Greco, Frank

I’ve been a fish nut for over 40 years. What can I say…I like fish keeping (and collecting). I remember when Malawi cichlids were “the newest thing”, and auratus cichlids were $75 each (now they’re $4 each, or less!). Back then (starting in 1970, when I got my first “official” petshop job, working for Discount Pets and Supplies in West Babylon, NY (when it closed, a beauty salon moved in. It recently closed, and now it’s a pet grooming parlor)) being in the hobby was VERY exciting. Almost every week there was some new import. Always a new challenge. Then, the hobby slowly but surely began to change. New imports were pushed to the side in favor of painted monstrosities, man-made color variations, and malformed hybrids. Fishes that were once common in the trade simply dropped off the radar, which was a great loss to the hobby as a whole. The hobby was “dumbed down”. In came the chain stores that further dumbed down the hobby by helping to drive the Mom and Pop stores, often the last bastion of the rare and unusual, out of business. I started Frank’s Aquarium simply because I was tired with the state of the aquarium hobby in the United States. Simply put…it’s BORING! As a hobbyist, I’m tired of the same old same old I see in every shop and wholesale establishment I visit. It’s just so difficult to get wholesalers and retailers to carry new items (except for those hideous parrot cichlids, painted glassfish, and a host of other man-made monstrosities). So say goodbye to anything new and unusual (in terms of real species). And New York used to be THE place to go if you wanted to see new and exciting creatures! It’s a real shame what has been done to the hobby, not only here, but in other areas of the USA. And since this was first written, over ten years ago, it has become even more difficult to get anything unusual as the local importers just don’t seem to want to be bothered carrying them, and the overseas exporters don’t want to be bothered collecting them. Very sad, really. While I am a firm believer that a hobbyist should support their local fish store (providing it’s a good shop worthy of the support), more often than not the local LFS doesn’t carry the selection of animals that keep the hobbyist interested. As one retailer and one wholesaler put it: “I carry only fish that people buy, not anything I have to sell.” It is this short-sighted attitude that has really hurt the hobby. Hence my starting Frank’s Aquarium. Editor’s Note: Frank’s “Fish Jell-o” recipe was on (but it appears that the site is no longer in existence).  There is a copy of the recipe at at Progarams:  Fish Nutrition