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Old 08-23-2005, 07:52 PM   #1
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Fish tank cleaning business - need some tips

Hi all,
So I am thinking of a way to bring in a few extra dollars (my final year of college - YES!!) and I was thinking of starting a little fish tank cleaning business.

I was just wondering if anyone can give me a few tips. And most importantly... how much do I charge?!

I live in a fairly poor area, so I don't expect to have any 500g reef tanks to clean or anything (nor would I know how to clean one!). So I'm just wondering what a fair price is to clean up to a 55g or so. Like I said, it is kind of a crap area and I wouldn't be surprised if no one is even willing to pay to have their tanks clean. The only reason I assume a lot of people have tanks though is we have a fairly large (local) fish store here that is pretty busy.

Also, how would you advertise? As I said, we have one lfs store here, and a petsmart. I was thinking about asking them if I could hang up a flyer or something. The problem is they don't educate their customers in the first place, so they probably don't even realize that it's so important and needs to be done! And I don't think I can say that on the flyer.

I had planned on doing a free (or maybe $5 or so) type thing just to get my foot in the door. Say for $5 I come over and will clean the algae on the inside and test your water or something. Then charge more if you want more, and work it that way.

Any tips/ideas? My 2 biggest questions are how much $, and how do I get it started? I suppose maybe flyers at WalMart and Meijer where they sell fish stuff. And maybe I'll go stick flyers in all the fish keeping books at the library. lol

Thanks as always! I love the AA community!!


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Old 08-24-2005, 08:52 AM   #2
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Well, I've never seriously looked into this, so my comment is: What about going to that large LFS and seeing if they maybe could use a person to help clean their contracted tanks. Both the LFS's here have contracts with some businesses and a couple hospitals. It'd be worth it I think to ask if they need a 'float' person to help with those. If not, you might just pick their brain a little about what they charge.
You won't really be competing, because they likely don't want to waste their time for $20 cleaning a 55gal...but for you, it's $20 in your pocket (yes, I remember my college days)

Other than that, I'd say have a set pricing list, like 55gal cleaning and testing is $25, a 75 gal is $35.... or just have a minimum, and then a 'cost per 10gallons' or something like that. Main thing is have that price set in stone before you do the work.
Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
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