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Old 09-19-2011, 11:32 AM   #1 
Sena Hansler
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Okay, firstly I will note I dislike the way animals and fish (mainly bettas) are taken care of in pet stores... I even worked in this one here for a school thing.
Secondly, I thought, "hey, why don't I just open up my own store in a few years?"

So, here is my plan. Start out with guineas, gerbils, degus, hamsters, bunnies... Parakeets, budgies... NO cats or dogs, unless they are adoption pets (strays, surrendered, or working with pounds/spca's) which then the cost will just cover the shots and fixing :) All animals will be handled appropriately which also is good when finding homes.. they are not as scared, or mean (in case of hamsters for instance, the store here never touches them, which then they become mean and intolerant)

Best part, is the fish. My favorite out of all of them. Mainly, BETTAS. guess what? I will have all bettas in a heated 2.5 or 5 gallon tank to themselves (or divided in case of 5 gallon tank, if room is needed). There won't be bowls sold in my store, only tanks 2-2.5 gallons and up. Plus any information given to customers will be fact, not fiction, and there will be reasons as to why some things are done, and others are not (bowls not sold because these are captivity fish, not wild fish who CAN live in pockets of water, but our version of the Betta needs more room than a litre!!)

Personally, I feel a happy vibrant and active betta is the betta to be sold!!! Not a cold, clamped, moping betta who's bowl has five different dangers growing However I do know I need a lot to get it started... But it's doable, if I really really really want it to work!! Plus I would put all effort into keeping happy, healthy, and friendly animals for people to also enjoy :) No mill animals (I would take only from known people, or specific people, or pounds etc), and no sick, deformed, half dead bettas :( even if they came to me that way... I'd make them better, or not sell them and keep them myself.

I don't want someone having a betta, and feeling the way I do knowing my betta has a tumor :( or something worse...

So, what do you think? :p This I would put all effort into, have the right supplies to use and sell, make stuff of my own, and keep everyone healthy!

I may also add, that my store will not only be useless-bowl-free-zone but a Mellafix and Bettafix free zone as well :) I know all this entitles a lot of research, but hey, it's worth it if I were to have affordable and healthy animals :o

Last edited by dramaqueen; 09-19-2011 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:53 PM   #2 
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While it's a nice dream it's kind of unrealistic.

First off.. where would you get your small animals from? Most, if not all small furries and birds sold in pet stores come from mill situations just as bad as puppy mills, same goes for reptiles. Getting stock from a reputable source is costly and going through hobby breeders is iffy since things happen that can prevent them from giving you an unending supply of stock.

Secondly, while I think it's admirable to want to house each and every betta in your store in 2.5 gallons each that is a lot of water, which means more electricity for heating and filtration, which in turn is going to raise your bills. You would have to have a small number of fish to keep each and every one like that. Perhaps .5 gallons with appropriate water changes would be a more viable option. Similarly for the fuzzies. Ideally guniea pigs need like a 4x4 enclosure just for 2 or 3 of them. Rabbits need even more space.

The number one thing about businesses is the bottom line. Are you making a profit. It's very hard, if not impossible to run a pet shop and keep the animals in the perfect conditions yet keep your prices affordible. That's why even good pet shops usually market items that aren't good for the animals such as habitrails and betta bowls..because it costs money to run a store and you have to get it in somehow.

You're going to have costs for insurance, liscensing, vet bills, marketing, electricity, rent, etc, etc the list goes on an on. Being successful is finding a balance between what is good for the animals, and what keeps you in business.

I still think its a viable goal. But perhaps you should look into taking some business classes and see if it's really what you want to do. Sadly something like 90% of small businesses fail due to being unable to compete with large chain stores.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:01 PM   #3 
Sena Hansler
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There is NOTHING TO COMPETE WITH here. There is NO chain stores. zero. One self owned business, which by the way I have been to the back room where nothing is ever cleaned. It's basically a rotting hole for animals. Only reason one went out of business... is because he retired. So the lack of chain stores anywhere near me, is perfect. Which if there were chainstores here, I wouldn't even try because I am so used to failing anyways it wouldn't be any different.

