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Where to buy fish?

September 29th, 2005, 03:32 PM
I have decided to buy some Panda Corys for my 10 gal fish tank, which currently is home to 1 betta. (Totally inspired by someone else's thread)

My question is what should I look for in a reputable fish dealer? I will not buy form PJ's or any other of the big puppymill/byb pet chains.

Should I get 5 or 6 corys for the tank?

September 29th, 2005, 03:34 PM
I'm curious too. This fish forum is really just one big ad for fish. :D I don't have a tank, so I'll have to wait, but I'm curious as to how you find and pick a fish breeder.

September 29th, 2005, 04:42 PM
Hi there,
I have noticed you are in Edmonton? There is a great fish store in Edmonton called Big Als. I have heard amazing things about their fish quality and knowledgeable personnel.

When you are cavassing fish/pet stores to determine whether you should get your fish there or not look for these things:
Are the tanks clean?
Does the water smell bad? (yes stick your nose near the tanks and sniff- bad smells are due to recently dead or rotting fish they may have cleared out daily)
Watch the fish for quite a while, look for the following- Do they have shiny bright clear eyes? Do they show perky, energetic, active behaviour? Do they have any signs of illness- spots like grains of salt, red marks in conspicous places (gills, where fins attach to skin etc), any signs of cottony fluff?
Do you see any fish pooping? If so, does it look normal? Every color poop is normal Except White. Fish who poop white have internal parasites or bacterial infections.
Ask the people questions: Where do the fish come from? How are they acclimated? How long have these particular ones been in the store? Have any died? How many? What are their views on local breeders (keep in mind most locally bred fish are superior genetically, physically, and often much much less inbred that the fish they ship in from the big farms.) Locally bred fish= good quality. If the people are unwilling to buy from local breeders, consider looking elsewhere. Often this is because they are unwilling to have their fish directly compared to a locally bred superior specimen.
Ask if the fish become ill within 3 days can you return them for a full refund if you provide a water sample proving your water tank is not cycling and is good quality water? Watch them test the water to make sure they dont lie about it. If they will not take the fish back if they are ill, consider going elsewhere. Ask them why they dont stand by their product if it is such good quality.
Consider buying from local breeders.
Often fish from local breeders are healthier, kept in large environments, less likely to be stunted, or unhealthy. Often they are much less inbred.
Example, When you look at Angelfish, a sign they were grown out in much to small tanks is the long hanging feeler like fins in the front (pectorals). If these are bent at all noticeably, the fish was grown out in a much much too small tank. If they are straight and nice, the fish was raised appropriately.
Remember, breeding fish isnt like breeding puppies. In fact a lot of well experience aquariasts will not buy from stores, but only from local "backyard breeders" as these fish are almost always better quality.
Not to mention that, but you wont have to spend 1.99 on a neon tetra. Considering the markup on aquarium fish, if you have a budget, local breeders are the way to go. Fish stores pay like 5 cents for a neon, and charge you 1.99. Its outrageous.
I have bought fish at many different places. Avoid Walmart. Dont buy fish there. Stores like Petcetera/Petsmart often have quality fish. Go in and observe the fish before you refuse to shop there. Some of my healthiest fish have come from petcetera in Nanaimo. However, keep in mind, it all depends on the staff they hire, and whether the managers care or not. Some may have exceptional fish, others may have huge nasty messes of sick fish.
Like I said, most important of all is to watch the fish.
Dont choose any who appear ill, or who sit on the bottom alot, or dont move much.
If you see a tank full of fish and half seem healthy and half not, dont buy from that tank.
I hope this helps you some!
Remember, if you are just starting a tank new, it will need to cycle before you add the corys. Corys will NOT survive a cycle.
If you have an already setup tank, prior to buying the pandas (they are quite sensitive as corys go) do a water change that day before you go get them. Make sure the water is nice and clean for them.
Acclimate them slowly.
Consider quarantining them for 12-20 days in a seperate tank, just in case.

10g Tank= 15.00
Sponge Filter= 15.00
Stopping the death of your fish in one easy step= Priceless.

I know this for fact
10g tank fully setup= 50.00
Guppies =20.00
1 Sick fish Killed them all= Heartbreaking.
That was my experience. Quarantining can save you tons.

September 29th, 2005, 04:46 PM
Oh and Yes, Panda corys are quite small.
You could get 6 of them for your 10g tank.
Enjoy! they are super cute!
And remember, if the price is 3.99 per fish, ask them,
Hey, If i buy 6 of them, or about 25.00 dollars after tax,
will you give them to me for 2.99 each. Haggle.
The fish stores dont pay what you pay. The markup is often
close to 300%. Haggle. Its worth it.
Thats how I got my 100 dollars discus for 60.
Haggle Haggle Haggle!

September 29th, 2005, 05:02 PM
Well thanks for the great advice ( I am going to print it out). I have heard of Big Al's I think I will check it out. I usually buy all my aquarium supplies at Petcetra. I noticed the tanks are usally pretty sparse, but they say they can order in fish. That seemed like a good sign to me, at least the tanks aren't over crowded.

I will have to bring a haggler with me, I am not the greatest at it. I will try!

October 13th, 2005, 06:22 PM
Where would you suggest to get some fish in Montreal

October 18th, 2005, 11:46 AM
I got my Panda Corys, 5 to be exact. I ended up buying from a privatly owned pet store. I am really enjoying these little fish. They are so cute when they are searching for food on the bottom. Little whiskers wagging just like a kitty.

October 18th, 2005, 12:51 PM
I got my Panda Corys, 5 to be exact.

Thanks for the info that you gave me a long time ago about the Panda Cory's. I noticed them in a pet shop and watched them for a while. They are great fish! I'm rethinking my Cichlid thoughts to go with tropical fish again. They were pretty fun!

October 18th, 2005, 12:57 PM
I enjoy community fish the most. I will sit and watch the fish when I feel really stressed. If I have aggessive fish and they chase each other, it seems to take away for the relaxation of watching them. I have one aggressive fish, and he has the tank all to himself.

The corys really are cute. They kinda of clump together and swim around the tank in there little school.

October 28th, 2006, 02:50 PM
Hi I couldn't help to join in. I live in Ontario and used to order from big Al's all the time when I was living in NB! I would definately recommend because it's not like a regular pet store they will talk you out of buyin "cute little fish" for that reason and actually educate you on which fish are best together and which are better for you and your family. Since this seems to be their only livelyhood (I don't believe they are chained with any pet store) I can only guess that they would be a better choice over the traditional chains??? Sneaky's tips are very resourceful. The last time we purchased fish (African Cichlids) we purchased from a local breeder, but only heard about him from word of mouth. Its usually hard to find a breeder. IMO. I used to spend hours in the pet stores with notepad in hand trying to get info and compare species. Its best to research before and try to figure out how many you would need, and which ones. I believe Big Als has an online info site as well...Happy shopping for your fish!