Monday, January 19, 2009


I have been a marine aquarium hobbyist for over 40 years! I started keeping freshwater fish in the early 1960's and started my first saltwater aquarium in 1968. I have been involved in this hobby/industry ever since. Our business, Pacific East Aquaculture started about 9 years ago.

I recently found some old literature from the company that I first worked at in Chicago, Marine World. I visited the store in 1969-1970 as a customer and then when my family moved just a couple of blocks away I started working there during my high school years. I did everything from cleaning tanks to packing wholesale orders. Marine World was the premier saltwater shop in the US at that time, they imported fish several times a week from locations around the world. I remember seeing Pinecone fish for the first time from Australia as they glowed in the dark and in those days fish such as Flame angels were considered somewhat rare to be seen in captivity. At the time I had many aquariums, a 30 gallon with anemones and spawning clownfish, a 55 gallon with angels and butterflyfish, a 100 gallon with a Zebra Moray Eel and other larger fish, and an 8 foot long freshwater Amazon river tank with all sorts of rare wild collected fish. I enjoyed my years at Marine World, Don Sporleder the owner and his brother Bruce taught me a lot about the love for the animals.

Here are some photos of the old Marine World wholesale catalog and brochure.

This is a photo from a brochure that shows the retail side of Marine World. Each tank had a diorama behind it and this was loaded with corals and other decor that gave the tanks a deeper look while still allowing easy catching of the fish. The store had freshwater tanks on one side and saltwater on the other with live plant tanks below the freshwater fish rows and invert tanks below the saltwater fish rows and a section of cubes with individual inverts such as shrimps.

This photo shows the wholesale side of the business. Fish that were imported throughout the week were quarantined for at least 7-10 days before they were either shipped out to other stores or moved into the retail store.

Marine World's wholesale catalog published in 1976.

Dr. Mac, yes that is me in the mid 1970's packing wholesale orders.