Hi, folks,

Can't remember if I introduced myself when I joined this forum but if I did, here I go again.

I've been keeping fish for many years. Bought my first fish tank in 1974 but was keeping guppies and swordtails in bottles even before then.

Many things have changed in the last 5 years ever since the internet came to Singapore. In the old days, very few fish shops sell aquatic plants and even fewer have things like CO2 systems or liquid
fertilisers for sale. An SAE was unheard of and a Yamato shrimp was available at only one fish shop at sky-high prices.

I think you can say it all started with the formation of the newsgroup, sg.rec.aquaria. I remember being one of the founding members of that
newsgroup, in the sense that I was one of those who voted for its formation. Teo Soon Bock and Jeremy Lee were the 2 persons who created the newsgroup and during it's infancy stage, the newsgroup was very active. That's how a group of guys who called themselves the AGG, Aquatic Gardeners Group was eventually formed. I do believe the AGG played a big part in kick-starting the planted tank hobby here. We appeared on TV and fish shop owners began to believe that there's a market for aquatic plants.

Things have really changed a lot since the old days. A patch of riccia the size of your palm would set you back by $50. The cheapest CO2 diffuser in the market costs $51. Fish shop owners were so ignorant then. One fish shop owner kept telling me that if you inject CO2 into your tanks, the fish will definitely all die. Another said that to grow riccia, you have to weave it into the net like the way women knit yarn. What a yarn!!!!

Besides Crowntol at Robert's Lane and Aquatechnics, the only fish shop then which had a good display of aquatic plants was Kong Seong at Block 22, Havelock Road. I was looking around for a CO2 system then and they were the only one besides Crowntol and Aquatechnics to have any for sale. I remember the price then was around $450. But what really shocked me then was when the fish shop owner told me that he sold about 15 systems in the last year. I just simply couldn't believe that 15 people would be willing to pay that kind of money to grow plants. I thought I was the only crazy guy around, you see. In those days, no one seems interested in plants at all. It's really kind of surprising how the hobby is so prevalent now.

What tickles me though, is when I hear some fish shop owners talking like they are experts. These same owners didn't even know what was a CO2 system when I asked them 5 years ago.

Loh K L