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Hi all, I've been on the forum for a few years and have been keeping fish (mostly African Cichlids) myself for about 13 years now. Within the past couple of years, I've been designated to completely run the aquatics department of a pet store. Everything has been going smoothly, but I've got a new idea that I'm hoping someone with a little more experience in the industry can provide feedback on.

I hate having so many decorations (live plants, fake plants, wood, rocks, resin decor) in our display tanks. It makes catching fish near impossible and dead fish often get stuck under or around these decorations and we miss them when we go to scoop out floaters in the morning which causes problems. I also have trouble reordering because of how well some of these fish hide (catfish, loaches, smaller cichlids, etc.) and we have trouble catching outbreaks of illnesses before it's too late and the whole tank is infected because we just can't see some of the fish.

I'd really like to completely eradicate decor in most, or all, of our tanks. I know that this can be stressful on the fish, so I'm wondering if anyone else has tried it or if anyone has any alternate suggestions. I was thinking about possibly going with some things that are easy to remove like flower pots or big bunches of hornwort or Anacharis if emptying the tanks completely doesn't seem to work.

Has anyone kept bare tanks in their store and if not, what did you use as decor? All feedback is welcome!
 

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I've never owned a LFS but have worked in a couple of them 45 years ago and the tanks never had decorations in them. The tanks I see in LFS's now also do not have decorations in them unless they are only used as a display tank and not for selling fish from.

I do like your suggestion to use easy to remove decor such as a flower pot or live bunch plants, maybe even a bushy plastic plant but then again you will need to remove them when it's time to catch any fish or search for dead fish.

Are the store tanks painted on the backs or sides rather than being just clear, sometimes this affords the fish some semblance of safety.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Deeda said:
I've never owned a LFS but have worked in a couple of them 45 years ago and the tanks never had decorations in them. The tanks I see in LFS's now also do not have decorations in them unless they are only used as a display tank and not for selling fish from.

I do like your suggestion to use easy to remove decor such as a flower pot or live bunch plants, maybe even a bushy plastic plant but then again you will need to remove them when it's time to catch any fish or search for dead fish.

Are the store tanks painted on the backs or sides rather than being just clear, sometimes this affords the fish some semblance of safety.
Glad to hear that. The only close-ish store to us has all of their tanks heavily decorated. I'm going to start removing decor today. Our tanks all came with 3D resin backgrounds, so they are a little more secure-feeling I'm sure.
 

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The only advantage I see to setting up a decorated tank that you are selling fish out of is to give customers an idea of what their tank could look like. Maybe leave one decorated tank per shelf as an example to customers or even set up a bio-type tank with compatible fish that your store usually sells. You wouldn't need to sell fish out of the decorated tank since they would be available in your 'sell" tanks.

What size tanks are you mostly using?
 

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Also to sell the decorations. My LFS has each tank decorated to the max.

Isn't there a bigger markup on the décor than the fish? Especially tetras and zebras, etc.?
 
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