Agree.. it takes a few months for one spawn to be able to be sold - then you have to sell them, hope someone is willing to pay the cost of the fish + $35 for shipping. So your fish has to stand out and look really good.. which could easily take a few generations of selective breeding. Even breeding HM x HM doesn't mean you'll get all HM, so you gotta hope to be able to sell the less desireable DT, etc.
And at 12 cents per fish at pet stores is if you get lucky - you tend to get more offering store credit rather than money, if you can find one who will take them off your hands.
As BB mentioned, the constant costs of upkeep/care it's always going to be a catch up game on money.. at least for a few years, and that is if you don't expand and you sell lots of fish.
As for what you are wanting - temperament and health, and not put focus into fin type you won't be selling a lot of fish... you are lucky if you sell a VT nowadays, and messy tails won't get your bettas sold other than for the 12 cents mentioned above (can't judge what people want off of this forum.. 98% of the members here are the average keeper who go for pretty, yet cheap, bettas who won't pay the shipping costs). You have to put focus onto the fins and colors in order to make any of your money back. You won't ever get them passive enough to not be aggressive, and breeders breed for strong, healthy fish - so unsure what else can be done in that dept, their life span is what it is right now and that won't change for a very long time - not to mention their health is out of your control once you get rid of them. Reality is, you alone won't be able to do something that hasn't been able to of been done in the 100+ years of breeding the splendens.. so make sure you go into it knowing that you won't be able to change the behavior of the fish, but that you can offer some healthy, beautiful fish.
So definitely, if you want to do this for a fun (yet sometimes frustrating lol) hobby, go for it and have fun! If money isn't an issue, then get all you need and hope for some return in your investment. But if you are wanting to make it a profitable business? That only tends to happen for mass breeders and even then they still shell out a lot of money in upkeep. It seems like a never ending shopping trip sometimes lol.. I just got 2 big shipments in yesterday of more items such as glass canopies I needed for some new tanks, food, etc. And just spent a bunch of money on more females Sunday, etc.
I can understand the wanting to do it while on disability - I don't work either and this gives me something to do and have fun with. But I'm only able to do it because of having the funds (boyfriend is the money maker lol).. otherwise I would just have to stick with a few pet bettas.
Hope I don't come off mean.. but want to make sure you understand you can't change the way an animal is by nature, so make sure you know that you will have to work on the looks of the fish, along with health, more than anything to make anything off of them.
Thanks.. just trying to be real here.. can't change the nature of an animal to fit your wants. As for health, just use healthy parents and raise the fry properly and you will get healthy bettas. A few generations of healthy bettas won't change their life span as a whole/species. But it is good to keep their health a priority when breeding.. but just throwing together a couple healthy bettas without learning about their genetics and fins you're just going to end up with average bettas - even people who aren't willing to pay a lot of money for their fish would still like their HMs to look like HMs, their CTs to look like CTs, etc. It's a whole mess of things one has to work on when it comes to breeding sellable fish.
I'm not gonna be shipping OR selling to pet stores if I do this. It would be just me selling Bettas and Mystery Snails to the general public for pets at a price that competes with WalMart (local) and PetSmart (40 minutes away). Between the cost of females, heater, food, and such, I would have to sell 10 VT to break even and profit could be put back into the business for better/more breeders and tanks. It would be worth trying IMO.
On top of all that... I'm also a disabled woman who longs to earn a dollar of her own. Right now, I have to ask others to help me with EVERYTHING. I can't buy luxries because my money is not my own. Posted via Mobile Device
Honestly, you will be having to sell more than 10 VTs (would not ask for more than $3 for them to be competitive at pricing) to make up for the money that you will continuously put into the breeding - still got grow out tanks, ways to be able to heat upwards of a 100+ jars at any given time, live plants, medications, filters, heaters, etc etc which will cost more than $30 :)
The water and electric bill will also raise, as you will be doing daily water changes on all the jars and tanks.
Ask any breeder and they will tell you that they thought at first they can get their money back, but it's a never ending cycle of money going out - you are lucky if you break even on how much you get for how much you spend per month, but you won't be bringing in anything extra to pay back the hundreds you spent setting up for a single spawn.
