Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
How to Breed fish for Profit. Part 1. Fancy Guppies, Java Moss, Cherry Shrimp, African Cichlids.

How to Breed fish for Profit. Part 1. Fancy Guppies, Java Moss, Cherry Shrimp, African Cichlids.

– Hey guys. Cory from Aquarium Co-Op here. Today we’re doing
another real fish talk up so it’s just me, Lamont’s not here. I thought I’d pick a topic
that I feel like I know a lot about and I’ll qualify myself
why I know a lot about it, but as the title says, here’s how you can make 1,000 dollars breeding fish. As the joke goes, the old addage of anyone whose ever given
a talk about breeding fish and things like that,
start with 2,000 dollars, that’s how you make 1,000 dollars, or go buy 4,000 dollars
worth of equipment for your fish room, and by the
time you’re done giving up and selling it off, you might
have 1,000 dollars left. It’s a great way, but the reality is it is not that hard to make some money. I’m not gonna say you’re
gonna make a living. It’s not gonna replace your
day job or anything like that. I’ve met a lot of successful
breeders, but it’s all a part time gig, and I just felt we should
shoot this episode because I get this call or email or talking in person in store at least once a week
for someone that says, “Well, I wanna breed fish, and “what would you buy if I bred it?” My answer is always the same, and it always gets a bad response is “anything I sell in the store.” They go, “What do you mean?” I go, “Well, clearly if I’m
selling it in the store, “I have to buy it from someone. “I’d much rather buy
it from a hobbiest than “fly it halfway across the
world and have to treat it, “and do all those things.” They always take it the wrong way. They always want me to
tell them specifically what to breed, and that just
never works out, because I don’t know your skill set. You don’t know your skill set. Most of the time if you’re
an accomplished breeder, you already know all these things. You come to a store or
a wholesale or something like that and you go, “Well I make this, “I sell it for this. “Would you like to buy it?” That’s just not how the
conversation starts with a person who wants to get into it, and so this might be a few episodes long. It’s kind of a detailed subject, and I’ll split up into parts maybe, or something like that,
but the first thing is don’t go out and buy
and bunch of equipment. That’s the number one mistake. When someone goes, “I’m
gonna be a fish breeder.” And so they set up a giant fish room like I’ve got going, not that mine’s that giant yet, but they set up all this equipment. They do all this groundwork thinking. It’s the groundwork that
makes it so that you can breed fish, and while
that does help produce more, it is not the way to do it. For instance, let’s say you wanted to starting making and selling clothing. Instead of going and buying a factory that can produce 500,000 shirts a day, how about you get a sewing machine and make sure you can make a shirt and that someone would
actually want to buy that shirt before you went and spent four million dollars on a facility. That’s just what we don’t do in the hobby is everyone goes, “Well, to do this, “to make this fish, I’m gonna
need tangler to breed it in. “I’m gonna need the fish. “I’m gonna need all these grow out tanks. “I’m gonna need all this food. “I’m gonna need all this,” and they buy all these
supplies and get ready, and then they might find they
can’t even buy that fish, or they can’t breed it, or that the store doesn’t
wanna buy it from them. There’s all these things, and so you know, slow it down. Slow it way, way down, and you’ll do much better. Let’s look at a few things
like what would I recommend to breed, because that’s
what everyone wants to know. Everyone wants to know,
“What should I breed? “What should I do?” And the answer is anything that’s sold in mass quantity. I’m gonna highlight a
few things that means not to breed. Don’t breed Discus. They sell for lots of money. Guess what? They don’t sell in mass quantity. Don’t breed stingrays. Don’t breed most African Cichlids. If you’re gonna breed
an African Cichlid, go for yellow labs, ACIs, Demasoni, anything that’s sold in high numbers. What else would we not breed? I would say probably don’t breed Oscars. A lot of oscars are sold,
but not nearly as many as tetras and things like that. Things I would breed, the people that are really making money in this industry breed by the millions, and things like that, and they make very slim profits. If you wanna see the guys
that are making the most money in the fish industry, go visit a feeder goldfish farm. Go visit a feeder guppie
farm, things like that where they’re making a penny per fish, but they do it in millions
and billions of quantity, and that’s where all the money is. Yeah, there’s gonna be people always say, “Why aren’t “there more discus around in stores?” That’s because they don’t sell well enough to justify their space a lot of the time. Why aren’t there more discus breeders? Why are they all overseas
and things like that? Because typically there’s
not enough money in it. Where ever there’s money, people will go to make money. Realize that. If you’re the guy that
goes, “Oh, I’ve got it all “figured out, and I’m gonna go somewhere “where no one else is,” chances are you’re just doing it wrong. That’s the reality, because if you can turn out, let’s say, 100,000 discus every six months, something like that, and money was better doing other
fish, you’d switch to it. Vice versa, if you can
make your millions off of guppies, and all of a sudden there was a run on let’s just pick a fish here
and say yellow lab cichlids, you’d start producing yellow lab cichlids. When you have a team of
100 people working for you, and several greenhouses full of fish, and all that kind of stuff
and there was better money on the table, you’d make the switch easy. The money is not there,
that’s why they don’t do it. I’m just gonna touch on the basic things I think most people could make money on, and even if you’re just
a hobbyist going, well I would just like to trade
some stuff into my fish store. That’d be nice. The things that are easy to breed and make and things like that, and you should have an easy time to unload, it could all be done from
a 10 or 20 gallon tank. That’s all you need. Just one tank and you could
start working your way to your first 1,000 dollars, and that seems insane,
you’re going, “Well, “he’s lying.” But the reality is if you were to breed some just normal fancy guppies, so just a basic, basic fancy guppie. Go to your pet store, buy a male and two or three females, and get them breeding, you raise them up, and then you establish a relationship with the store, and we’ll go over that in
another episode or later, or something, because
that’s almost the most important part right there is finding out who you can sell to, but so you establish that relationship, and then maybe you sell those guppies back to them for 50 cents each, and that’s cash. 50 cents cash, even though you might have
paid two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, whatever
dollars for your guppie, doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what
the guppie sells for in the store, and a lot of people have a hang up on that. We’ll go over that later. It matters what you’re gonna get for it in your pocket, and so let’s say it’s 50 cents, and so you make let’s say you sell the
store 50 guppies a month. That’s 25 dollars in your pocket. That’s not bad money. You now have a ten gallon or a 20 gallon making you 25 dollars a month, and you might say, “Well, that’s not “very much money.” You’re right, but compared to other tanks
you have in your house where they just purely cost you money, and so what happens is people get this or they get that little taste of 25 dollars, and they go, “Well, if 10 gallon tank “makes me 25 dollars, if
I had 10 10 gallon tanks, “I’d make 250 dollars a month, “and if I had 100, I’d make,” and that’s just not exactly how it works, but it is, in moderation it does work. Let’s say you’ve got a 20 gallon tank making some guppies, you
make 25 dollars a month, that’s great. The best thing you could
do instead of expanding out to more guppies would be
to breed something else in that aquarium. You can do double duty. Let’s think of the things
we can double duty on with guppies. As you’ve seen in my fish room, I do lots of shrimp, and if you
were to do a cherry shrimp for instance, and you’ve
got a nice, decent grade that comes out nice and red, and let’s say you’ve gotta buy those at 10 dollars a piece, because
you’ve buying a very high end grade, whether it’s
online, from your store, whatever, and so maybe you breed guppies for four months. You got your hundred dollars. You take that 100 dollars,
