About the Owner
Meet Patrick Donston the Owner
I started in the fish hobby with my first aquarium when I was nine years old. I became fascinated with fish and developed an interest to learn as much as I could about them. I went on to college, majored in Zoology, and got my first job working with fish. I did an internship at the Philadelphia Zoo working with the Jersey State Aquarium design group. By then, I’d kept aquariums for over ten years, but working in a public aquarium sparked my interest even more. After the completion of the internship, I decided to go back to school and pursue a Master of Science degree specializing in fish reproduction. Upon completion of my master’s degree, I worked in a public aquarium teaching Docents and volunteers about the biology of invertebrates in the inter-tidal exhibit.
My love of fish and teaching others about them has led me to the retail business of selling fish and aquarium supplies. For the thousands of hours I have spent working on aquariums, I have experienced nothing but admiration for these creatures which can best be described as freedom, joy, and love for a spellbinding wilderness that we can bring into our homes. I believe aquarium keeping is one of the best educational tools for children and adults to learn more about the oceans and reefs around the world. Learning about the animals one has as pets sparks an interest to become more aware of the environment we live in. It can bring people closer to a part of the world they may never see or otherwise know.
Message from the Brooklyn Aquarium Society board in regards to: February
8, 2002 speech on Marine Fish, Keeping Them Healthy.
“Patrick Donston was great.” “He really knows his stuff.” “I really learned something tonight.” These are just some of the comments we heard at the end of the evening. All true, this man does know his stuff! Not only that but he and his staff at Absolutely Fish will spend the time to help you be a better aquarist. Patrick went right
to the point, talking about products and practices to keep reef
fish healthy, what fish to buy and what to avoid. What to look
for when you buy reef fish and even brand name products he questions as helpful (and some not so helpful). It really was and informative meeting.”
On behalf of myself and the staff at Absolutely Fish, we graciously thank the Brooklyn Aquarium Society for having me speak at the February meeting. It was truly an honor. I don’t think the talk would have been as helpful without the support of my staff or
the customers from whom I learned so much. – Patrick.
Some personal and professional accomplishments include:
- Actively involved in many Publications and Contributions
- Guest speaker at nationally known Aquarium Societies: Greater
City Aquarium Society (Queens, NY), North Jersey Aquarium Society, Jersey
Shore Aquarium Society, Brooklyn Aquarium Society, San Francisco Bay Society, Dallas Fort Worth Area
- Guest speaker to aquatics industry: Chicago Backer’s Christmas Pet Show, Atlantic City Spring Pet Extravaganza, Marine Aquarium Council Seminars (New York, NY, Sacramento, CA)
- Written and published numerous articles to guide other shops on correctly selling and keeping marine ornamental livestock (See publications and contribution)
- Have written numerous educational papers as customer guides on aquarium
- Interviewed and referenced on “How to train your employees” by Pet Product News (Jan. 2004)
- Interviewed by Pet Product News on “How to be successful selling
marine ornamentals” (Sept. 2003)
- Marine Aquarium Counsel CIG member
- Designed and prepared millennium tank for The Regis and Kathy Lee
Show which was featured daily from Jan. 1999 to Jan. 2000
- Personal mention in Jan. 2000 Aquarium Fish magazine regarding successful
advice given to one of our customers with a problem tank
- Initiated coral propagation program with use of stony coral cuttings
and soft coral splicing
- Increased livestock selection by developing new advanced filtration
- Designed and constructed quarantine and acclimation systems
- Researched and identified an extensive index of marine fish and invertebrates
- Succeeded in recognition and treatment of diseases within various
- Conducted seminars to Newark public schools on Marine Conservation
- Assisted in education program to Zoo-Docents emphasizing invertebrate
zoology of animals on display in the inter-tidal exhibit.