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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was at a LFS recently, Aquarium Adventure. I haven't priced fish in awhile as I'm just getting back into the hobby. There Juliodchromis (sp) prices were crazy, or at least I think so. Marlieri, transcriptus, dickfieldi...were like 25 bucks to 50 bucks! And they wanted 15 dollars for a daffodil.

I've been looking to do some breeding to supliment my income with a hobby I love. So I was considering some smaller cichlids like these. When selling to a LFS, what amount is appropriate for them to mark up? I wouldn't feel comfortable selling a fish for 6 dollars that they will sell for 50. I can't imagine they would want to buy many anyway since I can't see them selling many at that price. People who are into those fish probably know better and will look to the internet. Maybe they would be willing to lower there price if they had a nice local supply?

Think any of these would be a good choice to breed and sell locally and on the net? I know the lamprologus are nice to breed since they use a colony style. Or any other fish that are a good choice?

I'm wanting to try some CRS, but I know that egg isn't worth counting before it's hatched. Bettas seem like an option, but not sure if I have the room and I'm guessing that there is alot of competition in that area with alot of established sellers being able to offer just what the customer needs, but I'm not sure.

Any thoughts?
 

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Breeders won't make as much as a LFS but then again you will probably be able to sell a lot more then them. Also most locals prefer to buy from breeders then LFS, well at least I do, the prices are closer to reasonable and the stock is usually in much better condition.

LFS has to cover overhead so the prices start off the same but then they add in the cost to employ workers and cost to have a place to sell the fish.

I don't see much profit in it unless you have a huge fish room and are dedicated to it. Another thing is once you have to make a living off of it it's not a hobby no more so I plan to leave that alone.

What is cool about it is that when your "hobby" fish start producing it could somewhat pay for itself!

I keep a number of fish in environments that would encourage breeding and when they do finally start to pump out fry it will help offset the cost of my hobby.


Here locally though Juli's don't go for nearly as much as where you are at, I bought a pair for $6ea. and my wildcaught L.Mulitfasciatus were only $10ea. I have quite a few sp. breeding right now but only plan to trade for more sp's to expand my "collection" of fish or for supplies.
 

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My LFS will give you 50% of the sale price of the fish in store credit. That means you are actually getting about 25-30% of the selling cost IMHO. The problem I have is that I have a breeding harem of Lamprologus calliurus. I have around 200 fry of various sizes. The LFS will take a dozen of them. Not sure what I'm going to do with the rest. There may be one or two other local stores that want a few. But since these are not the "Flashy" cichlids they don't sell all that well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Breeders won't make as much as a LFS but then again you will probably be able to sell a lot more then them. Also most locals prefer to buy from breeders then LFS, well at least I do, the prices are closer to reasonable and the stock is usually in much better condition..
Not sure how big of a local market there is here. You mean, put an add out, local fish clubs etc...? I was thinking the internet would be the majority. Also, I'm really just thinking small time. Hopefully more than just covering my hobby, but even that is nice.

[/QUOTE]
LFS has to cover overhead so the prices start off the same but then they add in the cost to employ workers and cost to have a place to sell the fish..[/QUOTE]

I have no problem with them making a living and hopefully thriving. I just thought 50 bucks for a juli. was odd.

[/QUOTE]
I don't see much profit in it unless you have a huge fish room and are dedicated to it. Another thing is once you have to make a living off of it it's not a hobby no more so I plan to leave that alone.

What is cool about it is that when your "hobby" fish start producing it could somewhat pay for itself![/QUOTE]

I can't do a fish room, just trying to find a species that will sell well locally and on the net.

[/QUOTE]
Here locally though Juli's don't go for nearly as much as where you are at, I bought a pair for $6ea. and my wildcaught L.Mulitfasciatus were only $10ea. I have quite a few sp. breeding right now but only plan to trade for more sp's to expand my "collection" of fish or for supplies.[/QUOTE]

They never used to around here. I bought mine for about the same as you, but that was ten years ago...still...