And I have figured it out, over and over and over and over and over and over. I KNOW what the animals need for space, and it's not that hard to have a containment unit for them - that's already figured out. I know a contractor who can give tips, and I have friends and family who are carpenters so units don't matter, shelving doesn't matter.

And it really IS what I want to do. I don't need a class to tell me. I am still researching.... I am aiming for in 5 years, minimum 40 grand, starting out small, then aiming for my initial part. And even if I do house bettas in 2.5 or 5 gallons, if I cannot get a heater for each tank, at least the room will be warm enough for them year round.

Plus, I can make a lot of stuff myself which is aimed at the highest market here in this town - which is animal fashion, i.e. booties, jackets, coats, for dogs, collars, leashes, halters... plus treats. I can make those, easily, for very good prices for good quality stuff.

I will also be able to breed some animals myself, not all of course, but I can. Researching before, during AND after I can do that.

The only costs, are the furries, the fish, and supplies like cages and tanks, and other accessories I am unable to take care of myself.

Plus my twin is in college for business degree, and he can help out with knowledge. My other brother also knows alot, and will own his own store in 2 years (lucky duck) so he can help.

and if I EVER decided to house my bettas in "bowls" they would not be half litres, or a litre. And they would be always clean, and kept in the warmest spot I could have for them - even if that means to have a light above them.

Last edited by Sena Hansler; 09-19-2011 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:17 PM   #4 
nochoramet
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I just have to step in and say that it's not a good idea to sell rabbits or piggies (or most small, furry animals) for the same reason you wouldn't want to sell dogs or cats. Rabbits are heavily milled and are not treated the way they should be in a pet store. It's much better to get a bunny from a reputable breeder or from a rescue. Also, it's a really bad idea to have bunnies in the same cage together due to young reporductive ages and hormonal fights. Have you seen how bad a rabbit fight is? They can be very gruesome. Unless you are willing to have individual, acceptable enclosures for a bunny, I would not sell them. I don't know much about guinea pigs but I have researched the mess out of rabbits and I strongly disagree with selling them at petstores.

Hopefully I don't seem like I'm being too harsh but rabbits deserve the same type treatment a dog or a cat deserves. They are sensitive, intelligent animals that most people just stick in a hutch because they don't act like the dog does. A rabbit that is left to act like a rabbit is a joy to own <3 My little Beau has shown me that!

What about a pet supply store? And you could have tons of books and pamplets about animal care. Perhaps sell feeder animals like mice and fish but stay away from pets themselves. If you are willing to keep up with fish then I see nothing wrong with that but I think a supply store would be a better option if you are trying to avoid milling situations.

Good luck!! :D
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:22 PM   #5 
Sena Hansler
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Originally Posted by nochoramet View Post
I just have to step in and say that it's not a good idea to sell rabbits or piggies (or most small, furry animals) for the same reason you wouldn't want to sell dogs or cats. Rabbits are heavily milled and are not treated the way they should be in a pet store. It's much better to get a bunny from a reputable breeder or from a rescue. Also, it's a really bad idea to have bunnies in the same cage together due to young reporductive ages and hormonal fights. Have you seen how bad a rabbit fight is? They can be very gruesome. Unless you are willing to have individual, acceptable enclosures for a bunny, I would not sell them. I don't know much about guinea pigs but I have researched the mess out of rabbits and I strongly disagree with selling them at petstores.

Hopefully I don't seem like I'm being too harsh but rabbits deserve the same type treatment a dog or a cat deserves. They are sensitive, intelligent animals that most people just stick in a hutch because they don't act like the dog does. A rabbit that is left to act like a rabbit is a joy to own <3 My little Beau has shown me that!

