I was introduced to the tropical fish world in the second grade at Alamo Elementary. Our teacher told everyone to bring something from home the next day, for a Show and Tell. I cannot remember what I brought, because well… this story isn’t about that. It is about what one of my classmates brought.
She brought a glass bowl with four or five little fish swimming around in there. She said they were Guppies, and they did not lay eggs like normal fish. They had fish babies. Then she said the males were the really pretty ones, and the females were kinda plain.
I was curious, so during a break I went to the bowl to get a closer look at them. I watched for a good while. I was entranced. Then suddenly, I noticed a bunch of small wiggly things swimming around, too. I asked the teacher what they were, and she told me they were fish babies.
The whole class crowded around to check out the little baby guppies, but before long, the crowd thinned out as they went to their desk or found something else to do. Not me. I was staring intently into the fish bowl, reporting non-stop to my teacher on the status.
After class, she gave me a coffee can filled with water and six of the small babies. I rushed home to show my grandmother my new fish and she bought me a proper little tank to put them in. At the same time, she also bought a big shiny book about keeping tropical fish.
My lifelong fascination and love for tropical fish-keeping began that day.
My Other Love
My introduction to my other hobby – photography – began a while later. I was seventeen, in the Marine Corps half-way around the world, and site-seeing like a tourist. So, naturally, I bought my first camera.
It was a Yashica 135 SLR with a 50 mm lens and a zoom lens. It used 35mm film, and I took hundreds of rolls while I was stationed there in Okinawa. I bought a few books to help me learn how to take better pictures and I just kept snapping away.
After I finished my enlistment in the Marines, I went back home and began pursuing my fish hobby with a passion. I kept buying more and more tanks, to house the fish I kept buying. Then I would read everything I could to educate myself about the varied species I had in my tanks.
Aquarium Maintenance Business
After a few decades of this, I realized I had something to offer. I could start a business! I was a bona fide expert on taking care of tropical fish.
So at the age of thirty-four, I started an aquarium maintenance service. I sold fish tanks, fish and all kinds of supplies to doctors, restaurants, and lawyers. My target prospect was anyone with a waiting room or lobby, where I could display a fish tank.
My business took off as I supplied my clients with an aquarium system for their waiting rooms, and then serviced the tanks on a regular schedule to keep them looking beautiful. And all without the doctor, or lawyer, having to lift a finger. That’s why they loved it, I’m sure!
I also began taking photos of my fish business, showing my breeding tanks, quarantine tanks, and other pictures of my operation. Then before long, I took pictures of my clients’ aquariums and began sharing them on our website.
It seems like a long road… but, eventually, my two loves finally came together. Pictures are a way to express my enthusiasm for the art of fish keeping, and fish keeping is a passion and love that I can display through my photography. Each complements the other.
The purpose of this site is to share some of the tips I have learned along the way. Hopefully, it will help you capture the beauty of your fishy friends and enable you to share that beauty with the world.