How do you fund your hobby? (Breeding, selling plant clippings, extra job, paying out of pocket, etc.)

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EmmGood

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I have a dozen aquariums, now. :B

When I started this hobby over the summer, I didn't anticipate having this much fun. I wish I could extend into experimenting with brackish setups and eventually dabble with marine setups... dabble a bit more with breeding, dabble with different aquascapes. The whole nine yards of dabbling. Realistically however, I've reached a position where unless I make some extra income, its going to be challenging to keep expanding. (that hydro bill isn't gonna pay itself, haha. Got student loans to pay off, rent, groceries, bus passes, etc...).

I work fulltime during the day, thinking of picking up some extra work though ideally, I've love to create a way that my setup could help itself financially, even just a bit to take some edge off.

So my question to you folks; how do you fund your hobby? Do you have a system in place where its self-sufficient (for example, selling plant clippings to cover some part of the hydro bill), have a couple tanks dedicated to a breeding colony and sell some of those off once mature, or bust out your own funds from your day job to cover it all?

What would you recommend to support this madness? :- )

Attached are my wee little 1" striped raphael catfish.

20191123_092132.jpg
 

FitSoldier

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I've saved a ton of money purchasing most of my livestock second hand or from breeders. African Cichlids and American Cichlids are not cheap, especially when they are at a big size. Now that I look back, I haven't spent much money on this hobby at all......
 
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EmmGood

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FitSoldier said:
I've saved a ton of money purchasing most of my livestock second hand or from breeders. African Cichlids and American Cichlids are not cheap, especially when they are at a big size. Now that I look back, I haven't spent much money on this hobby at all......
That's fantastic! What sort of cichlids do you keep? :- )

I tried my best with doing craigslist / facebook market runs to get cheaper tanks compared to the store. Latest I got was a 36 gallon for $50.
 

Fishgirl11

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I pay by myself. But maybe you could start a YouTube channel put a camera so people could see your tank 24/7. Get the funds. Maybe
 
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EmmGood

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Fishgirl11 said:
I pay by myself. But maybe you could start a YouTube channel put a camera so people could see your tank 24/7. Get the funds. Maybe
Oh, huh! I didn't consider having a sort of live cam, only for an aquarium setup. I've seen those for puppies and kittens, that's an interesting idea. :- )
 

FitSoldier

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My Aquarium Details tab is pretty much updated with all the fish I currently have. :)

I've seen someone near where I live listing their giant Jaguar Cichlid for free because it got too aggressive for his tank and he's not gonna get rid of his other fish just for that one Jag. I wanted him so bad but I don't have room nor time to get a second tank unless I trade in my current setup.

Just a quick search online can save one tons of money. :)
 
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EmmGood

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FitSoldier said:
My Aquarium Details tab is pretty much updated with all the fish I currently have. :)

I've seen someone near where I live listing their giant Jaguar Cichlid for free because it got too aggressive for his tank and he's not gonna get rid of his other fish just for that one Jag. I wanted him so bad but I don't have room nor time to get a second tank unless I trade in my current setup.

Just a quick search online can save one tons of money. :)
I just discovered you van view others' aquarium details if you hover your mouse arrow over it. :"D

Dig your collection, really cool assortment of colours. I have a juvenile blood parrot as well, he's still a sheet of gray -- the hospital intake had about 6 adults in a 75 gallon in the lobby, everytime I went there I'd see those doofy faces. Had to get one myself, eventually.

They have such character.. didn't expect how messy as all heck when they eat, haha. My guy doesn't like pellets for some reason! He only takes flakes. The couple of raphael catfish I have up there are to help sweep up the leftovers. :- )
 

FitSoldier

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Here's a picture of my guy. He bites my hand when I try to rearrange the rocks in the tank because he claimed a part of the tank to himself. Hurts a little because he bites and then tugs hard, but it's not enough to draw blood. :)

IMG_7379.JPG
 

Fishgirl11

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Beautiful!!
 
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EmmGood

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FitSoldier said:
Here's a picture of my guy. He bites my hand when I try to rearrange the rocks in the tank because he claimed a part of the tank to himself. Hurts a little because he bites and then tugs hard, but it's not enough to draw blood. :)

IMG_7379.JPG
What a handsome orange cookie. <3 Also lovely black backdrop, really pops their colours out.

Here's my lil cookie, his (or her, not actually sure) stripes throw me off sometimes because he has them when he's stressed, then when he's super excited. When I feed him, he looks like a zebra. x'D

20191124_075859.jpg
 

DragonMage

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FitSoldier said:
Here's a picture of my guy. He bites my hand when I try to rearrange the rocks in the tank because he claimed a part of the tank to himself. Hurts a little because he bites and then tugs hard, but it's not enough to draw blood. :)

IMG_7379.JPG
Beautiful photo! Would you mind sharing how you shot this photo with the fish so well lit and the background all blacked out? Great work sir!
 

