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Pet Store Rant


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#1 Guest_bumpylemon_*

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 04:46 PM

ok so i got those killifish from my local pet store's feeder tank....i went back today to get the rest....the woman is (and ill be very nice here) a miserable woman. no one likes her. she always complains and just hates her life...anyhow. i went there today and she was like "no more picking out fish from the feeder tank" i explained its the ghost shrimp tank and there is a fish in there. not like i was in the goldfish tank picking out certain fish. i was like this is a killi fish. She then said i need to call my husband and see how much that one is cuz thats gotta be extra....im like you cant sell native fish as is. im here to rescue it. then i saw a swamp darter and the guy caught it for me and didnt charge me. i was unable to get the killi fish. what law can i bring to her or tell her so she will let me rescue that fish? i wanna show her she can be fined for selling them, i dont know if its possible. my family has 2 salt water tanks and spend alot of money there. i couldnt believe she said that to me. so now i can never get natives there...what can i do?

#2 Guest_Newt_*

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 06:58 PM

I doubt Massachusetts has a law against selling Florida natives. The store's policy on selecting individual animals from the feeder tank is up to the store management, and she is well within her rights to refuse to scoop out contaminants for you. I suppose you could threaten to take your family's business elsewhere (if the rest of your family is OK with this), but I suggest you just try to get some other employee to help you.

#3 Guest_fundulus_*

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 07:00 PM

Newt's right, it sounds like the woman's a yenta (to borrow from Yiddish).

#4 Guest_bumpylemon_*

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 07:04 PM

well thanks for the advice. 2 other of her employees...one being her son doesnt mind doing it. just to be a pain in the rear i plan on going there every day and getting about 100 ghost shrimp. they are only 10 cents a piece...so i figured she can be miserable scooping them out...and ill be sure to make sure the count is 100 percent correct! i did get the newly acquired swamp darter to eat. poor lil guy prob hasnt eaten and God knows how long. are florida swamp darter the same species as all other swamp darters (Etheostoma fusiforme)?

#5 Guest_Newt_*

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 07:45 PM

Species- yes. Subspecies- no. The northern Atlantic Slope Swamp Darters are E. f. fusiforme, while Gulf Slope and southern Atlantic Slope (including Florida) populations are E. f. barratti (Scalyhead Darters). So, your local swampies are not the same subspecies as the shrimp tank rescues.

#6 Guest_bumpylemon_*

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 08:18 PM

Species- yes. Subspecies- no. The northern Atlantic Slope Swamp Darters are E. f. fusiforme, while Gulf Slope and southern Atlantic Slope (including Florida) populations are E. f. barratti (Scalyhead Darters). So, your local swampies are not the same subspecies as the shrimp tank rescues.

awesome. im learning so much! ill have to take a closer look at them tomorrow. the 2 ones that i have are HUGE. must be pushing maximum size. what should i notice differently about them?

#7 Guest_Newt_*

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 09:41 PM

They're not very different. Some meristic differences (paraphrased from Etnier and Starnes and from Hubbs and Cannon):

E. f. barratti has 10-12 gill rakers, with the longest rakers about 3 times as long as broad; E. f. fusiforme has 7-8 gill rakers, and these are relatively shorter.

E. f. barratti has modally* 14 principal rays in the caudal fin, E. f. fusiforme often has 12-13.

E. f. barratti earned the name "Scalyhead" because it has numerous scales on the parietal (top of head behind eyes) and interorbital (top of head between eyes) regions. These areas are partly or totally scaleless in E. f. fusiforme.

*This means that 14 will be the most common caudal fin ray count in a population of E. f. barratti, though other counts may also be reasonably common. So, this measure is good for distinguishing populations, but not individuals.

#8 Guest_ashtonmj_*

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 06:25 AM

In the future I'd also ditch the attitude you give off to the store owner that you're "here to rescue" the fish. While many of us may not agree with the husbandry or practices that go on in LFS's, independent store owners have slim to no profit margins, so while they are chasing your killis and swamp darters around a tank full of ghost shrimp they are potentially losing a customer who wants to buy a $25 discus. It's the owner and employees perogative what they do with those fish that they have no intention of selling and are bycatch with shrimp. If it is legal for them to sell those fish to you, then perhaps try approaching it in a more business friendly way. For example, I'd point out that the fish were obtained by the shop owner at no cost, therefore they'd be making 100% profit on the sale and suggest a reasonable price. I typically go in a few days before ghost shrimp shipments arrive an hour or so before store closing so the tank is empty along with the store.

