How much responsibility should be placed on pet stores to inform new fish keepers about essentials?
How much of the responsibility of informing a fish keeper about essentials (nitrogen cycle, fish aggressiveness, water changes, etc.) should fall onto the stores? Is it really their responsibility, or should it be completely on the new owner? I personally see it as 50/50. The fish keeper should do some research beforehand, but the store employees should still make sure that they understand what is going on.
I agree it's more of a 50/50 thing. Besides, a lot of those employees may not know much of anything about the hobby.
You are so right. I opened a pet store because of that very thing. I have been in pet stores where they will sell you anything, just to make the sale, and that is not right. A good sales person will ask you if you have kept fish before, and what you are thinking of as far as how much you want to take on, for starters. Then, after helping you pick out the basic tank and supplies, they should sell you maybe. I mean maybe, two or three small inexpensive fish. They should also tell you briefly, and plainly about the nitrogen cycle and how to feed the little guys so as to not have them floating belly-up in two days time. My customers kept coming back, and they learned and my business showed how much they thought of my 'lessons'. By the way, I specialized in the African Cichlids. Man, are they some extraordinary fish!
I am one of these employees in question, and I ask all the questions. Since I keep (too) many fish myself, I feel ethically bound to help customers make the right choices and to help educate them. Even though I might not have the time to explain the nitrogen cycle, I at least write it down and ask them to google it! Also, I WILL NOT sell a tank and the fish on the same day, nor will I sell fish to the same person/time if they are not compatible (unless they will be housed separately, of course.)
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