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Old 09-10-2015, 11:24 AM   #1
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How to make money from aquariums

I am too young to have a real job yet, so I maintain all of my aquariums with a weekly allowance and occasionally selling my art. As the enthusiasm for the hobby increases, so does the amount of money I'm spending on aquarium supplies. Is there any way to use it to earn money back? Also, I am not allowed to buy any more tanks, so an elaborate breeding thing is probably out of the picture unless it's shrimp or something.
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:28 AM   #2
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Sell plants maybe?

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Old 09-10-2015, 12:37 PM   #3
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In my opinion the problem is that you have to invest money in order to get started and end up making money. At one point I had a steady income from the hobby...I was selling plants, N class Endlers, and 4 types of shellies. While I had money coming in there was always money going back into it: shipping supplies, maintenance for the fish & tanks, etc.
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Old 09-10-2015, 03:25 PM   #4
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In my opinion the problem is that you have to invest money in order to get started and end up making money. At one point I had a steady income from the hobby...I was selling plants, N class Endlers, and 4 types of shellies. While I had money coming in there was always money going back into it: shipping supplies, maintenance for the fish & tanks, etc.
This is very true. You never really recoup the cost of the equipment or tanks if you get out of the hobby either. With my endeavour I've spent a ton of money but I really dont expect to make much. If I can sell enough fish to pay for the fish food at least then I will be happy. I'm not breaking even yet with my red strain because I feed live and frozen also.

What kind of fish are you thinking about breeding?

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Old 09-10-2015, 06:19 PM   #5
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Short of turning your fish collection into a "pay for view" area for your friends and neighbors , the only way I've known to make "real" money doing fish is to make a lot of them and sell a lot of them. This is a tough thing to do when you are tank space limited. What you then do is try to breed fish that will at least pay for themselves by breeding and selling the young. The fish that can do this are ones that are good parents and care for their fry so you only need 2 tanks ( 1 for spawning in and 1 for growing out.) Fish that come to mind for this, but are not limited to, are Kribensis, Brichardis, Rams ( sometimes), Plecos, etc. You can also do some cory cats in just 2 tanks but more is better. Raising common fish will not get you high returns on your time or investment. Depending on where you are at, talk to your local pet shop and see what they are interested in buying and breed those if they fit into the above criteria. Specialty fish make more money but if you can't sell them at the local level, you have additional costs involved which can eat heavily into your profits. Nothing beats the ability to walk into a store with a 5 gal bucket with a portable air pump filled with fish for sale. It's the cheapest way to move fish, but only when it's local.
Then there is the plants route. If you have the space, propagate some unusual or more desirable types.

Things to keep in mind are, if you have a number of tanks, buy in larger quantity. Buy the larger size can of food and store it in the fridge or freezer. Buy the bulk packs of filter cartridges instead of the ones and twos because they are cheaper. Better yet, make your own. Yes, these things cost more to start with but are actually cheaper in the long run. Just figure out cost per ounce for food and price per cartridge for filters and you may be surprised.

Hope this helps
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:17 PM   #6
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Short of turning your fish collection into a "pay for view" area for your friends and neighbors , the only way I've known to make "real" money doing fish is to make a lot of them and sell a lot of them. This is a tough thing to do when you are tank space limited. What you then do is try to breed fish that will at least pay for themselves by breeding and selling the young. The fish that can do this are ones that are good parents and care for their fry so you only need 2 tanks ( 1 for spawning in and 1 for growing out.) Fish that come to mind for this, but are not limited to, are Kribensis, Brichardis, Rams ( sometimes), Plecos, etc. You can also do some cory cats in just 2 tanks but more is better. Raising common fish will not get you high returns on your time or investment. Depending on where you are at, talk to your local pet shop and see what they are interested in buying and breed those if they fit into the above criteria. Specialty fish make more money but if you can't sell them at the local level, you have additional costs involved which can eat heavily into your profits. Nothing beats the ability to walk into a store with a 5 gal bucket with a portable air pump filled with fish for sale. It's the cheapest way to move fish, but only when it's local.
Then there is the plants route. If you have the space, propagate some unusual or more desirable types.

Things to keep in mind are, if you have a number of tanks, buy in larger quantity. Buy the larger size can of food and store it in the fridge or freezer. Buy the bulk packs of filter cartridges instead of the ones and twos because they are cheaper. Better yet, make your own. Yes, these things cost more to start with but are actually cheaper in the long run. Just figure out cost per ounce for food and price per cartridge for filters and you may be surprised.

Hope this helps
Wow!!! Great read Mr. Andy
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:26 PM   #7
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Thank you! This has really helped a lot! Are there any shrimp that are valuable enough to make some sort of profit breeding?
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:33 PM   #8
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Thank you! This has really helped a lot! Are there any shrimp that are valuable enough to make some sort of profit breeding?
Ask your local shops. There may be some that are more in demand than others even tho they don't sell for a lot per piece.
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Old 09-11-2015, 01:54 AM   #9
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Andy's advice to check with your LFS is spot on. That's the reason I got black moscows. I've spent a small fortune to set up but for me it's really more of a hobby than a business. If the fish pay for themselves as in fish food etc then I feel successful.

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Old 09-11-2015, 01:56 AM   #10
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Oh one more tip. If your LFS is an independent then don't be afraid to ask for a discount if you are buying in bulk. I bought four tanks the other day and said "if I buy 4 what's the best price you can do?" There is no harm in asking if you are a good customer and buying in bulk. Worst they can say is no.

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