What do supermodels, the Vietnam War, and the right front fender of a 1955 Oldsmobile have to do with marine aquariums? Absolutely nothing—that is, of course, unless you’re hobby pioneer Paul “Paul B” Baldassano and you’ve just published a book on your six decades of aquarium keeping! Paul’s new tome, titled The Avant-Garde Marine Aquarist: A 60-Year History of Fishkeeping, was produced in collaboration with your friends here at Saltwater Smarts, and it’s anything but your typical aquarium reference book.
With his signature tongue-in-cheek style, familiar to anyone who follows his posts here or on other sites around the web, Paul offers his unique, eye-of-the-beholder, and possibly hallucinogen-inspired thoughts on: His earliest encounter with marine organisms (hint: it wasn’t in the ocean), the history of our hobby, how to buy fish in good health and keep them that way, fish biology, including his revolutionary insights on fish immunity, methods for maintaining healthy aquarium water, how to manage algae, pests, and common diseases, how to succeed with certain hard-to-keep species, how he would set up a tank from scratch today, a whole host of easy-to-construct, cost-cutting DIY projects, and much, much more!
Paul, a resident of Long Island, New York, has been immersed in aquarium keeping since the 1950s. In fact, his current 6-foot-long, 100-gallon reef tank has been in operation longer than many of today’s hobbyists have been alive – 44 years as of this writing. Much of Paul’s remarkable long-term success can be attributed to his ever-curious, self-reliant, innovative nature, which has led him to create a wide range of ingenious inventions and DIY projects to make the aquarium-keeping experience easier and cheaper MORE