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View Poll Results: Would you be interested in a Fish QT Service?
Yes 11 37.93%
No 10 34.48%
Maybe (Depending on cost, QT practices, etc.) 7 24.14%
See Results 1 3.45%
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 02-04-2022, 03:20 AM
Carson. Carson. is offline
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Default Interest in a Fish QT Service

How many of you would be interested in a fish quarantining service?

What would you want from such a service?
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Old 02-17-2022, 06:52 AM
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Did not recall that canreef already had a "see results" tab.

For those that voted yes, but especially those who vote "maybe", please specify your concerns.

What are you looking for?

QT of every fish you add? QT for fish more prone to disease, or those more sensitive to medication?
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Old 03-04-2022, 10:11 PM
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I think it would come down to the cost associated, as well as the QT routine. Lastly, and also of importance, is there a live guarantee (this is where the major risk is held, as some of these fish are pretty pricey) during the process?
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Old 04-17-2022, 10:15 PM
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for sure would be interested.
but many things come into play.

cost of service for the client.
period of quarantine.
medications?
insurance/guarantees on clients fish? during the process? after deemed parasite free?

IMO, this would be more of a retailer offering. A LFS or online retailer, quarantining fish before they are offered for sale. I would expect to pay some amount of premium for these certified "clean" fish.

unless people are willing to just pay for a quarantine service w no liability to you. I think there's too much grey area here... you would have to have different levels of service.

i.e. if fish has signs of illness, do you refuse service? or no type of guarantee?
if fish looks healthy, is there some type of guarantee to offer?
you would need to have the fish vetted somehow... proof that fish is eating etc?

that's why to me it would sound like a great idea for a seller, but not so much as a service for fish people already have.
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Old 04-18-2022, 02:53 AM
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I would be sourcing the fish myself, after a client gives me a species they're interested in. How long that would take obviously relies on the availability of a suitable specimen (my determination).

Client would pay the retail cost of that fish (what it cost me to acquire, e.g. From J&L), a flat rate (to cover the average cost of treatment, i.e. Medication, foods, etc.), and a % fee of the retail cost of that fish (my profit). This would be payed after the completion of treatment and conditioning.

Likely, I would also charge a deposit (x % of the total cost), to discourage abandoning me with their fish.

I would be taking on all risk involved with the success of the quarantine. The % fee of the fish (my profit), may vary in a price tier, and/or in accordance to the species' quarantine difficulty (e.g. Wrasses, etc.), to reflect the added risk I am taking.

As far as hospitalizing already diseased and/or injured fish, I may be open to doing so, however, I certainly could nor would make the same guarantees. I also wouldn't be paying for the fish to begin with, which is the most expensive and risky step of the enterprise. Possibly, I could take in sick fish, treat them as best as possible, and charge the client if successful. The cost of single doses is rather small, my biggest cost in this would be time if unsuccessful.

As far as QT practices go, I would detail these when posting the service for sale.

Appreciate your feedback.

Last edited by Carson.; 04-18-2022 at 02:58 AM.
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Old 04-19-2022, 02:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carson. View Post
I would be sourcing the fish myself, after a client gives me a species they're interested in. How long that would take obviously relies on the availability of a suitable specimen (my determination).

Client would pay the retail cost of that fish (what it cost me to acquire, e.g. From J&L), a flat rate (to cover the average cost of treatment, i.e. Medication, foods, etc.), and a % fee of the retail cost of that fish (my profit). This would be payed after the completion of treatment and conditioning.

Likely, I would also charge a deposit (x % of the total cost), to discourage abandoning me with their fish.

I would be taking on all risk involved with the success of the quarantine. The % fee of the fish (my profit), may vary in a price tier, and/or in accordance to the species' quarantine difficulty (e.g. Wrasses, etc.), to reflect the added risk I am taking.

As far as hospitalizing already diseased and/or injured fish, I may be open to doing so, however, I certainly could nor would make the same guarantees. I also wouldn't be paying for the fish to begin with, which is the most expensive and risky step of the enterprise. Possibly, I could take in sick fish, treat them as best as possible, and charge the client if successful. The cost of single doses is rather small, my biggest cost in this would be time if unsuccessful.

As far as QT practices go, I would detail these when posting the service for sale.

Appreciate your feedback.
I think of you want to make a real go of it you need to take all the risk and basically turn yourself into a basement store. When fish are ready you advertise them for sale.

Nothing against you but how do I know your upholding whatever type of processes needed to ensure 100% chance of no cross contamination. If I have my fish with you with 1 week of QT left and you bring in a fresh fish into a tank around my fish, how could I be 100% sure there was no cross contamination? After all, that's what I am paying for, right?

