Tank Setup And Maintenance

tangreefkeeper

In Memoriam
ok so ive seen a decent amount of people looking for tank setups and maintenance in the past few weeks and im thinking about getting one started.. ive been doing this for long enough and ive got the time to put my experience to work since i got laid off for my christmas present...
im thinking about getting a maintenance and tank setup business going with a few guys that have been in the business for some time ... basically putting my hobby to work for me ( enjoy doing tanks and plumbing so why not , right)..
im just wondering if there is a huge demand for tank maintenance and set up in the I.E. and surrounding area or will i have to venture further out to farther areas..
im thinking that 60.oo an hour is a reasonable price ... i know theres a decent amount of shops around but not anything within a reasonable price to get a system setup.. just trying to get a feel for it or if i should just stick to a small frag setup...

just curious about trying something ive been kicking around for awhile
thanks in advance
 

photobret

Rude, Screwd and Tattooed
Premium Member
I just set mine up and its been very slow. I cover a 45 mile radius from 90036 but still quiet. Since handing out my cards to shops I havent had any response but after talking to the shop owners it seems the demand has dropped along with the economy. Just a very important bit f info:

If you are going to get into this business get yourself liability insurance! Very important. Will cost about $1200 - $1500 for the year but will cover you up to $1000 000 in damages should a clients tank decide to leak or break while under your care.
 

ZoaFan08

In Memoriam
No offense but $60 an hour? Are you going to perform surgery on my fish? Seems really high for someone to come and clean the glass and change water. If they wanted plumbing done they could hire a licensed plumber to do it for 1/3 of the cost. Just incase you have not noticed the economy is in the sewer and the first thing people start to get rid of is services they don't need.

Your best bet would be to start around $20-$25 an hour and get a customer base going and in a year raise prices or raise it as you get new customers. And the people who could afford this service are people who know not to let anyone work in their house that does not have insurance.
 

photobret

Rude, Screwd and Tattooed
Premium Member
Sorry ZoaFan but the going rate is $55 - $65 an hour, thats universal for any 'GOOD' maintenance person/company, prices go up from there. I have done a ton of research on this and priced myself accordingly. Having a tank professionally maintained is not for everyone hence why so many of us do it ourselves. A select clientelle seek our services and we provide that service at a reasonable cost. You are right though many people don't want to know you unless you can provide proof of insurance. Plumbers could do it but believe me I have friends who are plumbers and it would cost way more plus they don't understand reefing. Its a good business to get into but right now its very hard and dont count on making a living from it right away.
 

golfish

Team RC
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14156768#post14156768 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ZoaFan08
And the people who could afford this service are people who know not to let anyone work in their house that does not have insurance.

except for the Maid and the Gardner;)



I figure I pay my landscaper on an average 20.00-30.00 an hour....He comes every Friday and I pay him 90.00 a month. He's been with me since 03, does a great job and has never raised his rate. I wouldn't rate any of his skills as a landscaper over yours or mine as a person who does tank setups and maintenance.. See where I'm going here?

Tanks are a luxury and in this economy the grass is going to get cut before the tank gets setup..

I'm sorry to hear about the job loss...good luck.
 

jaypainter24

New member
I fully agree about having the insurance to cover yourself. I get alot of people asking for the maintaince and setups but when they here the going rate balk at it. Its a tough job when every person is different and have different request on how they want you to do it and show up at. Talk to Richard ( Wishintoboutside) about service and what is needed to get started.
 

gps

New member
wow! $60/hr seems quite a bit. It may work with professional offices and businesses (there are not many of them with saltwater tank) but definitely will not do well in residential. Good luck with your business though.
 

gps

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14157131#post14157131 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by tangreefkeeper
thanks guys,
yah i was looking around as well and the hourly cost for maintenance is around 55 - 75+ an hour ..

It may be so but these guys are established. You need to consider the current economy vs. competition. The common mistake that most of the businesses that stemmed out from this hobby is people tend to treat the business as the hobby; not as the business.
 

wishntoboutside

professional snow flake
lol you guys crack me up.. try getting a tank serviced in the bay area.. avg rate is 120 an hour and there are a few cats known to charge 500. some of this does include travel time. tolls parking fees and supplies. it all depends on how one bills.
just wait to one needs a bid on an aquairium move... ha ha.

photobrett send me a pm wondering how far you are from huntington beach or orange area.

thanks
 

tangreefkeeper

In Memoriam
thanks for the positive feedback wishntoboutside, ive seen some sites that charge insane for maintenance and tank moves.... some charge up to 10.oo a gallon to move a tank, its f****** insane
 

microbubbles

New member
zoafan- that's the difference between the guy who learns/researches the hobby along w/ all its intricacies and the guy who doesn't want to do anything beyong learning to feed the fish and acclimating new inhabitants.

unless you know your stuff, you gotta pay to play. you might look at it like gee, how hard is it to change water, clean the glass, run some tests and dose some elements... but to the layman, that can be some complicated and very foreign stuff.
 

TellyFish

New member
This is a specialty market, and often that means huge prices. A commercial plumber will perhaps charge less, but they can push much more volume since demand for typical house plumbing is far greater than the demand to have personal who is very knowledgeable about building and keeping aquariums.

I am not sure where the disconnect is for some people but this ins't a "typical" service you are asking a stranger to perform in your home. $60/hr doesn't seem outrageous for that. If it was $25/hr, I would expect a college student or something.
 

Reefer Brian

In Memoriam
I have 3 clients and they are charged $65 per hour(which is the going rate for the area). I stop by their office/store a few times a week and do the major maint(water changes) on the weekends. All food, saltwater, filter media, misc items and livestock are billed accordingly. It pretty much costs them about $200-300 per month to have an aquarium in their office/store. I works out well and pays for my addictive habit of reefing.
I do know a guy in San Francisco that charges $125 per hour and works about 3-4 hours per night, 3-4 nights per week. All accounts are offices/restaraunts and never actually see's his clients. Its all after hours work. He hasnt seen one of his customers since he started maintaining the aquarium in over 2 years, send him an invoice and he sends the check. He makes about 5k per month, not bad for a side job.....
Good luck to your new business venture, times are rough for some but not for people who are loaded and want their tank to look good for their patients or customers.....
 

babyjess210

Active member
Most place charge $85 a hour in the Westside and cannot keep up with work.


Anyone wants to move a 100gal tank with no livestock from culver city to studio city? PM me with a price
LMK
Kenny
 

tangreefkeeper

In Memoriam
come to think of it ZoaFan08,
i worked on your tank when you were out of town awhile back and i went with nick - theloud1- because he couldnt figure out your flicking bulb issue, ill be sending you a bill for the late evening hours ( heard you can charge up to 300 an hr for past 9 at night tank calls) when i was doing surgery on your light setup and ballast.. :D
 

babyjess210

Active member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14158123#post14158123 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by tangreefkeeper
hey babyjess when are you planning on doing the tank move

Well i'm selling my tank and this guy doesn't have a truck, experience or manpower to move this. There is no livestock or coral, just 40-50lbs of liverock, 80lbs of live sand that can stay in the tank. He's going to check out LFS near his house and let me know tomorrow.

He told me he wants it this weekend but i'm not free, so maybe the following weekend.
 

tangreefkeeper

In Memoriam
shoot me a pm when he finds out how much the LFS will charge him and maybe we can work something out ... ive got a truck and a few guys that can help...
 
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