Mon. Jun 27th, 2022
fish tank

Here is how to start freshwater pet fish store. If you have a passion for aquarium fish then pet fish store is your best bet. The business is fun, easy to establish and profitable. You need to leverage on knowledge of aquatic animals be dedication with lots of creativity.

Steps to Start Pet Fish Store

Steps to start a pet fish store are writing a business plan then studying the competition. Others are find an ideal location, register the business, acquiring permit and license. You need to purchase equipment, stock your aquariums, device a good marketing strategy.

Baby Food Production Business


  1. Writing a business plan
  2. Studying the competition
  3. Finding an ideal location
  4. Register the business
  5. Acquire the right permit
  6. Licensing
  7. Purchase equipment
  8. Stock your aquariums
  9. Device a good marketing strategy

Write a Business Plan

You can write a business plan or hire a professional. Write an executive summary, financial projections, customer base, and market analysis. Other parameter in the plan is funding, owner structure, products and services.

Study the Competition

Make sure you study the competition to understand their prices, customers and marketing strategy. A cluster of pet shops might present serious competition therefore find a good residential or commercial area with few competitors.


A good location is residential area with lots of children. The location should have huge human traffic or a junction. The store could be located within a popular shopping mall, theme park.


Register the business as a limited liability company. this will reduce any liability and offer some cover. You need a tax identification number, a license to stock and sell wildlife. Others are insurance, local and state government levies. Make sure you are up to date on animal welfare laws.

The Store

Once you have found a good location look at a few stores in the area. The store should have a large welcoming storefront with adequate parking. Establishing close to a completion will leverage on their traffic.

Start Bait and Tackle Business

Buy Fish Stock

It is important to buy your stock directly from manufacturers, major distributors. Network with exotic fish breeders, fishermen for your fish. Make sure the fish you buy is approved by the local authority.

Equipment for Pet Fish Store

To run the store you need a huge inventory. The equipment covers basic furniture, aquarium, décor, food and animal care.

Office Supplies

Office supplies are furniture, POS machine, cash register, fancy bulbs and signage board. Make sure the store is well arranged and beautifully decorated.

Aquarium and Décor

You need to purchase many aquariums, aquarium stands and kits. Others are sand, decoration, substrate and gravel. You also need to consider aquarium maintenance.

Care and Feeding

Fish are live animals and they need food and proper care. You need lots of fish food, regular aquarium cleaning, water care and feeding accessories.

More Equipment

You need to buy power heads, filters pumps, media. Others are lighting, air pumps, media, protein skimmers air stones, chillers, heaters.

Full List of Equipment

  • power heads
  • filters pumps
  • media
  • lighting
  • air pumps
  • media
  • protein skimmers
  • air stones
  • chillers
  • heaters
  • fish food
  • water treatment system
  • feeding accessories
  • tank lids
  • scrubbers
  • aquariums
  • aquarium stands
  • live plants
  • kits
  • sand
  • decoration
  • substrate
  • gravel
  • furniture
  • aquarium, décor
  • food

Pet Fish to Stock

Primary customers for a tropical pet fish stores are kids. There are hundreds of fish to stock in the store. You can stock freshwater or saltwater fish such as Goldfish, Slender danios, Kuhli loach, Green neon tetra. Others are Common molly, Guppy, Siamese fighting fish, Southern playfish.

  • Goldfish
  • Slender danios
  • Kuhli loach
  • Green neon tetra
  • Common molly
  • Guppy
  • Siamese fighting fish
  • Southern playfish
  • Swordfish
  • Angelfish


Services include in-store events, sales of fish, accessories, aquarium and pet food. Others are repeat delivery, pet sitting and online services.

  • in-store events
  • sell exotic fish
  • sell accessories
  • sell aquarium and pet food
  • repeat delivery
  • pet sitting
  • online services

Hire Staff

You can run a small store on your own. However a large store needs a cashier, cleaner, security, account office and manager. Make sure you limit the number of staff by making them fill dual roles.


You need an effective marketing strategy to drive customers to your store. Use newspaper, radio and television advertisement. Leverage on online market, use social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The storefront should have a big signboard then print flyers, business cards. Attend events, organize charity programs and offer discounts to regular patrons.

  • Use newspaper
  • Radio
  • Television advertisement
  • Online marketing
  • Use social media
  • Have a big signboard
  • Print flyers, business cards

Cost of a Pet Fish Store

Cost of a pet fish store depends on many parameters. Things to consider is rent, inventory, utility bills, business registration, local government levies. Others are staff wages, marketing, decoration. An average store could run from $2000 – $10,000 while a large store costs $30,000.

Things to Consider

Exotic Fish to Stock Service Aquarium Equipment
Goldfish Offer in-store events Filter pumps
Guppy Tank cleaning Air pumps
Angelfish Sell fish Air stones
Siamese Fighting Fish Sell accessories Water treatment system
Slender danios Sell pet food Tank lid
Swordfish Repeat delivery Live plants
Green neon tetra Online services Sand, substrate, gravel

By Femi

webmaster with passion for good content