.

As the end user you are the one responsible for doing the research - and you are to be commended for that. However to imply that this clerk is worthy of violence (figuratively or literally) is being unreasonable, IMO.

It's not an easy job being expected to have all the answers for many who are not so motivated to do the work for themselves. Still more people will go from store to store until they get the answer they WANT to hear, versus the best answer, and plenty call on me after they've made a bad decision on a purchase someplace else... (and good customer service preculdes me from saying, "I told you so"... although I have been known to do that on occasion ;) )

You are right to question any/all advice from any source - but cut the LFS guy a bit of slack - of all the horror stories I've heard, that one really isn't all that bad.

Just my humble LFS-type opinion (take it or leave it!) ;)

Jenn


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
Well spoken Jenn.
 

·
Master of Perplexity
Joined
·
3,451 Posts
Quote from Jenn: (and plenty call on me after they've made a bad decision on a purchase someplace else...) Whew, and how often does that happen here too! It always amazes me how much people will spend on an impulse purchase.
 

·
Retired Wanderer
Joined
·
17,264 Posts
I agree with Jenn on the LFS blanket categorization. We have found some that are horrid including the infamous "Shop of all Ich and Cyanide Horrors" (my name for them though they call themselves something else).

On the other hand we have found some that excel in certain areas and will take back fish if they don't work out, throw in a free piece of rock, or do whatever it takes to go the extra mile. You do not stay in business for 30 years as a Mom and Pop with the quick buck.

Mrs. Phish and I are going on vacation in three weeks and only trust our tank to one LFS employee that is secretly moonlighting due to lawsuits against his employer. This guy is the nicest and most knowledgeable guy I have met so far in the hobby.

We have waited over half an hour to get "our" fish scooper to finish up with other folks but this hobby is really about relationships, as with cars or poodles or italian cooking. Find someone you feel good with and your opinion of the store will change hopefully.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
46,833 Posts
I have to agree with Jenn for the most part, Esp the issue of violence, frustrating as it is thats not going to improve that employee or store and will get you in trouble.
Obviously there are stores that run the whole gamut from exceptional to abusively poor.
Your best defense is always knowledge, that and an open mind. There are a lot of different paths to reefkeeping and most all have at least some merit. I personally have found that in a store with multi employees often one will be more knowledgable about SW and Reefs than the rest. If I choose to support that store I will be patient and wait till I can deal with that person. I will make a point of getting to know them and in turn letting them know what my system is like. I esp like people that are open to looking at reef forums like this, I have seen a few people change their ideas because they got access to more info than the owner/geezer taught them ;). As a rule I am turned off by the attitude some shop people have that the internet is all BS and that it will drive local shops out of business. When I find a shop I am comfortable with I tend to stick with them. I tend to vote with my $$$$$$$$ :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
867 Posts
Your LFS doesn't sound so bad. If their advice doesn't always match what you see here 100% that doesn't mean anything. A good LFS is going to recommend what they have found to work, what's tried & true for them. They aren't always going to be 100% up to date on what's being done everywhere nor will they be quick to jump on any bandwagon for new ways of doing things until those things are proved to work well. They won't always be right either, but neither is everything said on here 100% right either.

There are some truly crappy LFS out there, like the one that tried to sell me a Nurse Shark to put in my 75 when it's all set up, but yours doesn't sound to bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yeah, I know, but what if I was like Mary McFly in back to the future when Biff comes, and he is like "what the hell is that?" and then punch him in the face!!
 

·
Little fish in a big pond
Joined
·
5,916 Posts
Thanks for having my back ;) I've been left with my nekkidness flapping in the breeze in a few other places when I stood up for the LFS in the past. In some circles we're considered some kind of life form lesser than the amoeba...

This LFS GEEZER :lol: never EVER jumped on the DSB bandwagon (remember, Jerel ;) ) and for a long while I was ridiculed far and wide. Even got into an online debate recently when a patron of my store slammed me publically in another forum for "arguing" with them over it. I don't argue - I simply state my opinion and reasons for it and let the hobbyist choose their path. If you ask me for my opinion, I'll give it to you - take it or leave it. There are few hard and fast rules in this hobby - what works for one might not work for another -- if your water quality is good and your inhabitants thriving, then you're doing things "right". My advice and recommendations come from my experiences in the hobby and learning what works for others. My problem-solving skills come from seeing just about every problem possible and either helping the person solve it, or their sharing the solution with me after the fact. Husbandry techniques are from a "been there, done that" perspective.

Let me tell you, it was a happy happy joy joy day when I read that Jerel had siphoned his DSB into the canal :dance: I felt validated ;)

Now... when will Tom follow? :banana:

Bottom line is, take any/all advice with a grain of salt. The LFS guy may not be perfect but he sounds a heck of a lot better than many of the stories I've heard. Besides, do you think you will get better advice from an etailer? With a few mom and pop exceptions (the few etailers that actually have a storefront and tank their own livestock), the vast majority of etailers are just order processing centers and both dry goods and livestock are drop shipped from remote facilities, to the buying public. One is hardly likely to get any kind of advice from those, and at that, one never gets to see how their livestock are kept... but that's a whole other post for a whole other soap box ;)

The Internet is a mixed blessing for the retailer - it CAN help the hobbyist be a more educated consumer and make my job easier - but for every good bit of advice, there's a corresponding piece of mythinformation. If I had a dollar for every "parrot" that hears and repeats and regurgitates stuff, adding their own little embellishments -- like a parrot they hear and repeat but do not understand... and by the time the story goes around, it's changed beyond recognition. Best to take advice to people who have actually DONE whatever they are suggesting. For me, once I learned to weed out the "parrots" from the people sharing their actual experiences, the bogus information was purged and I got/get great advice.

