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Thread: How Many Tanks to build a propper "breeding for profit" setup?

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    Default How Many Tanks to build a propper "breeding for profit" setup?

    So, I'm already in business in Brazil but everything is still early stages. How many pairs and tanks a starter setup should have? What strains will depend on what genetics I'll be able to find. Any tips will be appreciated .

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    Default Re: How Many Tanks to build a propper "breeding for profit" setup?

    I'd work backwards from what it'd take to become profitable.

    For the sake of argument, let's assume you need to sell 100 2.5 - 3" discus every month to be profitable. If you need to sell more than that, these numbers can be scaled.

    With very soft water in Brazil, it's reasonable to assume high spawning frequency and good survival. You should get 100 fry out of every spawn. To have consistent production, you would not allow your pairs to spawn more frequently than once every month. In theory, you could produce 100 fry monthly from a single young breeding pair (not unreasonable based on my experience in the US). To be conservative, you should assume 100 fry monthly from two breeding pairs.

    So how many tanks would you need to support production for two breeding pairs? I would estimate

    1. 2 breeding tanks, one for each pair (25 - 30 gal)
    2. 8 grow out tanks for the fry, assuming you can produce 2.5 - 3" fish at 4 months (75 - 100 gal)
    3. 4 grow out tanks to produce young adults, to sell at a higher price and produce future pairs for yourself (125 - 200 gal)
    4. 2 quarantine/medication tanks for new stock (25 - 30 gal)

    As for strains, I would stay away from the fancy ones from Asia. There's always a good market for red turquoise, cobalts, standard leopards and Blue Diamonds. The fancier strains are often weaker from inbreeding. The extra value you might get per fish likely would not make up for consistent production of the standard strains.

    Business models are more complicated that this, but it's a start for planning purposes. The key to business success, however, is not what you can produce. It's what you can sell. In Brazil, do you have sufficient market access to achieve profitability? Who are you selling to and will they consistently buy discus? Are these markets sustainable? What is the price that these markets will support given existing and potential competition, locally and from Asia? If the market price exceeds your costs, then you may have the basis for a real business. Having run and advised on businesses for 40 years, it's much more important (though less exciting) to do financial analysis first.
    Last edited by Willie; 06-09-2024 at 05:12 PM.
    At my age, everything is irritating.

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    Default Re: How Many Tanks to build a propper "breeding for profit" setup?

    Thirty years ago I found it much easier to raise the discus than it was to sell them.

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    Default Re: How Many Tanks to build a propper "breeding for profit" setup?

    Thank you Willie, this is exactly what I was hoping for ! There is a market, but is somewhat volatile. For now the importation of discus from anywhere is forbidden without any decent justification from the government, so most of the competition is "local". Almost all the breeders here aren't professional, they breed discus as a second income and don't take it seriously. Even the CBRAD (confederation of discus) the aledged best breeders aren't professional, so this is something I can explore.
    Last edited by Antoniombdl; 06-10-2024 at 07:11 AM.

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    Default Re: How Many Tanks to build a propper "breeding for profit" setup?

    Selling is another world entirely, itīs like a new profession. You can learn techniques, and better yourself, but one should'nt think because your discus bred it'd be easy to sell. If you put your price too low, people will buy, but you lose value. If it's the other way around, people will say : " Why is this price so high if that other guy sells cheaper?". I'm trying to build a brand here, the more known you are the better.

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    Default Re: How Many Tanks to build a propper "breeding for profit" setup?

    The following is not to discourage you from this business venture in any way. But back when I was breeding discus regularly, my selling experience was mixed at best.

    1. At first I started selling local fish stores. Most of them only offered store credit. They also didn't take care of the stock: low temperature, gravel tanks, no feeding. Also, these stores are not interested in buying fish on the weekends. If you want to sell fish, you need to be there on a Monday morning. I sold a ton of angelfish, but stopped doing discus with them.
    2. Then I took discus to sell at a local fish show. The problem was that I spent all my time worrying about selling the stock and calculating the breakeven point for the trip. I didn't enjoy the show nearly as much as if I was just buying. This was a discus specific issue. I still sell tons of bristlenose plecos at shows without thinking about it.
    3. Finally I found a good friend who would raise discus. All my spawns went to him and all discus inquiries were directed to him. He dealt with local hobbyists and we just split the money.

    At that time, I was a sales manager for a Fortune 10 company selling to other very large companies. So the selling process itself was second nature to me. Still, I found breeding discus was much more fun as a hobby than a business.
    At my age, everything is irritating.

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    Default Re: How Many Tanks to build a propper "breeding for profit" setup?

    Quote Originally Posted by Antoniombdl View Post
    Thank you Willie, this is exactly what I was hoping for ! There is a market, but is somewhat volatile. For now the importation of discus from anywhere is forbidden without any decent justification from the government, so most of the competition is "local". Almost all the breeders here aren't professional, they breed discus as a second income and don't take it seriously. Even the CBRAD (confederation of discus) the aledged best breeders aren't professional, so this is something I can explore.
    This sound more of a neighborhood competition where the Jones are up against the Smiths.

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    Default Re: How Many Tanks to build a propper "breeding for profit" setup?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanman View Post
    Thirty years ago I found it much easier to raise the discus than it was to sell them.
    Thirty years ago dime size discus were sold to wholesalers for $10 each for the turquoise, now the wholesale will only pay $5 for
    a 2 to 3 inch landed. At one time I was breeding Blue Diamonds when Wayne sold them for $107 wholesale price, but currently
    are buying BD from other breeders at $1 each.

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    Default Re: How Many Tanks to build a propper "breeding for profit" setup?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliffsDiscus View Post
    This sound more of a neighborhood competition where the Jones are up against the Smiths.
    What does it mean? I'm from abroad, don't get the reference.

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    Default Re: How Many Tanks to build a propper "breeding for profit" setup?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    The following is not to discourage you from this business venture in any way. But back when I was breeding discus regularly, my selling experience was mixed at best.

    1. At first I started selling local fish stores. Most of them only offered store credit. They also didn't take care of the stock: low temperature, gravel tanks, no feeding. Also, these stores are not interested in buying fish on the weekends. If you want to sell fish, you need to be there on a Monday morning. I sold a ton of angelfish, but stopped doing discus with them.
    2. Then I took discus to sell at a local fish show. The problem was that I spent all my time worrying about selling the stock and calculating the breakeven point for the trip. I didn't enjoy the show nearly as much as if I was just buying. This was a discus specific issue. I still sell tons of bristlenose plecos at shows without thinking about it.
    3. Finally I found a good friend who would raise discus. All my spawns went to him and all discus inquiries were directed to him. He dealt with local hobbyists and we just split the money.

    At that time, I was a sales manager for a Fortune 10 company selling to other very large companies. So the selling process itself was second nature to me. Still, I found breeding discus was much more fun as a hobby than a business.
    Here we don't have local fish shows, I'd have to organize one if I feel like it's worth it. But local fish shops already look for me even without a satisfactory production. It's a different market I suppose.

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