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5 ways to make money from fishkeeping

“ If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”.

This is a rather famous quote attributed to many authors and a dream that many strive to achieve. Considering that most people spend over 25% of their waking hours at work, it may be one dream worth chasing.

For the avid fishkeeper, this dream surely extends to spending your days immersed in all things aquatics. Performing water changes, researching fish and delving into the fishy world of networking with fellow enthusiast. If you fancy your chances at a doing your hobby full-time or just want to earn a little extra on the side, below is our top choices for making money out of your hobby.


  • Breeding fish

Often much harder than it sounds, if you have the knack; then breeding fish could be the money making scheme for you. Regardless of your set-up you will always struggle to compete with massive fish farms in Asia and South America . Yet you might be able to out class them. Breeding difficult to find and hard to breed species, may be a challenge but it is something that mass production farms don’t and can’t do on a profitable scale.


  • Create your own fish shop

Not for the faint hearted. This option is for those whose motto is ‘go big or go home’. Smaller chains are struggling to compete with the wealthy giants of the industry. Yet with Three key ingredients, you might stand a chance. Firstly your shop needs personality, if you’re the gruff type, then this might not be the option for you because small shops now need talented, multi-tasking go-getters, skilled at advertising, PR and marketing. Secondly you need an aim. The thing about massive chain retailers is that they stock a little bit of everything. Establish yourself as the go-to shop for a certain type of fish and you’re sure to build up a loyal fan base.  Finally your going to need luck. Out pacing the retail giants and establishing yourself as a renowned expert isn’t easy…


  • Ornament maker

Talented at DIY? . With the rise of pleco’ and cichlid’s in recent decades, breeding them has also become increasing popular. All across the board, fishkeepers are striving to breed a whole range of fish from small zebra plecos to the mighty wolf cichlid. When breeding fish, people are often looking for the perfect equipment to use. Terracotta plant pots, makeshift brick caves and sunken coke bottles are all common sights. However the much more attractive, professional and natural slate caves are usually in high demand. With a few pieces of slate tiles, aquarium grade silicone and grinder, you could be in business within a few hours.


  • Pond instillations

Obviously suited to pond keepers. If you adored being outside and have a knack for creating stunning water features then this may be ideal. A few leaflets though doors and  a card left at your local aquatic retailer will hopefully provide a few clients who would rather have their pond built by an experts. Be prepared to source all the materials, plan filtrations and argue with unreaserched demands for koi and surgeons in a 4×4 pond. However if you can talk people round, manage the back breaking digging, delicate laying of pond liners and the wiring up of pumps and filter then you may be onto a winner.


  • Run Courses

Best left to the very experienced. Newcomers spending hundreds of pounds on new tanks are often anxious about what they need to do and when. While the internet is filled with information, some bad some very good; it can be hard for a newcomer to filter this information. This often leads to disaster. Instead if they could attend a short, hour-long class on how filters work, when to water change and how to care for their fish, I’m sure most would cue up for the chance. Don’t charge extortionate rates, offer simple yet effective guides and try to follow up with any help you can offer.  Stick with this simple formula and word of mouth and good reviews will soon be keeping you very busy.

Alexander S. Howson

Alexander S. Howson is a naturalist and nature writer.

Along with a heavy interest in Aquatics, birds and ecology. Alexander now directs a large deal of energy attempting to re-educate the public about aquatics and promoting the conservation of a range of wildlife species.

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