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I went into petsmart today looking to buy a few fish for my 33 gallon tank.After some time looking we seen some 1" fan-tail goldfish for $2.99 each and decided they would like nice in our tank.

They didn't want to sell them to me because they said that my tank was not big enough for that many fish. Yet at the store 3 out of the 4 tanks that I looked at had multiple dead fish stuck to the filters and floating and there were much much more than 4 fish per tank in much much smaler tanks. I was then told the reasoning for their refusal to sell me the fish was becuase I would be endangering the fishes lives in such a SMALL tank! I then proceeded to go get a second opinion and went to another store, NOT PetSmart and was told the general rule is 1" per gallon and the fish would grow to the size of the tank.

I could technically have 30 in my tank if I wanted and would not be endangering the fish.Needless to say I will never go to PetSmart again nor will I ever recommend PetSmart to anyone either.


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Thank god someone told you not to, you sound awful.I'm a goldfish breeder and keeper and it's 20 gallons per one fancy goldfish and ten for everyone thereafter.

Just because something "looks nice" to you doesn't mean it's right.Twat.


Maybe if you would do your research you would understand why they refused you.Obviously those small goldfish will not be small for long and with four of them in a 33 gallon will stunt their growth witch will cause the fish to suffer.

Dont buy fish unless you KNOW what your getting your hands on.

Petsmart had every right not to sell to you, and your hatefulness is to your own stupidity.Do your research, then you won't be caught a fool.


As an anonymous Petsmart associate/leader, I would love to just sell you any kind of pet without reservations because it would save me time, needless frustration and I get to sell you something.

However, the best thing I can sell you is totally free; responsible fish keeping.

More times than not, when a petsmart employee blocks you from buying a fish, it is because you are setting yourself up for failure and going to bring needless suffering to an animal. I want you to be successful in maintaining your aquarium and I train my team to teach people to be responsible.

Sometimes, that means we have to take flak from customers but, when the welfare of an animal is on the line, we have to maintain our principles.

I understand sticking to your principles doesn't guarantee a sale and it will irritate customers, but even a small 2.99 goldfish is still entitled to proper home.


1 goldfish needs atleast a 29 gal tank.


The workers are correct: fancy goldfish need 20 gallons PER FISH!In general, fish at pet stores are kept in small tanks since they will all be sold soon (and many pet stores don't take very good care of the fish anyway).

The inch per gallon rule is actually a myth.

Different species of fish grow to different sizes and have different needs. Fancy goldfish can grow over 6 inches long and need a lot of room (keeping a fish in a tank that is too small causes painful stunting which shortens their life).

Smaller fish that could go in your tank include platies, swordtails, guppies, or a school of tetras, barbs, or danios.

Remember that all fish have different needs so it is crucial to research each one BEFORE you buy it.Have a nice day!

Morehead City, North Carolina, United States #1316347

They wouldn't sell my grandson ONE tiny goldfish! He had bought a 5 gallon tank as they told him that would work for one the last time he was in there! i think it's a ripoff to steer you to buying more expensive fish!wont ship there again!

to Anonymous #1316597

Hello!A goldfish actually grows very large and creates a lot of waste, so a fancy goldfish needs at least 20 gallons per fish.

Please remember that every fish has specific needs that you should research before buying one.

A good choice for your grandson's tank would be a betta.

Remember, a fish is just as much responsibility as any other pet!They need some tank water switched out for clean water every week or two, or else the waste will kill the fish.

to Anonymous 1 #1438509

Only *** think like you

to Anonymous #1354002

They were right to refuse you. Please do some research.

to Anonymous #1382125

They are there for the customer. If he is looking at a small goldfish then he can easily have that in a 5 gallon tank. I am pretty sure you are working for PetSmart.....so maybe you should leave the responses to others.

to anonymouse #1434275

Think of it this way: a goldfish produces constant waste. In a five gallon tank, unless you're doing near daily water changes, that fish will poison itself with its waste, and the ammonia will burn its gills and fins. But on the other hand, those daily water changes will stress it to death very quickly, so your options for a goldfish in a five gallon are torture it or torture it.

Stockton, California, United States #1239867

Its kind of interesting.I do understand the logic of the Ratio of Fish to Tank.

But how does Petsmart know if you even have a Fish Tank to Begin with.For all you know someone buys the Fish and just Flushes them down the Toilet when they get Home for the Heck of it. We as Pets or Fish owner can only do our very BEST to keep our Pets Alive and Healthy but we cant STOP the inevitable when the time comes. A Person could be lying. I agree with one of the comments dont preach to me about Tank Size and Fish Health and you have dead fish in your Tanks same as Big Fish that are crowded in small Tanks.

