By Randy Wilson
At some point in your life you have probably had a fish tank in your home. Kids all over the world start out with guppies and goldfish in round bowls on their dressers. For some people, this has lead to a fish breeding business in the tropical fish market.
Even looking at the recent slew of children’s movies that are based underwater, you can see how the popularity of tropical fish is increasing. Many tropical fish breeders have seen a rise in sales over the last two years alone. This has led the entire industry, from aquarium makers to salt providers, in increased sales and profits as well.
Raising tropical fish requires a little know how and some specialized equipment. Typically, tropical fish will require more room than your average guppy, so a large area for tank set up will be needed. Depending on how many species you would like to raise will determine the number and size of the tanks you need to operate.
Also consider the number of offspring you are likely to get from each species. Some species of tropical fish can have hundreds of offspring at one time. A percentage of these offspring will probably have to be culled, or destroyed, because their quality will not be up to your standards for your tropical fish breeding business. The small and weak should be culled so as not to cause problems in the entire tank environment.
Tropical fish breeding and raising fish to a marketable maturity will require time and patience. Do your homework on growth rates and reproductive rates of each species you plan to breed. You will also need to know the compatibility of different species if you plan to work with more than one in your tropical fish breeding business.
Salts, water, and water testing equipment are also a must and should be top of the line. Water quality will play not only a crucial role in the survival of your fish, but also in the success of your operation as a whole in your tropical fish breeding. Tropical fish can be very delicate. Your education will save you time and again if you learn as much about each species that you are breeding as possible. For example, copper will kill just about any tropical fish, so you will need to know how to set up water conditions for your fish accordingly.
Basic supplies such as food and water conditioners can be purchased from local aquarium supply stores. However, you may research the internet to see if you can buy in bulk to save money on the things you will use the most – salts, conditioners, nets and the like. You will also find there is a wealth of information available on species, their natural conditions, captive raising of fish, and much more. You will need to educate yourself often to produce good quality and beautiful fish for successful tropical fish breeding.
Once you have begun producing your fish, you will need to get them to your market. Transporting tropical fish takes skill and timing. If you are shipping fish, which is becoming more and more common, make sure that you are shipping them overnight, to an address that will have a person present to accept the package at delivery. Always make sure that your customer acknowledges this shipping arrangement in advance and is aware of your returns and allowances policies.
Packaging your fish can be tricky as well. There are several methods of packaging live fish for transport that are efficient and should ensure live delivery. Depending on the size and oxygen requirements of the species involved will depend on the type of packaging you will need.
Most commonly, fish are double bagged, one bag tied at the opening and turned upside down into another bag that is also then tied. This prevents corners from closing in on the fish and also provides extra piece of mind against leakage. Packing materials will need to be tight, but not crushing, to keep the bagged fish upright. A good suggestion to frequent buyers of your fish is to offer a discount to them if they return your packing materials, as the extra padding and such can get expensive.
Tropical fish can be startlingly beautiful and pleasurable to watch. It is no wonder that tropical fish breeding is both profitable and rewarding. Preparing well for this tropical fish breeding business will help you succeed. If you educate yourself at every turn on breeding, water conditions, raising and culling your fish, you are sure to make a great splash on the tropical fish industry.
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