I could not agree with this more! Well put!This is just a rant and I realize it’s not going to change a thing and yes I’m aware of the economics of supply and demand. Please note if you see a reference to something you may have posted, it is not a personal attack on you and I will not be mentioning any names. I’m using what’s been posted simply as a reference to justify my standpoin
The hobby expensive because we are making it so…
I say this not because I don’t want to spend money on the hobby, I say this as we are pricing the average hobbyist who are the ones who will continue this hobby, out of the hobby.
Now I realize this hobby is not what it was when I stopped following the “latest and greatest” in equipment, lighting, and everything else. I can easily just say, well I remember when a small colony of hammer or torch or frogspawn was $50 for 8-10 heads. I realize this is not realistic to expect the the same 10 years later.
With that said here are my issues:
Corals - What the heck is going on with the pricing? I’m not saying the cartoon names, as I understand the reasoning behind it. I’m saying since when is a half inch frag worth $500-$800? I say this after reviewing a “flash sale” and nothing I clicked on was below $300. Yes I’m well aware of plenty of other vendors that do not price this high but still $70-$100 per frag is well outrageous.
Now that’s not to say it may or may not be some rare species or slow grower that deserves the price but I mean seriously.
Well okay, those are vendors, they’re out to make money, fine.
I now turn to us “hobbyists”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read, “well my tank is an investment” or “I only frag to recoup the cost of running the tank and last year I sold $16k in coral”. I’m sorry but if your tank is costing you $16k a year, you really have something wrong with your tank.
I also see a lot of the “Well it cost me “x” so I’m not selling it for less” like these deformed mushrooms we call “bounce mushrooms”. $500/less than 1/2 inch frag. Seriously? That’s just ripping off the hobbyist.
I can guarantee that if I was to ever get one of these mushrooms (it’d have to come cheap), I’m not going to frag it out the moment it gets 1 inch big. I’ll let it multiply on its own and sell them for cheap. No labor involved other than removing from the rock. There’s no reason a mushroom, a freaking mushroom, one of the most prolific growers in home aquaria, should cost $500. At most maybe $100 for a full single mushroom that has some super color variant.
Based on current market value, I supposedly have close to $2k in coral in my tank with my “Firemouth” Green Rhondactis Mushrooms and Neon Green Toadstool and Indo Hammer. I have no plans on fragging any of it because my tank is not an investment. My tank is for my enjoyment.
Okay fine, tell me to find local hobbyists who are out there to help you out. “Many local hobbyists will just give away frags”. Please tell me where these hobbyists are cause they aren’t local around here or in the selling forum here.
Now I understand that there is plenty of reason for increased cost due to import/export bans, Covid, inflation. However, I would say, a large percentage is “captive grown” now, with certain exceptions obviously, so captive grown should reduce the cost, I would think.
Anyway, if we continue to price gouge, this hobby will become what all the “true collectors” or “investment hobbyists” want. One that only the 1% can afford.
Go ahead flame away. I can feel it coming. Bring on the heat! It’s already 80 degrees and humid as all get out outside anyway
Local reefers selling little nub pieces of dying (not encrusted) frags for lfs prices or more disgusts me.
The name game and use of stupid street names drives up costs of corals. Local reefers and lfs call the same acro different names in order to drive up costs and they all came from the same mother colony.
Also people selling used equipment for near new prices.
The general costs of essential goods, such a small salt has skyrocketed over the last few years.
Just because it’s a “marine” aquarium doesn’t mean it’s somehow magically more expensive whatever.
If these corals or fish are aquacultured or maricultured locally in abondance they should not see a 1000% margin.
Greedy people have entered the hobby sneaking greedy prices. Scammers and dishonest people are all the same.