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Posted By: Greg Dunlap <gregandeileen@juno.com>
Date: Saturday, 19 October 2002, at 9:23 p.m.

When we first got here a few weeks ago I found about the only lfs were 2 megastores. I went in and was pleasantly surprised- the tanks were clean, the fish looked healthy and well fed. Great, I have a new large inventory to choose from when I RARELY need to buy fish, right?

Today I went back to both of them. The tanks were dirty and you could tell the water was stale (algae-growth). And the red-flags REALLY went up when I saw dead fish in many of the tanks.

I was really pissed off. Several of the tanks in one store had fish with severe fin-rot. Man, I am glad I never bought ANY fish from either store!

This is how we ALL get dead fish. You go in, and the tanks have been cleaned in the last 24 hours and look good, so you buy some fish and put them in your tank. 30 days later you have kill-of, with sick fish left and huge expenditures for meds.

I am still using my q-tank for EVERY fish that goes into the tank. Well over a year now, and no ich, no bacterial or fungal infections of any kind. What scares me is although I iso these stores seem to be breeding some REALLY deadly stuff.

I found a lfs today. Not the cleanest tanks I have ever seen, but no evidence of sick or dead fish. I am way down on dither fish for my Clowns, and the guy didn't have any Zebras, which I like because they are hardy as hell and fun to watch (very avtive and playful). So the guy ordered me 10 and said he would pick them up when he goes to the city next week for his regular stock-run. How is that for service?

Of course they will go through iso for 5 days- 5 days of salt and a broad spectrum antibiotic/antifungal and 3 days with a 3 day ich-medication. I have only had one fish die in iso in over a year. I will stay the hell away from the megastores.

I now wonder if I someday may have something that is so mean it beats the isolation-tank. From what I saw in the megas really mean diseases are being bred in wholesaler and dealer tanks. I have been told this is what IS going on, and many strains of diseases are becoming very resistant to antibiotics.

I will once again advise EVERYONE to set up and start running and iso program. The stakes are very high- I now have quite a lot in valuable tropicals, some which are harder to find, valuable as they get larger and very beautiful. My large Clowns are about 5 years old now, very fat and beautiful. The thought of losing them is terrible.

And by the way, I have been away from the board for a while because I have been very busy with a pup we adopted. A local animal shelter has adoptions every Saturday, and we found the neatest dog. She is a German Shepherd/Golden Lab mix and is really a cool dog. If you ever get a dog ADOPT. Ours was a stray and would have been destroyed if not for this program, and she is really a beautiful and fun puppy. Not only that, she was checked by a vet, spayed and had all her first shots. The fee was $40 for the shelter (used to keep the animals) and $45 for the vet-bills, a real bargain. If you like dogs you would love this puppy! GREG

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