you invest 100 dollars in very high quality red shrimp, and then you add that to your tank. You get that breeding also. So you’re feeding your
guppies really well, which is a byproduct, feeds
the cherry shrimp really well. They start producing. Now you go into your store. You sell them your 50
guppies for the month at 50 cents. You get 25 dollars, and then you sell them let’s say another 25 cherry shrimp, and if you’re in a market where they can sell a lot of shrimp, like we might sell 100 cherry
shrimp a week, so you might be able to make a ton of money off of us, but let’s say you’re in a smaller area, and they can only sell 25 a month. Now you’re making 50 bucks a month, because you’re selling
them for a buck a piece, and yeah, that’s gonna be
less than a wholesaler, yeah you’re gonna provide better quality. Yeah, you might of paid
10 dollars a shrimp, but you’re working on building a better relationship with your store. You want them to buy from you every time. Not, “Oh, I found someone cheaper. “I’m gonna go to them. “Oh I found someone with better quality, “I’ll go to that wholesaler.” you want them to buy from you everytime so that you can get an account going that will fund the rest of your breeding. Now we’re up to 50 bucks a month. That doesn’t seem like a
lot, except we’re already at 600 dollars a year. Yeah, 600 dollars. Already in a year’s time
if we were just to do cherry shrimp and guppies
out of the same 20 gallon tank, and we sold them to one pet store every month, we’re at 600 dollars. Now you’re going, “Great, you can’t breed “anything else in there.” That’s not true. There’s actually a couple
other things you could do in that tank. It will start impacting on how much you could make out of that tank, but you could also do let’s
say a mystery snail or a rams horn snail
or something like that in the same tank, and, but I’m gonna say, let’s
say you stick with two. You go with a guppie, and you go with either a snail or shrimp. That will basically all
net you out the same money. Let’s say you’re getting
your 50 bucks a month out of those two. The next best thing you can do is make java moss, and java moss is great, because it’s super easy to grow. It doesn’t require a lot of lighting. It basically needs a lot of fish poop. You can give it a little
bit of fertilizer, and that’ll help speed it up a little bit. It doesn’t grow that fast
when you add CO two and all the equipment to it. You don’t have to worry as
much about a competitor. No one is gonna come in and go, “Well, I just set up this
super high tech insane “set up, and I make java moss
by the buckets everyday.” This is not gonna happen, and so you don’t have to
worry about that market getting saturated really, and so now you’ve got java moss, which is protecting the shrimp, protecting the fry from the guppies, and if your fish store is worth going to, they should desperately
want your java moss. It’s something you can’t buy commercially. I literally can’t buy java moss from any of the farms
that I buy plants from, and I might buy hundreds and
hundreds of pots of plants. We’re talking thousands
of dollars all the time, and I can’t buy java moss. They’ll sell me java moss, but it’s java moss that’s been
grown out of the water, and so it looks completely different. It turns brown, dyes back, melts, and it will come around
after two or three months, but the amount of java moss that you sell in a store, which might be
a five gallon bucket worth packed in pretty good every week or so, you can’t make enough, and so that’s why I literally
am considering my fish room out there that every tank
to be filled with java moss, and it’s not glamorous, but
that’s where the money is, and so let’s say you can
produce out of your tank each time you go in, you can give them 20
bucks worth of java moss, and so you’re at 70 bucks right there off a 20 gallon tank in a year. You’re making 70 bucks,
I don’t really know what that’s gonna be. That’s like 750 bucks or
something close to that per year, off of that one 20 gallon tank, and that’s all off basic, basic stuff. You’ve got some cherry shrimp. You’ve got some guppies. You’ve got some java moss. It’s one aquarium. The cost to run that one
aquarium was the wattage for a very low light fixture, a little bit of heat, and some fish food. Very, very low entry level there. Now let’s take that same example, and let’s do it with let’s say discus, because that’s, we get hit up for it all
the time, all the time. Oh, we can buy discus if I can breed them? And the answer is always like, “Yes, we would buy some.” The problem with discus is let’s say you’ve got some
red eruptions that you’re just in love with or
turquoise or pick a strain that you have, and
you’re gonna breed them. Alright, let’s say you do breed them. We’ll just assume you’ve got
the skill and the know how and you do breed them, you probably started with
at least a 30 gallon tank, if not a 50 or a 75, because you probably needed more than two
just to pair them off. You’re already a bigger investment there. You have to keep them much warmer. That’s gonna cost you more money. Their food requirements are much higher. Typically frozen blood
worms, lime black worms, and other high quality foods, and then you get a spawn
that’s gonna take you months and months and months to grow out, and then they’re gonna get
to roughly that quarter to 50 cent size, and you’re gonna have let’s say, I’m just gonna pick a number, 150 of them that got to that size that are sellable. You go to a store, and they go, “Well, alright I guess that
strain we’ll take 10.” And they’ll give you, let’s say you get nine bucks, 10 bucks a piece maybe, and that’s if you’re lucky, because if you’re like me, I’ll probably
sell 10 of those I guess, and then next month comes, and it’s like, ah well, I’ve still got two left. Yeah, give me like five more I guess, and then by the third month I’ve saturated the market on that strain. No one else wants it. Everyones got it that wants it, and so then I’m gonna be telling you, “Well, if you could breed marble reds “or some other strain, I’ve
got a guy asking for those.” You could chase that down,
spend a lot of money, and get that done, and I’ll buy another 20 or less of them from you, and that’s the problem is
you’re making 200 dollars in a couple of months,
but you’re not making it year round. It’s not a sustainable thing. The numbers aren’t there, and yet you invested way more money. Let’s say you bought 30 dollar discus and you bought eight of them to get your breeding
pair plus the tanks, plus you needed more grow out tanks, plus you had to have all
this high quality food. You might of been having
to hatch live brine, stuff like that, so
you might have invested 1,000 dollars to be able to recoup 200 dollars or maybe 500 dollars over the
course of an entire year. Maybe you could sell
to me a couple of times a year and unload those discus. Meanwhile, the guy with
the 20 gallon guppie tank is racing ahead of you and making money, and if that’s the goal, and I should be clear about that. If your goal is to make money, it is a very different avenue than just to have fun, and when you’re doing it to
make money you should be very diligent, and you should not be competing against guys who
are doing it to have fun. There’s a guy, if you’re doing discus, and
you’re doing it for profit, and you need to pay
your mortgage at the end of the month, and you’ve
got a guy in your area who oops, made some discus, and he’s walking to the pet stores going “Well, I’ll take whatever. “Yeah, trade me some fish food. “Whatever, I just need
to find these homes. “I had a lot of fun raising them.” That’s really gonna cut into your profits, and make it very difficult for you, and that happens all the time. That’s probably another subject about longevity of breeding. That is a very important thing to be the rock steady,
this guy is my discus guy. This guy is my angel fish guy. This guy is my guppie guy, not well I got this this week. I’ve got that that next week. I’ve got that two months down the road. Oh I don’t do that anymore. That doesn’t create stability, and it won’t make someone
wanna buy from you. Yeah, the 20 gallon tank, that’s how you make your
first 1,000 dollars. It’s pretty easy, and there’s lots of other things. Let me think what subject I
wanna go into next, because this video is a little too
short to end it there on how to make 1,000. To expand out from that, the best thing you could do is sell complimentary products, and what that means is
your fish are product. You’re trying to sell them to a store, and that store is gonna try
and sell them to a customer. Now, let’s say you’ve got your shrimp and you’ve got your guppies. Why do those three work well together? Because they can all
