PetSmartsick fish

J Review updated:

Do not get fish from Petsmart, they are SICK!

I bought two fish from Petsmart to add to my well established tank. The new fish developed ick within a day or two and contaminated my tank and other fish. I lost everything in the tank (even with treatment) except a snail. I called Petsmart to complain. They denied having any disease ridden fish and offered to give my money back for the two fish purchased (give me a break). I asked to have the store manager call me back. Guess what? I never received a call. I should know better and it was stupid of me to buy fish at any large chain store. They just don't have staff with the skills required to care for fish. Please don't bother with Petsmart and go to a local owned pet shop that actually cares about keeping their pets healthy!


  • Da
    danni Dec 08, 2007

    I hate to say it but if you're a true fish hobbyist, you should know that no matter where you buy your fish from you are suppose to quarantine them in a separate tank for at least a week to insure that there is nothing wrong with them. I made that mistake a couple times when I first started keeping fish and I was buying my fish from a privately owned, well established fish store and my they came with parasites and infections too. As far as paying you for your fish; yes, as long as the fish died within 2 weeks, the store guarantees you the money back for your fish but as for your other fish, it isn't there fault that you didnt take the necessary precautions when adding new fish to your tank.

    1 Votes
  • Ec
    Ecco Dec 26, 2007

    Of course they only offered to replace what you purchased. If you had quarantined the fish properly, that's all that would have been affected. You should read up on how to care for fish.... you can't just dump them in some water, add food now and then, and replace all the water every few days. The fish will go into shock and die.

    After all, what proof do you have that the fish you purchased at Petsmart were the cause of your problems? You might have purchased a couple of healthy fish and put them in a sick tank in an effort to get Petsmart to pay for the entire sick tank.

    1 Votes
  • Gr
    Gravling Jan 01, 2008

    I been there with PetSmart. Established tank, wanted a pair of painted glass fish next thing I know the fish I just bought were dead and the reast of the tank medicated to no avail.

    My tank was great, I had several breeding pairs of Mollys, many babies all gone. I threw in the towel, this was the second time for PetSmart to do me wrong.

    1 Votes
  • Sp
    spiralsands Jan 02, 2008

    I have found very few 'big box' stores that employ people who know how to handle fish. Most of them are teenagers and have little experience with the care of fish. In my area, there is only one chain store, a Petsupermarket, that has one young man in his 20's who is knowledgable about fish and their care.

    I only keep goldfish. I used to go to a family owned petstore that only sold fish and birds and pet supplies. I had picked a new koi out of the tank and when the owner's brother was attempting to net it up, he was traumatizing the whole tank. He finally caught the one I wanted and then reached in with his big hand and grabbed it. I was mortified. I told him to put it back because I didn't think the fish would make it after all that stress and his giant hand print on it.

    0 Votes
  • Do
    Dozer Jan 10, 2008

    I can't agree with this complaint.

    All experienced hobbyists know to keep a quarantine tank. You can go to any fish store and get a disease or parasite regardless of where you buy a fish. They're living creatures, not plastic popped out of a mold.

    Privately owned places have the same problems as large chain stores do, only the privately owned ones have more control over who they hire.

    You will find dead fish at privately owned stores, as you will at chain stores. But at least at privately owned stores you will get more well versed in the hobby employees.

    At a chain store, they have no reason to replace your other fish, only the ones you purchased there. Anyone can come in and give a sob story to try to get free stuff. It's the people that "work the system" that ruin everything for everyone else.

    1 Votes
  • Ka
    Kalyandra Mar 18, 2008

    I worked with the fish at Petsmart for 5 years and I have seen many people just like you come into the store with the same complaint. Ick is like the human cold.. it is in the fish from the start, and when you take them to a new environment they get stressed out. When this happens, they get sick, and yes it can spread. Your entire tank was effected because you did not properly quarantine, and this will happen regardless of where you get your fish from. You got your money back because Petsmart is a good business who will even refund you if you make a mistake. Don't blame Petsmart for something you did, it's not cool.

    0 Votes
  • As
    Ashley Jun 22, 2008

    This definately happened to me too. I bought 2 dragon eels from Petsmart and as soon as I got home one of them already died. So the next day I got a refund for another one and once again as soon as I got home the new one died and the older one died also. So I went back again and the high school looking girl worker talked to me like it was my fault that they were dying. I went back home and researched about dragon eels and it said that big stores like Petsmart doesn't know how to take care of dragon eels especially so they're sick to begin with. A couple weeks later I went to the store again to just look around and what do I see? Almost every fish tank had about 3 dead fishes floating, they also had a small tank inside a fish tank that held trapped frogs inside and they were all dead and floating and had white stuff all over them and none of the workers were cleaning the cages! Those are the kinds of fishes that they sell and the workers aren't even professionals so what would they know?

    0 Votes
  • Cs
    csrean Jun 23, 2009

    I usually get my fish at "Big Al's" and have never had a problem with them. On the 3 occasions I've bought fish from PetSmart (neon tetras and 2 gouramis) they have all become nastily sick and died. One of the gourami's infected the rest of my tank and I spent the next week + adding salt and medication to treat the infection in my other (formerly healthy!) fish. I test my water regularly and have NEVER had a fish die from Big Al's. I think PetSmart keeps sick fish in stressful conditions. As for quarantining fish for a week before adding them to the tank, I've never heard of that before now and have been an aquarist since the 90's.

