How To Select A Healthy Fish From The Store

If your looking to add more fish to your tank, or looking to start a new one up then you will want to take some notes on what you should look for before getting a fish from a store.  I've worked in the fish industry for over 7 years retail and wholesalers.  It all starts and ends with these few steps.

1. Go with your Gut.   You may have never bought fish before but if you look into a tank and something tells you not to buy them then DON'T!

2. Look at the type of filtration on the tanks.  Most large retail store have one large filtration system either in a backroom or under the tanks.  Stores like Petco use section filtration, meaning the tanks are broken into sections and filter into a sump below the tanks.  Petsmarts are a little more advanced, they usually have a section that is chilled and one that is heated. Both sections filter thru 4-12 UV Bulbs which makes for a great healthy selection.  The best to look for is mom and pop shops that have each tank either on it's own filter or sponge filter.  Their is no contamination their unless they share nets without soaking them in a net soak solution.

3. Are any fish sick?  So if you were able to find out the type of filtering the store uses then you can decide on the fish you want.  Things to look for in a tank that you don't want to buy from are.
  • Clamped fins
  • White spots
  • White Fungus Looking Stuff on fins
  • Dead Fish in Tank
  • Fish Swimming at the top(that aren't suppose to)
  • Cloudy or murky looking tanks
  • Fish not acting right.  (Remember step one)
4.  Knowledge is Power.  If the associate isn't much help or is not sure of answers and won't look them up go somewhere else.  You don't want to be sold the wrong fish that might not get along with yours.  It's always important to do your own research as well.


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