The big blue: Aquarium addict Dirk van Damme

When the Indian Ocean is nothing but a distant dream yet your little one still insists on a face-to-face with Nemo, your next best option is bringing it to the living room. And, as we realised whilst meeting four aquarium diehards, that can mean anything from single-room, table-topped fishbowls to fully automated, wall-mounted monster aquariums.

Photographer Veerle Frissen.

DIRK VAN DAMME, 54

Bought his first aquarium at the tender age of 12 and today owns eight (two large aquariums in the living room, the largest of which is a whopping 1,600L, and six in the back room). Owns over 100 fish, all of them Cichlids from Rivers in Brazil and Argentina. Dirk finds it difficult to pick one fish over another: “You will always see, that when you favour one fish, something bad will happen to it.”

(This feature was first published in the blue album)