#9 Guest_bumpylemon_*

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 06:40 AM

In the future I'd also ditch the attitude you give off to the store owner that you're "here to rescue" the fish. While many of us may not agree with the husbandry or practices that go on in LFS's, independent store owners have slim to no profit margins, so while they are chasing your killis and swamp darters around a tank full of ghost shrimp they are potentially losing a customer who wants to buy a $25 discus. It's the owner and employees perogative what they do with those fish that they have no intention of selling and are bycatch with shrimp. If it is legal for them to sell those fish to you, then perhaps try approaching it in a more business friendly way. For example, I'd point out that the fish were obtained by the shop owner at no cost, therefore they'd be making 100% profit on the sale and suggest a reasonable price. I typically go in a few days before ghost shrimp shipments arrive an hour or so before store closing so the tank is empty along with the store.

I should have been more clear. This woman is unreasonable. She's always like this. My parents have spent 1000s there. Including having them clean their tanks once a month. There was no one in the store. She's the only one like this. Her husband is the nicest guy. She's rude to all customers. I did explain to her what I was doing. And she knows I'm into natives. Which is why I think she might have a thing against me. I used to get other fish there. I only got an attitude after she did. I explained how she shouldn't treat customers like this.

#10 Guest_jase_*

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 10:23 AM

i explained its the ghost shrimp tank and there is a fish in there. not like i was in the goldfish tank picking out certain fish. i was like this is a killi fish. She then said i need to call my husband and see how much that one is cuz thats gotta be extra....im like you cant sell native fish as is. im here to rescue it. then i saw a swamp darter and the guy caught it for me and didnt charge me. i was unable to get the killi fish. what law can i bring to her or tell her so she will let me rescue that fish? i wanna show her she can be fined for selling them, i dont know if its possible.

If you really want to know what the law is, just call or write your Fish & Game department and ask. They're likely to have a better handle on the intricacies of Massachusetts law than the members of this forum. I wouldn't try to bust the store, just ask what the rules are.

Sounds like you're essentially trying to blackmail the store into giving you the fish. I doubt that's going to be your most successful approach. If it is illegal for them to sell N.A. natives, the law is not going to say they have to give them to a random customer coming in wanting to "rescue" them. If your desired outcome is to actually obtain the fish rather than to score a win against the store, you're going to have to suck it up and be pleasant -- including maybe even apologizing to the "unreasonable" woman.

As Matt suggested, time = money for any business, so offer the same $1-2 each you'd pay for the cheapest tropicals and you're likely to get a better response.

#11 Guest_bumpylemon_*

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 02:54 PM

If you really want to know what the law is, just call or write your Fish & Game department and ask. They're likely to have a better handle on the intricacies of Massachusetts law than the members of this forum. I wouldn't try to bust the store, just ask what the rules are.

Sounds like you're essentially trying to blackmail the store into giving you the fish. I doubt that's going to be your most successful approach. If it is illegal for them to sell N.A. natives, the law is not going to say they have to give them to a random customer coming in wanting to "rescue" them. If your desired outcome is to actually obtain the fish rather than to score a win against the store, you're going to have to suck it up and be pleasant -- including maybe even apologizing to the "unreasonable" woman.

As Matt suggested, time = money for any business, so offer the same $1-2 each you'd pay for the cheapest tropicals and you're likely to get a better response.

blackmail? that words a stretch. whatever its over...i deal with her son now. i thought there was a law or something seeing on how every petstore in the country doesnt sell darters. i would assume if its ok then i could just go by darters a petsmart.

#12 Guest_jase_*

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 04:05 PM

what law can i bring to her or tell her so she will let me rescue that fish? i wanna show her she can be fined for selling them, i dont know if its possible.

You're right, "blackmail" was an overstatement, but I'm not sure what a more correct word would be. What you were asking for was leverage to be able to tell her, "Give me the fish or there could be legal repercussions." One might note that you weren't asking whether or not selling the fish was legal until she declined to sell you more of them.

In any case, this page and this page seem to answer the actual question of whether or not it's legal to sell those fish in MA. Sounds like only "aquarium trade fish" can be sold as pets.

"Aquarium Trade Fish means those freshwater fish which cannot survive year-round in a wild environment above 30 north latitude (approximately from Jacksonville, FL west to Ensenada, CA) or below 30 south latitude (approximately from Puerto-Alegre, Brazil west to La Serena, Chile)."