breed in the same tank. Why will they sell well for a store? Because the customer that’s
interested in your guppies is also gonna need some moss to protect them, because they wanna breed guppies. Oh, and they might want some shrimp, and when they ask the shopkeeper, “Can these shrimp live
with these guppies?” The shopkeeper can then say,
“Well, the guy I buy them from, “which they’re locally
bred, he breeds those shrimp “in with those guppies with java moss.” All of a sudden you get the trifecta sale. Well, let me go ahead and
get five of these guppies. Let me get a portion of that java moss, and let me get some of those shrimp, and I wanna set up a tank, and I wanna become a millionaire, and here’s where it’s
important that you’ve got a good relationship, because that person might be very successful in doing that, and they’re going to try and
unload to the same store, and hopefully your store will be loyal to you, because you’ve helped
them set up that sale, but let’s say they’re not, and you can’t fault a store for this, because let’s say, the guy
that bought all that stuff, and he’s being really
successful, he comes in and says, “Well, I’ll sell
you the guppies for 40 cents, “and I’ll sell you the
shrimp for 80 cents, “and I’ll give you the java moss.” What you don’t wanna do is you don’t wanna go back and undercut that guy. All you’re gonna do is
drop the floor out of the market, and no one
is gonna wanna be in it. What’ll happen is you need to set your prices to where they’re low enough that no one can come in and undercut you and make a lot of
money, but not so high that you’re way higher than wholesalers, and things like that. It’s a very thin margin
where you can be successful, and you know, if you’re getting, let’s
say you could sell those cherry shrimp and the store
is giving you three dollars a piece, a guy like me, if I didn’t know the
store was gonna walk in and go, “Wait, you’ll give
three dollars a piece. “I will literally flood
you with cherry shrimp “or whatever type of shrimp
for two bucks a piece, “and I’ll laugh all the way to the bank.” You’re like attracting sharks. If you’re getting too good of money, you’re gonna attract the sharks that go, “Oh I can ruin this market.” You want to go, well a dollar is enough that you’re making money,
but a guy like me is going, well yeah it’s a buck. You could get that anywhere pretty much. You wanna keep it at a fair level that will get you money,
but not too much money, and then you just have to
wait out your competitors. It happens all the time. Angel fish are notorious for it. You get an angel fish breeder. He sets up the entire fish room. He’s got every type of angel going, and he’s got every size you could want, and he’s got way too many angels, and every angel fish breeder
is the same way, I swear. They always come in and they go, “I’m choking out. “I’ve got literally 10,000
angel fish in my fish room. “They’re eating me out
of my house and home. “I need to sell some.” And you’re going as a shop keeper, you’re going, “Well, I’ve
already got 200 angels “in the store. “I just don’t need more.” And they go, “Well I really
gotta pay the electricity bill “on this fish room and
I need some fish food, “and stuff like that. “What if I sell them to you
cheaper than I normally do?” Then they’re bringing their price down. They’re undercutting the sales, and you buy some more, and you go, “Fine, yeah if they’re “60% of the normal price I’ll take,” In my mind I’m basically
going, I’ll prebuy next month’s angels I guess, and I’ll store them, and
then we’ll do a sale on them in the store, and things like that, and then what happens is
another angel fish breeder comes in. So now there’s two in your area. Now they both have the same problem, too many angel fish, can’t unload enough of them, and they’re gonna start
under cutting each other, and what happens is they’ll bring the price down
to where it’s great for me. I’m paying 50 cents angel fish, and they’re both making great fish. None of them are making money. They both end up shutting down, and it’ll happen within about two or three months of each other. They’ll shut down, because they’re both not
selling enough of them, and they’re both losing money on this job they basically have, and then a guy like me has no one to buy angel fish from. It’s that longevity. If the one guy stayed at yep, at this size angel, my
angels are a dollar. That’s just what it is, and that guy comes in, and he undercuts. Let that guy undercut you. Just let him do it. If you know, if you set your price right, you know at 90 cents he’s not making enough
money to be sustainable. If he does stay in, he’s
making money for like a year straight off 90 cents,
that means your price of a dollar was too high, or he found a way to do it cheaper. Maybe he’s got free rent on his building. Maybe he’s got free power somehow, or he is retired and doesn’t
need to make as much money, or he’s got free water. If an effect like that is happening, you’re gonna have to switch. You go, oh well, I guess I gotta do guppies or whatever it is, but typically people don’t have
access to those free things like most of the times if they’re retired, they wanna travel. They don’t wanna do that
for the rest of their life. They’ll do it for awhile because it’s fun to breed angel fish. They did it when they were younger. Now they’re doing it again for awhile, six, eight months, then they get tired of
the same old, same old, but yeah, if you leave too
much money on the table, as profit, people will come
in and snatch that from you, and I still maintain that most people are better off breeding complimentary stuff. Instead of that example where
we had an angel fish breeder who has 10,000 angel fish. He’s got let’s say 50 tanks running, all filled with angel fish. He walks into my store. I can buy some angels from him, or that guppie person, they walk in, I can buy
three items from them. Maybe I’m filled up on guppies, because a family came in and they go,
“We’ve got too many guppies “that was breeding. “Can you take them from us?” Yeah, sure, I’ll take guppies. I’ll sell guppies, and so they unloaded 100 guppies on me, and it put the bamboozle on
your monthly money that month. Oh well I don’t need to buy any guppies. I just took in like 100 yesterday. You still get to sell me
cherry shrimp and java moss. You still make money. That’s a great thing, and so if you’re that angel fish guy, why wouldn’t you sell angel fish, but then also breed some corydoras? So that now you can go, “Oh look at this “buy this nice silver angel fish. “Oh, and stirbitecorys are great too. “They can live in the same tank.” And that’s that
complimentary product thing I’m talking about. If you breed cherry shrimp for instance, don’t breed apistogrammas or rams. Why? Because those two can’t go together. It means that the person that loves your apistogrammas will pretty much never be buying your shrimp. That’s not a good thing for you. Yeah, they’re both gonna sell in a store, and maybe you’ll be
able to move enough, but it doesn’t work well in
your fish room either. You can’t put stuff together. It doesn’t help them sell it. You’re much better off
going, “Okay, well I breed “some corydoras. “I breed some live bears. “I breed some shrimp. “I make some plants.” Things that like. You can also do java
moss and apistogrammas, or you can do like let’s say you do
apistogrammas because you love apistogrammas. You could do some plattys. They technically won’t eat them, but they want different water
parameters and things like that. Try to find things that are complimentary that you can be solid on, that you can go to your local store with, and say, “These are what I have. “These are what I make. “Would you like to buy them?” Instead of coming in and
asking me, “What can I make you “that you will buy from me?” Because the shop owner is thinking, “Whatever is already in my
store I would buy from you “if it’s cheaper than my
wholesaler or better quality.” It has to be one of those two by the way. If it’s not a better
quality that the consumer can tell, or it’s not cheaper, there’s no reason for us to
buy from a local hobbyist, and yeah, we do like to help them, and we might give store credit for it, but whenever we’re talking cash money, we gotta be very careful. There’s not a lot of money to
be made in the fish industry, and so you really don’t
wanna squander it away with bad decisions. You wanna make sure that
you’re either offering that, you know, everyone is a customer so if you’re breeding
the fish, the fish store is your customer, and if I own the fish store, my customer needs a good value too, and like Dick Al says when he gives a talk about breeding fish, you