Especially Feeder Fish talking about overcrowding. Not Happy with the way Petsmart handle our sales today. Ive had Gold Fish in our Tank before, I have undergravel Filter all the Bells and Whistles.I even had Kois in my 60 gallon Tank which eventually been Transfered to a Koi POND. Like i said both Goldfish and Koi Grew Healthy and I do take Care of my Fish but when the time comes you cant Stop them from Dying.

I do greatly believe its a Marketing Ploy to Sell you Bigger Tanks and Bigger Fish. I wanted to Buy five 1" Goldfish and a 1" Black Moor and the lady tells me for a 60 gallon I can only Sell you 2 Fish.

Sort of like you Stopping a Person from enjoying 5 cheeseburgers because they walked up and you saw them being overweight and you tell them I can only Sell you 1 cheeseburger because your overweight.In the End Sorry for the Rant but its the Customers Choice Sad but True.

to Anonymous #1328179

PetSmart is just looking out for the needs of the fish based on the information you give them..

The amount of fish in the tankes while in the store is not how they should be kept permanently, and is a very temporary situation until they find a home.. The treatment of the fish while in PetSmarts care is taken very seriously, if a fish expired while in the care of PetSmart that's an extra cost for the store and not a sale...

to Anonymous Seattle, Washington, United States #1332434

It's none of Petsmarts business to "intrude" just to find a reason to rufuse a sale. They can f***k off in my opinion and I will shop somewhere else.---

They also refused a sale to me and I have had an established aquarium for 35 years.

to Anonymous #1354489

It actually is completely their business to prevent their animals from being abused.


That's not true, more like 1 inch of fish = 10 gallons in the case of Goldfish. Your tank should be fine with two Goldfish. I agree Petsmart's fish are in terrible condition but, still this doesn't mean you should abuse them like a pet store will.

to Anonymous #1388214

Actually no a goldfish can grow up to 12 inches. 1 goldfish needs at least a 29 gallon tank with a bubbler and a filter to live a happy life.


I am a PetSmart employee.I have a Bachelors degree in environmental biology and am one semester away from a Masters in zoology.

PetSmart also makes a conscious effort in training employees on the care of the animals we sell. So, please try to respect the person selling you the animal, or anyone in retail for that matter, because we all aren't wasted space. That being said, PetSmart is successful at keeping THOUSANDS of fish alive in their tanks, this is not only because they sell so fast, but our tank system (all tanks are attached) is approximately 4,000 gallons with automatic water changes being done three times a day! That is why we are able to house so many fish in a small tank, a massive amount of water is being moved through it, not the same water being cycled.

There will always be a number of fish that die in the store but that is inevitable when there are thousands, a few doesn't sound like that many. Next, the inch of fish rule is based on the maximum size of the fish. This obviously is not a live or die situation. It is simply a recommendation.

We tell people this because we want the adult fish to have room to grow and exhibit natural behavior as an adult without the owner needing to buy a new tank. The inch of fish rule is also helpful when teaching a new pet owner about water quality. If that rule is followed you are less likely to have issues with water quality. However, if you go into a PetSmart, there are tags on all of the fish telling you the recommended tank size, and it is not always identical to the inch rule.

Next, it is a myth fish grow to their tank size. There have been scientific studies on stunting of fish. A can grow to a size liveable within a tank that is too small, it can even live several years. More often than not, the animal dies prematurely (compared to average lifespan), that it would have if it had room to grow.

Small tanks can also lead to bone deformities if a person houses a fish in inadequate space for too long and then tries to move them to a larger tank. If stunting has already occurred in the small tank, when moved to the large tank the animal will attempt to grow, usually causing fatal spinal deformities. Now, Specifically with goldfish. They have one of the longest lifespans of all the fish we sell, they are some of the dirtiest, and they grow VERY large.

There is a reason 29 gallons per adult fish is recommended. Nobody wants to intentionally cause an animal stress and discomfort (at least I hope not), so that being said, if you are interested in a species of fish, do your homework before you go to the store. You may find things you don't like the answers to, but put the animals well being first and this will also help you avoid an accidental confrontation with a fellow PetSmart employee.

Fish have brains, memories, they can feel pain and stress, don't forget that.

to PMART Morehead City, North Carolina, United States #1316348

And yet you wouldn't sell one tiny goldfish to us while several dozen lay dead in the tank and the sales girl said the ones that weren't sold would be used as feeder fish!

to Anonymous #1321147

When it comes to feeders its always hard.They are breed to be feed as food, which means they aren't often very healthy fish in the first place.

Also when they are feed it is often a fairly quick death for the animal which dose make it better than dying slowly via stunting. Dose that make it right, not really, but for the most part feeders are never kept properly.

Look at cows and chickens if you want a good example or look at how most feeder rats are kept.Still most feeders are usually sold in a few days which means they don't have to suffer for very long

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