My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

Post by 2wheelsx2 »

I subbed to your Youtube channel just to see all your updates as soon as you have them, even though I have been following this thread for quite a while. Hope everything goes well with the upcoming inspection.

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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

A heartfelt thank you, guys. You support is very humbling to me.

One of the original 4500 gal developed a fiberglass seam separation on the bottom and a slow leak. It's the one with the brutes - RTC, Jau, Piraiba, pacu, and Co. They will have to go into the prospective 10K, while I drain the 4500 gal and redo the seam. Just a glimpse of what else needs to be done, in addition to finishing barriers around the tanks, street signage, more parking space, educational materials, etc.
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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

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That mud puddle is crazy!
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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

Post by aquaholic »

Viktor Jarikov wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:32 pm
A heartfelt thank you, guys. You support is very humbling to me.

One of the original 4500 gal developed a fiberglass seam separation on the bottom and a slow leak. It's the one with the brutes - RTC, Jau, Piraiba, pacu, and Co. They will have to go into the prospective 10K, while I drain the 4500 gal and redo the seam. Just a glimpse of what else needs to be done, in addition to finishing barriers around the tanks, street signage, more parking space, educational materials, etc.
Viktor,
How close are you to opening? I for one would like to help and I am sure may others would as well. Perhaps you can distribute some of the workload? Although members here are from all over the world, we can all contribute towards ideas, marketing, information towards educational materials etc. Perhaps some members are very good at business, others at community engagement, digital art, logos etc. Just be sure you have full copyright before accepting assistance.

* Do you have a name for this venture yet? "DIY Public Aquarium" or "Hobbyist Public Aquarium" And a registered web domain?
* If we watch your youtube videos (including adverts) does that assist you?
* Do you have any merchandise for sale? shirts, mugs, car decals, etc which are good for marketing as well as financial assistance. You already have a lot to do so perhaps you could outsource the merchandising.
* Perhaps you could have a storyboard for each of the rescue fish you have? This may increase the financial donations.
* Perhaps you could run some volunteer workshops for keen fish keepers in your local area?
* Perhaps you could provide a weekly report on what projects are coming up, how they progress and some of the problems solved.
* Please let us know what we can do to assist.

Lookng forward to being one of your paying visitors once COVID vacinne becomes available.

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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Thank you so much for this!

How close are you to opening?
***IDK. Since 2015, I thought I'd open each year, or the next; then the next year, then, as it wound down, I thought the next; repeat; repeat; same is happening this year. I have little time to dedicate to moving us closer to opening, usually 2-4 hours a day on average, including Sat and Sun. The rest of my time is taken up by property maintenance, repairs, fish rescues, small odd jobs, other activities that have nothing to do with the actual building.

I for one would like to help and I am sure many others would as well. Perhaps you can distribute some of the workload?
***I appreciate this beyond words but the main obstacle is property maintenance. We have two houses, 6000 sq ft under AC, another 2000 sq ft of screened patio space, the lot is 10 acres, the fish pavilions take up another 5000 sq ft. All of this needs upkeep and maintenance, it's a swim against the current. If anything breaks, I try my best to fix it myself because we conserve money as best we could, we are barely keeping our head above water here, have been for many years. It's everything. Mowing takes me from 16 to 32 hours depending on season. Two old cars. The houses are aged, the appliances, the three 5.5 ton AC units are old, the 12,000 GPD RO system is getting old, something breaks periodically, the poorly built pump house is falling apart, the vegetation needs trimming, we have a thousand or more of trees, and as many bushes, flowers, etc. and the yard waste needs to be collected and burned every day, about 100-200 gallons of yard waste every day year round, weed spraying takes up about 1 hour every day 365 days a year, feeding fish takes up 2 hours every day, and so on and so forth. You know all this firsthand better than me as your fish operation is 10x bigger.

Although members here are from all over the world, we can all contribute towards ideas, marketing, information towards educational materials etc. Perhaps some members are very good at business, others at community engagement, digital art, logos etc. Just be sure you have full copyright before accepting assistance.
***Thank you.

* Do you have a name for this venture yet? "DIY Public Aquarium" or "Hobbyist Public Aquarium" And a registered web domain?
***dba "Fish Story Aquarium and Rescue". The legal name "IchthyoPark" even educated people couldn't pronounce :( No web domain, no site, no time for even a FB or IG page. Only YT channel, MFK and PCF.


* If we watch your youtube videos (including adverts) does that assist you?
***Thank you :) Not really. 10,000 commercial views earns me or anyone on YT on average one dollar :) Since last Sept I made $130 a month on YT with 10,600 subscribers but I have no time to make anything but the most rudimentary and primitive videos.


