The Early Days

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Greetings fellow fish lovers! Today I begin communicating with you all in the hopes that I can share my successes and failures with you while gaining knowledge and experience in return. My name is Daniel and I am an Angelfish Addict! There, I said it, okay? It wasn't always like this; no, there was a small space of time in my childhood when I didn't even know that tropical fish existed. But whoa is me, for in the early 1970's my own mother got me hooked on this wicked drug, and I have been dependent on it ever since.

We were in Air Force family. My father was a member of SAC (Strategic Air Command), the most lethal limb of the U.S. Military during the Cold War Era. Because of this, we moved an awful lot, but to remote areas of the country, where there wasn't much to do, except measure the snow fall. For this reason, a hobby seemed the only sensible thing to do, lest one go crazy from boredom. Hence our first aquarium. It was a thirty gallon meta-frame! For those of you who don't know it, there was a time in life when aquariums were basically just panes of glass that were glued with silicone inside of a metal frame. They were ugly and unreliable, but they were all we had. Add to that the wonderful incandescent lighting and you basically had an electrical time bomb just waiting to go off.

Mom was a stickler for education, and so, she sought out any information there was about fish keeping at the time. And let me tell you, there wasn't very much! In fact the only real authority on the subject was Dr. Herbert Axlerod, whom for all intents and purposes led the charge to get each of us to where our hobby is today. We poured over the books, practiced rigorous water chemistry and quality, and before we knew it, our aquarium became five aquariums. I am convinced to this very day that aquariums are a close cousin to rabbits. I say this because one became five, and five quickly became thirty!!! That's right, thirty aquariums in 1974, in military housing to boot! It's pretty safe to say that Mom and I were hooked.

As life went on, Dad retired from the service, and we returned to our home state of Florida. It was here that the hobby we had come to love, quickly turned into a retail aquarium store. By 1978, Mom and Dad had established a beautiful little place that quickly became a destination for even the most consummate of tropical fish keepers. The store was so popular that it made all of the major trade publications, and even drew the attention of a few important players in the science and import industry. Everyday I jumped off of the school bus running, to go to work in our store, wild eyed and ready to see what new and unique species we would acquire that week. It was fish bliss, and it just kept getting better.

- Stay tuned for more ....

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