New to R2R, starting a coral (garage) business!

Discussion in 'Meet & Greet Forum' started by Tedzilla, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Tedzilla

    Tedzilla Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Hello everyone!! First, let me say that I've been on here a lot before, researching as a non-member hobbyist. I never joined before, because I know I won't learn anything by talking. So I have gotten a lot of great info (lol), and therefore, let me start by saying "Thank you very much!". As I stated in my thread title, I plan on growing coral for sale. I am in in the State College area of Pennsylvania, and let me tell you... I am filling a much needed niche (once I am up and running anyway). I'll be running a small set up at first; a 75 gal and 55 gal, with 29 gallon sumps (protein skimmers/ATS's/rubble refugiums) for each. Haven't decided on the 55 gal's lights yet, but I ordered a Sun Blaze 6 bulb t5 HO for the 75'er. I already have my LFS owner willing to buy from me, and I'll be building a website and doing Craigslist ads. I was fairly successful in San Diego before this, doing the same with freshwater shrimp. I guess the input I'd like at the moment is recommendations as far as what everyone thinks are good "money makers". The only place you can buy coral within the vicinity of State College, is Petco at the moment (until my LFS guy gets setup). And I am not exaggerating when I say that Petco's corals look terrible. Terrible might even be a compliment. So for any "garage guys" like myself, what works well for you? I personally like SPS/Softies... So I'll have zoas, acans, ricordea, etc, for my own personal interests... Should I get some more rare stuff as well? Let me know, and thanks in advance! Also, in closing, let me mention that it's great to get on the internet and come to a "family oriented" site. I'm glad to be here, and thanks for having me!
     
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  2. NY_Caveman

    NY_Caveman Troglodyte R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Welcome to R2R!
     
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  3. Tedzilla

    Tedzilla Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thank you!!!
     
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  4. Crabs Mcjones

    Crabs Mcjones Millepora Maniac Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Welcome to R2R! welcome12_af875eaa887ed91c39e4c81c7d4fd966-0ed06ab93ea565647147c6beddbca4eb.gif tenor (1).gif
     
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  5. Tedzilla

    Tedzilla Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thank you!
     
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  6. Pelagic One

    Pelagic One Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Welcome to family-oriented R2R, and thanks for enabling others to enjoy the hobby, given your local niche in need of filling.

    From a newb’s perspective, I like the Craigslist ads with HD pics of rows of frags, numbered with a name/price index off to the side. To me, it shows a guy is serious about his coral biz, and wants to differentiate himself from all the other garage guys. The rows of frags tells me that he’s not just selling a handful of frags, so by the time I got to his house, I’d get everyone’s rejects. I also watch the ad to see if he’s updating with Sold labels on the pic or index, which tells me others like his stuff, too.

    And when you build your website, and start your mega online sales, please warn newbies on the opposite coast about the dangers of shipping in the Winter months. Heat packs may be great for overnight shipments, but if that shipment gets weather-delayed in Minnesota for another day or two, cross your fingers. New hobbyists probably won’t buy from someone ever again, if all they received was a box of DOA livestock.

    Have fun, go out and meet some great reefers, and take some of their money once in a while! :cool:
     
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  7. KJ

    KJ Road Warrior R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award ETRC Member

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    Welcome to R2R!!!
     
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  8. reef lover

    reef lover It's a reef thing.... R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Hudson Valley Reef Keepers

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    Welcome!!
     
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  9. Dsnakes

    Dsnakes Knight Reefer R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Welcome to R2R :)
     
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  10. Tedzilla

    Tedzilla Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks, good advice! I have only seen people selling their full setups here in State College, no frag "garage" competition. But no need to start the ball rolling in a lackluster way. I definitely want to take it in a more professional route, and numbering/updating is a great way to go. I'll be sticking to local sales, despite having a website. While my Wordpress skills are decent, setting up an eCommerce site is not in the plans for now. Definitely things I'd implement though, if I ever went that route. Having just moved from the opposite coast, I'll be doing my buying from there instead. :D

    Thanks for the advice and welcoming me.
     
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  11. Tedzilla

    Tedzilla Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks!
     
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  12. Tedzilla

    Tedzilla Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thank you!
     
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  13. Tedzilla

    Tedzilla Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Appreciate it!!!
     
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  14. BigJohnny

    BigJohnny Valuable Member

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    How long have you been in reefing? Also you said sps/softies but listed zoas, acans, ricordea, none of those are sps. Are you planning on growing acropora too? If so I would recommend using one tank for acros and one for softies, just to simplify things.

    Do you plan to use dry rock or live rock? The reason I ask is that you will likely get minimal/slow growth the first 6 months with acropora and dry rock (not always the case but ime and many others it's quite common, sometimes takes even longer).

    Biggest money makers in fragging imo are high end zoas and sometimes high end acros if you have a faster growing species in mature stable tank. Bounce/jawbreaker mushrooms can be lucrative as well but sometimes very slow growing. Rainbow chalices as well. Having said all that if you are selling locally and there are not many advanced hobbyists then your not going to sell expensive coral much. So it really depends on your clientbase.
     
  15. Tedzilla

    Tedzilla Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I realized this morning that I said "SPS", and not "LPS". I've been reefing since 1996 (at the time I lived in Guam and could pull right from the reef). I wrote that late last night, about the time I should have been asleep. lol And I agree 100%. I planned on dedicating the 55 for acros, and was thinking about high end/rare stuff, later on, once it was established (next year). I found a (garage) guy a couple hours away in Levittown, with a fantastic collection to pull from.

    I plan on going with 90% dry rock and sand, the rest live, with at least a 3 month cycling/colonizing period; no lights, minimal ghost feeding. Then in months 4-5 adding 1 fish, and then another, with month 6 being my ultimate milestone to start adding corals. I'll respectively do "fish to coral" ratios as I progress.

    It's definitely harder to gauge the client base here, but they ARE here. I lived in Austin and San Diego, and both places were obviously full of enthusiasts. While not as ambitious an area, as the two previous mentioned places, there are hobbyists here for sure. And there is some money in this town as well. Petco sold off most of their stock recently, fairly quickly, when they marked everything 50% off to do a full tank restart (I guess they finally noticed what I did [smh]).

    I'm hoping to have everything plumbed by this week on the 75. I'll add the live rock, sand and water in two to three. I built a behemoth of a stand that's 8'6Lx38"Hx27"W. I'll post some pics later today. Thanks for the help!!!
     
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  16. dbl

    dbl It Takes Less Energy to be Nice Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Welcome to R2R.
     
  17. Tedzilla

    Tedzilla Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks dbl!
     
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  18. jsker

    jsker Reefing is all about the adventure Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Welcome to R2R
     
  19. Tedzilla

    Tedzilla Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks jsker. It's pretty cool getting greeted by people whose advice I've read/used on here, waaay before becoming a member!!
     
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  20. jsker

    jsker Reefing is all about the adventure Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    We are here to help in many ways:) Nice to see you are following your passion!
     
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