I'm not sure how that is enforced in practice, as it would be pretty difficult to evaluate every species of potential aquarium fish for survivability above 30N. There may be other regulations, so if you really want to know you should ask the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

#13 Guest_bumpylemon_*

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 04:40 PM

thanks for the links Jase. are you able to get out to NY fishing with us soon?

#14 Guest_nativeplanter_*

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 01:02 PM

i thought there was a law or something seeing on how every petstore in the country doesnt sell darters. i would assume if its ok then i could just go by darters a petsmart.


No, it's just an issue of supply and demand (but not in the usual sense). There is a low supply of legally available darters, in comparison to fish in the aquarium trade. And demand is also low, as most people keep tropical fish (whether this is because of simple marketing or not, it still holds true). So it isn't really worth a shopkeepers time to track down a darter supplier for a small market.

Regarding the proprieter, when you say she is miserable, she very well may be miserable. One never knows what another person has to deal with in their private lives. People often deal with very trying issues at home (such as medical issues or family issues) that can affect their personality during the day. Since you have difficulty with her, I would just try to avoid her. You mentioned that you have a good relationship with her son; perhaps you can give him your phone number and ask him to call you if they get "weeds" in the feeder tanks. Just be sure you have something to offer in return, perhaps a higher price than for feeders, but often simply good, interesting, and pleasant conversation about fish (or some other mutual interest) will make someone interested in helping you out.

#15 Guest_mikez_*

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 10:20 AM

Would this by any chance be the large famous shop in Framingham?
That woman is so nasty, I quit and walked out on a Sunday rush when she rudely scolded me in front of the customer for recommending the internet for information [very early internet days]. Not that I'm sensitive but it was like the billionth time.

#16 Guest_bumpylemon_*

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 07:19 PM

nope it wasnt framingham.....it was auburn

#17 Guest_FirstChAoS_*

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 09:46 AM

nope it wasnt framingham.....it was auburn


I think I barely avoided your fate. When I tried going their I arrived late (just after closing time) so I went to look at the Auburn Petco instead and found gambusia and golden shiners in their feeder tanks. The second time I went fish shopping in Auburn I forgot about the fish store and went and got more gambusia. Sadly they went into what was at that time my agro tank as I heard they could be agressive and they got treated like the feeder guppies they resembled.

If the fish store wasn't closed when I got their that first time I'd have likely faced the trouble that you faced.

#18 Guest_mikez_*

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 10:01 AM

Ok now I know the shop. The guy that owns that one has been in the business locally for 40 years. Super knowledgable and always trying to bring in oddball and special interest stuff, salt especially but fresh too. Between that shop and the one I thought you meant, you probably have the best and most diverse livestock in Ma. The first guy was affliated with the other guy for years BTW and is now his only serious competition in the high end livestock market including the metro Boston area.

I'm not surprised they were impatient with what they may have felt was a waste of their time. Typical customers there buy $50.00 worth of freshwater fish in a shot. The marine customers drop that much on one fish. Half dead feeders for a buck is not in their interest to bother with.
I would encourage you to continue to patronize that shop. Spend some money and if it's quiet, hangout and talk fish. Try and hook up with the guy running the shop. His brain is a wealth of fishy knowledge and he's as much a geek as any of us.
And no, I don't know him personally although I worked with him for a year [different parts of the business]. I just like to see the good shops survive.

#19 Guest_bumpylemon_*

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 10:05 AM

yea i was just about to say he worked and got started from the framingham shop. the guy is super nice. my parents have spent well over 2,000 in fish. and they even had their tanks maintained by them. they know me by name....thats why i found it very odd she and only she treated me this way. the day i went in for feeders was dead. oh well. i havent been back since. not that i needed to anyway. but i agree its a great shop for salt water.

#20 Guest_FirstChAoS_*

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 01:27 PM

In any case, this page and this page seem to answer the actual question of whether or not it's legal to sell those fish in MA. Sounds like only "aquarium trade fish" can be sold as pets.

"Aquarium Trade Fish means those freshwater fish which cannot survive year-round in a wild environment above 30 north latitude (approximately from Jacksonville, FL west to Ensenada, CA) or below 30 south latitude (approximately from Puerto-Alegre, Brazil west to La Serena, Chile)."


I've been trying to find the New Hampshire equivalent with little luck. Unless that very technical and legalese page i turn up at times is it.



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