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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a fun thread I thought I'd post...

Say someone's tank was in ruins.

How much per hour would you charge to start all over?

I spent three hours today doing WCs, cleaning out his filters, scrubbing clado off his driftwood and rocks, etc...

Next time, I'll be vacuuming out all his old gravel and replacing it with ADA AS and then replacing alll his wood and rocks I cleaned today. I'll also be setting him up with a Tek fixture (maybe) for his lighting.

After that, probably work on his CO2 setup...

So, how much would you charge per hour to do this all? =)
 

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I know someone that does monthly upkeep on a salt water tank which is 220 gallons they charge $600 per month. Takes them about 8 to 10 hours for a cleaning but this also includes cost for salt, filters, fish ect..
 

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If you do maintenance on a regular basis, consider charging a monthly fee. I've heard estimates of $50-$100 a month in the past, for larger setups or commercial setups. I'm sure you could get $25-$50 for a residential smaller setup, and maybe get them on for a year of service?

I forgot to mention, this is without including the cost of equiptment, plants, or livestock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yep. I print out prices from the Internet, he OKs the orders. I order them, and he pays me back. =)

Very fair guy. Has stories to tell me when I'm working too. It's just he hasn't done a WC in a year and it's disgusting. If all his cladophora algae was actually fissidens moss, I could buy a Mercedes. There's THAT much. I didn't see his 8" pleco because it was hiding under all the clado!
 

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If all his cladophora algae was actually fissidens moss, I could buy a Mercedes. There's THAT much. I didn't see his 8" pleco because it was hiding under all the clado!
Sounds like the start of some great aquascaping to me . . . It could outcompete any other type of algae and most people would assume it is a moss, not algae! VERY VERY Low maintenance!


K
 

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If you do maintenance on a regular basis, consider charging a monthly fee. I've heard estimates of $50-$100 a month in the past, for larger setups or commercial setups. I'm sure you could get $25-$50 for a residential smaller setup, and maybe get them on for a year of service?

I forgot to mention, this is without including the cost of equiptment, plants, or livestock.
Thats good to know, Maybe I'll have to start doing this type of thing!

Epic, Have any pictures?

-Andrew
 

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If you know what you're doing, and you're doing it on a residential basis (this includes homes and small business) not a large commercial application (like an airport, zoo, etc...), I'd say to charge:
$45-$55/hr for installations + parts + delivery
$1/gallon for waterchanges on larger tanks and a flat rate on smaller tanks + salt and filters etc...
Also, get your LFS to give you a 15-20% discount on supplies (they'd be smart to do this if you have several accounts) then charge full retail on the invoices you hand the customer.

This is how things worked in FL. when I lived there. Different cities may have different markets, but if you know what you are doing, and do it quickly and correctly the 1st time, I think most markets would support this.
 

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Or you could do a base rate plus hourly rate.

Say tanks 10-30 gallons are a base rate of $20 plus whatever your hourly rate is.
100-150 gallon, $100 base + whatever you charge per hour.

Just an idea.
 

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Do you think this would tempt people to skip water changes so that they save some money?

Probably, people are cheap and you'd be amazed at what people will cutout just to save a couple dollars, it's like that all the time in car business and they regret it in the end.

I never really thought about charging for that kind of thing, I just plain enjoy working on tanks, the dirtier the better. Heh, guess Im weird though, I just like seeing the before and after of my work.
 

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I do $1/gallon up to 100g. Everything under 55g is $45 if you really want it. Over 100g it depends if it is a long or tall tank. Taller tanks are more. If the tank is over 24" it goes up fast because it starts feeling like real work. I only guarantee the tank will look nice if you do WC's every two weeks. If its on a weekly basis I will charge less. No products (salt, carbon, etc) included. If they want a package with products it depends. I don't make I living doing this so I just do tanks that I think are worth the effort. For intallation purposes I charge $30-$50/hr with a 1hr min. It all depends on how nice the clients house is. All my clients are SW Reef but I would charge the same for FW. I used to do this for a living but now I do it just to have a side imcome so that was the rules.
 

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At these prices sometimes you wonder why people don't just take care of their own gear.
 

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I think the norm for aquarium maintenance in the LA area is more than 10 a hour. Seems really low to me. I'm thinking the 35-50 dollar range.
A good mainteance person that's been doing this for awhile commands 60-80$ an hr in SF or LA. I pay them 80-100$hr when I need them to do some extra work for the clients.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A good mainteance person that's been doing this for awhile commands 60-80$ an hr in SF or LA. I pay them 80-100$hr when I need them to do some extra work for the clients.

Regards,
Tom Barr
Not close to $60-$80 yet, but I just started. Gotta work my way up I guess. =)
 

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Wow so this is a big buisness i guess?

My uncle is a dentist that owns his own practice and he has a fish tank and always tells me about his "crazy fish lady" I've joked about doing it for him making it look much better for much less but nothing serious yet... Maybe I'll ask him about it do that one cheap and see if I get other calls:icon_roll .

This sounds like it would be quite a bit of fun to do...

-Andrew

@Tom, for that income I'd more to Cali strait out of college!
 

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Some have less hrly rates and more clients, I prefer fewer clients and higher rates.

So I toss many accounts back.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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