In the Beginning

Fish-keeping is a fascinating hobby today, because of its scope, but in the past, it was very much more restricted, although this did not dim the enthusiasm of those who were lucky enough to see aquarium fish.
"A fine rarity, of fishes kept in a glass of water, that will live so forever, and finely marked they are, being foreign."

These words were written by famous English diarist, Samuel Pepys in 1665. They are belParadise fish Macropodusieved to refer to a pair of paradise fish (Macropodus opercularis) brought back on board a ship belonging to the East India Company from China. They are generally regarded as the first aquarium fish seen in Europe.

Fish-keeping generally did not become a widespread interest until the technological advances of the 20th century. Today, it is thought that there are more than 60 million aquarists worldwide keeping aquarium fish.