May 5, 2011 - Aqueon 5-gal Mini Bow Fish Aquarium Kit. Petsmart = $59.99; Petco = $47.99; Winner = Petco = $12 less. Miller's Forge Dog Nail Clippers.
The few petcos and petsmarts I know of in my area are fairly alright. I know of one petco a little farther off who has an employee that will go out of their way to special order certain fish from the wholesaler whenever someone's looking for a certain something.
Now, I agree with other posters that you really just have to judge on a store by store basis as it mostly depends on the staff. As a former "fish specialist" at Petco as a teenager 10+ years ago, I can tell you that I ran a pretty good fish dept for someone who worked part time... but most of the Petsmarts I see are far better than Petco. That's just the stores in my area though.
Quality of Fish at PetSmart and PetCo
Is PetSmart really that much better?I really don't have ..
The nearest Petco near me ALWAYS has every single fish with Ick all over it, or the fish is stressed or not healthy (red tailed sharks for example are light grey compared to being jet black). The nearest Petsmart by me has great fish without only the obvious one or two fish being sick or ill (they have this extremely bloated and ammonia burned rosy barb that has been there for months now).In every large chain business, you will have winners, and losers. I fear that this write up was extremely bias, and targets one poorly managed store. Petsmart is the WalMart of pet stores, Petco the Target. I can say honestly that MUCH care goes into the animals at the PETCO in my area. The aquatics team is extremely knowledgable and refuses sales to those planning to keep a fish they are not prepared to care for. They are holding an adoption event today that stresses sales are not necessary, just finding homes. Sure, they will have a kick back from that, but knowing that team personally, I can tell you this….They do not care if the store doesn’t make a dime today, as long as they find as many homes as possible for animals on the kill lists. I believe in the circle of life. Animal A must feed on animal B. Snakes cannot survive on Tofu. PETA’s hearts are in the right place, but their mind has gotten out of control.local pet stores usually have alot more types of fish then petco and the owners know alot more as theve been doing it for as long as they owned it unlike the 25 year olds that work at petco and petsmart but actually petco and petsmarts fish are almost always cheaperI am fortunate in my home area. The PetSmart has 2 really good people working in the aquatics section. The PetCo has a young man there that is a real fish enthusiast. One of the local stores has been there for 30 years, so they are very good. And, finally, the Walmart in the next town over has a good man there that happens to be my son. He tells me about how people mess up his tanks and it really upsets him. He isnt afraid to tell people if there is a problem with some of the fish or if they are making poor choices.