    The final straw for me with PetSmart was when my husband and I bought a new filter for our tank. We bought a Rena, got it home and realized the instructions (with the warranty card) weren't in the box. We went back the next day and spoke to a floor manager who told us to clean our filters when they get dirty (duh!) but didn't even address the fact that we wanted the instruction book.

    I phoned the next day and spoke to the assistant store manager who (while being completely condescending) told me the same thing (to change the filters when they get dirty). I informed her that I did not want to know when to change a filter, I wanted the instruction book that should have come with my filter. She gave me a vague, insincere "apology".

    So, today we took the whole filter back, got our money back and bought the exact same model (with a book of instructions/warranty card) from Pisces. I was doubly mad when I noticed that we had paid $47.99 (on sale) at PetSmart but that the identical filter was $36.99 at Pisces.

    Not only were they rude and unhelpful, they jacked up their prices! Oh well, they screwed themselves out of a filter because we returned it used.

    0 Votes
  • Ne
    NedNoD Nov 16, 2010

    I have several fish tanks because I have some randy Mollies and need to keep my sexes separated. The males are in a smaller tank upstairs and the females have the 45 gal with a few other fish to relax and stop breeding. I will buy supplies from PetSmart but never fish. I will go in and look at the loaches (they're so cute and a pretty good indicator of the health of the other fish) and they are ick riddled and starved (my loaches are wonderfully energetic and fattened up). I usually get my fish from one pet store that is the oddball Petland because while being a chain this particular store knows how to keep fish and care for them. (I've gotten only 1 fish from there that died and that was months later as opposed to the PetSmart where I have gotten numerous fish that died in quarantine days later). The most appalled was today when I was getting filter supplies and a girl was getting a rubber lip pleco. The fish decided to latch onto the side of the little holding tank they put them in before the bag and wouldn't let go. The teenaged employee just reached in and pulled it off forcefully with her fingers and tossed it into the bag before the customer's eyes. I gawked and they did too... it was horrifying! Oh, and the loaches today looked like they were in a blizzard.

    0 Votes
  • Fi
    Fish lover Mar 28, 2013

    Quarantine fish yes but that doesn't always help. I took those precautions to no avail because my fish have camallanus worms that I purchased at Petsmart which don't show up for sometimes months and that's how they got me!!! Having a universal filtration and being so contagious that it can be spread by using a universal net between tanks means your risk is ENORMOUS !!! I went back to the store I purchased them at and this time CLOSELY inspected the anus of the fish in their tanks and oops, a guppy with a bright orange protrusion. This has caused me to lose 5 platys, two cory catfish and a guppy so far. When I called to inquire about how to treat this I was told by a manager to use their parasite products, none of which work on this parasite!!! I told them I wanted to know if they had Safeguard dog wormer and they acted like I was an idiot. I know many aquarists have used it with success but they wouldn't even tell me if they carried it!!! This infestation has cost me hundreds of dollars in treatment, secondary antibiotics necessary between treatments to prevent secondary bacterial infections and the additives I have to use after losing my well established cycle due to the antibiotics and now daily water changes necessary now to keep the ones I have left from suffering. The clove oil to euthanize the ones suffering too bad to watch!!! This is an aquarists nightmare and now that I know what this is and that prophylactically treating with PROHIBIT when I quarantine any new stock can stop this from happening again, it doesn't bring much comfort to me or my Grandchildren that picked their fish!!! Face it, really experienced aquarists rarely buy from "big box" stores for this very reason and so most fish bought in these places are by people that don't know the difference and buy and lose fish without realizing these poor creatures suffer horribly from these afflictions!!! If it were dogs or cats that were sick they'd be run out of town. Well, fish deserve the same consideration!!! With this universal filtration no fish is safe is one tank is bad...stupid set up!!!

    1 Votes
  • Ms
    Mshepard83 Jan 14, 2014

    I have to agree, I have made the mistake of buying betta fish from Petsmart or Wal-Mart, and they have always, always died within a few days. We have one at this very moment who is obviously sick, he's just floating at the top of the bowl, and only flutters his fins; he doesn't move. I thought it was me at first, but we have gone through enough fish that I have made absolutely certain that I was doing everything necessary to keep them alive. Obviously, betta fish can't be put in a bowl with another betta fish, so I've never had the issue of needing to quarantine them. I like the simplicity of fresh water fish; I can't have a big setup in my apartment with a tank, etc. so the betta fish is perfect for me. Anyway, I started with room temperature tap water, and put the fish (while it was in the cup) into the new water to let it adjust. I only fed it a few pellets each morning. No luck. After several tries, I was buying spring water at room temp from the store, and doing the same thing. From that point, I've adjusted the food intake many times for many fish. I can't count how many fish we've gone through that have died within 2-3 days. I thought maybe there was something wrong with the bowl, so we've had a few different bowls that we have tried. Did not help. I am glad I found this page, because I thought it was probably something about Petsmart's fish, and I couldn't really find a lot of complaints until I saw these comments. I will try buying them from a local pet store from now on. Thanks!

    1 Votes
  • Wa
    wandalemon Apr 15, 2019

    Pet Smart lied to me refused to honor my credits and all my fish died but my Walmart fish are fine!! wish I had never shopped there! 1600 credits and they would not let me have credit for my dead betas, What a ripoff

    -1 Votes
  • Wa
    wandalemon Apr 15, 2019

    why have a return policy and credits if you cant use them??? Please let your checkers know when a customer has their phone with them and keeps saying you have the wrong number in our system, call the number the customer gives you if it rings its a sure bet it is the customers number, customers do not put their numbers in the system. the employee does!!! hassle free return policy HUGE LIE!!!

    0 Votes

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