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Hi everyone.. Recently- I have considered opening up a side business specializing in full service setups, maintenance, and cleaning aquariums. My local pet store has been in discussion with me about supplying live fish and tanks, media, etc. I wanted to get some input on thoughts about this. I live in the Southwestern part of the US and the town I live in is very "zen savvy" and environmentally engaged so I feel like I could have a great demand for this type of thing. I hope to offer a service to set up aquariums as little as 5 gallons and as large as 60 gallons. I would offer monthly maintenance of the tanks and include plants, live fish, etc everything would be included in my services.

I have been trying to think of ways to advertise so that I could get the word out. Has anyone ever had experience or owned something like this? My mom and I are both into propagating plants and have our own stock to use without purchasing anymore. I would incorporate "easier" but beautiful fish like Moscow and snakeskin guppies, hi fin platies, swordtails, tetras, bettas, tetras, etc.

Advice, thoughts, and comments greatly appreciated.
 

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IMO having a side business like this is likely to be more of a giant headache, than make any money. Your time will be tied up to boot.

If your still going to try it, put together a business plan, and figure all the little details you'll need to deal with, such as business privilege taxes, collecting sales takes, business insurance, business income taxes, both sides of social security taxes and so on. It's quite a bundle.

I also suggest you look at most of the tanks setup by aquarium maintenance services. Most of them are fairly bland, and not the sort of thing a serious hobbyist would be that interested in. Ask yourself, can you sacrifice you art of keeping tanks for the mundane sort of things most people seem to want?

Consider that you need to deal with the public at large. All those little issues like getting a call because a fish died, and they expect you to drop everything, come by, and remove it, and maybe bring a replacement. Lots of fun.

Lastly figure out what your going to have to charge to maintain that modest, say 15 gal tank for someone. Then ask yourself if you'd be willing to pay someone that much to maintain that tank.
 
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