Example... yesterday, somebody on a seahorse list I belong to, posted that one should not keep seahorses in a tank with a sand substrate, because the seahorses could suck up sand while feeding, and it would get into their lungs and kill them. (Somebody had told him this, he claimed later, when I questioned him on it.)

Firstly, fish do not have lungs. They have gills. When I pointed this out, he acknowledged that they don't have lungs, but maintained that sand will kill seahorses... so I asked how? Never got a straight answer... it was just because his friend, who kept seahorses for 20 years, "said so".

Mmmkay -- well wild seahorses live in turtle grass beds... turtle grass occurs in ... SAND! I've kept seahorses for years in sand-bottomed tanks... none ever sucked up sand that couldn't spit it back out...

I pointed out that 20 years ago everybody used crushed coral, and it's possible that his friend probably still prefers it, but that doesn't mean that sand is "lethal". Based on my actual experience, I maintained that seahorses do fine in sand... and so was the general concensus in the others' discussions afterward.

As I try to steer this lengthy post back on-topic... take all advice with a grain of salt, and consider where it comes from. Those that have been there, done that and succeeded are your best bet. Learn to tune out the rest. Support good LFS and don't even "rescue" from the bad ones -- "rescue" a fish and they will buy another. Let it go, and if enough do, and they lose enough, the store will fail. Harsh, yes, but that's the law of the jungle.

HTH

Jenn
 

·
Master of Perplexity
Joined
·
3,451 Posts
It's been a few months now, but when I realized which lfs employee I could trust, I use only him, and as ya'll have stated, I'll wait until he's free before I buy anything because he is knowledgable and conscientous. I finally wised up also and invited him over to the house,explained my philosophies on care, went over my whole system with him, labelled everything so I can feel comfortable when I'm gone and he 'tank-sits". Reminded me of when I was training my baby-sitter, oh so many years ago. Difference was I didn't offer the babysitter a beer!
 

·
Little fish in a big pond
Joined
·
5,916 Posts
Mmmm beer... :beer:
 

·
Retired Wanderer
Joined
·
17,264 Posts
Good idea Yardboy,

Not only is our trusty fishscooper a good guy, but he works nights at the local supermarket and got me the hook up on great skirt steak and balloons for our anniversary.

I am going to have him over with his wife for a BBQ.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You guys are crazy, you know I was just kidding right? I would't really punch him in the face. I wouldn't punch anyone in the face! hahahhahahhahah!! I am just telling you about the local fish store employee that tells me all kinds of stuff and then later on, I found out he never even had or has a reef tank!! There is this one employee andreas, I always talk to him, but this fat kid is sometimes there when he is not, and I have to ask him a question. I really dont care either way. Whatever anyone tells me, I read up on it myself. You all take me too serious!hhahahhahhahahahahh!!! one time I told asked you guys if you could put a great white in my 40 gallon, and someone wrote me a page and a half about how you can't keep a shark in a tank etc. Hey man, Just kidding!!!!I love ;you guys!!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
46,833 Posts
Actually this illistrates yet another downside to the internet and relying on the written word and a few emoticons to try and convey feelings and intent:(
I didn't think you were kidding, threatening violence on a public forum is not a good idea at best. Had I known you weren't serious I would not have used a lot of my valuable time responding to your thread. All is not lost because it raises some valid questions and presents some very good points of view.
As other members pointed out, often taking the time to cultivate a good relationship with store employees bears rewards that may go beyond the hobby. We are all learning, when you stop trying thats a sure recipe for disaster :(
I agree with Jenn re parroting, thats typical of most any situation people are involved in. The advantage to a forum like this is we aren't trying to sell you anything, hopefully with any given question, there will be someone with experience germaine to the issue at hand that will share what they have learned with you. It's not always about right and wrong, and thats what makes reefing so interesting :D



reefworried124 said:
You guys are crazy, you know I was just kidding right? I would't really punch him in the face. I wouldn't punch anyone in the face! hahahhahahhahah!! I am just telling you about the local fish store employee that tells me all kinds of stuff and then later on, I found out he never even had or has a reef tank!! There is this one employee andreas, I always talk to him, but this fat kid is sometimes there when he is not, and I have to ask him a question. I really dont care either way. Whatever anyone tells me, I read up on it myself. You all take me too serious!hhahahhahhahahahahh!!! one time I told asked you guys if you could put a great white in my 40 gallon, and someone wrote me a page and a half about how you can't keep a shark in a tank etc. Hey man, Just kidding!!!!I love ;you guys!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I love you guys.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Not all LFS are alike!

Sorry you got all that bad information, but I own a Saltwater fish store in Redondo Beach, and you would never have an experience like that here. We are always here to help our customers, we have been in business since 1986 - and we've been around that long for a reason. We simply tell our customers the truth. There's no BS here, we tell it like it is, and try to help everyone from the hobbyist on a budget, to the guy who wants "top of the line everything". Our main concern is that every customer is successful in keeping fish, coral, and inverts alive, cuz let's face it, there will come a day when most of these beautiful creatures won't be available! We sell tank raised and aqua cultured as much as we can. Again - sorry you had such a bad experience! Hope you'll stay in the hobby, don't base your judgment on one bad experience.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top