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Growth of the Hobby

> From: Michael <mbp at cyberis_net>

> I am a student writing a sample proposal which will try to explain the
> benefits of a North American petstore chain paying more attention to the
> hobbyists interested in planted aquariums.  In doing so I have to convince
> them that the market is there.  I was going to do this by explaining how
> much the hobby has grown.
> The only two ways I could think to do this was by showing how much the AGA
> and the APD have grown.  Could anyone involved give me some numbers
> (estimates) of growth?

I think you could also look at the number of direct-to-consumer
mail-order aquatic plant places in the last 10 years.  My observation is that
at the beginning of this period, there were about 2 popular ones.  Now there
are probably six or seven.

You could also look at the availability of plant-oriented paraphenalia
in various catalogs, the quantity, quality, number of authors of plant
articles in FAMA & other magazines, availability lists of plants (this
would be hard; you might have to dig deep & call up wholesalers).

> Are there any good references anyone could suggest that gives a good
> history of the hobby?

I find looking through old magazines is quite telling (hence the above
ideas). You find articles that tell about what people are keeping,
when fish or plants first become available, and the advertisements
often tell more than the articles about attitudes.. look at the
filters being pushed on the hobby at any given year.

There are a few folks out there who have a side hobby of being
aquarium historians.  Wayne Leibel (of cichlid fame) is one.

> I thought other North American enthusiasts might be interested in how much
> their hobby has grown also.  That is why I posted here.  My apologies if
> this is not the case.

I would be interested in hearing what you end up with!

  - Erik

Erik Olson				
eriko at wrq.com