Production Costs

Production Costs

Postby ONAP » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:08 pm

Hi All,

I know that everyone has a different setup and a different set of hurdles, but would anyone like to chime in on what it costs (not including your time), per fish, to bring a clown to market? I'd also love you know how much time you all spend taking care of your fish each week.

Thanks.

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Re: Production Costs

Postby jeff@zina.com » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:31 pm

I did a rough calculation a few years ago and it was about $4.50 per fish to market. That's way too high for any kind of profitability, especially since the wholesale market price for standard occelaris is less than that now. That's one reason everyone has switched to fancy clowns, although the wholesale price of Picassos and others has dropped quite a bit in the last two years as well.

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Re: Production Costs

Postby EasterEggs » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:51 pm

I haven't had any fish to market yet so right now the first batch is sure going to be expensive! ;)

I can comment though that I spend an average of 6-8 hours per week in my fish room. I find salt and food to be the biggest and most consistent "fish bills. When I make homemade frozen food I make extra and sell it for a small profit on the local forums which is enough to pay for the whole batch of food plus a bit extra to help cover costs of other foods. I go through a "200 gallon" box of Instant Ocean every 5 weeks or so and I keep my systems at 1.020 to keep salt costs down a bit. I keep an eye out for sales on Instant Ocean at the local box stores and buy whatever is on the shelf during a sale.
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Re: Production Costs

Postby cannon77 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:18 am

I have not kept track of actual costs......for a good reason ;)
200g ($32.48) box of salt every other week
$80 in fresh seafood and misc ingredients every other week
Typical frozen foods $50 every two weeks
$300-$400 per month in power usage
$150 per month in water
Probably 50-60 hrs per week in the fish room (combined, fiance and myself)
Once all 17 pairs are producing we might see a profit?? LOL
Our goal with "The Clown Factory" is simple.......Breed beautiful clowns and keep the wild ones WILD!!! Just trying to do our small part to keep the worlds reefs as beautiful as God has intended them to be :D
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Re: Production Costs

Postby Scottt » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:24 am

This is a neat thread. For us, it's been about 2 years of 3 people putting in 40 hour weeks. As of right now each fish we've sold cost us $12, not including any labor. Most species wholesale for less than a quarter of that. I agree with cannon77, profit? maybe one day. You shouldn't do this unless you're in it because you think its ethical; unless you want to just do designer clowns for $$.
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Re: Production Costs

Postby ONAP » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:52 pm

jeff@zina.com wrote:I did a rough calculation a few years ago and it was about $4.50 per fish to market. That's way too high for any kind of profitability, especially since the wholesale market price for standard occelaris is less than that now. That's one reason everyone has switched to fancy clowns, although the wholesale price of Picassos and others has dropped quite a bit in the last two years as well.

Jeff



WOW!! It's a wonder anyone can afford to start up at home. At $4.50/fish, even as a labor of love, I could see this hobby getting painful fast. How bad is the wholesale market price for standard occelaris right now? Do you even see half of that back?

Thanks everyone for you input.

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Re: Production Costs

Postby jeff@zina.com » Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:00 pm

Depending on the quantity and whether they are wild caught or captive bred, I'm seeing standard occelaris go for as low as $3.00-5.00 wholesale, possibly even less. I figure a decent commercial breeder should be able to get these to market for around $1.50-2.00 or so. But that means quantities in the thousands, not the dozens like most hobby breeders would produce. I figure I'd need to get more for them from selling to a LFS than you can buy them retail at Petco. :)

You can often guess the wholesale price as about 1/4 what they sell for at Petco.

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Re: Production Costs

Postby Suzy » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:57 am

I really am in the red in this. My hobby is so expensive! But, for me, it is just a hobby, and I see what others spend on corals for their reef. I am not sure, but I think this is the most expensive hobby on the planet!

I take 7 clown babies at a time to the lfs, and as many bergias as I can grow at least once a week. But I never bring money home! I bring home a new pump, or get credit for this really cool LED light that costs $700 bucks! or I see a coral my tank must have. How can you guys go to the LFS without looking at the corals?

I really don't do this for money, and I don't think of it as a job. I do think it would be cool to have it be my job, though! I would love to trade my job for those of my friends at our aquarium. But, I am too greedy....
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Re: Production Costs

Postby jeff@zina.com » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:26 pm

jeff@zina.com wrote:You can often guess the wholesale price as about 1/4 what they sell for at Petco.

Got a PM on how I know this and figured it also deserved explanation here. As a general rule, prices double at each stage of the sale. The fisherman gets $1. The exporter gets $2. The Importer gets $4. The Wholesaler gets $8 and the Retailer gets $16.

For aquacultured fish in the US, there's a breeder, wholesaler and Petco in the chain. The Wholesaler is charging half of what Petco charges, the Breeder charges half what the Wholesaler does, or 1/4 of Petco's sales price.

This holds fairly true as an average in the industry, or most industries for that matter.

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Re: Production Costs

Postby Suzy » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:54 pm

Very interesting. I know my LFS give me half credit, then they charge double for the fish. I didn't realize the PETCO input.
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Re: Production Costs

Postby JulioC » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:12 pm

I´m starting and selling just a few fish so my cost is huge!!!

What I don´t know is how it is possible to import fish here to Argentina at 4 USD/fish including freight, tax and FOB cost.

I think it is dificult to sell with some profit if someone in Indonessia can produce Ocellaris for less than one dollar. Here big LFS pays 1/4 of their price and the importer pays half of it (4 usd/fish Vs 30 usd in LFS).

Here misbar, extreme misbar, naked ocellaris do not sell well even cheaper than regular Ocellaris so designer fish is not a possibility.

The problem for me is that every reef has 2 Ocellaris and that is all. Maybe raising seahorses, artemia or something else is more profitable. Here I can sell adult artemia at 50% of an ocellaris with higger demand and less effort.....

Reising Ocellaris for fun and raising Artemia to cover cost... Just thinking loud.

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Re: Production Costs

Postby jeff@zina.com » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:07 am

That's the major part of this business, figuring out your market. And planning for what the market will be next year, since you have to start producing this year to meet next year's demand. If you sell to a LFS, ask them where they think the market is going. Ask local reefers. Ask the government agency that keeps track of these things. The more info you have, the easier it is to take from a hobby to a business.

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Re: Production Costs

Postby ONAP » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:11 am

Jeff,

What were your calculations based on to get $4.50/fish? Is that one pair with each step in the process broken out, or is that a number of pairs with brood stock through settlement and grow out set up as their own system?

I'm just wondering what everyone's thoughts/experiences are on trying to find that magical place where production efficiency has reached a point where you would be hard pressed to reduce your costs any further.

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