always wanna make sure every customer is happy. That means if I’m the breeder, so I just bred guppies, and I sell it to my fish
store, my number one goal is they sell every one of those fish. They didn’t lose a single one, and they made a ton of money. I hope they sold them
for 100 dollars each, and the reason being is I know next month when I show up and I want my 50 cents, they’re gonna go, “Oh yes, please. “In fact, give me 60 this month. “We did so well on them last month. “We need more.” That is the goal, and then when the store sells them to the hobbyist, the hobbyist goes, man! Blah blah blah aquatics
has the best guppies I’ve ever seen. They do well. They never die. Man, do they have good guppies. That is a win, win, win scenario. If you don’t have that
win, win, win scenario, it’s gonna come to a screeching halt. If you sell a guppie to
the store and it dies or doesn’t sell, they don’t buy from you. Also, if you sell it to the store, I see this happen a lot. They convince a store that okay, well this fish online. let’s say it’s like my bigger guppies out there. I literally paid 40 plus dollars per fish. The consumer, the average
public will never pay that, and I know that already so I know that people are willing to pay in a pet store about 20 dollars per pair of fancy guppies for a high end guppie. Can I get more on aqua bid online? Definitely, but that’s
not the market I’m selling to at that moment. If you know that, and let’s say I’m a breeder, and I’m
breeding those guppies, and I sell them to a different store, which I wouldn’t but let’s say I did, and I sell them to them
for 20 dollars a pair, because I know I can get
50 dollars a pair online, and I tell them, “Well they
go for 50 dollars online.” They look it up and go,
“Yeah, sure enough they do.” And they buy six pairs, and
they put them in their store for 50 dollars a pair,
and they don’t sell any. Guess what? They’re never gonna buy from you again. They’re gonna go, “Wow I just
lost 120 dollars on this guy.” You need to make sure
that the target market will actually pay for it, and that brings up another point. What you think is cool is not what sells. I’m gonna say that again. What you think is cool, what looks cool to you, is not necessarily what
the public thinks is cool. All the time people walk in and they’re breeding really shrimp. If you don’t know what a really shrimp is, it’s basically any of the types of shrimp, cherry shrimp, chocolate
shrimp, blue velvet shrimp, all those shrimp, but instead
of being a uniform color, they’ll be, like let’s say
on a blue velvet, maybe blue head, white patch,
blue patch, white patch. They’re almost like, not
striped, but segmented in color and they’ll call that a really shrimp or a really carbon shrimp, or a cherry red really, all of those. As a super shrimp nerd, you might go,
“Wow, those are awesome. “I need me some of those.” But the general public goes
“What’s wrong with that shrimp?” I call it the grandma
test, the soccer mom test, the I’m not into the hobby test. If I showed my grandma a super red cherry shrimp
that’s just really nice it’s just full on red, looks great, and then I showed her
a really cherry shrimp right next to it, and I asked her which one was better, they’re
gonna pick the full red one every time. They’re gonna go, “Oh, this one. “That one is missing color. “There’s a problem with that one.” And that’s the general public test. They want the full red one. Even though as a hobbyist, they go, “Well the reallys are rare. “They’re kinda cooler. “They haven’t been around as long. “I want those. “I wanna breed those.” The general public doesn’t want that. They want the red one, and so you need to breed what the store is actually gonna sell, and you’ve gotta
think like your consumer to sell well as opposed to, “Well I made a fish that
goes for a lot online,” and most of the time when
things go for a lot of money it’s because there’s not
a lot of demand for it. There are some exceptions. If you’re the first person
to make the bigger guppie, there’s gonna be some money in it for you. If you’re the first person
to make the super red angel fish, there’s some
money in it for you. That being said, when it comes to I’m trying to think of some things that, like discus for example. Why do they go for a lot of money? They’ve got a lot of carry requirements. Stores don’t really wanna carry them, because we don’t sell them that much, and they go for a lot
more money because of that because they’re rarer. There’s not enough money to
support multiple breeders being in it. That’s the reality. That covers that’ll get you your
first 1,000 dollars or so, and that’s the first
thing to get your brain working. How can I make money off of very little equipment? Not setting up a giant
fish room to get started, just support your little hobby, make some money. I can’t imagine any of
you that out there right now would be sad if they go, well, let’s say you gotta tell
your wife or your husband or your family, “Well this
tank right here makes me “1,000 dollars a year. “I actually only spend
600 dollars last year. “I made 400 dollars, and
I got to keep the fish.” That’s an amazing story to tell right? Everyone would enjoy that. That’s the first segment here. I’ll go ahead and shoot
some more segments on some of the nitty gritty of some more some part two and three and four, and whatever, however
many parts it makes, but establishing that retailer relationship, which is really important. Who to sell to and who not to sell to, that’s very, very important. That might even go in
with the retailer thing, because that right there can
close down your operation, and then we’ll talk about
when it’s time expand and how much to expand and how to expand and how to fund it, things like that, and we’ll keep going from there, because I think that’s a slow and
steady rate, and we’ll break this into chunks
so you can digest it. Hopefully you can take this, you can implement some of this. You can start making
some money right away, and then you can implement
other ideas down the road, and I forgot, at the beginning
I said I was gonna qualify myself on why I think I can
talk about this product, or not this product, I’m
not talking about a product. It’s not a sales pitch. Why I can talk about this topic, not product, topic. I have attended breeding for profit talk I’ve ever had a chance to, and that’s a lot of them. I’ve flown around the country. I drive to go see them. I’ve seen multiple talks. I own a fish store, so I got a little bit of insight there
on what actually sells. I ran the breeder award
program for many, many years for the Greater CL Aquarium Society. I watched a lot of people
try and become professional breeders. I’m friends with lots of breeders, and the true breeders
know there’s no money to be made in the fish hobby, and that’s not exactly true. There’s some money to be made, but everyone knows you
take the same amount of effort you put into making a fish, and you go work delivering pizzas, you’ll just straight up make more money. Take the hours it may of
took you to make guppies and guppies grass and cherry shrimp, and if you were to go deliver pizzas, you will make more than
1,000 dollars a year easily, but you do it because you like that. That’s the important part. And before I owned a
store I worked in a store, and before I worked in a store I did a little bit of breeding,
but that basically taught me I tried multiple things to make money off of fish, and I learned a lot of
things that didn’t work. I did the classic, if
this one pair of guppies makes you this amount of
money, what if I had 50 tanks of guppies? What if I was selling on aqua bid? What if I was selling to all these stores, and why it didn’t work, and I’m giving you that knowledge so that you can skip ahead and be profitable. That’s the thing is profitable. There’s a lot of people that breed fish, and they have no idea
they’re not profitable. That is a very key thing. They make a ton of fish, and you could be jealous. Wow, that guy is always selling fish, but you might find out he
literally runs at a loss. That’s where I’m gonna
wrap up this episode, real fish talk, how to
make your first 1,000 dollars breeding fish. Yeah, check out the other episodes. We’ve got other series real fish talk. We talked about something
new every week almost. This one is gonna get
kinda multipart series. I don’t know that it’ll be in a row so you might have to
wait for other episodes to come out. We’ve got day in the fish room on Fridays. We’ve got quick tip
Tuesdays, things like that. We go visit fish stores, fish room tours, things like that. As always, I appreciate you watching. I’m sure Lamont does too even though he’s not sitting there, and we’ll see you in the next one.

