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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

June 7, 2011

Display Tanks: What Works

By David Lass


I see many local fish stores each week and have observed that the ones that do the most business have at least one thing in common: They all have a few different, but beautifully designed and maintained, display tanks. Nothing sells fish and tanks better than having your customers see an assortment of different types and sizes of aquariums, spotlessly clean and teeming with aquatic life. Some different display tanks I have seen at stores—and that work—include:

Nano tanks: These small tanks (say from 2 to 16 gallons) are available in many lovely designs, and they all have the filter and light in the hood. Some of the best ones I have seen are:

Bettas: the most popular. It’s easy to go from the typical betta bowl to a nano tank setup that could be a $25 sale

Nano aquarium
Freshwater planted: low light plants, small fish

Marine – fish or reef: small corals, fish, inverts. The key is not to feed much at all, and to keep animals that stay small.

Freshwater shrimps and snails: There are so many shrimps and fancy snails available now and they make a great display tank. Hagen even offers a small tank specifically for shrimps.

Standard-size tanks: Simple displays of 10 to 30 gallon tanks are very effective, and let hobbyists know what they can achieve without necessarily spending big bucks.

Large planted tanks: Something like a 55 or 70 gallon tank, with plant substrate, CO2 system, high tech lighting and use of additives; the best sales tool for selling live plants and all of the accessories.

Large marine – FOWLR (Fish Only with Live Rock): The best display tanks for marine fish only usually have a single, large “mascot” fish. Customers remember the fish—and your store. Good ones I have seen include a clown trigger, moray eel, batfish and even a shark pond.

Large Reef: By far the most impressive, but also the most difficult. Once established, a great reef tank really impresses customers, and it definitely shows them what they can do with your store’s help.

Nothing is a more powerful selling tool for aquariums and fish than beautiful display tanks. The more and the more different ones you have in your store, the better your sales will be.

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