I think when it comes to QT for sale you do it right with multiple systems and multiple supplies dedicated to each system then offer the fish for sale yourself. Because it's more of a piece of mind for us to do ourselves. 2x 5 gallon buckets for TTM and a 20 gallon tank for any other treatments. Super basic, super easy and the hobbiest knows 100% what's going on.

There is a reason you see virtually noone doing QT fish. It's hard and expensive.
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Old 04-19-2022, 02:58 AM
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I disagree that its hard or expensive, but what you're saying is true. However, how do you know that any other retailer is truly QTing to your standards, or the ones they supposedly set for themselves if you're not there every step of the way?

I'm not really doing this to make money, so I won't be setting up several systems. Again, if I decide to sell this, I'll detail my QT setup and process. I would be doing a single round of fish at a time. What I want from this is to help offset some cost of the hobby, and give myself more QT experience while doing so. The higher the volume and variety of fish you QT, the more skilled at identifying and treating diseases you will become, regardless of how knowledgeable you are to begin with.

I don't use TTM btw. Again, I'd probably explain why if/when I offer the service.
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Old 05-01-2022, 04:37 AM
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An interesting question. Interesting responses to the question as well. There should be interest in such a service. However, you should be cautious in considering this.

Where are you? Your profile doesn't say.

There are two types in this hobby. Those that aspire to desease eradication and those that don't believe it's possible. Unfortunately, neither will be interested in your services.

Those that don't believe it is possible, or at least are at the point where it is too late and they are already managing desease, represent the vast majority of hobbyists. Let's say 90%. This group will pay for a "tank conditioned" fish that looks healthy and is eating but they really don't care if it "might" have ich because all of their fish already have ich. What difference does it make? They might pay a few dollars extra to avoid velvet, but I doubt it.

The other 10%...those that aspire to desease eradication... are already there. Most of this group got there on their own. This group is represented by advanced hobbyists that have had a major set back due to desease and have rebooted their tanks in one way or another with the intent to erradicate desease. I'm in this camp.

Here's why your idea won't work and I would caution you to shift your thinking around this. Imagine I have $10k of fish in my tank and it is really and truly a desease free tank. Do you think there is any way that I would buy a "quarantined" fish and drop it in? No way. Not in a million years. I got here on my own and I'm not going to trust my entire tank to anyone else's "protocol".

What would your liability be if something got through and now I have desease in my tank? I might buy from a qt vendor if they put up a $100k guarantee. Otherwise, I would never risk it.

You might find a niche market amongst those with a new tank that buy all of their fish from you, but if you are not also selling QTed inverts and corals then there is little point. They will introduce desease to their tanks one way or another. It only works if you go all in. Always and every time.

I generally believe that "there is ick in every tank" except where you can trace the history and introduction of every living thing (everything wet even if it's not living) in that tank and can be certain that the QT protocol was not just followed but also that it was effective. It is possible to have a desease free tank. Mine is. Not all tanks have ich.

I believe that the industry itself needs to shift and stop selling contaminated livestock. We might get there one day, but there's a long road ahead of us.

The fact that you can no longer buy fish meds in Canada is disheartening. It really kills the concept of the ethical hobbyist. I'm not sure that you can call it ethical when you buy fish that have a high probability of carrying a desease but you can't access the meds to treat? That's a separate issue I guess. It is still possible to source the meds if you are resourceful and have the means but you need to stock them in advance as you won't be able to get them quickly enough if there is any urgency.

I disagree on the point of this "not being hard". It is hard. It's dam near impossible. Cross contamination is a very real risk and near everything that you do with water increases the risk of cross contamination. Ich floats through the air between tanks. It can get in your water mixer. It can transfer on your hand, on a brush, or just from water left in your sink.

You could have your entire setup completely ich free and then buy one snail with a hitchhiker tomont. You understand qt protocols so the snail goes in your invert qt. All good until that tomont becomes 100 theronts. Now there is a serious risk of cross contamination. Even if your tanks are sufficiently far apart (10 feet) there are a hundred other ways that you could cross contaminate and now you are back to square one. Or in your case you just caused a customer to introduce a parasite into their otherwise desease free tank. Bad for you. Worse for them. It's not a good idea.

The business model can work at scale but not at the hobbyist level. You need to run this with a "probably desease free" disclaimer for a number of years and prove you can do this before switching to a "definitely desease free" claim.

