Has Anyone Ever Bought Live Fish From Wal-Mart?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Chef Dave, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

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    Jun 30, 2008

    One of my summer projects has been to finish building a 3300 gallon freshwater pond in my backyard. The pond is 18 X 11 feet wide with plant shelves around the perimeter and a maximum depth of 4 feet.

    It has a waterfall, a bog garden with Chinese water chestnuts, and a tiny island.

    Since I live in rural Arizona, I don't have access to a water garden nursery to buy plants or fish. I had to buy the plants on-line and they came as seedlings.

    I could buy the fish on-line but have been thinking about buying fish from the local Wal-Mart.

    The local Wal-Mart has koi but their colors are incredibly dull. I'm not sure if this is because these particular fish aren't very attractive or whether it's because they're not being properly cared for.

    I've heard a lot of negative things about Wal-Mart fish. If you google search this topic, you'll find many articles and blogs that complain about the quality of fish from Wal-Mart.

    So I was wondering ... has anyone purchased live fish from Wal-Mart ... and if so, have the fish been in good condition? Have they survived?

    I'd hate to buy koi only to have them die on me.

    I could buy koi from an on-line supplier for the same price that Wal-Mart charges except I'd also have to pay handling fees and overnight shipping costs. Though more expensive with all of the added charges, the fish from the on-line supplier would probably be more attractive. I also know they would be more healthy.
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    ChefDave-we bought some fish at WalMart. Not for a huge pond in the back, but for a 30 gallon tank in the house so I'm not sure how similar it will be. We got an algae eater. He lived for a long time. He was the only fish in the tank that was there from the beginning. When we moved to our new town, we put the fish in the tank and by the next morning they were all dead. Apparently the water sucks here! I'm sure he would have lived a lot longer.
     
  4. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

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    Hmmmm ... did you simply pour tap water into the aquarium and put the fish in ... or did you let the water age for a week?

    Tap water has chlorine in it. To avoid burning the gills of your fish, tap water has to be aged for about a week to allow the chlorine to naturally dissipate.
     
  5. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    They have de-chlorinators they sell...not expensive. I bought my beta fish from them...James (the fish) survived for 2.5 years.
     
  6. muinteoir

    muinteoir Companion

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    I have not had good luck wit their fish. A few have had Ich, the others - just puny and didn't survive long.
     
  7. I_love_turtles

    I_love_turtles Rookie

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    I'm also in AZ and we have a turtle pond in our side yard with red eared sliders. We do not have Koi, but have many different kinds of goldfish in there. Our fish have come from WalMart and Petsmart because those are the only stores within a decent distance. Fish from both places seem to fare equally well. Many of the feeders that were not eaten have grown into rather large and colorful adults even though they started as generic and kind of colorless small fish. I've also used WalMart fish for my classroom. Mostly these have been guppies and goldfish, but we also got an algae eater from there. I've had more luck with fish from those stores than with turtles from there. Those I have to get online in order to have them survive. Hope that helps some.
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Walmart will replace your fish if you bring it back (yuck) with a receipt within 30 days. I have bought lots of fish from WalMart and they have all been fine for 2 years at least.
     
  9. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    I bought an African dwarf frog from them...I know it's not a fish but it did live in the water. It didn't live for an incredibly long time...probably only 6 months at most. But then again...I've had two others from different stores and they didn't last much longer.
     
  10. bluelightstar

    bluelightstar Companion

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    Yuck, I don't like Wal-Mart fish. Are there any PetSmarts or PetCos around?
     
  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    The trick with Wal-Mart is to ask when they get their fish deliveries and get them that day. I always quarantine mine for at least two weeks and treat for illness if needed. Often they have ick and a fungal infection. Once they're treated, they're ready for the regular tank/pond.

    Feeding koi & goldfish oranges will brighten their colors, as will certain "color brightening" foods.
     
  12. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    My class beta fish died after a couple of months from Walmart. I also bought cheap cloud fish for animal observations in my class and they died in a couple weeks. I have had great luck with Petco and they were cheaper.
     
  13. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

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    Unfortunately, the nearest Petco or better yet, PetsMart, is in Tucson which is over an hour away. Those Wal-Mart fish are beginning to look pretty good ...
     
  14. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Yes, but they quickly turned into dead fish.
     
  15. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I have an 8 year old pleco, a 6 year old fan-tail goldfish, and a 4 year our gourami . . . all from Wal-Mart.
     
  16. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

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    A cyber-buddy in a forum devoted to pond enthusiast suggested that Wal-Mart is staffed by poorly paid employees ... and that quality will vary from store to store. He suggested that I evaluate the store on the basis of how clean their aquariums actually are and how knowledgeable the employee appears to be.

    I didn't realize this but Wal-Mart is so huge that different regional areas are also supplied by different suppliers ... so the companies that supply Wal-Mart with live fish in New York won't be the same companies that supply Wal-Mart in Arizona.

    BTW ... assuming I've figured out how to post pictures (of my own), here is a picture of my fresh water pond.

    [​IMG]
    The water is still a bit brownish because the dirt used for the water plants is still settling.

    [​IMG]
    This is a picture of my bog garden. This part of the pond was excavated to a depth of 1 1/2 feet but I filled most of it in with dirt for my marginal/bog plants. There are only a few inches of water in this part of the pond. In addition to submerged oxygenating plants, I've planted a zebra rush and two Chinese water chestnuts.

    In the background you can see the rocking chair I sit in. I've spent many a pleasant evening rocking back and forth while listening to the burbling waterfall and enjoying the peace and quiet of my pond. I'm afraid this picture is a bit over sized. You'll have to scroll to the right to see the rest of the picture.

    As for the towel? Since the deepest part of my pond is 4 feet, the pond doubles as an old fashioned watering hole. When it gets really hot and my swamp cooler can't cool my home, I grab a bathing suit and spend some time in the pond. :)
     
  17. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    I have never seen fish being sold at walmart. Sry I can not help you! They will sell anything at wally mart won't they?!? lol!
     
  18. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

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    Wal-Mart gutted their pet department after receiving numerous complaints about dead animals and unhygienic conditions. Only a few stores still carry live animals.
     
  19. DaveF

    DaveF Companion

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    My koi are from Wallyworld. I bought them for my classroom aquarium with the idea that they would go into a backyard pond. They spent last school year in the classroom and now are in my entryway hall. The pond is awaiting the filter with the UV light. Feed them the color enhancing food and they look great.
     
  20. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    I have only bought fish from WalMart.....they won't die for me. I had one for years that I got
    to hate.....it wasn't him, just the responsibility of caring for him over the summer.

    I also got an aquatic frog. He lived as long as I had him--a student, um, appropriated him.:unsure:
     
  21. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    I've purchased from Wal-Mart.

    The best fish I ever purchased was a goldfish from the Woolworth's when I was in college. He lasted 10 years and flew in a pickle jar to and from college with me on an airplane. Then, he died in our house fire. Not a normal fish by any means.
     
  22. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    I love your pond.
     

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