Fin and Feathers in Oneonta, NY is a tropical pet store that sells fish, birds, and reptiles. Although a small store in size, the place is packed full with pets and everything they need. This review is based on personal opinion on being a costumer to the store on numerous occasions.
I started out loving this store. As a student in Oneonta, I was not supposed to have pets inside the dorm room. I decided to get some anyway. When I stepped inside Fin and Feathers, I saw something I wanted immediately. There was a tall tank with tree frogs in it and I fell in love with them.
Now knowing anything about the tree frogs care, I asked the man behind the counter, the owner, what he could tell me about them. He was very helpful and informative. He led me around the store, showing me what I would need, explaining it all in a way I could easily understand. I learned about what they eat, how to feed them. He explained how to make sure the tank stays at the right temperature. He pointed out items I could purchase to decorate the tank but did not push me to buy them. He explained that I could use rocks, twigs, and plastic plants.
I left the store with my entire set up, and two tree frogs that would soon be named Jiffy and Potatoes. I would return to Fin and Feathers for their feed and anything else I needed for my pets. The problem with tree frogs is they do not move around too much, so I wanted to get something else to put in the tank with them. I headed to Fin and Feathers, of course, knowing they could help me. I asked about putting another animal in the tank and they suggested Anoles, little green lizards. They ate the same foods as the frogs and were small. Again, they were very helpful and nice.
So, years later, when I wanted to find some tankmates for a dragon fish/violet goby, I went straight to Fin and Feathers for help. Unfortunately, things change, and Fin and Feathers lost their high ranking with me.
I had done a lot of research about violet gobies, knowing they were difficult to take care of. I had a list in my hand of possible tankmates, but also wanted to ask the owners of Fin and Feathers for help. I figured they would be as helpful to me now as they were all those years ago.
The woman at the desk did not know what I was talking about when I said “Violet Goby”. I told her it was also called a “dragon fish” but not to be confused with the “dragonfish” Arowana. She said she had heard of the eel-like dragon fish, but that was it. Okay, fine. At least she knew what my fish looked like. I mentioned some of the fish on my list, stating I heard they might be good tankmates for my dragon fish. She looked at me like I was stupid for a few moments, then turned away. I kept on talking anyway. When I mentioned the knight fish, she told me that it had to have brackish water. I responded by telling her that the dragon fish was in brackish water, like he should be. She gave me that clueless look again and told me she did not know that about them. I finished my list, hoping for better enlightenment. Her last, very curt, words to me were that she did not know anything about it, and that they did not have any of the fish I mentioned. One of their tanks had a tag for a fish that was on my list, but the tank was empty. Which meant they had a fish I wanted, but I did not bother asking when more would be coming in or if they can be ordered. I knew I was going to get nowhere, so I left.
I fully understand that a pet store might not know everything about every pet. However, that does not mean they need to be rude when they do not know. They could still help, look it up on a computer, use what they do know to help figure things out. Or, maybe even recommend a place that might know. By doing something other than making me feel stupid and uncomfortable, I would still be willing to come back, stating that the store was helpful and nice although they could not help me.
Instead, I left Fin and Feathers deciding I would not be going back again.
Do take your chances with this store, though. They have a lot to offer and have been there in Oneonta for many years. They also sell goods from their website and since that does not require any actual face to face time, you might do well. They sell top of the line Whisper products. They are very knowledgeable, most of the time. More knowledgeable than a pet chain store employee who had a few weeks of training.
Fin and Feathers
Clinton Plaza Dr.
Oneonta, NY 13820
Store hours: Tues.-Fr. 10am-5:30pm, Sat. 10am-4pm
Closed: Sun. and Mon.
Phone Orders: 607- 433-0183