Dawning of the age of aquariums

New aquarium club holds first public event

Laine Hepburn gives a mid-afternoon snack to his tank of African cyclids.

If your favourite pet is a fire eel and you’re thinking of raising a few crayfish in the same tank, be prepared for a very happy — and fat — eel and a cloud of crayfish scraps.

Laine Hepburn knows this, as well as which cyclids go with which and a wealth of other tips that could prevent a lot of heartbreak for aquarium owners.

The head of the newly-formed Central Vancouver Island Aquarium Club sums it all quite simply.

“Big fish eat little fish,” he said.

It’s a good rule of thumb, but owning an aquarium is much more complicated than that of course.

That’s one of the reasons why Laine and his wife Karen started the club — to disseminate information about aquaria and to chat about their hobby in an informal, friendly setting.

“It’s just a bunch of people who get together to talk about fish and the problems they’ve had,” he said. “There’s no treasurer, no minutes. It’s pretty laid back. We have about 12 to 15 members now and we’re looking for more, particularly in Parksville. Most of our members right now are from Nanaimo.

Whether it’s a hobby or, as Karen suggests, an obsession, depends, Laine said, on how badly one gets affected by MTS or BTS.

“I have more tanks syndrome and bigger tank syndrome,” he laughed. “I started out with a little goldfish bowl and now I have 10 fish tanks altogether, including  70-gallon one. Back in the early 1990s though, I had 30 tanks at one time.”

For the Hepburns, cyclids, aggressive fish from lake Malawi in Africa are the fishes of choice, but there are hundreds of possibilities for the aquarium enthusiast, from fire eels to freshwater puffer fish, guppies, freshwater flatfish, tetras and much, much more.

“There are different groups within the club,” Laine said. “There’s the guppy group, the goldfish people, the coy group, the cyclids … They all get along though. I like cyclids because they’re a fish with attitude. Others don’t like them because they’re aggressive. To me, goldfish are just feeders, but if you’re a goldfish person, you probably wouldn’t agree.”

Karen agreed.

“It’s like with the gardening clubs,” she said. “You have the roses against the lilies. It depends on where your interests lie.

Oceanside residents will get a chance to check out the club this weekend when they hold a special swap meet at Clearwater Ponds at 1581 Alberni Highway on May 28 and 29, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

“We’ll have all kind of aquarium items, fish tanks, filters and, of course, fish,” Laine said. “It’s anything aquarium related.”

As well, he said the club is seeking more members and he’s hoping some future members will drop by to see what they’re all about.

“We would like to grow enough that we can do some interesting things,” Hepburn said. “

For instance, the Edmonton club organized a trip to Africa to go to Lake Tanganyika.”

For details, visit viaquaria.com.

news@pqbnews.com

 

Just Posted

Coombs athlete, 91, brings home five gold medals from 55+ BC Games

Buschhaus now has 217 career senior games medals

Parksville-area thieves target catalytic converters

RCMP: ‘We’re getting the same thing in terms of theft of gas’

Courtenay-Alberni Liberal candidate discusses Trudeau’s ‘brownface’ controversy

Gowans: ‘I would say it’s disappointing for sure. It was racist, as the Prime Minister admitted to’

RCMP: No timeline for update on fatal hit-and-run in Parksville

Complexity of case a factor in length of the investigation

Mount Arrowsmith Brewing takes silver at World Beer Awards

Winning IPA made with centennial, citra and amarillo hops

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Most Read