I always advocate doing your homework before making any major purchase; and a pet is a major purchase. The beauty of the internet is that you can search for anything you need. Not all the info will be totally accurate, but if you read enough stuff, you'll find that many sites will basically tell you the same things...and the ones that don't are probably the ones that aren't accurate.
With this being said, I was somewhat surprised with a sign posted at a pet store I visited over the weekend. In their attempts to "upsell" everything, there was a sign that said "buy a tank today, take home a fish today." Basically saying that if you're buying the tank, you might as well buy the fish too.
Now, for those that are doing their research before purchasing, they would know that a new tank set-up takes time. You should never put a fish in a new tank until the water is in, the filter is running, and the decorations are settled. Plus, the water should circulate for at least a few days before adding any fish. This allows for the colonies of the so-called 'good' bacteria to grow. I won't go into the complexities of why this needs to occur (though it's covered in many of my other posts), but it does bother me that this sign was posted.
As consumers, we look to our local pet stores, especially the ones that aren't big chains, to provide us with knowledge about our potential purchases. We expect them to be honest and do what it best for the pets, before doing what is best for their bottom lines. There is an expectation of responsibility when you're buying live animals, and this sign was far beyond irresponsible.
Hopefully, no one fell for the trap and overspent on a fish that most likely died if they took it home the same day the tank was set up.