Not too long ago we began seeing the real impact of our industry on the world’s water systems. From lakes to rivers to oceans, the aquarium industry is highly destructive. Especially in coral and marine livestock collections. Species of corals that were once readily available a decade ago are so scarce that they can’t be collected legally anymore. Patches of the world’s reefs have been so stripped of livestock that they’ve turned into a dim version of their once thriving selves while others have completely vanished.
And we came to the conclusion that in order for our world’s lakes and oceans to survive and thrive we have to reinvent the way we do business.
This is where our aquarium leasing program comes in. After a few years of testing and tinkering, we’ve designed three freshwater and three saltwater leasing options that are not only better for the planet but are better for our customers too!
So why would leasing an aquarium be a better option? Let’s take a look.
We’ve gone out and asked our customers what they love about their aquariums and what they hate! And we found that these are the most stress and headache inducing parts of aquariums:
1 – Malfunctioning equipment
2 – Sensitivity and health of livestock
3 – Time and attention required to keep a healthy system
4 – Cost
What we’ve done with our leasing program is address each one of these concerns.
Lets consider the equipment. As anyone who’s ever had an aquarium, defective or malfunctioning equipment can be a real pain! Pumps do wear out. Lighting systems do malfunction. Pretty much everything in an aquarium will break sooner or later. And repairs and replacement parts cost both time and money. Even with warrantied equipment, you will still need to take the time to call the manufacturer, fill out paperwork, send in the defective equipment, wait for replacement parts to come in, etc etc. etc.
We simply throw that entire aspect out the window. How? We don’t use cheap crap! We only use top of the line equipment! Pumps, skimmers, and lights that we’ve tested and know are the most reliable, quiet, and effective! And if anything does ever break, we repair and replace it with zero additional costs to you. We deal with the all the headaches and you get the piece of mind knowing that everything is taken care of.
Aquarium Leasing: 1 Aquarium Ownership: 0
::Sensitivity and health of livestock::
The second major pain to deal with, especially with marine livestock, is the health of your livestock. Aquatic animals are sensitive, some extremely! Many don’t ship well, many are highly sensitive to water chemistry changes, and many shouldnt even be collected from the wild. Livestock loss is one of those things that no one really talks about or they simply just brush it aside as the cost of doing business in this hobby. We think that’s bullshit because it is a real problem. And every customer we’ve ever had hates dealing with it. Not just from a monetary point of view but from an ethical one. No one wants to watch an animal they love die.
We designed our lease packages to minimize our environmental impact. Almost all the livestock in our lease aquariums are aquacultured, aka captive bred. The few specimens that are not captive bred, we only source from ethical suppliers. And on top of that, wild caught species are limited to only our largest aquarium plans. Ensuring an appropriately sized habitat is key to longterm success with marine animals. And finally, with a lease system, all the livestock is 100% warrantied! If anything does ever perish, we replace it as soon as it’s safe to do so and you’ll never pay an additional penny above your monthly fee.
Aquarium Leasing: 2 Aquarium Ownership: 0
::Time and attention required to keep a healthy system::
Another thing about aquariums, is that they take a lot of attention to keep them healthy. Testing, water changes, medical dips, feeding, and quarantining livestock all take a lot of time and energy.
So we do everything for you. Our systems are all serviced on a weekly schedule. This ensures that our aquariums are stable and healthy and unlike with bi-weekly schedules, we’re much more likely to spot and fix any problems that might come up. All we want our customers is to feed and most of all enjoy their aquariums.
Aquarium Leasing: 3 Aquarium Ownership: 0
This is probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of aquariums. That’s because a lot of the costs associated with an aquarium are hidden. No one ever tells you the amount of chemicals you’ll have to dose, the amount of food you’ll use, the amount of chemical filter media that you’ll go through, or the different lighting systems you’ll try out. Then one needs to consider the cost of replacing broken or malfunctioning equipment. And then consider the cost of the livestock itself. To say that corals and saltwater fish are not cheap is an understatement.
Our lease systems are designed to save everyone money and headaches. Like we said before, we don’t use cheap crap! Quality pumps, lights, and filters are worth their weight in gold in our eyes! We also provide all the chemicals and filters and food you’ll ever need! We buy in bulk, and pass the savings onto our customers. No need for you to ever run out to a store to pick up food or chemicals.
Then there’s what we call the “life of the system”. This is the average time an aquarium stays up and running. Sooner or later, most people end up breaking down and selling their aquarium. People and businesses move and they can’t always just take their tanks with them. Then they’re stuck with the headaches or cost of trying to sell an aquarium on Craigslist. We make this super simple. If you simply can’t afford it, or your needs change, or you just don’t want it anymore, we will simply break down the tank and remove it. Zero headaches! You simply can’t get that type of flexibility anywhere else!
Aquarium Leasing: 4 Aquarium Ownership: 0
So after considering all these points, what do you think is a better option? Buying your aquarium and dealing with the endless headaches or leasing a ethically designed aquarium and actually enjoying it?
-CEO Reef Playground Inc.