Monday, June 30, 2008

All wet

In my younger days, I loved fish and fishing, and not just fishing in Idaho's wonderful waters, but keeping them in aquariums as well. From 1973 to 1977, I owned and operated an aquarium shop, where the 75+ aquariums and a pond held the mundane to the exotic; from guppies, goldfish and the lovely and delicate neon tetra, to saltwater fish, arawanas, and the massive arapaima gigas (one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world); my arawana and arapaima shared a 250 gallon home-made tank with an immense black pacu, plecostomus, and amazon catfish. the arawana ate goldfish, but the arapaima ate just about anything; goldfish, koi, dead rats... it was about 30" long when it died, seemed to have choked on a overly large goldfish. I sold the aquarium shop not long after that.

anyway, I've not thought about that for a long time, but I had told my son as a child about the arapaima, and I don't think he really believed me. Last week excitedly on the phone he told me about seeing one at the National Zoo; an eight foot long one!

The picture my son took on his cell phone, while not bad, doesn't quite capture the "scale" of the arapaima.

so I found this picture... it does.

See why I had a desire to go fishing for one of these? But I never did. A whole new line of fishing opened up while I was fishing instead.


  1. I was just saw a report about the Lion fish escaping from aquariums in Florida (probably during hurricanes.) It seems it is quite an invasion and they are spreading like wildfire.

  2. You seem to have multiple talents, Mark. Fish! I used to have a tank full of guppies who at their young but that's as far as I got. One day a visitor took it into his head to spray the flies in the house. The fish went tummy up. That was the end of my involvemnen. Like you, though, I got interested in other kinds of fish.

  3. other talents... hehe!

    but what could be more useless than to be the regional expert on repairing the Matchless half litre one lungers! It seems to have morphed into a four-wheeled, slow moving variety, that is a little more down to earth, metaphorically speaking!