100 comments on “How to Breed fish for Profit. Part 1. Fancy Guppies, Java Moss, Cherry Shrimp, African Cichlids.

  1. Cory cat fish… Every time I ever have them in a tank I end up with loads of them and have to sell them off. Only fish I have bred well.

  2. So I loved these videos and just took things super slow starting with just one guppy and just making sure I like guppies and really wanted to. I got more guppies and like the day I got them one of the females had a bunch of fry and I thought it was so cool but then I'm pretty sure there are only five of those ones left and there are a bunch. And then my local fish store shut down. I've had to change the thing I had my guppies are in and my java moss looks just awful (had to buy something for fry cover so got hornwort cause I'm familiar with it) I've got like like tops top 80(20 per litter??lol) fry and they keep getting eaten when they were too big to hide but still small enough.. and it's only been a few months.and to make things 100% worse one of my females also somehow got the middle of her tail…like missing. Like she ripped it but like a giant chunk is missing all the way up her tail.. My sponge filter is too big cause I had to switch to my like 15gal and the sponge filter is for like 40 and under and idk if that's bad. I ended up cutting up the sponge and not using the plastic things and just putting the tube in the sponge… and I'm way stressing out cause no one will take them and I feel bad cause like I don't have like a great set up for them.. and it makes me feel sad when the fry get eaten cause it's because my inability to keep the plants alive….ahh

