Day in the life of
Animal Breeder – Chris Adams
I have been breeding and crossbreeding fish, and have kept both freshwater and saltwater aquariums for over 20 years. I am someone who has never been able to have my own children, and being a marine life breeder has been extremely fulfilling in that void of my life. I’ve been called as an advisor for larger specimen breedings at labs across the country, such as hybrid sharks. It’s amazing some of the things I get to see and help do. During the cooler months, I am unable to breed my own fish successfully due to the acclimate weather, as many of my aquariums are heated by natural sunlight and in a greenhouse – but 9 months out of the year I am busy working sometimes 16 hour days every day. I do several things every day, and one of these things is spending sufficient time working on the ambience of my tanks, in order to ensure the environment is perfect for my fish to breed, and most importantly ensuring the PH of my tanks is absolutely perfect.
The most difficult parts of my day though are dealing with the many species of egg laying fish I breed. When a group of eggs hatch, the fish are called a fry. The biggest problem is ensuring that the fry have food small enough to eat in order for them to grow and maintain good health. That is the sole purpose of my job, directing my efforts to see absolute minimal casualties. I spend a couple of hours each day culturing something called infusoria. Infusoria is microscopic, making it that much harder to monitor. In a nutshell, infusoria is grown by introducing nutrients into the water where your organisms are living. In most cases, I place a piece of lettuce or a banana peel into a tank where I keep my organisms, and this allows the delicious infusoria to grow – thus creating a food supply for the first phase of egg hatched fish.
From that point on though, if you can get through the hours and dedication – it’s relatively simple. I have been doing this for nearly 20 years, and look forward to another 20 years, hopefully bringing a few million more fish into the world.
- I get to experience bringing new life into the ecosystem on a weekly basis.
- I always have more work than I can handle. While this may seem like a con, it’s actually great considering the job market right now.
- I get to be as creative as I like when I am scouting and determining what aquatic life to pair up. Seeing the end result is greater satisfaction than I could ask for. It’s like fish are my paintbrush, and my masterpiece is born from them.
- I am always prepared for birthday parties! Not anything too fancy, but nothing puts a smile on a kid’s face greater than getting their own guppy or barb. My supplies are seemingly endless!
- I have gotten my fair share of criticism from animal activists and rights groups claiming what I do is not morally right. I know what I do is actually helpful for the environment, but it doesn’t stop people coming from the woodwork to harass me over my profession.
- The pay varies. Much of my work comes from universities and research labs, and they do not pay as much as you would expect. Because of this, I run a second business, teaching others everything they need to know about underwater life and growing their own aquariums.
select and breed animals according to their genealogy, characteristics, and offspring. May require knowledge of artificial insemination techniques and equipment use. May involve keeping records on heats, birth intervals, or pedigree.