If I wasn’t so committed to getting better I could easily get bitter in my old age. Next year will be Aquascapes 25th year in business. I’d say I pretty much have seen and heard it all before and I’ve learned history has a way of repeating itself…again and again. Life for sure is filled with reoccurring themes isn’t it? Let’s just say “respect your elders” has a lot more meaning today than it did “back in the day” for me.

I had a conversation the other day with a contractor I’ve had umpteen times before. He was evaluating becoming a CAC but was debating if doing so would be the right decision for his business.

After all, there are so many ways to build ponds and “exclusivity” seems limiting by its very definition. We left it with he would take the next year to “evaluate for himself” what worked best for his business.

“When the student was ready the teacher arrived”

The “younger” Pond Guy would have argued with this guy the merits of our system and water boarded him with questions regarding his business. The older, wiser and more chill (remember everything is relative) Pond Guy pointed out a few things and left it at that (I might have had a blood vessel bulge in the conversation but it was more like a single one now not every blood vessel bulging at once) Hah!

Here’s where the bitter part could easily creep in if I let it.

No former Certified Aquascape Contractor has ever left the program and installed more ponds afterwards. Not one.

Nor has a single Distributor left selling Aquascape and sold more selling a competitive line. Zilch.

They aren’t making more doing it “every other way” either, than doing it one way” But that doesn’t stop guys today leaving to try to any more than it did before.


I picked up an old Aquascaper (who remembers them?) and saw a list of our Top Frogs from 2001. Some are still Top Frogs today. Most aren’t and sadly many have gone away, out of business, never to be heard from again.

And for what? A desperate attempt to make a few more dollars? A perceived slight? The eternal search for a life filled with Unicorns and Rainbows? It’s something different for everyone which is what makes it so difficult to game plan for. In the end, all of them who aren’t here anymore and the few remaining who still but aren’t succeeding are almost all a shell of their former self. External or even internal forces combined resulting in the same devastating effect.

They lost the passion they once had for this industry and doing what we all are doing today.

How sad.

Something or a lot of things happened and they choose to stop getting better and instead got bitter.

I have no clue in 15 years which one of today’s Top Frogs won’t be around anymore. If history is any indicator it will be a lot. If you want to still be around and even Aquascape for that matter, we have to do one thing more than any other.

We need to keep getting better.

Here’s to us getting better together here on out!

Carpe the next 15 years!