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Compass E n t er tainmen t AS THE WATERWORLD TURNS The life of a saltwater aquarium enthusiast is measured in gallons and rewarded with live art. It’s an obsessive interest that has developed from childhood fishbowls to entire eco-systems with their own dramas at play. TEX T BY RONY MO The aquarium hobbyist wears the many hats of a marine biologist, chemist and casting director assigning the right balance of animals, corals and vegetation to the job of building a sustainable environment. Without the proper cast of characters to keep them in check, villainous algae and bacteria can run wild in the streets of your own personal Atlantis. Similar to an underwater Sims, part of the entertainment is erecting a set where you control the currents, light levels and even weather to raise the morale of a nautical society. Plus, there’s always the reality show-like behavior of clown fish, which can perform their own sex changes, or sea anemones that split in half when they’re stressed. Learn more at Exotic Aquariums; 7399 SW 40th St.; 305.266.0978; ExoticAquariums.com. 26