It is indeed an amusing equation where interest plus "professionalism" equals a business which amasses fortune.
Wong Shi Ying from Ayer Tawar, Perak, has shown great interest in breeding various kinds of aquarium fish since young, and was willing to dig a hole in his backyard to design and construct a fish pond at his own expenses without any help from people. He even set up his own filtration system through own groping.
With the experiences accumulated over the years, Wong has now established his reputation in Manjung district as an experienced fish pond designer. A part-time designer, he has contributed his talent in designing various styles of fish ponds for a large number of residential houses during his free time.
Requirement of expertise
Wong is also an amateur photographer cum aquarium owner. During an interview with Sin Chew Daily, he explained that he had yet to set up a company specialising in fish pond designs, and as such fish pond design has not been his major profession.
Nevertheless, the fish pond design projects he has undertaken recently for friends have successfully caught the public's attention. Thanks to the recommendation by his friends, a growing number of customers have come to him for his expertise in designing fish ponds. He has since possessed a part-time job instead of merely a hobby.
"Designing and constructing fish ponds is indeed an unpopular career in this country. Since a professional fish pond designer is required to acquire not only the general knowledge of design and architecture, he also needs the expertise and experience in fish breeding. For instance, water temperature and proper drainage system are considered two major factors that have to be taken into consideration as well."
"I started going into this field eight years ago and have gradually secured an increasing number of customers while improving my knowledge through experience."
He said, in Manjung district and even the entire state of Perak, demands for fish ponds within the compounds of local residents have soared due to an increasing number of people who appreciate landscaping for their living environments and demand higher qualities of life.
Conforming to customer requirements
While he is designing fish ponds, he will refer to the preferences of his customers, such as visual and auditory effects, before he starts work. According to him, even the style of fish pond has to fit well into the dwelling format of the customer and the sound of running water.
"Currently the most popular fish pond designs are the Balinese , Japanese and Chinese styles, with the Chinese style being the most difficult to construct. I design the fish ponds based on the customers' needs, and they will decide which style they want."
As most of his customers lack the expertise in breeding fish, Wong would need to install automatic drainage systems for them to drain off dirty water and refill with clean water. This will reduce the customers' burden of regularly cleaning the fish ponds and changing water, so that feeding the fish is the only work they need to do.
RM10,000 basic expenditure
He added, the basic expenditure of RM10,000 should be enough for a fish pond in an ordinary terraced house.
He lamented that the public had a wrong perception that having a fish pond at home was something luxurious. Actually, he said the cost would depend very much on what the customer needs, and the construction cost of a fish pond could be anything from RM10,000 onward. (Translated by LIM LIY EE/Sin Chew Daily)