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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

January 10, 2011

Diversify Your Marine Livestock

By Patrick Donston

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I would like to start by saying the marine aquarium trade is growing. Some may disagree, but it's true. Studies show the diversity of marine aquariums has increased in most cities globally and nationally during the past five years. The problem is there are fewer retailers available to provide products and services to marine hobbyists. You may be sitting in a prolific market or untapped territory and not taking full advantage of resources available.

If you presently provide marine livestock and feel you have lackluster profits or decreasing customers, you may want to re-evaluate.

● Are you providing outstanding service? (Not fair or good, but outstanding)
● Are your reef aquariums in the store impressive?
● Do you provide healthy livestock?
● Do you provide the proper equipment and supplies and actually have it in stock?
● And, most importantly, do you have an interesting selection of livestock on hand?

I like to utilize yellow tangs, foxfaces, grammas, clowns, hepatus tangs, firefish, cardinals and damsels as fillers .They're staple items, hardy and bestsellers. These won't cut it alone, though. They aren't the fish a hardcore enthusiast wants to see on a regular basis. You've got to mix in a number of unique items that excite them to return.

We always try to have a mixture of:

Marine Angels (Pomacanthidae): Queens, Frenches, passers, Navarchus, juvenile and adult imperators, blueface, Korans, scribbles, coral beauties, lemon peels, argi, flames, flamebacks and Genicanthus species.
Tangs (Acanthuridae): Powder blue, lollypops, Naso (regular and blondes), mimics, N. vlamingii, Kole, chevrons, Ctenochaetus tominiensis, Naegleria fowleri, etc.

Large Wrasses (Labridae): Tusks, lunares, lutescens, paddlefins, blue heads, and hogs such as Cubans, Spanish, Bimaculatus, etc.

Triggers (Balistidae): Clowns, humus, bursa, pintail, bluethroat, ringens (red tail), Niger (two types), crosshatch, etc.

We also always mix in specialized fishes such as catalufas, lookdowns, small morays, lions, fucilers, breams, kelp poachers, jawfish, hawks and puffers—e.g., dogfaces (many types), burrfish, porcupines, cowfish, boxfish, etc.

I strive to teach my buyers to always satisfy the obsession of our clients by being versatile. Change up the inventory on a weekly basis. We want the tanks full as much as possible, most importantly we want flavor-- uniqueness-- and aspiring fish arriving with every order.

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Reader Comments
very true and interesting article. A store should also be clean and friendly.
Sylvia, Frostproof, FL
Posted: 1/27/2011 3:13:10 PM
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