As many as 26 million Americans keep aquarium fish. Opportunities seem abundant for aquarium sales, equipment sales, and standard custom service (like that of a lawn care or business-office plant-care group). Many people are interested in fish but do not have the time or have not developed the enthusiasm to devote to the apparatus, fish, ecosystem, or the fish themselves. A native fish society has grown and opportunities exist for (with permits) to house native pet fish...the almost unknown "minnow". Many areas of the US have great diversity of fish species and many are very colorful and have fascinating life habits.
|Rin Irvin's 55-gallon freshwater aquarium, 2005; Photo by Irvin|
|Rin Irvin's 20-gallon reef aquarium, 2005; Photo by Irvin|
|Rin Irvin's Blue Ram, Microgeophagus ramirezi; Photo by Irvin|
Many are endangered and for some, advanced aquarium work can be essential for survival.
There are needs to teach people about
|Rin Irvin's aquarium and Picasso Trigger, Rhinecanthus aculatus, 2005; Photo by Irvin|
Conservation of native fish is of growing interest. (see Northwest group)
There are many Internet sites, suggesting related equipment, apparel, and food sales. Options exist for water garden fish and fish care. For example, the tropical catfish, Plecostomus, can spend summers in a US pond but must be brought inside before the fall chills water to below 50 degrees. Predaceous fish, e.g., bass, require both water depth and small fish to feed, thereby ruling them out as pet fish. Some native species such as minnows or blue gills can be adapted to water garden life.
|Rin Irvin, Porcupine Puffer, Diodon holocantus; Photo by Irvin, 2005|
The Growing Community
We specialize in within-the-aquarium community and those between and among aquaria.
We also believe that there is dispersed community of people with great interests in fish and all aspects of aquaria and their ecology. Thus we have developed and support the Aquarium Community.
We have many activities.
- Emergency referrals (disease, temperature drops, accidental water loss, etc)
- GPS location of aquaria
- Tours - local and other
- Members only web site with information
- Membership in native fish society
- Life-list building
Bird lovers build "life lists." They seek to see as many different species as possible in their lives and carefully maintain a record. Serious birders will fly around the world to get one or two additions to their life list. Fish life lists are almost unknown. There is a rich fish fauna in the area. The Aquarium Community can emphasize this new sport, provide publications and aids, help introduce it in the region, sell opportunities to gain, for example, 3 new species in that stream, 2 new ones in this stream, 1 in that pond. An entire new nature sport can be created. There will be strong interplay between species in the wild and those tended well within aquaria.
|Saltwater aquarium of Rin Irvin, Photo by Irvin, 2005|
Rules are being developed, and there are license problems with seining for a new minnow and seining for fish. These are being resolved through proper efforts, including a special license (i.e., membership in this group of life-list builders). Computer records can be maintained; a newsletter announces new leaders in the list; notices about where new species can be readily gotten; tours taken to allow a bus load of people to get 5-10 new species with one seining or sampling activity.
- to sell large aquaria with bonded service and a hotline
- Develop zoo displays of molluscs and their related fish (and sediment pollution effects)
- Develop the water-garden-as-an-aquarium concept
- Promote the aquarium as a terrarium
- Develop aquaria sales with local pet stores
- Develop cold-weather and electrical emergency strategies
April 9, 2005, additions November 30, 2005