The joys of being a geek.


Seems like the longer we're around, the more insane it gets every week...I always said I'd never want to be "that guy" who is a hardcore fish geek, then starts a company, and gets "too busy" to do the things he likes to do- like interacting with fellow fish geeks...Well, some days, I must admit, it feels like I've become "that guy..." I mean, there literally aren't enough hours in the day sometimes to do everything that you want. Between setting up orders, taking orders, answering customer questions, dealing with  all of the other minutiae of running a company, it CAN get a little hectic. I guess it's a good problem to have. 

So, what's the point? 

Well, I'm happy to be here to interact with you cool people- as you are what it's all about. In the mad frenzy of a busy week last week, I remembered to acknowledge the things that really make me love this hobby- an "exercise" we should all do from time to time. And one of the things I enjoy ruminating on is the fact that we as fish geeks are into the most obscure stuff!

Think about it. If you've entertained the idea of playing with, say, propagating freshwater microalgae- there is probably some fish geek out there who's not only had the idea, but who's built out a propagation system just for that purpose in her basement! Want to breed Cyclops and create an automatic feeder? There are actually "experts" on that out there. Interested in creating an aquarium system just for sponges and tunicates? I'll bet there's a lab out there doing some work and some grad student would be stoked to hear from a hobbyist who's interested in her work!

Our "tribe" has insanely good knowledge of many, many things, ranging from the basic to the downright obscure.

That's totally cool.

Sponges, huh? You're not alone in this geeky endeavour!

Besides, when you embark on a journey into your geekiness, not only will you have fun- you just might help others solve problems or figure out ways to do something similar. It's all cool.

To some folks, a bucket of infusoria in culture is pure Nirvana. Gotta love these people!

Thanks to the internet and the general geekiness of hobbyists worldwide, this stuff doesn't stay "obscure" that long. We talk, brag, share, assist, and just generally let the information we've gleaned "percolate" into our culture, which enriches us all. And it's fun to get into these seemingly obscure things, isn't it? And they stay with us for long time; sometimes, they go dormant because we don't have the space or time or whatever...but they never leave us, huh?

Personal case in point:

Not all that long ago, I got back into my long term love affair (sounds sordid, doesn't it?) with marine macro algae. I used to play with all different types, but just kinda ran out of time and resources to keep going. Well, flash forward a few years and I had a 16,000 gallon saltwater facility with all kinds of toys to play with! So, when the opportunity came up to acquire some cool macros algae from an awesome propagator and curate the collection I'd been dreaming of for over a decade, I jumped on it.

So, much to the chagrin of some of my colleagues, on any given day you'd find me doting over my little section of one of our raceways, packed with little containers of macro algae of all sorts. In addition to creating a geeky, tiny "cottage industry" within Unique Corals, it had just been fun doing something that I sort of lost track of over the years...the fun and excitement of doing something that's interesting, "new", and obsessive is a sublime delight for the fish geek!

(It may be just a clump of algae to you....)

Okay, so the point of all of this rambling is quite simple: If you have one of those geeky and obscure obsessions, indulge yourself and play! Do the geeky stuff to your heart's content...and remember to share your passion for it with other fish geeks. It's the kind of stuff that makes things really fun. The kind of stuff that makes a hobby more than just a pleasant diversion...It becomes a lifelong obsession- a rich and rewarding passion. Find your geeky bliss.

Perhaps you want to glue shells to mangrove shoots for your tank. And why not? Do what you love, right?

Of course, in the case of my macro algae thing, in opinion of my long-suffering employees, I was just "Scott coming out from his office, playing with his collection, stealing our nets, and getting in the way."


True visionaries are always treading a lonely path, right?

But hey, every geeky thing I do. Every geeky thing YOU do- makes this hobby, this passion, and this obsession that much more enjoyable. It enriches the world by showing others that you can do just about anything if you love it enough.

What geeky hobby obsessions do YOU indulge in?


Quick Sunday thought. Stay tuned for lots more of the usual absurdity from yours truly.

Stay Wet

Scott Fellman 

Tannin Aquatics 

Scott Fellman
Scott Fellman


Leave a comment