Economic feasibility of farming Hypancistrus zebra

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Economic feasibility of farming Hypancistrus zebra

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Re: Economic feasibility of farming Hypancistrus zebra

Post by Bas Pels »

Assuming the menitoned price per fish, US $ 260 each, is what the fish actually sell for, L46 can economically feasable be reproduced. But not many fish sell for over US $ 200

Now I know a lot of breeders manage to keep their investments low, by using second hand equipment, but I wonder whether for any, less expensive fish, the calculation could turn out to be profitable.

The conclusion is positive, but only because of the extremely high prizes.
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Re: Economic feasibility of farming Hypancistrus zebra

Post by bekateen »

Conclusion: the production in this study appeared to be profitable on smaller scales, however the profitability of large-scale production depends upon reducing expenses and increasing the selling price.
There is the big zebra farm, Cv. Bellenz.
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Re: Economic feasibility of farming Hypancistrus zebra

Post by TwoTankAmin »

Their numbers look wonky to me in terms of the abstract. Basically, zebras will sell for something in the neighborhood of $100/inch. They have been this way for a pretty long time. At least since 2006 from my experience. However, I do not think this fish can be farmed in ponds profitably. It requires much smaller "containers" for adequate control.

The next issue becomes one of buyers and the laws of supply and demand. We tend to have a very biased view of the fish keeping hobby. Most folks on this site have many tanks, are interested in unique species and are willing to pay up for some of them. One the other hand the average fish keeper has one maybe two tanks and they are happy this way. Moreover, these people are not buying fish which will sell for anywhere from $100+ to over $500 (for proven breeders).

Zebras are so expensive for all the reasons we know already. If the species reaches a point where supply exceeds demand, prices must drop. Keepers have been spawning this fish on a hobby basic for well over a decade. Many of us started with wild stock. Getting wild fish out of Brazil has become a whole lot harder these days. How many adult size zebras does a commercial operation need to start? 100? 500? 1,000?

How will breeders insure that their stock of both adults and offspring are safe from disease etc. The more fish they have in a single location the greater the risk. Think back the the decimation of the Florida fish farmed when the huge flooding hit that state and wipe out many ponds full of fish. it is one thing to replace tetras, barbs etc and another to replace zebras.

I consider myself very lucky in having bred something in the neighborhood of 500 babies over the past 13 years from a breeding stock of 10-15 fish. This includes losses and their replacements. While this was enough to cover all my total hobby costs including the acquisition of other species to breed, it was nowhere near enough to make a living from it.

Zebras have sold for about the same price now for quite some time. We know there is a commercial operation as Eric pointed out. They were able to get their breeding stock before Brazil really clamped down. Their original breeding stock most likely were fish not legally removed from the wild. If the Belenz operation were easy to replicate profitably, it would likely have been several times over already.

I consider this paper to be too little, too late. When I think about the situation in 2006 when I began with zebras v.s. today. back then it was not so easy, in the USA, to find zebras easily. Today I see they are bred the world over and they are always available without a lot of effort needed to buy them. I believe the bobby has already rescued this fish from extinction as they become more likely go extinct in the wild due to the Belo Monte dam.

As always, this just one person's opinion on the subject.
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Re: Economic feasibility of farming Hypancistrus zebra

Post by TwoTankAmin »

Well for sure zebras are being farmed in numbers, I know this because I worked with somebody to bring in a few 100 tank bred zebras. They were cheap enough that I took 2 dozen at 2 inches to create a new breeding colony for myself.

Zebra prices, while not cheap, have come down a bunch and I doubt they will go back up. I do not see as many so-called wild fish for sale as in times past. I still have a few in my original group bought in 06, but they are pushing 20 years of age.
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Re: Economic feasibility of farming Hypancistrus zebra

Post by Janne »

This article only show how low the knowledge are in Brazil when it comes to reproduction of ornamental fish, they have no idea about the market, values, production and what is needed to reproduce on a commercial scale. There are many wrong information in this article and it is not based on research by experience, it is based on 2nd hand information. The authors have for sure not breeding H. zebra at all or with "low success" to be nice. There have been published several articles under some years by Brazilian researchers of various ornamental species, incl. H. zebra, not a single article reach a level of approval.

If any Brazilian researchers read what I wrote above, you are welcome to discuss.

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Re: Economic feasibility of farming Hypancistrus zebra

Post by Janne »

bekateen wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:44 am
Conclusion: the production in this study appeared to be profitable on smaller scales, however the profitability of large-scale production depends upon reducing expenses and increasing the selling price.
There is the big zebra farm, Cv. Bellenz.
There are more than one and Cv. Bellenz are not the largest breeder of H. zebra, a question the authors not thought on, how they will sell their low production, they will ship world wide 3-5 fish to the final buyer in US or Europe? The market don't exist in Brazil with such extremely high price, would be cheaper to import from Asia.

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Re: Economic feasibility of farming Hypancistrus zebra

Post by TwoTankAmin »

@Janne- you are a great resource on this site. Things are really bad these days in Brazil. Please take good care of yourself and your family (if they are with you).
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