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So my innocent living room community cichlid tank has turned into multiple tanks in the basement (grow-out, hospital, breeding, fry-raising, etc.). I have done local sale or trades with other hobbyists basically only on Facebook marketplace and Craigslist. I have a full time job, and I love the idea of a side-hustle. That got me thinking- I enjoy all the aspects of aquariums, watching them, studying/reading on behaviors and care, even water changes and cleaning! So naturally, I'd like to explore making my hobby into a side hustle. Can this be profitable, even if it is not a lot (maybe a couple thousand dollars profit per year? I have pretty much all the supplies I need already (for cheap) for a very small basement operation. I envision around 3-4 sales per month of anywhere from one fish to a 30 gallon tank full at a time. Target clients: individual hobbyists and/or fish stores. I would be interested in shipping within the US as well. Is this possibly feasible? Again, not a main income source, but more of a supplemental side job that is enjoyable to do, and a few bucks profit (extra savings for kids' college down the road, debt reduction, etc)

Looking for advice/tips, especially the following:
Pros and cons? I'm in Wisconsin.
Business regulations on the freshwater fish trade?
Marketing?
Sales platforms (Facebook, aquabid, Craigslist)?
Does anyone serve as a breeder source for an LFS (sell to them in "bulk" so they can mark it up)?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts, criticisms, advice!
 

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Check out local swaps too.
I wouldn't expect to make a huge profit, but you can definitely pay for the food and supplies. I sell Angelfish to a wholesaler, 3-4 hundred at a time. Stores will give you store credit, but can't see the value of store credit when their prices are so outlandishly high. Some people try to sell rare fish at high prices, some sell popular fish high qty. at low prices. Be sure you want to get involved because it will take up a lot more of your leisure time.
 

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Agree, you may pay for part of your hobby but unlikely to make a profit.
 

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Agree with the others. You will earn a little money. But not likely enough to be profitable. There are many good outlets for selling fish in Wisconsin though. Madison Area Aquatic Hobbyists has an auction at every meeting, Milwaukee Aquarium Society has 3 swaps and 2 auctions a year, and Green Bay Aquarium Society has several auctions and swaps a year also. Not sure if there is anything in Northwest or Western Wisconsin but there are also big clubs in Iowa and Minnesota that have swaps and auctions too.

Keep in mind that it's against the platform policies to sell live animals (including fish) on Facebook and Craigslist. Aquabid is about your only supported venue. I prefer selling locally or at swaps so I don't have to deal with shipping fish.

But I don't sell fish to make money. I just like the challenge of breeding fish. I sell them to make room for new fish.

Andy
 

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The website wetwebmedia.com has a lot of info on aquarium-based businesses and ideas for it. The CW is, as you see here, that you can't make any serious profit. The guy who runs Wet Web, Bob Fenner, gives talks on how to run a profitable business in the aquarium hobby, so look up videos of some of his talks!
 
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