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How To Start A Saltwater Aquarium Care Business
There is good money in saltwater aquarium care and it can be relatively inexpensive, compared to other businesses, to start an aquarium care company in your city. If your city is large enough chances are there are many owners, both residential and commercial, of saltwater aquariums. A well maintained saltwater aquarium can be beautiful to look at but also much more work than some owners bargained for.
Choose A Business Model
You will either want to set yourself up for freshwater and saltwater aquarium maintenance only or offer the rental of saltwater aquariums in addition to maintenance. The latter requires a far greater outlay of cash but can be quite lucrative if you can find the right clients. Clients such as doctor's offices, casinos, seafood restaurants and other businesses may want an attractive saltwater aquarium without the hassle of owning one. You would set up the tank and go through the delicate process of getting all of the elements saltwater fish need to survive in balance and stock it with fish. You would own the aquarium and charge a monthly fee for it's placement and care.
Maintenance Only Aquarium Business
A much more simple and affordable business model is that of aquarium care only. You will still need a professional looking van, stock of aquarium chemicals, gravel, medicines, filter material etc, plus startup money for advertising and other expenses. Of course you will want to know everything you possibly can about aquarium maintenance.
Begin By Caring For Your Own Aquarium
Chances are if you are reading this article you already have an interest in aquariums and may even own one. Saltwater aquarium care is far more complex than freshwater aquarium maintenance. If you don't have one, begin by starting your own saltwater aquarium at home. You can expect to spend as much as $2000 on a basic saltwater aquarium since you will need at least a 30 gallon glass or acrylic aquarium, chemicals, medications, net, trash cans for water transfer, filter equipment, protein skimmer, overflow system, wet-dry filter, and more plus the expensive fish. There are many good sites on the internet and books you can buy to learn the basics of saltwater aquarium care and maintenance.
Get A Degree In Aquarium Science
It may sound like a bit much to get a degree in aquarium science just to start your own aquarium maintenance company. It can give your business much more credibility and help you in the unfortunate event of a lawsuit if you have a degree in aquarium science. Oregon Coast Community College is one of the only universities in the United States offering such a program. You can get a BS in aquarium and zoo management at Michigan State University but that may be a little more than what you need to start an aquarium care company. Your best bet is to take online and local community college courses in marine biology and chemistry, read as many books about saltwater aquarium care you can get your hands on, and learn from your own aquarium. Once you feel that you know all that is needed then you can acquire your vehicle and maintenance equipment and place advertisements in local papers and on websites. Creating your own business website is also a very good idea.
Cautionary Notes on Starting Your Own Saltwater Aquarium Care Business
You will need to have liability insurance for your aquarium business. To insulate yourself from lawsuits that could wreck your life you should set up your business as a limited liability corporation or LLC. This can be done in most states for less than $500. Your business will only prosper if you know how to take care of every kind of situation that can arise. If you prescribe the wrong treatment for an aquarium you could easily kill hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of fish. A release form for your business is a necessity as well as insurance.
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