Growing up outside Fremantle, Western Australia in the oh-so-long-ago part of the Last Century, we always had fish tanks. My father was a doctor and one of his patients was a breeder/seller of fish. We visited him many times. His garden was devoted to ponds and to a large "fish house". I'm not sure if this was how my father met him, but he had a yard-long electric eel in a tank and made the error of putting a bare arm in there one day. The impusle almost killed him. He had crocodiles in the garden ponds and every sort of fish in aquariums, including Australian Rainbows. It was a wonderful place. He dug by hand a 100 foot well to supply the house and fish with water.
His full time job was as a prison warder. One day, there was an escape of several convicts and he felt responsible, since it happened on his shift. He went home and committed suicide with a shotgun. That was the end of a lovely relationship.
But we continued to roam the Outback and explore the ponds and the few streams in the bush for fish and plants.
Our fish tanks continued. When I moved to England in the 60s, we started native fish tanks with wild sticklebacks and plants. Every weekend we went collecting in local streams and rivers. The tanks were more like what I hear of Walstad aquariums than anything else and any inspiration for their design was purely from nature.
Many years pass and several towns... London.... Beijing..... Dalian.... Taipei..... and finally come to rest, perhaps not permanently in NYC, and the hobby crept back on me. Now I have two daughters sharing it..... and explorative trips and snorkeling trips in New England lakes....
Niko, your account is inspiring... we've come a long way.
Last edited by pineapple; 02-12-2005 at 05:45 PM..