The Six Month Transition: Hobby to Business

After all the adventures of raising the fry and breeding your fish, a new challenge arises – selling to make room for the new.


Livebearing fishes are quite popular with the fishkeeping population, the guppy usually being number one on the list. Finding people willing to take your beautiful fins from your aquarium will not be very hard, but sometimes settling on a suitable asking price is difficult. Sometimes getting people to actually hand the money over can be a problem, and finding out where to advertise can be a pain, but none of this is impossible.

The Guppy and Platy are usually mature enough at four to five months of age for it to leave your loving care. The Swordtail and Molly are usually five to six months of age before they should be released into another home. Females will most often mature earlier as they don’t have as many colors to develop, meanwhile, males need to be given the time to fully grow into their spectacular colors. Number one, this gives you the chance to pick out your newest breeders, and it also gives you a more beautiful product to entice those who answer your ads.

Investigating the different avenues of selling your fish is usually the hardest the first time around. After that you have a somewhat constant advertising base that changes infrequently, usually with only additions.

The Saturday Shopper usually provides free ad space about 15 words long. In this ad, be very clear about what you offer and your asking price. Also make mention if it is firm, and whether or not you will accept checks. Usually this is not a common practice and because purchases over $30 are very rare only cash is accepted. Grocery stores and some pet stores have bulletin boards that are open to your advertising. Here you don’t have to worry so much about a word count, but it should contain only the most pertinent information. Don’t include your address as visits are by appointment only.

After you know where you are going to place information about your product, it is time to decide on a price. This is often times the most difficult part of the selling process. First, visit all your local pet stores and write down their asking price. This may not be very difficult to do if you live in a small area as I do. My competition is very small as the local pet shop sells Guppies for $3.25 each, and the other sells them for $1.97. I can comfortably sell my guppies for $2.00 while providing healthy, beautiful and young fish and a 24-hour guarantee.