Petco, where the dead and dying fish go, has been under constant scrutiny from concerned aquarium hobbyists for years. The aquariums were always dirty and full of algae, fish would often look sick or injured (if not dead), and corals would look seriously stressed. Most true-to-the-hobby aquarium keepers would never step foot inside one of these retail stores, let alone purchase anything from one. Despite what we already know and expect from each and every Petco that gives our hobby a black eye, we still stop in on them randomly to see how they are doing. Our latest trip to a local store proved to be a heartbreaking one, as not only were the aquarium dirty in the typical Petco fashion, but they were full of dead and injured fish. We saw a beautiful auriga butterflyfish with noticeable damage to one side, a rabbitfish that had died a very long time ago, and some unknown blob that used to be a fish…and this was just in three of the tanks. Other tanks held coral hitchhikers, indicating that Petco in no way dips their corals before selling them.
We do realize that most of those reading this don’t shop at Petco anyways, but we figured we would share what’s going on in these facilities to perhaps convince the hobbyists that do shop there to consider going somewhere else. And this same mentality should be applied to all local fish stores. If the aquariums are full of disease-ridden fish, turn around and find a better spot.