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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

October 11, 2010

Fish Breeding in a Store

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When it comes to ways to increase sales in your fish department, one of the best strategies is to have some fish breeding in a prominently displayed tank. One of my good friends and fish customers is Lebanon Pet in Lebanon, N.H. This amazing store has, I believe, one of the largest fish rooms around, comprised of more than 300 Dutch Aquarium Systems merchandising units. In addition to the regular tanks it has a number of the huge “trays”, including one with a gigantic iridescent shark and a red-tailed catfish. In this tray there was also a breeding pair of convict cichlids. Partly due to the fact that the big fish were always kept well fed, and partly because convict cichlids are, well, convict cichlids, the cichlids were able to raise a little family right under the noses of the giant fish.

While most stores don’t have enough space for such a large tank display, everyone can find a place to put a 10- or 15-gallon tank. Populate the tank with a breeding pair of some kind of cichlid. Convicts and kribensis are the best, as they will always spawn as long as there are a male and a female, and they provide terrific parental care for a long period of time. Yes, baby livebearers are cute, but they are nothing more than miniatures of the adults-- it’s the parental care that is so interesting. Cichlids make a fascinating display, and nothing will draw the attention of hobbyists, especially kids, as a breeding pair of cichlids. There is always the potential of the sale of an additional tank to your customer so they can witness the show in their own homes, and convicts and kribensis are usually available from wholesalers.

For stores with large marine departments, it is almost as easy to get a pair of clowns to spawn as it is with freshwater cichlids, although raising the babies requires very specialized care and feeding. Whether it is freshwater cichlids, marine clownfish or any other fish, having a pair breeding in your store speaks very well for your fish husbandry, and can stimulate added interest-- and spending--from your customers.

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