What about a pet supply store? And you could have tons of books and pamplets about animal care. Perhaps sell feeder animals like mice and fish but stay away from pets themselves. If you are willing to keep up with fish then I see nothing wrong with that but I think a supply store would be a better option if you are trying to avoid milling situations.

Good luck!! :D

thanks for a good reply :) I am willing to take in animals from: surrenders, pounds, spca's and strays, plus breed some of my own (with lots of research of course!!!) so I can sell some of those animals, or adopt them out. I can supply lots of stuff, of course, as I can also make half the stuff myself =D And yeah feeder mice and such seems to be what sells really well here. If anyone has say... their cat had kittens deal, and instead of them dumping them on the streets or tossing them into the pound (lots of animals die there, keep that in mind) I would willingly take them at a certain age, or house them with mama then they can have mama back after the kittens are weaned. That's most of my plan for furries... plus the breeding myself part :) because it's fun to learn, breed, and be able to have healthy pets for people.

and I think any animal should have the same proper treatment as a dog or cat. Even if it were a fish. So yeah, no dirty bowl bettas for instance. And no cold water either. Of course I'll start small and build up but I do not know how much I should be saving firstly o.o
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:22 PM   #6 
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Sena, 1f2f isn't trying to dissuade you from it, just trying to tell you the realities of it. I'm sure she feels the same as I do - I'd LOVE my own pet shop, catering specifically to bettas. But as a breeder alone I've spent near $2000. Just to breed. Add another $1-3000 a month for rent, electricity, and stock, you'd have to make around $5000 a month just to break even. Your prices would have to be higher than the PetSmart you drive to for your fish, and that would keep people looking for cheap things away from you and also driving to PetSmart. Sure there will be people looking for a store that takes quality care of their stock, but would it be enough to pay the bills?

Don't your winters get really cold? I can't imagine your heating bill in the winter ... esp if you're going to keep it at 80F in the entire store ... and to be honest I wouldn't want to shop somewhere so hot. It'd keep me out.

As for keeping lights on 24/7 - you do know fish need rest right? 24/7 lighting will stress the fish, leading to illness.

Shelving etc, is still going to cost you money. Your friends and family may work for free if your lucky, but you're still going to have to buy the materials to build the thing.

I'm also not trying to keep you from following a dream, but you need to know the realities of it.

Have you ever heard of barracks style tanks for bettas? Or even know about sump filtration? Cause you've never mentioned any of that ..


eta: and also on rabbits -- yeah. You should see my rabbits cage. I made it myself and it takes up 1/4 of a large room. Rabbits need to jump and run around and have lots of toys to play with so they don't get bored and start chewing off their fur :(

Last edited by cajunamy; 09-19-2011 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:23 PM   #7 
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Pet Lovers, where i get my pets from, is a VERY good pet store. the animals are friendly, they're clean all the time, i rarely ever seen sick or dead animals(fish included).... but, they keep their animals in the same fashion as any other pet store. their bettas are in cups, their gerbils in 10 gallons, their birds in cages of various size. but, there's a difference in Pet Lovers, and the PetSmart i'll never go into again:

Pet Lovers takes the time to clean the cages and socilize the birds and small mammals and reptiles. PetSmart does... whatever it is that isn't that.

the point isn't getting them the 'proper sized cages'. it's taking care of them the way they need. Petsmart has MANY more employees than Pet Lovers. but, the guys and gals at Pet Lovers make it a point to keep the cages clean and the animals happy. they have one parrot, who's been there so long, he's learned to talk. they let him out of his cage quite often, and he's a trip! scared the tar outta me one day, because i was talking to one of the employees, and he snuck up on me, tapped my shoulder, and squawked in my ear! then he laughed at me!

tl;dr: the point isn't to give everything a proper sized cage, because they'll be sold fast. AS LONG AS they're maintained properly and healthy, happy, and active. change the cages daily, change the betta cups daily, and you'll have a beautiful, happy, healthy critter on your hands, that won't stay there longer than a week.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:26 PM   #8 
nochoramet
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I'm glad I could be of some help. It's a good goal to have, as long as you are willing to listen to different opinions and advice and willing to learn. I just had to say my piece about rabbits because it just breaks my heart to see rabbits in pet stores that are wounded from fighting and pregnant or stuck in a boring hutch with no interaction at all, which is no different than a puppy mill dog.

