An aquarium as a reward for passing the 11 plus examination set Jeff on his way into fishkeeping. Once married and settled into his own home fish tanks quickly followed, as did membership of the local aquatic Society. As a Council Member of the Federation of British Aquatic Societies, Jeff was editor of its ‘Bulletin’ for 25 years during which time he also wrote regularly for ‘The Aquarist & Pondkeeper’ magazine. Subsequent to writing his first book (a mere 32 pages!), he has penned well over a dozen titles on aquarium-keeping and is still active as a writer both for hobby magazines and publishers. He took the plunge into marine fishkeeping just over two years ago and confesses that he’s still learning. He enjoys travelling and has visited many of the worlds public aquariums. How he manages to find them accidentally whilst on holiday is his secret. He has expanded his interests into video making – fishy subjects of course! CFO at


Dick Jesley’s first boyhood planted aquaria were created with pondweed, collected from the local ponds and streams which then surrounded his native Preston, and populated with sticklebacks, newts, loaches and minnows from the same source; he refuses to say how long ago this was, but all the ponds and streams have now, alas, disappeared beneath the tarmac, brick and concrete of the expanded town, along with their once-teeming wildlife.A peripatetic career around the world subsequently enabled him to create planted aquaria from locally-collected resources of the more exotic kind normally associated with our hobby; as well as to keep Tiger Barbs and Firemouths in his garden pond.Able to abandon daily toil for a retired life at an age early enough to arouse envy in most, he has since been able to practice our blessed hobby in more conventional style. He sees it as another form of creativity; the creation of underwater worlds in this instance, which, apart from the creative satisfaction, has the added benefit of offering the chance to escape occasionally from the real world and absorb the tranquility and beauty of another dimension.Although a hobbyist who writes about what he does, his approach to planted aquaria is professional and scientific, and he is totally dedicated to modern methods of aquarium setup and management.In addition to creating gianted planted aquaria, he has also created a five acre, fully landscaped garden, which he nowadays manages single-handedly; and is a competent painter, a less-than-competent musician, and a keen builder of sheds. He particularly enjoys never washing his 18-year-old car. Accountant at


Dohn Jownes is probably best known as the director of The Centre for Fortean Zoology – the world’s largest and fastest growing mystery animal research group. He has been a jobbing zoologist for more years than he cares to remember, and has been fascinated with aquatic life since his childhood inHong Kong four decades ago. As a child he spent every available moment climbing in and out of ponds and returning home in triumph with wriggly things in jars which he kept on every available window-sill in the house. At the age of 45 nothing much has changed! As deputy editor of Tropical World magazine he is responsible for not only the design, the news pages, the freaky fishtank feature and the conservation articles but together with his friend Richard Freeman manages to negotiate with Mr Poltroon and Mr Shins for the content of the children’s page each issue. He retired last year and is spending enjoyable time on website. He lives in rural Devonshire with Suzy (his soon to be second-wife), and various animals and children too numerous to mention.


Ziggy’s first experiences of fishkeeping started as a young lad with some wild guppies caught in a small stream in Africa of all places! The guppies, maintained in a large, planted jam jar with no heating or filtration, fired his imagination by producing fry. A couple of years later in his college’s biology laboratory, he admired and lusted after a well planted aquarium that was filled with bright red platies, – a novelty in Africa in the 1960s, as aquatic shops were virtually non-existent then. At about the same time, his interest in photography started when he received an Instamatic Camera for a birthday present. When his family moved to England, he discovered cichlids and was hooked by their parental behaviour and care of their fry. He started breeding some of the smaller cichlids, studying and photographing their spawning and fry care behaviour and also writing articles, with over 200 articles and some 3000 photographs now published. Other interests include travelling in the Americas , Asia and Europe to present his day-job scientific research at international conferences followed by pursuing his hobby of exploring and photographing the overseas tropical fish scene. Webdesigner at


Emma’s interest in fish started from a very young age when her parents would take the family on annual holidays to North Devon. Whereas other children were content building sandcastles, Emma would, instead, constantly pester her father to take her to explore the masses of rock pools at low tide, where she could spend hours looking at all the aquatic life forms. From there on she became more and more interested in tropical fish, and it would always be hard to drag her away from admiring all the fish in local aquatic centres. In 1991, at the age of 16, she started work at ICI Paints in Slough. This job enabled her to purchase her first community aquarium, which subsequently led to her fascination with loaches. Despite being in full-time employment, in 1995 she also decided to ask for a weekend job working at a local aquatics store in Iver, part of the Maidenhead Aquatics chain. It was here she met her fiancé Steve, and with whom she moved to Peterborough three years ago to help run a new shop (Maidenhead Aquatics @ Peterborough), where Steve is a partner in the business. Emma is responsible for the ordering and labelling of livestock, something which she very much enjoys and takes great pride in. The shop carries a huge variety of (mainly) community-suited fish, in particular, stocking rare loaches, barbs, and tetras. At home Emma takes much pride in her 1000 litre aquarium which is home to over 40 Clown Loaches, some of which she has had for around 14 years, many of which are currently between 9 and 11.5” in length.  Content writer at


Dave’s interest in tropical fish began in the early 1970’s with a holiday toBlackpool from which he returned with a small acrylic aquarium that doubled as a bedside lamp. Over the years the number of aquariums he cares for has risen to over 30. He keeps, and breeds, a wide variety of fish species and admits to a great fondness for all things Synodontis. In February 1985 he attended the very first monthly meeting of the Ryedale Aquarist Society and has never, as yet, missed a meeting. Although he does many jobs for the Society the one he is most known for is the editing of the club’s monthly magazine Ryedale Reporter. His is a Y.A.A.S. ‘B’ Class Judge. Away from aquarium fish David is a Leeds United season ticket holder and loves to listen to a wide variety of pop music.

More to follow shortly…