There is one model that might work and I would be interested in. A network of like minded qt hobbyists that share resources. There is already a thriving community of these people that are sharing experience and ideas. You can find me there. But I haven't found a network of these people in Canada yet. Perhaps it's there and I just haven't gone far enough down the rabbit hole to find it yet. If anyone knows of such a thing or is interested in starting one, then we should talk.

I'd like to hear more about what your doing and what led you to start this thread. You are definitely on to something. I just don't think that you should try to monitize this and doing it as a favor is a recipe for disaster on both sides of the exchange.

Just my thoughts

Brad

Last edited by abcha0s; 05-01-2022 at 04:44 AM.
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Old 05-01-2022, 05:01 AM
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One of the biggest challenges that I find with effective qt is how do you know for certain that you have been successful? Really this must apply to all water in your system at any given point in time. To eliminate the risk of cross contamination you have to consider all of your tanks essentially as one system even if they are disconnected and separate (as mine are). But how can you be absolutely certain?

Qt protocol will supress symptoms. Not just for a two week observation period, but for months, years or forever. I had fish with velvet in a community tank that showed no visible signs or symptoms for over two years. I know it was there because these were the survivors and I don't think velvet magically disappears in a tank with fish. There was ich in that tank as well. These same fish went through QT and never showed any symptoms. They were In an isolated observation tank for months and never showed any symptoms. I know they had velvet and I am now reasonable certain that they don't, but how to be 100% certain of this? I cannot say with complete certainty that I didn't somehow cross contaminat them with something new and they are now carries but still symptom free. I would say the risk is very small. Less than 5%, but am I willing to risk it all on a less than 5% risk? I would like to get that down to less than 1%. I don't think zero risk is possible and if you aspire to that level of discipline then there's no way this is fun anymore.

Fresh water black mollies seem to be one strategy. Perhaps I need to get some.

Brad
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Old 05-07-2022, 07:00 PM
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Hey @Carson.

I was thinking more about this and I think your on to something but I would restack it with a bit of a different perspective.

If you want to sell QT fish on a commercial scale as a business for profit, then there is a market. Just target the rare and collectable fish. You will find your clientele amongst the advanced hobbyist that are searching for these fish and are willing to pay a premium.

For the average hobbyist, I still don't think it's worth the trouble, but...

What about a fish hotel service? The idea is that you take all of the fish that your client has in their system for 6 weeks during which time you treat for disease and they do whatever is necessary to get it out of their tank.

Sick fish/tank - How many people watch all of their fish die because they don't have a hospital tank (or the meds and knowledge) to medicate in. This is the fish doctor model.

Tank Moves - You pickup the fish 2 or 3 weeks before your client is set to move. You treat for disease while you have the fish. They tear down their tank, move, set it back up and after 6 weeks they get their fish back.

Tank Resets - You take all the fish and treat for disease while their tank goes fallow for 6 weeks.

Tank Rebuilds - Same as tank resets but instead of a fallow period, they drain and rebuild.

>>

In all of the above, the client should have an ich/velvet free tank at the end of the six weeks. This is something that I would pay for.

There are some diseases such as uronema that can't be cured from a tank with a 6 week fallow period. It can be avoided by treating all fish before they ever go into the display, but once it's in there the only real option for treatment is bleach. It's just important to manage expectations.

You could book in advance for moves, rebuilds and resets. The fish doctor services would likely be emergencies and your ability to help might depend on what's in your facility at any given point of time.

You could extend the services to include coral and invert QT for clients that are doing a full rebuild or a move.

You could charge by the tank volume or something like that. A dollar a gallon per week. For a 100G tank with six week treatment, that would be $600. It's debatable whether that's based on the client's tank size or your QT tank size. Perhaps to be negotiated.

$600 for a six week QT is a bargin. I would gladly pay that if I had a sick tank, was moving or wanted to rebuild my system and cycle from dry rock.

I know that such services do exist in the hobby world. It's not really my idea per say. Whether they have exactly this business model or not, I don't know. Our hobby needs more of this.

It's not hard to imagine a hobbyist being successful with dump and pray for a number of years while they build up their fish collection. I was. It's safe to assume that their is ich in their tank, but fish can thrive with disease management. Then something goes wrong and they are faced with losing their tank. At that point, $600 to save all of their fish while they reboot is a really good option.

You could show up at their house, do a fish water dip, put the fish in buckets and rehome to your facility. Personally, I would change an extra fee for pickup and delivery. Otherwise, let them bring the fish to youi.

Perhaps once I bring my final batch of fish through QT, I will offer this service. That's a ways away though.

>>

Other ideas...
  • Established bio media - Pond Matrix or Marine Pure
  • Clean Cheato
  • Cycled rock
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