KingJamal2

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I breed cherry shrimp, grow java moss, and sell them to LFS. I also do a little landscaping service for my neighbors. (I’m in high school) I get new tanks for Christmas so that I don’t have to buy them myself.
 

FinalFins

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I work over the summer, save some and spend some and use the money over the year with my b-day money and christmas money and I can't get really expensive stuff this way but I seem fine doing it this way.
 

coralbandit

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I started trading common swordtails to my # 1 LFS maybe 15-20 years ago ..
I have a good relationship with owner for long time [decades] . Be nice at stores and introduce yourself if you plan on being a regular .
When I started to breed rams it was my good relationship with my LFS again that made it possible for me to know if I was doing good or wasting time .It was the owner who said I had good rams first to me .. I eventually started to sell fish I breed on aquabid and forums like this and today my fish support themselves . They actually spoil themselves ! I don't use any money from fish for anything but fish expenses !
I am very lucky and grateful now .
I still invest alot of my time and this hobby was never cheap for me before ..I have spent way too much money over my life ,yea 30+ years keeping fish .
I can't really measure the fun the same as the money ? I know I have had way more fun then money alone could have bought ..That is why I still spend lots of time and money on fish ..They are fun !
Last 10 swordtails I bought cost over $300 total !:D
 

FinalFins

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What LFS do you trade to coral?
 

coralbandit

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I take my fish to Eddies . I get store credit from him so what ever I need is paid for so to speak ..I brought him $675 worth of rams last weekend ! That was 25 of each color ,hybrid and 3 pairs of dark ..That's a lot of frozen blood worms or fancy discus or whatever ! My reef tank was built off store credit years ago ..

I brought 6 of 3 different color rams to BFR last Sunday and all but a couple golds are sold already but they have not asked for more ??
BFR is only a couple miles from my house so it would be nice but ?
All good things fish take time ..
 

FinalFins

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Thank you!
 

angelcraze

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I used to have a "fish fund". I've sold fish and plants on both online like Kijiji and traded for credit at my LFS. Any cash went to the fund. The fund was for things I can't skimp on or buy used like LEDs. Then I got most of my stuff used for dirt cheap.

I buy Pool Filter Sand instead of gravel, driftwood from my apple trees, use potting soil for a plant substrate and DIY where I can.

Currently I have a clear tote container for growing plants out. I refill with old tank water and remineralize/fertilize.

I found specialty neocaridina shrimp can be easy quick money markers. Think small things that reproduce quickly.
 
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EmmGood

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KingJamal2 said:
I breed cherry shrimp, grow java moss, and sell them to LFS. I also do a little landscaping service for my neighbors. (I’m in high school) I get new tanks for Christmas so that I don’t have to buy them myself.
Ohh, nice! I just got some neo blue shrimp, hoping to start a colony. What do you feel is the most important thing to consider when you raise shrimp, from what you've raised? What do you look for? :- )

The java moss is a good idea. Do you put them in their own separate jars and fertilize them, or have a handful in every aquarium you have and let 'em go from there?

Thanks for the input :D
 
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EmmGood

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angelcraze said:
I used to have a "fish fund". I've sold fish and plants on both online like Kijiji and traded for credit at my LFS. Any cash went to the fund. The find was for things I can't skimp on or buy used like LEDs. Then I got most of my stuff used for dirt cheap.

I buy Pool Filter Sand instead of gravel, driftwood from my apple tree, potting soil for a plant substrate and DIY where I can.

I found specialty neocaridina shrimp can be easy quick money markers. Think small things that reproduce quickly.
A dedicated fish fund is a great idea, in the beginnings of starting one myself - you guys on the forum have great ideas. I've heard of the pool filter alternative, I'm going to have to check that out -- I'm interested in making an amazon biotope at some point, calls for muddy-ish substrate. When I manage to get a decently sized breeder tank, interested to see if I can figure out how to get striped raphael cats to spawn. :- ) (thats awhiles away, certainly in the bucket list though). The whole potting soil idea is ingenius! Do you make sure to get something like organic, or generic potting soil has worked just as fine? (I'm not toooo familiar with laymans terms in gardening, just started reading up on aquaponics and things, gardening included since I'm interested in some herbs)

Did you find a certain neo sell more than others? (From example, red cherries vs. blue). Got myself six blue sapphires, I've had armano and ghost shrimp in the past so this will be my first dedicated shrimp tank. Also most colourful, love the deep blues.

Thanks for the two cents. :- )
 
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