My love of aquariums began as a hobby almost 25 years ago. I was enthralled with the idea of taking a slice of the ocean or ecosystem from an exotic place and watching it in my living room. I read everything I could get my hands on, and managed the aquarium section of a local pet store. I developed friendships with some of the regular customers who would approach me and lament how difficult it was to maintain their tanks at home, until finally one of them asked me to take care of the tank at their home. Thus was born what is now my occupation – installing and maintaining aquariums for people and businesses in the Rhode Island area. I wanted my business to have a sophisticated name, so my wife came up with “The Aquaculturist." In retrospect, something a bit simpler would have been better… It’s a mouthful and not easy to spell either! Now when I come to my customers home, the kids will yell out, “Mom, the fish guy is here!”
Over the years I’ve installed aquariums from simple 10 gallon tanks to 600 gallon custom made coral reefs, and everything in between. I’ve attended the school of hard knocks, and made many of the same mistakes that cause people who try to set up tanks in their homes but encounter frustration make. Many aquarium stores thrive on customers failure, they rely on people repeatedly restocking their tanks when the fish die. My goal is and has always been to keep fish alive and watch them thrive, as aquarium maintenance and happy customers are the lifeblood of my business. I’ve developed great relationships with my customers over the years, and have watched their families begin with babies and toddlers fascinated with the brightly colored fish in their tank, to watching them go off to college. I have purposely kept my business manageable; I have one employee to help with the heavy lifting but do all the maintenance myself. My thought is if you are going to have someone come into your home or office, it’s very comforting to know it will be the same person who set the tank up and you can grow to trust over time. The idea of having a fleet of vans and a different college student every two weeks asking where the tank was located in your home or office never appealed to me.
I’ll continue to try to find new potential friends in the area that will enjoy an aquarium in their home or office – not to just occasionally feed my kids, but to share with them the joy, fascination and relaxation that comes with having a fish tank.
Brandon Bassett, Owner
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