  3. I have a 46gal platy tank. I have bred some very beautiful varieties. Some are a honey-peach color, while others are blue with spots and orange fins. I'd love if someone could take a few, since I have a ton of fry!

  4. This video was very helpful! I am very interested in doing small scale breeding for profit it my 20 gallon tank to make money for my other aquarium projects. The problem is, I am only fourteen years old and I am worried that my local fish store wouldn't want to take me seriously and buy consistently. Would this be the case? Thanks

  5. Pet Smart ran the local mom and pop shop out of business. Big Box stores won't buy from hobbiest. Found a small store an hour a way that will take fish off of my hands for no money.

  6. in my area there are only 2 pet stores that sell fish and fish related products. they are very small and part of a chain and they wont buy anything from hobbyists. they have a strict policy of only ordering from certain wholesalers. even if they are getting flooded with demands for a certain fish species and you show up with a bunch in hand they wont take them so i now i just sell online, but when i was younger and lived in a big city there was one private fish store guy that wanted my angels for $1 a piece. he was turning around and selling them for $29.99 each. they were Altum angel. i said no and just started selling them locally for $10 ea and i couldn't keep up! this is 20 years ago when Altums were like the holy grail of Angel here in Canada. i bred them until i was 16 and bought my first car with my own money from breeding angels for like 6 years. i was line breeding for thinner stripes but higher quantity of stripes. i wanted to call them Tiger Altums! if anyone bought Altum Angels from a farm house outside London Ontario from a 10 yo kid that was me lol

  7. So if I had a 50 gallon cherry shrimp tank, and sold each for $1, I would make a good profit? The store sells em for $3 per shrimp, and I sell them by the 50 per month. I would get $50 per month, and the store would accept, because they get 2 times the price they paid

  8. Sadly petstores around here only accept donations or they'll give store credit (and i dont like to support chain petstores unless I have to)

  9. A good way to get cheap tanks is craigslist. Even some for free, so far i've seen at least 5 free 50+gal tanks but they get snatched up within minutes of the owner posting them. So check everyday, multiple times a day.

  10. I have the things I breed that I can ask the LFS if they have any interest in buying, but then I always ask, "What's something you'd like to sell in your store that you have a hard time finding?" and then contemplate whether it's something I have any interest in raising. If the LFS can buy whatever I'm breeding (some common thing) for much cheaper from a mass supplier, they generally (IME) don't have any interest in buying from a local, no matter how much they want to support the local hobbyist, because it's simply not profitable for them, and they're a business.

  11. I'm a "shrimp nerd", and I think Rili shrimp are kind of stupid too. Most of them just look "messy" to me. If they were being bred like Oreos, with a full colored head and tail, and all clear in the middle, I might be more interested. But instead, they're just like… smeared. They don't have the same "wow" effect that Bee/Crystal/Cara shrimp do, which have opaque white background, rather than the clear segments that Rilis do.

  12. Just curious what should you do if your competitor is a child and can bring their price really low and is there any tactics that a kid like myself to be taken seriously in the fish industry

  13. hello cory , hey my friend 1st nice to meet you , i watch every video you have so far , love it .. learning from you ..
    today i got a question , why people in this hobby don't breed rummy nose ???