Thanks for the input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My LFS will give you 50% of the sale price of the fish in store credit. That means you are actually getting about 25-30% of the selling cost IMHO. The problem I have is that I have a breeding harem of Lamprologus calliurus. I have around 200 fry of various sizes. The LFS will take a dozen of them. Not sure what I'm going to do with the rest. There may be one or two other local stores that want a few. But since these are not the "Flashy" cichlids they don't sell all that well.
Yeah, I'm thinking for something like the Brichardi which breed well, there will only be so many you can sell to the LFStores. Then maybe I could put the rest on the forums.

Thanks!
 

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I've kept frogs for a long time (Poison Dart Frogs). I see so many people who buy the latest "it" frog because they want to breed and sell them.

All frogs and I suspect, all fish - are cyclical. Something will be popular, be sold too much, stop being popular - almost fall out of the hobby, then become popular again.

It's all cyclical.

I have one rule, that I think most people should follow. Keep what you like. Not what you think will sell well. If you can sell some offspring of what you like, great. If for some reason they're not selling well... no big deal.

Just my opinion.

Scott
Sanford, Maine
 

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yeh. unless you are breeding very popular fish you will ahve trouble moving them. And you will never get a decent amount from most LFS's. you would be better off selling them directly yourself thru fish clubs and forums and local ad listings.
The mark up on livestock at the LFS is rediculas. I'd say alot of them get marked up 1000%. So don't expect to get alot from them. But if you can supply them with a constant supply of fast selling fish you can position yourself to be their source for certain types of fish.
I'd look into breeding nano fish right now. smaller setups and high demand for fish like the Galaxy Rasbora (celestial danio) that are in high demand and SERIOUS need of breeders would be one I think for now that would be worth trying to breed. Not only for monentary gain but to ensure that they don't go extinct.
 

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Some of the less common colorfull African cichlids would also possibly be worth the effort. But make sure you start with high quality breeders and not stock that comes from the LFS.
Spend the money on high quality parents.
 

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Your not gonna get rich in the fish hobby. If wanted to get by on just it, could be workable.

Gotta stick to knowing what's hot and what's not. Pleco's always seem hot. Well ur more fancier ones anyway.

Cichlids, they go in trends, like africans, mbuna, peacocks, tropheus, featherfins. And certain species, like Aulo. Eureka albinos were so hot over the summer went for high bucks.
Featherfins now, you never really ever have problem getting rid of fry at the right price. As #1 adults can be hard to find, #2 your gonna pay a butt load per adult fish. Hence why never really have a problem parting with fry as not many people work with them for that very reason.

The species you mentioned, the julies and brichardi, this part of the state, basically have to give them away lol.
 

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Agree with Frawg!
Talk with the stores, see what your options might be, especially if you're not running a fish room. If sales locally slow, there's always ebay and the like.

If you raise your stock with the same source water as the store they're going to, chances are the loss they incur buying from you will be much less than stuff transported in:icon_wink

-Bill
 

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You guys are lucky, all of my LFS's, including the mom and pops wont buy fish or even give store credit unless you have license!

Although, a yearly license is only 50$, I have thought of getting one. Right now I rely on word of mouth.
 

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I'd look into breeding nano fish right now. smaller setups and high demand for fish like the Galaxy Rasbora (celestial danio) that are in high demand and SERIOUS need of breeders would be one I think for now that would be worth trying to breed. Not only for monentary gain but to ensure that they don't go extinct.
I'd like to do that too, and for the same reason.
right now I'm learning by breeding Endler's but
hope to try Galaxy's should I ever find a good
deal on a few locally or here from SnS.

I know a local pet shop who wants to buy some
plants, but I can sell them more profitably online.
 

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I'm always surprised at how many folk are doing what I would consider pretty large-scale breeding. Multiple tanks set up specifically for breeding. Certainly more and (more specialized) effort than simply keeping a cpouple of display tanks, and a couple of smaller tanks for pairs/fry/etc.

If you want to breed, do it because you think it would be fun and interesting. You should be able to get some income to offset at least a portion of the costs involved. I'd recommend that you consider it primarily as a way to make your hobby more affordable, rather than as a source of profit per se.

As I said, make sure you want to expend the effort involved, because I expect your net hourly earnings will be pretty darned low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks to all for your thoughts.

Ed's, maybe they are making a profit?

Blacksunshine, that's a good thought about the micro species.
 

