Jimmy Hoehlein. credit: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Jimmy Hoehlein. credit: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

“Fish guys”, also known as aquarium service technicians, have to wear many hats: scientist, plumber, veterinarian, and sometimes, even therapist. While the majority of their job consists of setting up and maintaining tanks in their clients’ homes or offices, emergencies and disasters do happen, and the only hero that that panicked owner can call is the service tech.

A recent article in the New York Times dives into the trials and adventures of these real-life superheros, exploring some of the issues they have faced and giving us common aquarists a taste of what their careers entail. Enjoy this excerpt from the article, and then head over to the website, HERE, to read more.

“Felix the Fish Guy’s Fourth of July plans were dashed by a middle-of-the-night phone call from a frantic client.

The man’s aquarium pump was dead. ‘He’s like ‘Dude, nothing is coming through the overflow — you’ve got to come over,’’ said the fish guy, whose name is Felix Miranda. ‘I had no choice.’

He raced to the man’s home in the Bronx and diagnosed the problem: The pump’s impeller was jammed with bearded fireworms, maybe 500 of them, writhing, two-inch-long caterpillar-looking things covered with glassy spines.

Mr. Miranda soaked the pump assembly in vinegar. The worms died. He threw them out — carefully, lest he get a handful of painful, itchy needles — and reinstalled the pump. The client’s $7,000 coral collection was saved.”



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