  14. Cory is neon tetra good sellers like fancy guppys the reson im asking i watched your video im breeding guppys and have java moss orderd on ebay and i going to do cherry shrimp in the long run i have a 55 gallon tank and a 30 gallon tank im looking for anouther good seller in the pet store is neon tetra one of them or would you recommend something else

  15. I just want to be able to afford my hobby. Even if I just get enough for fish food and supplies. Hopefully I can find someone who will buy something simple like this.

  16. Lol… The guy selling fish for a living is basically telling everyone they can make enough money to support a beer habit selling fish. Hysterical.

  17. thank you so much this helped me thank you thank you. I don't plan on breeding and selling. But now I know I can add guppies to my cherry shrimp tank 🙂 so its more fun to watch my tank on my days off

  18. Check out the second video in the series here:

  19. Great vid! Glad I watched it as I just got back into the hobby. 10 gallon, planted, full of starburst endlers livebearers. Things breed like rabbits on steroids.

  20. So much great advice, whats sad is there are so few independent pet stores to buy from breeders. when I was a kid I used to sell rats to all the local pet stores…even worked at one for a while but they have since all dried up…its a wasteland of petco and petsmart's 🙁

  21. New subscriber, and novice fish keeper. I have a lot to learn, and this channel will be added to my YouTube Academy playlist. 🙂 Thank you.

  22. I bred balloon Molly’s with black molly and the result is a super cool looking fish. I’m a beginner I’m not a breeder just had good luck with these live bearers. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has done this.

  23. This is a great video! My 8 year old daughter want's to do this with her guppies – they accidentally spawned. Thanks so much!

  24. Cory, thanks for this series! Watched all parts and now we are starting! My daughter and I bought our 1st assorted guppy trio yesterday from our local pet store. We are starting out small and are excited about growing along the way! Thanks a million!

  25. I love you, Cory! You always keep it real! I'm just wanting to supply a need in my area and make a few bucks doing it! Lol! Love your detailed advice, always! Thanks!

  26. I wanna Breed Cherry Shrimp and Danios just to have more Shrimp and Danios for free lol. That is the plan anyways, and I also plan on cultivating and propagating harder to keep plants for trade in the hobby.

  27. I always sold my Plants and big Fry’s for credit to about four shops in NYC. Since then I retired to the West Coast I got out of keeping fish. Now I’m moving back East, so I strongly believe I’m getting back into it. I kept Tetras, because I love them. Water Plants, because the fishes need the cover and food too.

  28. Just an out of the blue ? But would it possible to breed a cherry shrimp with a blue shrimp and maybe get a purple shrimp? Lmao love the vids cory.

  29. uhm… i have to shoot down the entire premise of your first argument about starting small. my family does business and buying entire factories to get into the game is EXACTLY what happens. those who do not know it either lack know how, lack confidence, lack people with know how willing to help them, or lack the financial ability to go forward. this is one extreme example: if john doe was starting a multi million dollar fish farming venture, and I decided to pay you a hefty 6 figure consulting fee for part time work during x number of years, you'd do it.

  30. I am wanting to start breeding Guppies for a little extra money and to start my own business! I am going to school for business! I was wondering if you have more tip and advice to get started? at the moment I have 7 male Guppies! Them and my axolotl are what got me into this hobby! Oh and I love watching your videos they are very informative!

  31. Just accidently threw away a whole batch of pictus catfish eggs not knowing what they were. Didnt know where to go to vent so I came here lol. Hoping they lay more soon

  32. I love your videos! I've been a fan for a few months now and I always find myself getting excited when I see a new upload from you haha you're very informative and I love your passion! Keep up the great work!

  33. there's times I give my fancy guppies away I just feel awkward asking for money to a business when I'm just a hobbyist I have multi color, half black, sunrise tequila n dragon tail guppy I have to create a relationship I guess. AT HOW MANY MONTHS OLD CAN I SELL THE GUPPY?

  34. I love this older but relevant series. One of the main reasons I started following and financially supporting the channel

  35. I'm fairly new to the hobby and am really into the invertebrates (mystery & pink ramshorns as well as shrimp) and have tried to do my due diligence. The thing is I hear (and see in my LPS & LFS) a LOT about guppies and shrimp being raised together. Here's the thing, everything I've read talks about having hard water for invertebrates. Granted, I don't know ANYTHING about guppies (or soft skins at all) but how does this work? No one ever talks about that in the hundreds of videos I've seen. I add crushed coral to the filter, have a mini mountain in the tank for them to forage through, cuttlebone laying about, liquid calcium added every water change to replenish what was drawn out and every now and again a minor dosing of dissolved baking soda. I started all this because my Mystery snails were showing shell damage due to softer water and I didn't want them to erode away OR look like the shells in all the mixed tank videos I've seen, that would be awful and cruel I think. I haven't gotten into soft skins because they seem to require more care and knowledge than I have currently (in addition to much softer water)and am not comfortable taking on the responsibility of lives I cannot support properly. It seems no one in my LPS or LFS seems to really know much about what I like to do by way of invertebrates and I find myself explaining more to them than they can offer me (they seem to be more into saltwater & soft skins). I'm in Lakewood, just south of Tacoma and am REALLY into permaculture and am teaching myself how to apply the practices to my tanks and this includes tank buddies. I'm into the blue velvet shrimp and of course the cherries, just got a mate for my one single hitchhiker pink ramshorn so they'll be doing their thing over the next few weeks (one is an adult and one is a bubby), but I only have 4 mystery snails and they're all male which is fine by me, I cannot accommodate breeding them at this point they're just my pets whom I dig. I want to grow java moss but no one ever talks about it in any depth either, such as temperature preference (prefer warm or cool?), best way to anchor (mesh pads, aquarium wall, styrofoam wall, etc), average growth time, all I ever hear is how awesome it is. I'm wanting to have a moss wall and some subwassertang ropes for my shrimp tank but every bit I've bought (and it's not exactly cheap) has melted away (the java haven't scored some sub yet). Is it because it was grown out of water or is it really because I'm doing something wrong? I dunno, no one ever goes into detail. I'm just going on now, as I said I'm new to the hobby(4 months new) and am trying very hard to go about the sudden addiction smartly. Thanks for all your great videos and I'm hoping to make it to the shop soon, but don't worry, I won't be disappointed or harassing you if you're not in the store LOL!

