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About GEF

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    Beware the stucco!

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  1. Same as Squeeker and Jenny, the most common advice I give is about the cycle--not many people know about it, but most are pretty receptive. I also let them know that we test water samples for free. The other question I'm often asked is how to control algae-- especially green water in ponds. I try to offer the more natural solutions over chemicals. Same for treating diseases/ailments-- if I know aquarium salt will do the trick, I recommend that over other (usually pricier) treatments, plus the value of good water conditions. Potential size of fish, too, and compatible tank mates. Honesty is always the best policy-- If I don't know the answer, I never guess-- I will ask a more senior staff member for help. I also try to greet everyone, that way they know I work there (we don't have a uniform shirt) and it's an opening if they need assistance, it doesn't come off as pushy if they just want to browse-- some folk like to be asked if they need help, while others find it annoying to be approached, and would rather seek out the employee if they need help. For people buying goldies, I try to tell them about how much they enjoy veggies, especially frozen peas. Many are delighted and surprised that goldies like other things besides their staple food. If they are really enthusiastic about goldfish, I direct them to this website Like everyone else has said-- a good attitude, and sincerity goes a long way. Pushiness or know-it-allness scares people away from fishkeeping, and is just plain annoying. When dealing with difficult customers, always remain polite and professional-- do not raise your voice or interrupt. Usually this will help to calm the situation, if not-- offer the assistance of your manager, and try not to take it personally if the customer is upset about something you have no control over. Sometimes they're just having a bad day and use you as an object to vent on. Good luck at your new job, I'm sure you'll do great!
  2. Hurrah for Ryan MD This happened to my GEF once-- I totally panicked, but we eventually got it out with tweezers. Afterwards, I took out the gravel and replaced it with river stones
  3. . . . also check and make sure the tests haven't expired. I realized this the other day when I went to check my water.
  4. Poor goldies just don't get any respect -- the other day I had a customer tell me that she thought goldfish were "dirty, disgusting vermin" I get a lot of flack for keeping goldies, that I am not a serious fish hobbyist because my main tank (and love) is goldfish. Different strokes for different folks, I guess, but the disrespect does hurt sometimes-- I don't go around insulting cichlids, y'know?
  5. If Natalya looks like she is really in danger, maybe you could put a divider in the tank to separate them, and give them some breathing room. Or something I've heard that sometimes works is redecorating the tank so everyone has to find new turf. How big are Pico and Natalya? If they are larger, the 15 gallons may be too small for them, and Pico is acting aggressively because the tank isn't big enough for the both of them, and he feels the need to protect his territory. You may have to return Natalya to the store if worse comes to worse. Better yet, save up some money and get them a larger tank: A larger tank is probably adviseable anyway (if you decide to keep Natalya) considering the amount of waste goldfish create-- a good rule of thumb for the fancy varieties is 10 gallons per fish. With two fish in a 15, you are looking at more frequent water changes. The stress from the extra ammonia (from uneaten food and the other goldfish) may also be affecting Pico, making him more aggressive.
  6. Your Miss Pix looks like our Miss Priss! My rats are not as interested in the goldies as they are in the bettas-- they seem to like to watch him flare at them
  7. Welcome to Koko's! I just had one little thing to add to what the others have said-- Goldies love to nose around and suck on the gravel, spitting it out. Occasionally, it's happened where a piece of gravel gets caught in inquisitive goldies' mouths. It happened to my G.E.F, and I had to get the piece out using tweezers. When I upgraded him to a larger tank, I got the larger river stones to prevent any more gravel incidents.
  8. I have also heard that barley is a good solution to pea soup green water-- it is natural and a bit gentler than some of the chemical anti-algae products out there. I think Big Al's sells it, too (at least the one in my area does). But the UV sterilizers, as Nancy suggested is probably the most efficient way.
  9. This pic is actually from a fitness site my husband came across. When I first saw it I nearly busted a gut. I think he's actually licking his bicep, but what can I say, it looks like armpit action to me! Oh and the little saying underneath-- We have stucco-plastered walls in the hallways of our building, which proved to be quite deadly . . . to my knuckles! I was carrying my laundry back to the apartment, when I walked a little too close to the wall, instantly grating my knuckles like so much swiss cheese! They're still healing and it's been months . . . Beware the Stucco!
  10. Hooray for Cape Breton! I live in Ottawa, Canada's Capital. Home to the Prime Minister, Governor General, The Royal Canadian Mint, and some of the land's craziest drivers
  11. oooh Gouramis! Pretty fish! I saw recently some Opaline Gouramis-- very nice looking, and they can get quite big The Dwarfs are nice, too. Good luck, Amy with the shops-- you'll know your fish when you see him/her B)
  12. aqauacow I'm not sure if Goldies have the enzymes to break down dairy?
  13. Toothy, you amaze me! Recently I've been thinking about this sort of thing-- whether I have enough filtration happening. Thanks for the information-- it also really helped me out!
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