* Do you have any merchandise for sale? shirts, mugs, car decals, etc which are good for marketing as well as financial assistance. You already have a lot to do so perhaps you could outsource the merchandising.
***No. None of that.


* Perhaps you could have a storyboard for each of the rescue fish you have? This may increase the financial donations.
***Good idea. Thank you. Perhaps for the future. We have something of this kind in our YT videos, but a shadow of what you are proposing. As for donations, we don't get any donations. In the last 10 years, the rescue got perhaps $200 of cash donations from kind souls, $20 a year. I thought of including my email into our YT video descriptions to indicate that we could accept donations by PayPal but chickened out. We are not a non-profit. Self-funding requires us to be only for profit, Corp C. We have no debt though. Everything we have is ours.


* Perhaps you could run some volunteer workshops for keen fish keepers in your local area?
***It'd be fun... if I only had over 24 hours a day and didn't have to open, the sooner, the better :) It's a cool idea for when we open, it would seem.

* Perhaps you could provide a weekly report on what projects are coming up, how they progress and some of the problems solved.
***I kind of do it via our YT channel, not as systematically as you say though, so again, a shadow...

* Please let us know what we can do to assist.
***Thank you. I really don't know for now. When we open and we could add bells and whistles and need help growing, marketing, etc. then maybe?

Lookng forward to being one of your paying visitors once COVID vacinne becomes available.
***Thank you so much.
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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

Post by 2wheelsx2 »

Perhaps you can sell some merchandise on youtube like other people. Also start a membership online so people can help you carry a load. A lot of sites have that. $20 a year gets you extra videos that other public people cannot see, that kind of thing. Just throwing ideas out there. It takes time to build a youtube following, but what you are doing is so awesome for the fish community that I believe it should be encouraged.

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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Perhaps you can sell some merchandise on youtube like other people.
***Thank you. I'd like to try just to see if this is a viable, worthy way but at present, it'd chip away even more time from the actual building. I do have some household junk on Craigslist but this is not what you mean, I know, haha... just jk...

Also start a membership online so people can help you carry a load. A lot of sites have that. $20 a year gets you extra videos that other public people cannot see, that kind of thing.
***I would not buy a membership in my club. Perhaps I personally wouldn't even subscribe to my channel. So, no, I can't do it. Perhaps yet. Until, that is, I learn and have time to make videos worthy of paying a penny for.

Just throwing ideas out there. It takes time to build a youtube following, but what you are doing is so awesome for the fish community that I believe it should be encouraged.
***Thank you so much, my friend. I couldn't appreciate your support more. When I feel down, good thoughts and encouragement from the likes of you help keep me going.

******************************************************

More of the usual drudgery for die-hards haha...

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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

Post by aquaholic »

Well Viktor, you need to ask for help. If not for financial assistance then for business, planning and marketing assistance.

As you already know, your time is taken up by property maintenance. Time you can't afford because not only is your dream slipping away, but bacause of the hidden costs and lost opportunity of not opening. It's crazy that most people get paid for time spent working yet we can't buy time, no matter how rich someone is.

So... how to reduce the time and effort spent on yard maintenance ? I have some ideas but I'll throw this out to PlanetCatfish first...

And because you are time poor, you do need to financially value the time you spend on everything. So either persue passive income streams or charge for fish advice, rescues, treatments etc. What is not making a profit is costing you.

Similarly, what are mundane and tedious fishy chores for you may be quite interesting and exciting for someone else? What say you have fish feeding tours next week? By this I mean a small admission charge for viewing your fish feeding routine and they can also buy the appropriate food from you for feeding themselves. So not only will this free up some time but it will reduce your food bill and may even be profitable. And if climbing into a tank for cleaning is needed then that's s gold mine right there ! Charge extra if they want to Youtube or social media their experience. Do make sure your signage provides free advertising. If you do the sums, you may get a shock to realise what you need to earn every waking hour just to break even. Perhaps you are already working hard but steadily going broke. Again on the subject of time, how many working hours do you have left in your body? What would happen if you broke your leg?

Your business is never ever going to be fully ready to open. That's how life is. It's a good idea to have a soft opening while you are constructing. Not only to focus your goals and progress and gain some achievements but equally so you can be agile and incorporate real world experiences and customer feedback into the construction process. Every zoo and public aquarium has some areas closed for maintenance. This just makes visitors what to return later to see the improvements. If you can't open a coffee or food stall, perhaps you can find a companion business and grow your market together ?