I'm all for you breeding and encouraging this hobby, but I'm going to be blunt when it comes to reality and say if you are in this for money, then you are in the wrong business. You can go the cheap route - but only if you are able to heat up the room to a constant 85* - then you can skimp out on the heaters and use old jars for containers, and have a room just for all the jars and tanks you will need.. space heater in there would help - but has to be on 24/7.
I would look into first seeing what all the supplies you need are first - make a list and then price it. Don't forget the small things such as nets and turkey basters, etc. And then see how long it would take to make up the money selling say 5 VT fish a month (that is being generous as you are only going to be selling through... newspaper?), 5 fish at about $3 = $15 a month.
So, that $15 a month (sometimes less).. about $180 a year.. now $180 a year most likely will not cover all the food, water conditioner, added electric/water bill, cost of new stock, etc. Even if you are able to get them for $5 each.. it won't cover it.
VTs are sold very cheap - the people who buy VTs generally are just wanting a cheap pet.. it's the other fins types that fit the standard that bring in the money, that are most in demand and can go upwards of hundreds of dollars.
You want to focus on health and making these fish docile.. applaud that.. but going to have to put some thought and focus on fins and multiple spawns to bring in any kind of money.
And I would definitely not keep aiming for the docile ones.. as those tend to be harder to breed.. the more aggressive the more the females want to breed ;)
If you want, you can make another thread with all the items you have on your list and we can help you go through everything, help find things cheaper, etc (shipping adds up.. spent couple hundred on shipping alone).. more than happy to help you set up properly and cheaply. Just don't want you getting halfway set up and realize it's a lot of money and to expect to sell a ton of fry - especially since you aren't shipping. There are only so many betta owners in your town :)
A docile betta is NOT a betta. The aggression is what makes them who they are. They are rather boring without the attitude. And you can't compete with walmart. You will have to advertise a lot to get traffic.. so why do it for the common VT? Do the HM's or CT's.. but then you have more work to keep the finnage. I have yet to make a dime on this and I breed nice fish. There is always another light bulb, heater, food, and what not to buy. You start to look for ways to save time rather than make money.
I have to agree in that there isn't a lot of money to be made in breeding Bettas, especially in the beginning. If the Betta was the only thing I sold I might break even. Since I breed other species of tropical fish-along with inverts and aquatic plants-I do make a fair profit and my hobby pays for itself (I am disabled, on a limited budget too). But as others have posted-most profit I do make goes back into the hobby-you always will need something and I use all kinds of short-cuts, lower cost methods/items etc.....If not one thing its another and with you being limited on who and how you sell/ship.....I don't want to discourage you or anything....but you may find that it ends up costing you much more than you make. But you never know...depending on your area you might have a high demand. With mine, sometimes I can't meet the demands, especially for the unique. (Quality is more important to me than quantity). Once you get established with a good reputation-you might find that hobbyist are beating down your door for more. But this usually doesn't happen over night-this usually takes years....
I can't speak for the other breeders, but in my case-I cull down to about 20-30 Betta fry/spawn-the best of the best-but I may have upward of 6-10 spawn going depending on the season. Since I have a good reputation and relationship with a local Ma&Pa shop. They tell me what species they need and that is what I breed besides the Betta splendens. I keep them supplied with a lot of inverts and plants too and I have found this is where I make most profit-along with different species of tropical fish. All of this takes a lot of time, space and work on my part and you have to be dedicated with passion for the hobby and Lucky.....
Understand, I have been keeping fish for over 40+ years and had most everything I needed when I started selling/raising fish/inverts/plants for profit over 12 years ago. It cost me the first 2 years, broke even for about 3 years and have seen profit up to now and even this varies from year to year and to be honest-the past 3-4 years it has decreased due to so many people getting out of the hobby all together. But that can sometimes help me since I can pick up supplies free-to-cheap-but doesn't help when I have something to sell....Double-edge sword...kinda thing....lol....
My boyfriend has come to the conclusion that this isn't a money making business like he had hoped.. luckily he understands and just wants me to have fun with it.. basically give me something to do instead of being bored all day at home lol.
Basement Bettas and Oldfishlady are excellent breeders and have wonderful, beautiful, healthy fish.. Definitely would listen to them on ideas and tips offered, they are two of the very small group of top breeders here on the forums, imo.