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Brichardi probably won't net much sale..........those things are like rabbits so they are everywhere! I don't think I have been to a LFS that didn't already have tanks full of them already cause they breed so easily.

I agree with the others! Do it cause it's fun and if you are in it for the money you could make more money collecting scrap metal.

The Celestial Danio is an interesting looking fish and I plan on picking up a few and hopefully breed them but nothing to make money off of. I like trading for different things so that's what I do, use fry as currency.
 

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Ed's, maybe they are making a profit?
I am sure there are many people who receive decent income from breeding/sales (tho I suspect equipment, power, supplies, and labor significantly cut into their net.)

The point I was trying to make is that the guys I see who I think are making money are breeding on a pretty large scale. I remember when it surprised me to hear of folks who had 10s if not 100 or more tanks. And then there are the folks growing pond plants for garden centers who can dedicate a pool or 2 to aquarium basics.

Just saying, those kind of folks are going to be the "competition" for a hobbyist breeder.
 

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Is it possible to do? Yes. I'm 19, and like to consider myself an entrepreneur, got a scholarship for it, have been recently nominated for 2 events to try and get seed capital as well as mentorship, scholarships, etc, and have a business with over 200 clients. I started out getting crap from people online, but that's how a normal person talks.

Here's how I would approach this:
1. Find who the major fish/plant distributors are for the LFS' that don't breed/grow their own live products.
1a) Put together a plan for a fish store and approach them as if you're interested in purchasing from them.
1b) In order to do this, you need to get an idea of the quantities of fish you'll need to sell along with other products in order to cover all costs of the business. (Employees, your time, rent, etc.) Just run rough numbers on all this, don't spend more than a few hours on it. Factor in something like 3% of CC sales as processing fees.

2) Once you've identified some prices of what fish/plants are sold at, see if *you* can meet that on your own and make a profit.

Setup a few tanks of a few products (plants, fish, whatever you decide to try and sell) and closely monitor the progress. Find out how long it will take for you to grow/breed whatever it is you want to sell. Factor in cost of food, fertilizers, water, electricity, filters, etc. This means from day 1 of turning it on, to the day it's ready to sell.

Get an idea of what it'll be like and make changes to the procedure if needed. By now you should have plenty of documents on the available distributors, their rates, what it cost you to do, etc. Once you figure all this out, put it together is a nice document tailored to each seperate LFS. You have many things on your side to show that you should be considered.

Since you're local, the fish probably go a much shorter journey, are used to the local water parameters or something closer to it, etc. Since they go on a shorter journey, chances of survival are higher. If they have less fish dying, then they have to factor in less fish dying after arrival, which is a big plus. Maybe you can offer a guarantee on them living for X days after arrival if properly acclimated?

People are doing it and so there is a way, you just have to find the best way of approaching it. This is a good idea, especially for something on the side. A lot of people I know will maintain a steady job at all times, but invest into something like this on the side so that they can at least have something to work on outside of that 1 job, not to mention a little more security than nothing at all.

Rex - you said they end up giving maybe 20-30% of the selling price? If that's in cash, then I'd bet that it's around the price they buy them at. Depending on how quickly they turn over the inventory, 30% probably factors in some deaths out of every 10 fish, cost to feed till sold, operating costs, etc.

aman74 - try and work with the 30% number and see if you could do what their supplier is in that price. This is one way to get started, but when it comes time to sell the products to the LFS, having research already done on the rest might be a good idea. I would also say that one idea might be to give out the first batch of each item for free to the LFS', if they can make an extra $200 because you gave them some stuff for free, you're on their good side and they'll definitely listen to you the next time you come to talk to them.

One more thought - Placing yourself as a seller to the stores is a good place to be, you've essentially placed yourself higher in the chain of products. This means you don't have to deal with the masses, just the people that deal with them for you.

This is just a basic outline of what I thought of right now, the whole process will bring about things you might have never even considered, but there is potential. If someone here tries it, post your results here and it'll probably encourage others to try as well. Remember - you've got nothing to lose with this, it's like asking a store for a discount, many people are amazed when they see me go to a normal store they would never get a discount, but I'll walk out with one. You've got to *try* and you'll see that businesses are always open to new ideas, especially if it makes them money.
 
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