  36. Hi Cory,

    Do you know if Petco/Petsmart stores buy from small breeders? Is it legal to sell shrimp/fish on craigslist? I live in Tacoma, but I will definitely check your store out next time I am up north.


  37. How do you receive money back from people buying from you? Do they pay first , or do I ship first? I’m wondering how to receive the money

  38. Im trying to breed Otocinclus for profit i have done all the set up and i will give it a go for at least 6 months. What do you think?

  39. You look so young in this video! Still great information, I have watched it several times over the years and still enjoy listening to you when performing water changes.
    Your videos are one of the reasons I got into breeding guppies, and my most recent tank stand is based off your 2×4 cinderblock build. Thanks for everything you do for the community!

  40. Basically breed common every day fish not specialty fish. Breed those guppies not those zebra plecos. At least not till you're an established breeder.

  41. I "work" at my local pet store. I often come in have a look at their inventory and then just help out around. I did work experience there and have known the owners for 6 or so years. They know me so well I've helped out and when I'm in I get people coming up to me asking stuff because the staff didn't know as much as me and they recommended to ask me

  42. I can't find ANYONE to sell to. The smaller petshops require licensing and the big box stores already have contracts with wholesalers..
    I wanted to breed my betta just for fun/ curiosity but I would have no where for the matured fry to go let alone make money.

    Very informative and inspiring still, as always.

  43. Hi buddy. Honest, i am sure. But this is the thinking I hate of you people (fish sellers). I am a breeder, and you are talking about to buy a red shrimp about 50 cents. I understand, you pay for local (me too, the space isn't cheap man), and food and employees, etc. But you sell them about $8 or $10!! My profit: $0,35. Your profit: $6. This is the reason because I don´t sell to aquariums! This isn't fair! You people must be more fair with us, or you will know the time when you are having nothing to sell… Just my thoughts. Thanks for your video anyway, is a hugh truth, but an apology, a reaffirmation of this unfair reallity.

  44. I have heard about it for years and years, but I have NEVER seen Java Moss sold anywhere. I ask for it and no shop has ever bought or sold it. I would love to buy some.

  45. what do you suggest for approaching a LFS on selling/trading some of me gups? should I bring some samples in, or just pictures? where should i start the negotiation?

  46. Very true.
    If you can reduce the price of these high cost fish as they are sold for because you breed a ton of them and make an arrangement with the supplier you may have a pocket and create another market instead of the standard.
    May be wrong, I don't breed fish but just thinking.

    Beach worms here are expensive but I catch them myself. Buy if can breed heaps I'm sure the cost would go down and ppl would buy.

  47. If I create an eco system of guppies, shrimp and java moss in a 20 gallon tank, wouldn’t it become overcrowded with the hippy and shrimp fry?
    Can someone please give me information and tips about this and how to handle it without buying another aquarium?

  48. ugh… professional breeding is way too many requirements and paperwork. So I just breed what is fun and sell as a private person. My biggest profit comes from plants right now, but I heard the US don't do planted tanks so much, so that is not an option.
    I have endler guppy, red crystal shrimp and will do some barbs. Loaches are just my experiment for proof of concept of breeding them.

  49. Hi! This video is a few years old. I was wondering if today you maintain the same advice, or if you would change/add something?

  50. I want to get my hands on Gary Lange's Boesemani !! I want to put them into a 40 gallon breeder planted tank and make a bunch of babies!

  51. Hi! Can someone advise me on this:
    I don't want to breed fish: I just want a 30gal tank that doesn't overflow!

    I will mainly have guppies and platties, so I know I'll have a lot of babies (unless I put only one gender in the tank – which would cause me to have to buy new fish all the time to replace those who pass after a few years…)

    I don't necessarily want to make money: I just want to keep the babies I need and rehome the other ones so they can live.
    But I'm in a rural area with only 1 Walmart and 1 Petco, and they don't buy OR EVEN TAKE FOR FREE from hobbyists 🙁

    What can I do?
    Could I ship them to Aquarium Co-op? Would you take them?

  52. Basically what I'm looking into doing. All I have is 2 10 gallon tanks. My goal is to sell plants, guppies and red and blue shrimp. I don't think Pet Smart will buy anything off of me to sell. So I'm leaning towards online and locally. Pet Smart is a good store, but they are very limited on what they have for fish, shrimp and plants.

  53. all the local stores within 5 miles wouldnt buy anything from me.Whats another way to sell guppies please comment

  54. all the local stores within 5 miles wouldnt buy anything from me.Whats another way to sell guppies please comment

  55. Great video!! I make anywhere from $30-150 per OB peacock. Its part time. But, they are in demand in my area. I grow them out fast so, it's not a bad profit. Thanks for all you do for the hobby.

  56. Not to brag or anything but I've become quite the duckweed breeder. I sell on eBay and have made tens of dollars doing so

  57. Started a 30gal cherry shrimp tank. I got four cherry shrimp in a trade for some unwanted fish. Now I have over 130 of them a couple months later. I need to find where I can sell them though! I mostly can get store credit.

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