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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-30-2015, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Plant Business

Hello everyone,

I am looking to start a plant business and have a few questions I would like your opinion on. My main tank is a 90 gallon and I would like to focus on this tank for the business. I will be getting a finnex light for the tank and already have filtration.

What substrate should I use for the live plants so that they would be able to get nutrients and what not without making a mess from constantly moving plants in and out of the tank?

Are there any additives that would be beneficial to dose to make the plants look better/ healthier?

Just heads up the plants I would be importing are grown emersed! If there are any other suggestions on what I should do, it would be very grateful.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 12:22 AM
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To grow the plants most efficiently you should go the whole high tech route: Pressurized CO2, Extimative Index method for fertilizer, high CEC substrate.

The problem with the substrate is removing it when you sell the plant. Some states (USA) restrict soil and soil-like material that may harbor pests. I do not know if Canada has similar restrictions.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 04:40 AM
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Have you watched the Dustin's Fish tanks channel on YouTube? He quit his job, built a greenhouse and grows plants and sells them on his website. You should be able to glean a lot of information about his greenhouse setup from his videos.

Might find some useful information there. He also buys emersed and then grows them submerged before selling them to his customers to ensure they don't melt when the customer receives them.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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I have seen Dustin's channel and watch it frequently. I don't want to use dirt because it creates a mess when uprooting the plants but I will if it is the best choice.

Also if I were to use the extimative index method would I need a substrate?

Last edited by TropicsTank; 05-01-2015 at 07:14 PM. Reason: New idea
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 07:33 PM
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Look up Jacobs aquarium on YouTube he's doing the same thing but using sand substrate as moving plants in and out makes less of a mess then dirt but I am sure he adds root tabs and other stuff to the sand along with regular fert dosing
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TropicsTank View Post
I have seen Dustin's channel and watch it frequently. I don't want to use dirt because it creates a mess when uprooting the plants but I will if it is the best choice.

Also if I were to use the extimative index method would I need a substrate?
Depends on what plants you have. IMO you should just use something cheap like sand or blasting grit, put some root tabs down for the plants that need it, and go high tech with more than enough CO2, flow, and EI dosing.

For absolute best results you would probably want to invest in some nice aquasoil or something if you are avoiding dirt (I would avoid dirt too)


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone have experience shipping plants?

Im looking for the best method in terms of cost and quality.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 09:11 PM
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Does anyone have experience shipping plants?

Im looking for the best method in terms of cost and quality.
I use padded envelopes and put the plants in a ziploc sandwich bag wrapped in a damp paper towel. Always works great and is probably the most affordable since you can use regular shipping which is a few bucks, rather than priority box which is like 6-7 dollars. Would be best for smaller orders of 3-4 plant portions. But for a large order you might be best off w priority box.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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What about anubias? Ive always wondered how you ship them since you cant really squish them flat.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 09:48 PM
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You don't need to squish the plants flat to get them in a padded envelope. But you always have the standard rate box option too.


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 09:55 PM
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Black Diamond/Black Beauty blasting sand supplemented w/Osmocote+. Cheap and highly efficient.


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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 10:59 PM
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Also, before getting into a "business", try your hand at selling them around forums, eBay, AquaBid, and Amazon. And, make sure you familiarize yourself with what is legal to have/ship/sell where you are and where you are selling/shipping to.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2015, 01:06 AM
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Canada is also a fairly limited market. There are clubs in a lot of major cities, but a lot of them go down to the US for plants. Which could be a good thing for you, but your main issue is going to not be able to grow plants outside year round. I'm looking at getting a 90ft greenhouse here in TN for my backyard to do something similar, except I am going to do more wholesale. I was earning about $100/week or more from my 75g emersed tank, the problem was though that all that money went back into more aquariums and the overhead generally matched the income, which was great for me because I was 15 years old and had a free hobby that taught me a lot.

If I were you, I would get a rack, start out with either rubbermaid tubs and shoplights, miracle grow soil, or 10g tanks and flourite or ideally because of price, a homemade kitty litter mix.

Foregrounds are always an easy sell here on the forums, so are anubias and crypts, but those take awhile to grow.

Emersed is so much easier and you don't have to worry about co2, algae, pests, too much light, etc.

During the summer, I use kitty pools outside with miracle gro and can harvest around 19 sq feet of glosso after a few months, and ditto in regards to stems, HC, HG, and crypts triple in size.

Don't quit your day job just yet. Most people slowly build their business from just a hobby to full time. I have seen multiple 'shrimp businesses' 'plant businesses' and 'fish businesses' go from start to finish in under a year. Do it for fun, not for the money. I doubt most successful aquarium businesses rake in a lot of dough, they do it purely because its fun.


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"99% of the time, a fish tank with plants will fail. Once you start a dedicated planted tank with fish, then you begin to succeed." - Geniusdudekiran
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2015, 01:06 AM
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Also, before getting into a "business", try your hand at selling them around forums, eBay, AquaBid, and Amazon. And, make sure you familiarize yourself with what is legal to have/ship/sell where you are and where you are selling/shipping to.
+1 to this. Definitely at least make some sales on the forum here


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2015, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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I guess I should mention that Im in University and don't a full time job to quit lol. Im doing it for fun because I've always had fish tanks and I love them and I love money, so I thought it was a good mix. Im not looking to make a ton but enough to be able to do some extra little stuff.

Ive been in the aquarium hobby for quite sometime so I already have alot of tanks, equipment and all that. Its my main hobby besides fishing.

One of my biggest drawbacks is shipping because I don't want to fail and have a mad customer.

Last edited by TropicsTank; 05-02-2015 at 01:28 AM. Reason: New thought
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