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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
Just wanted to share. I have been shoping the internet for a while. I decided to go to a LFS on the way home from work on Friday. I asked the guy to take me to the cichlids. They didn't have much, but they had a mixed tank of Mbunas. It had a few labs in it. The price was $14.99 each! They were 1.5" - 2" fish. I was shocked. The prices I have seen on the internet are about $4.50 each plus about $3 each fish for shipping.
I asked the guy if that was the real price or if it was a mistake. He said that that was the real price and they get all of their lab stock from a local breeder. They only apply their standard markup to them.
I will never buy from them, but a yellow lab fry factory is sounding like a profitable idea :D

What is a descent price at a LFS for the more common Mbunas? I really hope that $15 isn't normal.
 

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I'd think that prices are mostly based on area and what's common there - around here, the most common mbuna (labs, auratus, acei, kenyi, mixed) usually sell for about $6-$7, but I know of one place that sells adult fryeri for $25. I've been drooling over those for a while, but since I don't have a proper tank for haps, I managed to resist even when I saw some juvies at another LFS for less... :lol: There is one LFS that actually labels everything by scientific name, and their prices run up towards $8-$9, but they generally carry less common fish.

Is that the only LFS in the area? If so, they're probably upping the prices 'cause there's no local competition! ;)
 

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$15 is higher than average, but there is a HUGE difference in the quality of Malawi cichlids you can buy. A quality $15 Mbuna is better than a $5 crappy inbred or hybrid Mbuna. If all you care is about saving a couple of dollars, it all depends on what is important to you. And higher prices are not always indicative of better fish. You have to learn to be critical and choosy.

As for the internet prices, you have to consider shipping also, and you will get the fish unseen. Some people are less "exact" about the fish they are selling, and some sellers may send second rate fish cause "the buyer won't know the difference".

As for prices, the prices I see around my city are always higher on average than I see what people say they pay for fish in their areas. I see Mbuna from $7-$12. Not sure if people are exaggerating or not, or some people are just lucky to be near some good markets.
 

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my LFS where i m from are friendly and nice. they have a hugh section of Mbunas and other african cichlids. they sell their labs for 4.99 each. no tax. acei are also about 4.99 each no tax. smaller labs are about 1.99 each no tax either. so you can picture it. 15dollars each is just insane and is just money benefits not customers.
 

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Just got back from the lfs. They had one moorii and 2 taiwan reefs along with the other usual cichlids. They were $10 each.
They also had a tank of frontosa's (juvies) Priced at $25. It was tempting, and i've got the tank size for em ,but...
 

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I'm lucky, I have a petsmart and a petco around, but also another fish shop called The Fish Guy...all his tanks are extremely clean and he has a lot of saltwater tanks as well. A bit on the spendy side but when you buy from this place you KNOW you're getting disease free fish and he's actually knowledgeable and won't send you home with a GT for a 20 gallon tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That store isn't the only one in the area, it was just on my way home. The Milwaukee area is very large, there are stores spread out across about 40 square miles that I could visit. I just wasn't expecting those sort of prices.
 

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At an LFS I expect to pay $10 for the more common mbuna, and $15 would not be unreasonable for Demasoni. That's why ordering online, even with shipping, is not outrageous.
 

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Prices like this are exactly why I am going to start breeding fry. This one store I go to sells yellow labs for $19.99 each at about maybe 2". I am starting to breed some less common fish which should make them more valuable, and the fry will be F2 generation. I am thinking I can get $5 per fish from them possibly. They generally give 1/4 of retail for store credit. I'm hoping I don't ever have to buy food and supplies again.
 

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I saw a 5 inch yellow lab/red zebra hybrid that was marked at 30 dollars a few weeks ago! Then again, noy body in my area would know it's a mutt. It was a pretty fish, so I'm sure some sucker bought it.
 

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bccromer said:
Prices like this are exactly why I am going to start breeding fry. This one store I go to sells yellow labs for $19.99 each at about maybe 2". I am starting to breed some less common fish which should make them more valuable, and the fry will be F2 generation. I am thinking I can get $5 per fish from them possibly. They generally give 1/4 of retail for store credit. I'm hoping I don't ever have to buy food and supplies again.
I had the same thought once upon a time...Trouble is, around here, the more expensive LFS wind up sitting on those fry/juvies you sell them and when the next batch matures, they don't need them...They are still trying to sell the last batch at their unbelievable prices... :eek:

True, they will give you more for your fry, but if your situation is like mine, it's a store credit, and you're going to use that store credit to pay double what those aquarium supplies are worth anyway!

If you can network through local fish clubs and forums like these and find breeders in your area, you're always going to be better off dealing with them than most LFS.

There are some breeders out there that you have to worry about as much as with fish that come from the LFS, though. It's always nice if you can see their "fishroom" and see their set ups. If they are housed inappropriately (2 afra or zebra variants breeding in the same tank, etc., or yellow labs and red zebras breeding in the same tank) just walk away. Most of the serious breeders around here have single species breeder tanks. I like that, because even if I don't know the breeder personally, I know he/she is conscientious about what they are doing, and odds are very high that I'm getting what I'm paying for. Cichlids are much cheaper straight from the breeder, and if you're interested in breeding yourself, you can get a bit more peace of mind by seeing the tanks your fish are coming from.

For a tank raised specimen in a LFS here, I might pay anywhere from $3 - $20.

Wild fish, of course, are considerably more than that.

Another really great thing about networking with local breeders is that you can trade fish!

Kim
 

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in eastern ontario i have found no breeders and only stores that sell hybrids for at least 10$ ea plus our great canadian tax making them up around 15 ea.. that is why my hobby has expanded into breeding and bringing QUALITY fish into my area that are not available around here.. if there was the amount of breeders as in Kim's area i dont think i would even bother, but i find there is a market for 5-10$ good quality cichlids around here.. i will keep expanding and hope so do my customers..
 

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I think there is a good reason why this site also has a trading post.

I think also that if you don't have a local fish club in your area, you should start one!
 

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This is a good discussion, but let's leave store names out of it, okay? :thumb:

Thanks!

Kim
 
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