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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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I agree completely. I spent five years working at an aquarium and I have a 15 gallon tank and I wanted to have three gold fish in it and they wouldn't sell one to me because they said that it is illegal to sell fish in a tank to small.

The tank takes up a whole shelving unit so it is ridiculous and they don't know what they are doing. Some people just need to get over themselves.


Goldfish produce more waste than other types of fish. For goldfish, your filtration system needs to be able to filter 10 times the volume of the tank every hour. Most other types of fish only require a filtration system that can filter 4 times the aquarium's volume every hour.


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.

to Anonymous #1449277

You have said it perfectly my friend, I am also a breeder and just because they don’t grown to the size of the tank, you would kill them all from lack of oxygen

to Anonymous fish breeder #1478610

Exactly! I'm so tired of people thinking they can do whatever they want because it's their fish tank.

I saw an ad on craigslist the other day that sent me through the roof. Some woman was selling her 5 gallon tank with 4 commons in it.

People don't educate themselves then get all mad when they are told no. Just do your research.


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.

to anonymouse #1498616

As the customer should be my right to do what i want with this fish when it becomes MY property you guys seem to forget we eat fish if i wanted to go home and throw it into boiling water should be my right to do so, maybe I'm a teacher and were dissecting fish for science class, *** don't you think its torture feeding feeder fish to the other fish. Such hypocrites and justice warriors who only want to feel like they did the right thing and get satisfaction in denying some kid a fish for their birthday.

to anonymouse #1515323

How would you feel if someone took you and kept you in a tiny box for the rest of your life with no way to escape? All because you’re THEIR property.

Sicko. You should have all rights to own any animal taken away

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 {{redacted}} 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.

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