I received an email from the guys at aquatic sealife today and it included the reason that the communication between us stopped. It was a personal reason and I completely understand. With that, they have offered to replace the fish. I want to make sure this thread doesn't end without me saying they have responded and they wish to make it right.
Hello everyone. I want to take a moment and post my experience with one of my local fish stores. The store is new and it saddens me that I couldn't get this resolved but I have tried repeatedly and they have stopped responding to my emails. I found this really disappointing so here goes my experience with aquatic sealife...
I purchased a pair of swallowtail angelfish from aquatic sealife on Tuesday May 24 around noon. This pair of fish was about 170$. After my acclimation process I placed the fish into my quarantine tank, which I setup a few hours prior to purchasing the fish. I called my home to check on the fish about 4-5 hours after they entered the qt tank, 6 or 7 pm, and I was told the fish were swimming and seemed happy. When I returned home after work at about midnight, a few hours after my household went to sleep, I found the fish were both dead. So to clarify, these two fish died after being in my tank for 8 to 10 hours. I don't know if they died at the same time or not.
I quarantine all new fish and use pretty much the same process. I get out my ten gallon tank and rinse it out with water only to remove the dust from sitting on a shelf. I attach my light, hob filter and add a heater and thermometer. I filled the qt tank with newly mixed saltwater about 90% to leave room for adjusting the salinity if needed. On this occasion, I used the rest of my mixed saltwater to do a water change on my display. I then add rock and a filter pad from my display into my qt to prevent a cycle and ensure the qt won't spike ammonia. Once I have the fish home, I put them into a container with all the water from the bag. I buy all of my fish local so the 20-30 minute ride doesn't cause an issue regarding ammonia build up when opening the bag. I then start acclimating the fish to my water and usually over the course of two hours I can add the fish to the qt. At this point the salinity and the temperature match for both the qt and the store water. Salinity is slightly increased, 0.002-0.003, during the course of acclimation and the difference between qt and display is corrected during the month long qt process. I then add only the fish and turn off the light. I do not feed the first day since most fish won't eat and this could cause unnecessary ammonia. I also have a test kit and refracrometer and test regularly to make sure things stay stable.
This is the process I use and have never lost a fish that fast. I will admit that I have lost fish. We all have or will given enough time in this hobby but the fish I lost over the years was due to them not eating or me not feeding enough.
The initial email to aquatic sealife (dated May 25) was to tell them that the fish perished quickly and since I haven't had a fish die that fast I didn't know what to do. I also went over my qt process in detail to show that I made every attempt to care for the fish. The response (dated May 25) was that the qt tank was to small and it should not be used and that they were sorry and wanted to make things right. I was excited that I got a very quick response and that they really wanted to make it right.
Before I responded back, I wanted to make sure it wasn't really my fault that the fish perished because if it was, I would apologize to aquatic sealife and accept my losses. I messaged a very knowledgeable reefer and told him the same thing I told the fish store. He responded that I took the necessary precautions and that another reefer had a fish die in a very similar manner. With this new information I responded to aquatic sealife and wanted to have the pair replaced. This was the second email to them (dated May 26).
There was no response to that email so I sent a third email on June 1 to see where we stood with making this right. Their response to that email (dated June 3) changed in tone and I felt was more hostile then the first. Aquatic sealife said they "were on the fence with my acclimation procedure" and since "both fish died at the same time, this tells [them] that the water was bad". They also said "I am just afraid that if you get another pair and throw them in that 10 gallon tank again the same thing will happen".
This email aggravated me because it went from "we want to make it right" to " it's your fault".
As agrevated as I was from this email, I could understand the points they were making so I thought them through. The first problem, my acclimation, was clarified by the knowledgeable reefer. Problem one down. The second problem, bad water, was cleared when I changed the water on my display and the tank didn't crash and also when I put in a hermit crab and it didn't die. I don't have any fish I can catch or they too would be in there with the hermit crab. Also remember, the hermit crab gave birth to a few hundred baby hermit crabs. Problem two down. The third problem, insufficient qt size, led me to post a topic looking for a larger qt tank and actually securing a 30 gallon to use for the process.
I then sent a fourth email to them (on June 3) and re clarified some of my acclimation procedure and also state that the fish died in a two hour gap.
On June 13 I sent yet another email to see where we stood in making this right. I have received no response from aquatic sealife since June 3.
I sent numerous emails in an attempt to make this situation right and it has come to a complete stop by the fish store. I have tried to accommodate the fears aquatic sealife had in an attempt to show good will even though I firmly believe I followed necessary protocol in acclimation and attempted qt'ing. All I can do now is share my experience and hope that none of you have to go through this ordeal. I have also made the attempt to mention the name of the store numerous times. This isn't to keep bringing their name up but to make sure someone doesn't misread aquatic sealife as aquatic specialties. Aquatic specialties should not be associated accidentally with this situation. As with all experiences, this is mine and I'm sure others have had positive experiences. I don't want to sway your thinking but rather wish you to be cautious when purchasing fish.