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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself

By David Lass


I am pleased and honored to contribute to Patrick Donston’s “Fish Absolutely” blog here on I have known Patrick for many years, and he is one of the most knowledgeable fish professionals in our industry; in addition, he is a skilled communicator and teacher. I will do my best to provide thoughts and information that go along with his.

My background and experience with fish goes way back, starting when I was a kid growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the 1960s. My parents’ friends gave me a 10-gallon tank for my 12th birthday, complete with a pair of black mollies. Two days later, there were babies at the top of the tank--and two days after that everything in the tank died. That really ticked me off, and since then I have been hooked on figuring out how to keep fish alive in glass boxes.

In 1970, I started my first fish store in Cambridge, Mass., eventually building up to having four stores and a wholesale importing and distribution business. For a brief portion of my life, I had a mechanical contracting and energy-conservation business, but I have always had fish. After a few years, I realized it was silly sitting in front of a computer during the week to earn enough money so I could play with fish at night and on weekends. So, fifteen years ago I decided to spend all my time playing with fish (my wife has a good steady job--and the health insurance). I have managed to cobble together a living by writing for three BowTie Inc. publications--Aquarium Fish International, Freshwater and Marine Aquarium and Pet Product News International--and consulting to some folks in the industry.

In my contributions to this blog, I will be concentrating on what I know best, which are the nuts and bolts of handling fish at the wholesale and retail levels. I have a small fish wholesale business in eastern New England, and, in addition, I am “the fish guy” for NexPet, the co-op for independent pet retailers. I handle lots of fish every week, and I am pretty well attuned to the problems the retail pet store has in buying, keeping and selling fish. I hope you will find my musing interesting and informative.

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