Assignment: identify a little-known subculture, find a way inside, and make a mini-documentary explaining how it ticks. Identify and understand the rules, slang, traditions, and behaviors that make this group distinct.
Subculture: serious fish collectors or "afishianados."
1. "Tank Creep" - It is an addicting and progressive hobby. Once you have one tank, you want two. Once you have two, you want three.
2. There is a self-supporting marketplace. They feel abandoned by and distrustful of retail pet stores. Monthly auctions and message boards connect "in the know" buyers with trusted sellers.
3. There is a strong D.I.Y. spirit partially due to the lack of quality fish stores and products, but also because some collections become so complex that they require custom solutions.
4. They become incredibly knowledgeable about marine biology. The Latin name of a species is thrown around casually. The most serious collectors go on international expeditions to source rare fish and are paid to give lectures about their findings.
5. At the end of the day, the beauty and sense of calm these tanks exude is the main appeal. All of the afishianados had a particularly comfortable chair or couch positioned to kick back and enjoy their collection.