Some lfs dont know jack!!!!

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by tko187, 26 Jun 2008.

  1. tko187

    tko187 Member

    Messages:
    244
    Hi just got back home from 4 different fish shops and very dissapointed indeed, i was gonna by some planting substrate ie tropica or Ada but firstly they didnt even know what i was talking about, asked a chap in the shop first he looked round the whole shop and was looking around in the medicines, he then showed me gravel, after all this he went to checkout and asked 1 of 2 ladies there and the same they both didnt have a clue!!! I was like damn this a some crazy blahblahblahblah.......She was talking like she knew what to do but i knew everything she was telling me was wrong cos id done my homework, i was armed with info man!!! I been on here for the last 4 weeks...ha ha. She tried to tell me i could just put in a bag of eco complete mixing it in at different periods or even next to the plants. I then went to a couple more stores and just headed back home without buying anything. I have now dedided im giving my order online to the greenmachine who i will be buying tropica or ADA, is eco complete any good guys??

    I was at the ready with my c/c but nobody had the foggiest about anything....it looks to me that the workers in the shops dont know much and we are just better to do our own research, it looks to me as if fish shops are not regulated in any way by some sort of union and they just get overlooked!!
     
  2. milla

    milla Member

    Messages:
    241
    Location:
    Leeds
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    Sad to say but that is how things stand at most LFS's in the country, with the noticable exception of TGM - (still goot to get myself over to wrexham to see this rarest of things).
    Aqua Essentials and TGM have had 99% of my custom since discovering them, plants and customer service from both are far supperior to any LFS in yorkshire.

    Hopefully this will improve over time, at least that is one of the aims of UKAPS to improve awareness of the modern practices of the planted tank hobby.

    I am banned from buying fish from my local LFS because i add poisons to my tank (NPK).

    I would and do choose ADA over any other substrate available at the moment. Though ECOComplete would be my second choice.
     
  3. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    one of the problems we face in the hobby is the lack of knowledge in fish shops, together with lack of the stock we're all after. Some fish shop owners are approachable however to constructive criticism about their short comings.

    Occasionally, if you know the shop reasonably well, its possible to make some suggestions to them about the gaps they have in supply. Tell them about UKaps, get them to come on the forum if theyre interested in improving their businesses. Maybe once theyve seen just how many of us there are, theyll realise the income theyre loosing to the more 'on the ball' online retailers.

    Part of our aim as a society is to raise awareness of the hobby.. that has to start with the LFS's in my opinion. Its just that most of arent even aware of the niche theyre missing out on.
     
  4. REDSTEVEO

    REDSTEVEO Member

    Messages:
    1,217
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    I agree,

    most of the large LFS in my area especially the ones in garden centres the staff have very little knowledge, experience of advanced fish and plant hobbies. I beleive that part of the problem lies in the fact that they get paid peanuts and you know what you get if you pay peanuts....Sorry if anyone on here works at an LFS in a garden centre.

    If you want meat speak to the butcher....enough said TGM is my nearest butcher at 35 miles away, 70 mile round trip there and back!

    Cheers,

    Steve.
     
  5. planter

    planter Member

    Messages:
    427
    Location:
    Surrey
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    I understand why you should find this frustrating but I cant help feeling you may have been a little bit hard on your LFS.
    We participate in a huge hobby with many different aspects, Is it fair to expect the young lady you spoke to to be expert in every area, After all she may have been an expert reef keeper with unlimited knowledge of marine aquariums or perhaps she keeps and breeds Lake tanganyika cichlids or knows her yamabukis from her tancho sanke's.
    Perhaps she would have been grateful to you for explaining to her exactly what is was you wanted and what it did.
    The planted aquarium hobby is not huge in this country (yet) and the products you are requesting are still regarded by the majority as specialist. Of course a fantastic LFS will have a team of staff that each have a different specific area of interest/expertise and will be able to deal with every customers request but does that mean they will be familiar with every manufactures product? they have probobly only been offered training in the products the store stocks. I would also imagine the level of expierience amongst the staff would vary from the new starter (keen hobbyist) to store managers (expierienced fishkeepers). You should find stores staffed with fishkeepers very approachable as they will be keen to hear and share expierience and knowledge. Ive kept aquariums for 20 years and learn new things all the time, you doing your research is very comendable and such a responsible approach should be encouraged but it may be a little presumptious to expect the young lady in the shop to know every thing youve spent four weeks reading!
     
  6. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,301
    Location:
    London
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    I agree with planter, can't be too hard on the local LFS must are used to just sell fish and don't know much about planted tanks. I always try to have a chat with the staff to see what they are strongest in which areas and if I don't see something in the shop that I want I usually ask why they don't stock it. Most have contracts with certain brands and don't stock other brands and some just don't stock expensive substrate if it won't sell, but usually they will order it in for you if you ask (but can be more expensive than buying it online).
     
  7. tko187

    tko187 Member

    Messages:
    244
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    Ok guys sorry for being harsh on the lady in the store, and apologies to any lfs store workers or owners who take pride in their work, i was a bit hot headed just after driving round and not finding a single shop that could help me. I just think if i go into a shop they would know what a planting substrate is, i actually went through 4 different people in the store and went to 3 other shops, i now realise that this is more of a specialist sector, and if they dont know about a product they should advise as appropriate, and not just try to sell to make a sale. In my opinion the lady at the store really didnt know how to use this eco complete and totally advised me in the wrong direction, if anynbody wants to earn my hard earned cash i would appreciate they knew what they were talking about and not just fobbing me off.