And I agree with the barrack style system for bettas ^^ might be something you could check out if you want to keep healthy, happy bettas.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:27 PM   #9 
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Removed my post, everything was said LOL What about a fish shops??

Last edited by Pitluvs; 09-19-2011 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:28 PM   #10 
Sena Hansler
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Originally Posted by Luimeril View Post
Pet Lovers, where i get my pets from, is a VERY good pet store. the animals are friendly, they're clean all the time, i rarely ever seen sick or dead animals(fish included).... but, they keep their animals in the same fashion as any other pet store. their bettas are in cups, their gerbils in 10 gallons, their birds in cages of various size. but, there's a difference in Pet Lovers, and the PetSmart i'll never go into again:

Pet Lovers takes the time to clean the cages and socilize the birds and small mammals and reptiles. PetSmart does... whatever it is that isn't that.

the point isn't getting them the 'proper sized cages'. it's taking care of them the way they need. Petsmart has MANY more employees than Pet Lovers. but, the guys and gals at Pet Lovers make it a point to keep the cages clean and the animals happy. they have one parrot, who's been there so long, he's learned to talk. they let him out of his cage quite often, and he's a trip! scared the tar outta me one day, because i was talking to one of the employees, and he snuck up on me, tapped my shoulder, and squawked in my ear! then he laughed at me!

tl;dr: the point isn't to give everything a proper sized cage, because they'll be sold fast. AS LONG AS they're maintained properly and healthy, happy, and active. change the cages daily, change the betta cups daily, and you'll have a beautiful, happy, healthy critter on your hands, that won't stay there longer than a week.

@cajun, I did not say 24/7 lights. And did not say 80 degrees for the building. And again STILL IN RESEARCH MODE. D:

anyways, again I am saying... happy and healthy sells better than some sickly, cold critter in cramped areas. If the containment is decent sized, a proper size for the animal(s) then it's better. Cleaning is not a problem, already have done that when working in THAT store here, and I tell you I have no idea why they wait so long to clean... more work, more smell, more stress on the animals. And I don't care if people dissuade me, I'll still do it. There are no chainstores here. And it is not that hard when you know the right people.

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Originally Posted by nochoramet View Post
I'm glad I could be of some help. It's a good goal to have, as long as you are willing to listen to different opinions and advice and willing to learn. I just had to say my piece about rabbits because it just breaks my heart to see rabbits in pet stores that are wounded from fighting and pregnant or stuck in a boring hutch with no interaction at all, which is no different than a puppy mill dog.

And I agree with the barrack style system for bettas ^^ might be something you could check out if you want to keep healthy, happy bettas.
Yeah, I personally seen compatible bunnies together :) so cute!! and then there are the incompatible ones who fight lots... THAT is a vicious fight O_O

And also, another thing, the animals will be getting attention as yes they do get bored, and can get depressed... plus better if the people cna see the animal actually likes being held (for when they come in, say "can I see that one?" and are amazed he is not nipping, attacking, squealing, etc)

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The thing is, could you pay water bills, electricity and rent with all the expenses of keeping them in such nice conditions? I find a lot of stores don't do so well because of the cost to compete with big box stores. Small locally owned stores take better care which means their costs are higher, usually. If you can do it, go for it! It's great to hear of someone willing to sell quality pets that are taken care of. You could breed your own bettas too!
There are no chainstores, again, I repeat :p And I would love to breed some of the animals myself... or in the case of mollies, platys and such they breed themselves I would love to breed my own bettas, which then I can gaurentee some pretty good and darn decent store bettas

And I can make lots of stuff myself too.

Last edited by dramaqueen; 09-19-2011 at 04:20 PM.
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