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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, this is not about dart frogs but rather my aquarium maintenance company. :rolleyes:

I will do some more with my vivariums that I maintain but I wanted to see what people think.


My friend who owns Captain Video in Tulsa shot it for me. I was thinking about doing aquarium and vivarium instructional videos to give or sell to petstores that would go home with people who have just purchased a whole set up. One, it would help them with their new frog or reef aquarium & two, it would promote my maintenance service if they needed help.
 

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Wow. Just amazing.
How do you maintain such a large tank?
I can't even imagine the set up/maintenance costs! Which organs did you sell to set that bad boy up?
 
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Wow. Just amazing.
How do you maintain such a large tank?
I can't even imagine the set up/maintenance costs! Which organs did you sell to set that bad boy up?
He runs his own maintainance company some someone PAID him to set it up and maintain it. There are filthy rich people all over the place with more than enough money to throw at projects like this. I used to manage the saltwater division that did work similar to this. In Houston Texas at least, there are easily several hundred tanks like this or bigger in private homes, businesses, etc. and that is just saltwater.

Ben. Good looking tank. Skimmer looks a little undersized IMO, but I don't know the ins and outs of your system and it may be getting the job done. Is the acrylic or glass? Good to see someone else who is likes the idea of large frequent partial water changes. 25% weekly is great number.
 

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Great looking tank Ben......Former reefer here.

Not sure if I asked before you frequent R2R?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks guys. :rolleyes:

I just want the audio/script (which there was none here) to be more seemless and professional. I was a little nervous and some of the sentences don't make sense. Oohhh well. :)

frequent R2R?
I'm not familiar with this "site"?

Skimmer looks a little undersized IMO...Is the acrylic or glass?
Well, there is one non-functioning Aqua-C up on the shelf and a euro reef in the sump. The water changes are my main source of nutrient export. Also, we use a hydrogen peroxide solution that causes the skimmer not to function too well. It's acrylic and I can't tell you how super carefull I have to be to avoid scratching it. And don't even get me started with when the painters tried to use razor blades to clean off over spray and splatter. :mad:

If you were around here you would definitely have me as a customer
Thanks, my buddy and I have worked real hard to get where we are now.

How do you maintain such a large tank?
It's actually dirtier than it's ever been in this vid. I have a dish brush jammed into a long peice of 1'' pvc to get the lower stuff and I just reach around the top with my hand. I also have a huge mag float for the sides. I'm going to have to go swimming soon to tooth brush the stuff at the bottom that I can't get to with the pole brush.

I'm not really at liberty to give exact costs and expenses but roughly with a tank like this I could by a decent house in most cities with the set up costs and pay a mortgage on another house with the monthly maintenance fee.
 

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I feel your pain with acrylic. I found it cheeper to have my guys use a new acrylic safe algae pad and felt pad each visit than it was to buff out a scratch. Basically you just charge the customer for that anyway. I absolutely detest acrylic for aquariums but sometimes you're forced to use it. We always went with a size limit.

Your woes in dealing with cleaning that insert remind me of a tank we maintained at Nordstroms. Basically they wanted the tank spotless, beyond what any normal aquarium should ever be. We ended up having to remove all the fish every 3 months, lightly bleach everything, then refill the tank with 3/4 old water. This required us to show up at 5 am in the morning to be done before they opened. Needless to say we charged them a hefty premium for this service.

I'm guessing you probably charge that client at least $1000 a month for maintainance. Depends on if you include consumables in your billing or if you bill those incidentals seperately. People don't often realize how much time you spend on a tank like that to maintain it. Cleaning, water changes, drive time, vehical costs, insurance, etc... Throw in salt, filters, treatments, food, suppliments, etc... Aquariums are such a money pit compared to our vivariums.

I'm curious have you had any takers on Dart Frog Vivs. We experimented with that in the past and eventally found there just wasn't a market for maintaining them for people.

BTW Ben, I used to work for Mike at ADG in Houston. I'm sure you've heard of them. If you wanna pick my brain on some stuff, swap stories or whatever, drop me a PM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Doug, Mike and Jeff are my secret competition. Because the service companies are nothing to compare to I keep my eye ADG, Dallas North and a few others so that I don't get complacent sometimes and say "Hey, well so and so around here does it like this so my standards only need to be so much higher." I often hear my buddy I work with saying stuff like that and we have to check ourselves each time and remind ourselves of the standards we aim for and not simply better than the other guy.

in a fews years time I've set up and currently maintain six or so awesome vivariums. It's all in the presentation and the vision. It's a lot like ADG is about planted tanks and the artistic design of all their tanks in general. Mike will explain the hardscapes, the plants, the textures and contrasts, types of fish and such and will draw a customer into his vision.
When I explain a rainforest vivarium with a waterfall and orchids and moss covered bridges and the little world of wonder where the customer just wants to shrink up and go in there. Then, there is a market. The cool thing is that it's just on the verge.

I may also take you up on picking your brain about the structure and inside look on how ADG runs.
 
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