Being a well-known figure in fish circles can lead to occasional highlights. Last year I delivered my first fan autograph, quite unexpectedly, and I know I didn’t manage it with the speed of a movie celebrity. And now, the next step in an ichthyological career: calendar boy. Chatting with Christer Fredriksson in his shop Akvarielagret, Christer came up with the idea to include me and my goldfish pot in the annual calendar of the Nordic Cichlid Society. And that did not work out, so the outcome is actually a shot in front of the two aquariums in our lab corridor (African lungfish in one, some other fish in the other), holding a jar of Cichla, wearing a T-shirt from the Sydney Aquarium, and a FishBase vest.
Christer is a highly motivated aquarist and innovative entrepreneur with the largest aquarium shop in Stockholm, and probably the most interesting shop in terms of fishes because he is not only focussed on selling, but also displaying and breeding quite a number of less common species. The business was recently expanded to include the Butterfly House at the northern outskirts of Stockholm (actually in Solna, the siamese twin city of Stockholm) which is now being converted to have more aquatic components. The most interesting recent move, however, was to convert supplier pricelists into a searchable online database. Customers can seach for the fish they are interested in, see the approximate retail price, and order online for pickup at shipment arrival. This saves time and money for both parties. Christer does not have to guess what customers may like, and customers can make more directed decisions.
Christer is also a persistent supporter of the Nordic Cichlid Society (Nordiska Ciklidsällskapet), which has one of the finest cichlid journals in the world, presently edited by Ola Svensson who recently graduated from Stockholm University.
You may indeed wish to join the Nordic Cichlid Society, not least for the 2010 calendar with me in it (and a number of more worthy celebrities), but also for the many well-written articles and so many beautiful photos of cichlids in the Society journal. The only bad thing is that they insist on using Metriaclima instead of the senior synonym Maylandia, and that something that really needs a blog later on.