How many pockets do you really need?

So I was driving somewhere last week, and I was listening to a radio talk show, and it was a show on the business of fashion. Like any business person these days, I don't just flip the channel because they're discussing some topic other than the thing I want to hear. I've found that you can often glean ideas that can help you in your business or market niche by listening to or reading about other industries, businesses, and artistic endeavors.

The topic on this Friday was, I think, a bit tongue in cheek, with the female host asking her to male contributors what it is about "cargo shorts" that appeals so much to guys. Her rather strong opinion was that a person really only "needs" two why do we wear shorts with like, 7 pockets?  The guys were trying to rationalize the reasons, and their arguments were a bit funny...weak, but it was funny.

I had to sort of laugh...I mean, it was a seemingly inane topic...but as usual, I was able to draw an analogy for our hobby. 


Put it in this context: To keep fishes, you really only need three things: A container to hold water, the water that goes in it, and the fishes themselves. Right? So why do we need heaters, filters, lighting systems, reactors, controllers, etc., etc.? Well, think about it this way- our tropical fishes typically require heat. They require the removal of dissolved organics from the water...they require inputs of food. In short, they need a lot more than just a container to hold them in, right?

They need more than 2 pockets, to circle back to the "cargo short analogy."

And yes, you can keep some fishes, like Bettas, killies, and maybe a few others in jars, sweater boxes, or other containers- without filters, heaters, lights, etc...but you still need to add "technique and husbandry"- crucial elements that are not even "equipment", yet have a huge bearing on the potential success or failure with the animals under our care. So, yeah, you can distill fish keeping down to its most basic elements...

But why would you want to? For experimental purposes? To see how far you can push it? Really? Betta and killie folks notwithstanding...

So, the bottom line here is that the "cargo shorts," which comprise our modern aquarium technique are do need more than two pockets.

Todays somewhat roundabout dissertation about the seemingly obvious.

Stay curious. Stay introspective. Stay involved.

And stay wet.


Scott Fellman

Tannin Aquatics 

Scott Fellman
Scott Fellman


Leave a comment