Alright, so you’re reading a blog about aquariums. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you’re the type of person who digs fish, otherwise you’d be on one of the berjillion other websites that the World Wide Web has to offer. Some of you may even be diehard hobbyists who have devoted thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours to your aquariums.
Still, I’d be willing to bet that most of you aren’t as devoted as England’s Jack Heathcote. This extreme aquarist transformed his basement into one of the country’s largest home aquariums. Spanning 12’6″ x 12’8″ x 7′, Heathcote’s basement aquarium is as large as many of the rooms in his house. It’s so massive that he has to don diving gear and clean his tank with a sponge every couple of weeks.
The tank has a whole host of creatures that you’d normally have to pay an admission fee to go see, including alligator gars, stingrays, Fly River turtles, and Pangasius. Feeding this vertibable mini-zoo takes about 30 minutes each day; they eat anything from trout to mussels.
It cost Heathcote a pretty shilling to get the ultimate fishbowl up and running, approximately £5000 in all. What’s worse is his electricity bill, which is high enough to make the average homeowner wince. Heathcote casually shrugs off the high price tag, explaining it away by saying that he makes money by selling off some of the fish that he breeds. Besides, Heatcote is happy to point out that he’s the only house on the block with an indoor swimming pool.
Heathcote’s love affair with the life aquatic has persisted ever since he was just a tike. At the impressionable age of 10 he visisted an aquarium and decided right then and there that he adored fish. Now that he’s older he devotes his time and spare change to his hobby. In fact, this isn’t the first larger-than-life aquarium that he’s ever built. He built an indoor tropical pond in his last house, which contained 12 stingrays.
Heathcote and his girlfriend bought this new house together, but they have since parted ways. He warns that any prospective romantic partners would need to accept his eccentric hobby, or hit the road.