Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pissed at PetSmart

I kind of got fed up with the fake driftwood I had in the aquarium the other day. It had gotten covered in algae and was just sitting there like, well, like a rock. So I pulled it out, but that left a large open space right in the center of the aquarium that needed filling.

I was unfaithful to Sailfin, my pretty kick-ass local fish shop, and went to PetSmart. I had heard from David that they had introduced a new line of aquarium plants.

Selling plants in tubes like that is a bit weird, but they all seemed to be in pretty good condition and I could get a good close-up look at each one. They are all Top Fin brand, which I think is PetSmart's store brand. The problem was that the tubes identified the plant, but not much else. They said they were "aquarium & terrarium" plants, but not how big the plants got, where they should be put in the tank, and most importantly, what the light requirements were (which is important in an aquarium).

They had no plants in the size I was looking for that I'd heard of, so I picked up a tube each of Ophiopogon japonicus ("Kyoto grass") and Selaginella willdenowii ("Peacock fern"). No particular reason, I just liked the look of them.

After getting them home and planting the both of them, I decided to look them up on the web. Imagine my surprise when I found out neither of them is an aquatic plant! They both need to grow emersed and will eventually die when fully submersed. The Selaginella died about two weeks later and the Ophiopogon is starting to yellow and lose leaves. So I'm pretty ticked that I was sold a product unsuitable for the purpose for which it was advertised and sold.

Serves me right for not going to Sailfin.


Vogue said...

We share your disdain for PetSmart. Fortunately, there is a more local pet store in our area where we buy just about everything we can for our girls. There's just one thing they don't have, which I hope we can find somewhere else.

Bigger is not always better.

prairie biker said...

Sailfin rocks. I have never been disappointed there. Their customer service and employee knowledge base is first-rate.

Narc said...

Vogue: I've met your kitties. I have a hard time believing they lack for anything, except maybe a lap on call for when the fancy strikes them. And I'm not even sure about that.

PB: Yeah, I agree. My only complaint about the plants at Sailfin is that their presentation leaves a bit to be desired. They clearly all know their stuff. John, the proprietor, once mentioned that he taught herpetology at UIUC, which may have something to do with it.

David said...

Geez, you make it sound like I steered you into a bum deal. After all, you said the packaging lacked all the details you wanted... and you bought the plants anyway.

But, like you, I bought two plants there, one the Kyoto grass you mentioned. My grass plants are doing fine, for the time being, though the other one — which turned out to be a bamboo plant (duh) — basically withered away. No more PetSmart plants for me.

Although, I should note, that I didn't have any snail problems until I bought plants from Sailfin and, presto, snails. Luckily, I nipped that in the bud, so to speak.

Narc said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to make it sound like you gave me a bad tip or anything.

David said...

I forgive you, and my fish forgive you.