It's 2am my time so I'll continue this later. Best wishes in the meantime.

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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

Post by aquaholic »

Hobbyist Public Aquarium!? How are you not getting free tanks or product sponsorship from some of the larger manufacturers? You don't have to sell your soul but it may not hurt to have a sponsorship board under your front signage.

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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

Post by aquaholic »

"IchthyoPark" is a really terrible name. No offense. It's bad on so many levels and that's coming from a fishhead.

I'm wondering if you can rent out some of your housing for free yard maintenance ?

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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Thank you so very much, my friend!


Well Viktor, you need to ask for help. If not for financial assistance then for business, planning and marketing assistance.
***You are probably right. I am not too proud to ask or even beg for help. I just fail to see any effective venues at the moment, probably mostly for my ignorance and limited horizons.

As you already know, your time is taken up by property maintenance. Time you can't afford because not only is your dream slipping away, but because of the hidden costs and lost opportunity of not opening...
***It's like you are looking at the crystal ball. You probably know my taxpayer ID number too. This is right in the bullseye.

So... how to reduce the time and effort spent on yard maintenance ? ...

... And because you are time poor, you do need to financially value the time you spend on everything.
***True.

So either pursue passive income streams or charge for fish advice, rescues, treatments etc. What is not making a profit is costing you.
***I can only think of the YT along these lines. This direction can be sensibly developed with external help and a bit more effort from me. Anything else seems unreal.

Similarly, what are mundane and tedious fishy chores for you may be quite interesting and exciting for someone else? What say you have fish feeding tours next week? By this I mean a small admission charge for viewing your fish feeding routine and they can also buy the appropriate food from you for feeding themselves. So not only will this free up some time but it will reduce your food bill and may even be profitable. And if climbing into a tank for cleaning is needed then that's s gold mine right there ! Charge extra if they want to Youtube or social media their experience.
***I am not open yet, don't have the Certificate of Occupancy, and this activity would then be probably of some unlawful kind. I am not known so next week won't work, no one would come :) IMHO these are the ideas worth looking into once one opens, these are what I called bells and whistles before. I don't see how this could free up my time because unsupervised feeding is out of the question unless the amount of feed is negligible versus overall. Not only the feeding regiment is very strict but also this is when I observe fish, evaluate their appetite and health and sometimes adjust the amount and feed kind. ||| The other thought about letting people snorkel or get inside the tanks, which is a very exciting and awesome idea and an unforgettable, dreamy experience I wholeheartedly wish I could give all my visitors, but I spoke with someone who had experience in this and they said one accident / injury / mishap with one bad apple person / child can erase the whole thing. People in our time and age and in the USA will sue you for all you got even if they are at fault, or ruin you with long litigation. Thieves can sue you when they injure themselves on your property and win. There is no common sense anymore, forget conscience.

Do make sure your signage provides free advertising.
***True.

If you do the sums, you may get a shock to realise what you need to earn every waking hour just to break even.
***Right. I think $50,000 a year to break even, very roughly. 50 weeks x 40 hours = 2000 hours a year. $50,000 / 2000 h = $25 an hour.

Perhaps you are already working hard but steadily going broke.
***Not going up or down would be the right picture. The wife works 3 jobs to sustain us, 2 full teaching loads, one highschool full time and two universities part time.

Again on the subject of time, how many working hours do you have left in your body?
***Not following. A day? Or you mean years? Probably 25 more years (48 yo + 25 = 73 yo), at 2000 h a year = comes to the same 50,000 hours, haha...

What would happen if you broke your leg?
***The operation would limp along with my wife's effort and my advising what to do. My lower back goes out periodically, sometimes I am bedridden for 1-2 weeks and then barely walk for another few weeks, so this scenario is very familiar to us.

Your business is never ever going to be fully ready to open. That's how life is.
***True.

It's a good idea to have a soft opening while you are constructing. Not only to focus your goals and progress and gain some achievements but equally so you can be agile and incorporate real world experiences and customer feedback into the construction process. Every zoo and public aquarium has some areas closed for maintenance. This just makes visitors what to return later to see the improvements.
***Right. But they set some minimum for themselves with which to open. My 10K is the last hurdle to achieve that minimum. I will be slowly working on our largest exhibit 35,000-50,000 gal after we open. This is the plan.

If you can't open a coffee or food stall, perhaps you can find a companion business and grow your market together ?
***We can and we would like to but this will require a different license and municipal zoning (we are in a residential-agricultural zone with a conditional land use permit from the city strictly for an Educational Aquarium) and will be pursued later, once the main business gets going.