    After all this i have spoke to a fine gentleman by the name of mark in thegreenmachine who was very helpful indeed and definately knew what he was talking about. I dont grudge paying someone who is helpful and easy to approach, and this was all over a phonecall when he gave me 30mins of his very busy time. Also i dont know about you guys but i wouldnt even mind paying someone a bit extra for their help and convenience. Thats all i expect, i am also in the sale trade and would just expect the same quality of service as you would give yourself. Sorry if i hurt any of you guys feeling i was just trying to get a point across and yeah im also new to this and will learn only this way, just wanted to share my experiences with you all. Thanks.
     
  8. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,301
    Location:
    London
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    We feel your pain, most shops don't know a lot about planted tanks, I had the same problem when I started and ended buying most of my stuff online for that reason ;) Next time just tell them to join UKAPS and see what they are missing. You could also print some of the UKAPS leaflets and ask if you can place them in your LFS, I am going to do that with 3 I have near me ;)
     
  9. planter

    planter Member

    Messages:
    427
    Location:
    Surrey
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    Like I said I understand your frustration ... It certainly wouldnt have been difficult for the sales assistant to read through the instructions on a bag of eco complete with you and learn something whilst trying to be helpful.

    It was quite a breakthrough to find a store stocking ECo Complete! :D
     
  10. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    Are you joking?
     
  11. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    Eco complete is a great substrate and wont cloud the water like ADA AS or akadama, though for a new tank and if I had the money Ive get AS every time. But for an established tank the NH3 is prohibitory.

    Sam
     
  12. milla

    milla Member

    Messages:
    241
    Location:
    Leeds
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    George

    No i ain't joking , thay are proper old school.
    They make a fortune by selling nitrate and phosphate removers as a way of controling algae and providing beter water quality for fish.
    They also sell non-aquatic plants by the truck load to unsuspecting shoppers, highlighted this to the manager and got told to mind my own.So now they get none of my business.
     
  13. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    I've had this before. Mainly because most LFS are not really into plants as such. they do stock plants but not really for planted tanks. More for the 'put a few real plants in to make the fish feel more comfortable, then replace them when they go tatty' people. They are often still of the belief that N is poison and P causes algae etc, so when told that we add it they are horrified because it goes against what they have always known as 'fact.'

    Can't be too hard on them really. You don't go to a supermarket expecting a huge selection of every product. More of a bit of this and a bit of that. If you want a varied selection of fish go to an LFS. If you want a good selection of planted gear/equipment then find one that is into that side too. Easier said than done.

    My local LFS is quite knwoledgable about planted tanks and has a few decent display tanks BUT he doesn't stock much because it doesn't sell whereas his fish and normal fishy equipment sell very well. Can't fault him for it because there's no point losing money as business by having stuff on the shelves for months/years.

    Also have to remember that the majority of pqople will always head to the P@H / Maidenheads of this world because chains have the power in that they can afford prominent positions to locate their businesses and also have the power of advertising etc.

    I tend to get things from ebay/internet and get the odd thing from the chain stores. Fish always come from my LFS or if they don't have something I head for the Maidenhead as they are much better than a chain normaly is.

    Andy
     
  14. Ejack

    Ejack Member

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Berkshire, UK
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    One problem lies in the fact that Planted Aquariums aren't advertised enough. As the average person who wants to keep fish automatically goes for the coloured gravel, a diver with airpump and a 45Ltr tank, and 2 of each fish, with a tendancy to overstock. The wonders why his fish are dying so often and why his plants dont grow. WIth that in mind you can't blame LFS for not knowing much about plants and substrate; count yourselves lucky if they even know about the types of fish they have.

    Like a lot of you suggest, its all about educating LFS and chains.
     
  15. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    when i did my work experience, one of the staff was setting up a planted tank and he asked about ferts, i told him that i used TPN+ and that it contained N&P - should of see his face :lol:
     
  16. planter

    planter Member

    Messages:
    427
    Location:
    Surrey
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    Thing is you probobly made a similar face when you was first told about adding N&P :) .

    The LFS's have concentrated forever on selling 'FISH' and in a fish only aquarium N&P will cause algae. Therefore the best defense was always phosphate and nitrate removers. You have to remember what you have all learned through forums such as this about adding N&P or EI is 'new school' its almost revolutionary. Some leading aquarists are still willing to challenge the practices you and I may have become familiar with. You know what they say about teaching old dogs new tricks! Things will change its just a matter of time!

    Trust me I know, Im an old dog who just learnt a great new trick :D
     
  17. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    Not true. Chemical filtration, established filter and plenty of water changes...
     
  18. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    Interesting. Should make a good PFK blog. Do you mind if I use your example of being banned from buying fish because you add NP?

    Thankfully my LFS are more open-minded...
     
  19. sanj

    sanj Member

    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!

    You know i think this fella is right to an extent. I have been to aquatics outlets with staff that are more suited to working at Tescos and is very annoying when their basics are up the creek, dont expect people to be an expert on everything BUT too many are pretty shoddy.

    On the other hand there are some very good ones, i particualrly like Maidenhead Aquatics, well ive only been to three different ones. :)

    What do I use Petsmart for? erm, erm...buying catfood in bulk! They have a use. :p
     
  20. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    Re: lfs dont know jack!!!!


    i didnt know when i was told but otherwise i might off, but hearing it from George made it more believable :D
     

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