Trip to a Tropical Fish Farm

April 26, 2001

Kathy and Hal Grant took us to a fish farm, owned and operated by their daughter Allison, and husband Tom Townsend. We got a tour through their facilities, and a description of how things work, by Tom. I didn't take notes, unfortunately, so I don't remember the names of some of the fish you will see depicted. I do know that Tom has created an environment for fish that is extraordinary. Each group of fish seems to require its own external temperature, water temperature and chemistry, and kind and frequency of food. He has learned to breed fish that have not been bred before in captivity. The circulation of the entire water system is operated through a one-of-a-kind filter. One of the largest expenses is the electricity that's required to keep all the pumps and filtering system going.
In a fish "nursery" eggs are hatched, then moved to larger and larger tanks where they can grow. The ones to the left are a beautiful shade of blue.
Tom, Kathy, Hal and Ken
You can see the smaller tanks where eggs hatch to Tom's left. The bigger tanks on the left side of the picture are made of concrete (Tom says they are burial vaults without the top -- really!).
Some fish pair up with a mate they keep for a long time. The female of this pair lays eggs on the piece of tile you see leaning against the glass, to the left. These pairs produce hundreds of eggs every week.
Some fish lay eggs on a piece of rock (see left).
These babies looked liked tiny gnats. Tom has created an indoor area where everything is controlled by computer, including the feeding which is done automatically from the buckets that are suspended above.
Some of the fish in the computer-controlled indoor area.
There are lots of outdoor fish ponds, some covered, some not.
Jeannie drove the Grants and Johnstons in the new limo for its first real test drive. Of course, Missy came along, dressed in her finest fish-patterned outfit, with cut-outs of fish on the windows, as well.
We drove to Tom and Allison's house and met three of their four boys. Here is Callum with the youngest boy, Grant. Miller was in the house at the time.
It was a fascinating trip. We were both so impressed with Tom's incredible knowledge about raising fish. He and Allison have created a wonderful business and a wonderful family.