Hobbyist Public Aquarium!? How are you not getting free tanks or product sponsorship from some of the larger manufacturers? You don't have to sell your soul but it may not hurt to have a sponsorship board under your front signage.
***Because I am nobody. I am not open. No company would probably like to invest into an unknown tiniest potato. Plus we are not a nonprofit. Everything we have is ours. IDK how sponsors would arrange giving us stuff now in exchange for future advertising because there is no third independent unpaid party as the Board in case of a non-profit... ||| I've been told repeatedly there are for sure philanthropists, individuals and societies, who have money and want to give them away to worthy causes and they look for these worthy causes... and they could relate to our story and likely give us money without any strings but I've no clue where to start looking for them.

"IchthyoPark" is a really terrible name. No offense. It's bad on so many levels and that's coming from a fishhead.
***None can be taken. This is based on an attempt to be helpful. Constructive criticism is always more than welcome. Anyhow, explain? My thought was since we aim to be educational, why not start with the name, so people start learning science language from getgo, I thought it'd be cute... A naive thought perhaps. Maybe silly too.

I'm wondering if you can rent out some of your housing for free yard maintenance ?
***We could rent out enough for the wife not having to work but she doesn't want to. Our home is her haven. She is a teacher. She gets tired of people, can't deal with them at home too. ||| Our property is gorgeous, no bragging, most people say "breathtaking". We could have banquets, honeymoon suits, special events, anything. One building has a 100 feet by 15 feet high glass wall, ceiling to floor, looking out onto water and nature, well landscaped but natural at the same time. There are three suits in the building, we use one for bedroom, people can stay in the other two for a week or for a year... The wife doesn't want to. Yet or never, IDK. In any case, this would require another rezoning application. Our original rezone application cost us $25,000 and 1.5 years and the outcome was unknown. We could have spent all this time and money and get denied by the city commissioners' board at the end.
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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

Post by Lycosid »

Viktor Jarikov wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:37 am
***I am not open yet, don't have the Certificate of Occupancy, and this activity would then be probably of some unlawful kind.
So I know you're in Florida, where the official position on coronavirus is that if we don't talk about it it can't get us, but for lots of parts of the country people are way more locked-down. "Occupancy" seems to be the issue, but this is exactly the time where that's NOT the issue. I advise a Wildlife Biology Club at my college, and you know what we won't do this semester? Our camping, our zoo trip, basically anything. But I bet if there was an option to pay some reasonable fee for a virtual tour of a cool aquarium the students would be all over it, and I bet there are lots of teachers cancelling field trips who would like a virtual field trip option as well. Figure out a few options that have teaching goals: here are some fish with different body shapes that move differently, here are some fish that eat different things, stuff like that, and decide what the field trip "cost" is. You could even pre-film some segments and do live responses from inside your house - basically, show them the video from last week's feeding and respond, live, to student questions.

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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

That seems a novel, innovative thought to me :) Thank you so much for it. Gotta think how to offer ourselves to potential clientele. How is this done? Through personal connections or is there a web-based service that connects educational institutions with the "people out in the field and the elements"?

At one point I was seeking support from local school board for our application with the Florida Wildlife Commission to get licensed to keep and exhibit prohibited and conditional non-native fish species. Last year it was. A coordinator came out to look at our operation and said this is all nice and dandy but they were not interested, didn't see how and what the children would learn from us, wanted me to come up with an educational program, syllabus, etc. and submit to them. Safety too was their big concern (in part which is why the pallet-like barriers were constructed). All in all, I didn't have the time for all this, so this is somewhere behind the back burner.
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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

Post by Lycosid »

Viktor Jarikov wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:20 pm
That seems a novel, innovative thought to me :) Thank you so much for it. Gotta think how to offer ourselves to potential clientele. How is this done? Through personal connections or is there a web-based service that connects educational institutions with the "people out in the field and the elements"?
I always use personal connections for my science outreach, but I'm also not trying to make money off it (I do it for free).
You have a lot of people who are interested in what you are doing here, on this board, some of whom probably have school-age children and if you have a program could mention it to their children's teachers. So you start with a bigger personal network than I did back when I started bringing bugs into classrooms and Cub Scout meetings (all of which basically happened because my friends told their kid's teachers that they knew a guy who would do this).
Safety too was their big concern (in part which is why the pallet-like barriers were constructed). All in all, I didn't have the time for all this, so this is somewhere behind the back burner.
Safety is also now taken care of. Hard to fall in a tank through the screen on a Zoom call.

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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

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Re: My Public Aquarium: exhibit blues - how to make them?

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