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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to a LFS this last weekend hunting for some apistos, I'd heard that this particular shop recently received a large shipment of apistos so I thought I might pick up something that looked interesting. Long story short, the shop had a good selection but wanted $28/pair. I didn't have that much money to spend and as a general practice I don't buy any fish that costs more than $10. Is $28 for a pair an average deal or is this shop really gouging customers since they seem to be the only shop that can get apistos.
 

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To be honest apisto's are incredibly high priced because most of them come out of Florida and shipping them out costs an arm and a leg.

You should look into Apisto Dave, I believe he's located in Oregon somewhere?

If not PM me and I'll give you a site that has a good selection.

But yeah, the only way you'll find apisto's at a good price is through local breeders, or by having them shipped to you from online vendors.
 

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Apisto's up here tend to be either $20 or $30 a piece depending on species. Caucs and borelli the $20 a piece (not pair) and $30 (a piece) for like macmasteri's and such. Which is the main reason I haven't tried them yet. :-?
 

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This is a very typical price. I have seen pairs of "common" apistos typically priced between 25 and 50 dollars a pair. I once paid a retail shop $75 for a hot new species. On the other hand it is still possible to find tanks of wild imports for $7 or $8 per fish. However, most pet stores won't order them because they can't sell them.

I consider $28 for a known pair to be a great deal for these reasons.

1. When I mail order order fish I have to pay shipping which can be incredibly expensive. I recently sent a small box - 3 pounds across country overnight and the freight was over $100! There were four pairs of fish in the box so these were $25 a pair just for shipping. Of course there are cheaper shipping options and priority mail can be very inexpensive but the longer delivery time can cause trouble. Additionally there are a lot of inconveniences that can arise with ordering fish like DOAs, arranging schedules, making sure someone can accept delivery, etc..

2. The Pet store needs to make a profit. When a shop buys apistos as pairs or in small lots they do not get good discounts and the fish do not come to them cheap. Then they have to pay shipping and offset losses. Next they have to keep the fish until someone buys them. Unfortunately for the shops, they often end up with a few less desirable fish that they never sell. All of this has to be accounted for in the price they charge. Then there is the cost of paying a staff person to catch and bag, etc. When it comes right down to it the shop is probably only making a few dollars on the sale.

3. Apistos are expensive in shops because so few people buy them. I referenced some of the reasons low sales cost the shops above but the bigger issue is that with few shop sales there is little demand to the wholesalers. When they have little demand they don't create demand among breeders. Without a lot of breeders there is not a lot of supply and the prices stay high. It would not be difficult to set up Apistogramma hatcheries that could turn out large numbers of healthy high quality fish but there is not enough demand to keep the hatchery in business. Thus not as much supply.

4. Hobbyists in other countries are willing to pay higher prices. This is a fact and a primary reason that so many of the most spectacular species are only seen in the US in photos. It is not unusual for a quality pair to fetch hundreds of dollars in some Asian countries. Even with the more common species the prices they pay are higher than what we do. Thus, the prices rise significantly.

5. The most important reason I consider $28.00 to be a bargain is that the shop actually had them! I have visited hundreds of shops around the country over the years looking for dwarf cichlids and have found them in very few stores. As the chain stores continue to displace the independents I expect to see even fewer in the future. If I want to be able to find dwarfs in shops I have to be willing to buy them when I find them. I don't think that I should expect to not only find them but to get a great price on them to boot. Sometime that happens but not often. My bottom line is that I have to be willing to support the shops that make the effort to bring in the fish.

I'll get off my soap box now but, as you can tell, I am passionate about this topic. BTW- I do not and have never worked in any type of retail pet store and I breed and sell dwarf cichlids through mail order.

DC
 

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Great post DCguy. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

I've just been offered a pair of double red agassizii for AUS$28 (which is half the normal LFS price) and am freaking not happy as I don't know where I'm going to be able to place them as I've minimised my stock and tank levels, getting ready to move house.

But IMO that's a very good price. Down here, prices usually start around AUS$50 a pair and move upwards.
 

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Locally to me in the UK, my LFS only sells Apistos in "pairs", i.e one make, one female, so in order to have a trio you need to buy a surplus male and then return him... :?

Anyway, I recently bought pairs of Apisto Agassizi for £11.00 a pair, other varieties of Apisto were selling for up to £16.00 a pair
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay, I'm convinced I'll either continue to buy my apistos through fish club auctions or I'll have to start investing more on fish than I spend on equipment. I guess because apistos are so uncommon in stores I didn't really know what to expect for price. I can get fish on aquabid shipped for less than the LFS is charging.
 

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In all honesty, you're best finding breeders or importers who will cut you a deal on a bulk quantity, then buy 40-60 of them and sell them to the LFS to make your money back on shipping and the fish.

That's usually what I do, with the exceptiosn of very rare fish.
 

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I bought a pair of A. cacatuoides for $15.00 here in Ontario.
 

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I consider $28.00 a pair for Apistos a great price, particularly if they are wild fish. I recently bought a pair of wild panduro at the local store for $36.00. I have no probelm paying these prices because I get tp pick my fish and I don't have to pay shipping. The prices you have given sound about right and depending on what species they have that could be a steal.

I wouldn't day apistos aren't in demand but they have some drawbacks. They can be expensive (hence this topic). They are also usually not cost effective for stores to order. The market is not huge and the prices are a little higher than your casual hobbyist would want to pay. They are a little more sensitive to water quality than many other fish as well. Those of us who keep them love them and that is all I keep right now.

I recommend spending the money as they are awesome fish. You won't be disappointed.

Brad
 

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I just got a small pair of W/C A. diplotaenia, now those were some pricey fish.
 

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I payed abouth $14,- each for my A. hongnei and $18 for my A. hongsloy II.

Watch out with fish from the Czech republic!!! I have bad experiences and have lost most of them becouse of Bloat!!! I read more abouth the bad qualety apisto's from the Czech rep. and unfortunately Bloat is quit common. I strongly suggest to take local bread apisto's. Those are mostly of good qualety, often adapted to the local tapwater and will be cheaper. I suggest not to buy pairs but harems of apisto. Eventually they will pair up.

From what I have heard the wilds are more demanding and need very clean soft water. Domesticated like hongsly II, cacatuoides and borellii seem to tolerate more and be fine on PH=7. Still you need to keep an eye on the water qualety becouse they are more sensitive as the average SA fish.

There colors are very very nice, they will be fine in smaller tanks of 10 gallons and up, they show some funny behaviour and come in a small package.
 

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I just got a small pair of W/C A. diplotaenia, now those were some pricey fish.
Good luck with the diplotaenia as you are probably aware this is kind of the holy grail of the Apistos. They do show up at times as wild caught but very few people have had long term success in maintaining a breeding population.

Did you get them from a shop or a specialist? Do they ship?

Thanks

DC
 

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I have my fingers crossed that I will do well with them, they are about half grown so have a while to get them spawning etc. however I can kill rare fish with the best of them... I got them from Anubias Design. There were four on his availability list, I ordered them all but only got two, someone beat me to the others.
 

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I have to agree with my friend Jaeger and also Dutch Dude, but you should research the rarity which will reflect price and beware of common names. Do thorough research if you only find common names at the store or from an online source. They are usually only a problem when ordering wild fish.
 
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