An aquarium as a reward for passing the 11 plus examination set Dick on his way into fishkeeping. Once married and settled into his own home fish tanks quickly followed, as did membership of the local aquatic Society. As a Council Member of the Federation of British Aquatic Societies, Dick was editor of its 'Bulletin' for 25 years during which time he also wrote regularly for 'The Aquarist & Pondkeeper' magazine. Subsequent to writing his first book (a mere 32 pages!), he has penned well over a dozen titles on aquarium-keeping and is still active as a writer both for hobby magazines and publishers. He took the plunge into marine fishkeeping just over two years ago and confesses that he's still learning. He enjoys travelling and has visited many of the worlds public aquariums. How he manages to find them accidentally whilst on holiday is his secret. He has expanded his interests into video making - fishy subjects of course!
Jeff Walmsley's first boyhood planted aquaria were created with pondweed, collected from the local ponds and streams which then surrounded his native Preston, and populated with sticklebacks, newts, loaches and minnows from the same source; he refuses to say how long ago this was, but all the ponds and streams have now, alas, disappeared beneath the tarmac, brick and concrete of the expanded town, along with their once-teeming wildlife.A peripatetic career around the world subsequently enabled him to create planted aquaria from locally-collected resources of the more exotic kind normally associated with our hobby; as well as to keep Tiger Barbs and Firemouths in his garden pond.Able to abandon daily toil for a retired life at an age early enough to arouse envy in most, he has since been able to practice our blessed hobby in more conventional style. He sees it as another form of creativity; the creation of underwater worlds in this instance, which, apart from the creative satisfaction, has the added benefit of offering the chance to escape occasionally from the real world and absorb the tranquility and beauty of another dimension.Although a hobbyist who writes about what he does, his approach to planted aquaria is professional and scientific, and he is totally dedicated to modern methods of aquarium setup and management.In addition to creating gianted planted aquaria, he has also created a five acre, fully landscaped garden, which he nowadays manages single-handedly; and is a competent painter, a less-than-competent musician, and a keen builder of sheds. He particularly enjoys never washing his 18-year-old car.
Downes is probably best known as the director of The Centre for Fortean
Zoology - the world's largest and fastest growing mystery animal research
group. He has been a jobbing zoologist for more years than he cares to
remember, and has been fascinated with aquatic life since his childhood in
first experiences of fishkeeping started as a young lad with some wild
guppies caught in a small stream in
Emma’s interest in fish
started from a very young age when her parents would take the family on
annual holidays to
interest in tropical fish began in the early 1970’s with a holiday to
Dougall is a science teacher and the founder of the UK Discus Association (UKDA). He first fell in love with fish when he was introduced to the owner of a huge breeding set-up that housed a number of brackish monos, Monodactylus argenteus. His first tank consisted of: monos, M. argentus; scats, Scatophagus argus; and Columbian sharks, Arius seemani. Once he got his feet wet, he progressed onto redtails, tiger shovelnoses, piranhas, alunacaras, angelfish, assorted small catfish, and ultimately discus. His passion for discus and his knowledge of ICT has resulted in the formation of a number of specialist discus websites and ultimately, the development and formation of the UK Discus Association – a non-profit website and club that aims to promote the dissemination of information on the discus fish Symphysodon sp. Dougall abhors many of the ‘outdated myths’ that abound the discus and angelfish hobby and has written a number of articles that combines his knowledge of science with his passion for fish in order to dispel some of these ‘discus myths’.
More to follow shortly...