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Larry Arnold getting ready to go to lunch (Kellie Pic)

Dear Ndungu: 

I started keeping fish when I was 10 years old -- back when there were three kinds of fish food -- small, medium, and large.  And they were all made by Longlife. If you overfed, the pellets grew long moldy strands to let you know you added too much.

I also enjoyed food fishing with my father and uncles -- including the seining for bait and traveling to different locations.

At 14 My appendix ruptured and I spent a long time in the hospital (in captivity).  Someone gave me the Innes book and all the back issues of The Aquarium.  After I returned to walking status, I re-enlisted in my carp-catching summer job for the local bait house.  They paid me three cents per fish  -- pretty good bucks in them there days -- which they sold for catfish bait. 

Other jobs included catching nightcrawlers and occasionally going out with the bait house's aerated truck to catch chubs, which paid ten cents per chub.  Now we're talking big cash.

Fish retreated to the background when I went to college while working nights.  But after I graduated, got married, and moved to day work, I started "fishing" again.

Eventually I accumulated 120 aquariums in the basement.  Most were research tanks.  I belonged to the Greater Iowa Aquarium Association and served for years as their editor.  I also served as editor and president for the Federation of American Aquarium Societies.  I wrote the suggested judging standards for FAAS also.  I judged many fish shows around the country, gave numerous presentations, met hundreds of fish hobbyists, shot thousands of 35mm slides, wrote over 100 35mm slide shows to rent to aquarium societies, and penned hundreds of articles for aquarium societies.

LA at EIAA show and learning 6 feet is not tall.

Some three decades ago, I dropped out of aquarium societies and started Aqualand as a part-time job that took much less time than the 120 tanks in my basement.  We have four times as many tanks but an entire crew makes them easier to keep.

Yes, my two offspring worked at Aqualand.  They soon figured out that computers paid more than bagging guppies.  They now maintain webs for large corporations in Omaha and Kansas City.  They both own their own 10-acres with horses, ponds, and kids.

Miles, LA, 'Lizabeth, and Lilly -- group hug.

Five years later the grubs are larger.

Lotsa assorted Arnold grubs.

But we were talking about Aqualand ... Since we guarantee our fish, we give info to our customers that helps keep the little critters alive (the fish, not the customers).  Some three decades later we found ourselves sitting atop a couple computers full of fish info and pet info -- plus quite an accumulation of pre-computer info that may never see the light of the sun.  

Voila.  February, 2003 we decided to build a web site.  Here it is 2/15/03 some 170 pages later -- about a third done.  Now we need to go back and fix some of our pages.  

And at $2 a pop, we'll soon start putting some of our hundreds of 35mm slides on the net.  (1,267 pics as of March 23, 2003)  Do not attempt this at Walgreens.  Digital cameras work great on large objects, but have severe limitations when photographing fish and smaller objects. 

August, 2005 Update.  We have exceeded 10,000 pics of varying quality and get a little over 3,000 visitors a day.

No fish at home anymore -- just Klinger

February, 2010 Update.  We have 36, 687 pictures today with 15,805 visitors per day last month -- a little over two pictures per visitor.  Choose yours wisely.  LA

3600 Sixth Avenue

Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues

Des Moines, IA 50313

515 283-0300



Other Stuff

Outside Activities:
Editor/Past President Highland Park Business Club
Web Master for Highland Park Business Club
Editor/Past President Parks Area Foundation
Member Des Moines River Water Trail Committee
Alternate on Two Rivers Task Force
Member Highland Park Community Action Assoc.
Business Member Oak Park Elementary PTA
Member Oak Park Neighbors Association
Member Friends of the Northside Library
Member Central Iowa Water Garden Association
Member Apistogramma Study Group
Member Warren Harding Drug & Violence Prevention Task Force
Member NFIB Iowa Leadership Council
Member Iowa Aquaria Association
Member Midwest Cichlid Association