Alex Carslaw’s Fish House Tour – Part 1

C.E. Fish Essentials ambassador Alex Carslaw is known for his keeping, breeding & conservation of various well known & several endangered Rainbowfish species. He also has some pretty amazing fishkeeper friends and in this article we will follow Alex’s trip to visit George Funkner, a well respected Killifish keeper who also works to preserve several rare & endangered fish.

Located in Glasgow’s busy Darnley area, George Funkner’s fishroom is a haven for all things aquatic, killifish in particular. With 260 tanks, yes, 260 ! George is kept well busy in a fish house that far outnumbers any aquatic retailer you will find in this fine city. On the approach to George’s place you could be forgiven for thinking you have made a wrong turn, it is situated at the back of some retail/workshop units. Once inside you will be gobsmacked, it’s an Aladdin’s cave as I like to call it. Measuring some 300 ft² and the main room is crammed floor to ceiling with tanks.

 

Set off the main room, George has a nice big area where he can prepare and receive shipments to send to hobbyists worldwide. I jokingly asked him when he is going to fill this room also, to which he pointed me in the direction of a large shipment of new shelving. Soon, it looks like the 260 will become 400! Total dedication from a man who really knows his stuff.

A warm welcome is always a priority for George

George’s tanks are filtered using various methods and all connect to a single main air ring fed from some pretty big air blowers. The room is space heated and one thing I did notice was the lack of condensation which is probably down to the tight fitting tank covers of the ‘sometimes suicidal’ Killifish.

Temporary Pool at the locality “Trinidad East BPBV 2014-09” in Cercado Province, Department of Beni, Bolivia

George has been keeping fish since 1982 and in this time has bred nearly 900 species of fish from the humble guppy to the more tricky African killifish like Aphyosemion wildekampi. Looking into each tank it’s clear to see George’s success, with many hosting fry, sub-adult and adult fish all within the same perfectly decorated and leaf strewn tank. George supplies many people from all over the world with the eggs of some of the rarest Killifish you will find and this allows funding for George’s many collecting trips to the likes of Bolivia, from where he has only just returned bringing with him many new and undescribed species of fish. Here are just a few of his wonderful collection.

 

Hoplosternum sp. Nuevo Palmar  |  Chromaphyosemion volcanum «Ekondo Titi, Manga Water CB3SR

 

Nematolebias papilliferus «Inoã» | Hypsolebias sp. Urucuia

 

Fundulopanchax clauseni «Akure» (Albino) | Hypsolebias picturatus «Volta das Pedras»

Oryzias nigrimas «Lake Poso» 

I always look forward to visiting George as here you will find fish you will not see very often if at all. Always with a smile on his face, George has no problems explaining his methods and success’s to which he has many. A true gent, a good friend and a fantastic aquarist.

Written by: Alex Carslaw – Editor: Chris Englezou

Photography: George Funkner © & Alex Carslaw © 

Alex Carslaw is without doubt the U.K’s most dedicated Rainbowfish enthusiast – award-winning in fact and he has made it his passion to become a significant contributor to the field in hope of preserving both their keeping in the aquarium hobby and in many cases stabilizing a future for several species of these graceful, diverse and unbelievably underappreciated fish. Alex has been keeping and breeding fish for just over 30 years and his passion for Rainbowfish began with a consigment of the stunning Melanotaenia boesemani which he encountered when working for a Glasgow importer of tropical fish. Alex is a great believer in the power of social media and has used this platform to create a worldwide network of Rainbowfish enthusiasts through his Facebook group and personal website. Alex’s work, whether his hours upon hours investing time & money into his fish, or researching, learning and teaching others about the wonderful Rainbowfish of the world, helps to keep raising awareness for many Rainbowfish which are in urgent need of protection. Some of these species originate from single lakes in what are now ‘developing areas’ and hence being destroyed, polluted or filled with invasive species which are outcompeting or even predating upon these pressurized populations. For some of these fish, their propagation within the aquarium hobby is their only chance to remain on earth.

Alex Carslaw

Alex Carslaw is without doubt the U.K's most dedicated Rainbowfish enthusiast - award-winning in fact and he has made it his passion to become a significant contributor to the field in hope of preserving both their keeping in the aquarium hobby and in many cases stabilizing a future for several species of these graceful, diverse and unbelievably underappreciated fish. Alex has been keeping and breeding fish for just over 30 years and his passion for Rainbowfish began with a consigment of the stunning Melanotaenia boesemani which he encountered when working for a Glasgow importer of tropical fish. Alex is a great believer in the power of social media and has used this platform to create a worldwide network of Rainbowfish enthusiasts through his Facebook group and personal website. Alex's work, whether his hours upon hours investing time & money into his fish, or researching, learning and teaching others about the wonderful Rainbowfish of the world, helps to keep raising awareness for many Rainbowfish which are in urgent need of protection. Some of these species originate from single lakes in what are now 'developing areas' and hence being destroyed, polluted or filled with invasive species which are outcompeting or even predating upon these pressurized populations. For some of these fish, their propagation within the aquarium hobby is their only chance to remain on earth.

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