I’ve had an Idea.Now I hope eveyone sat up straight and paid attention at that, because they don’t come around all that often… :-p
My idea stemmed from watching my partner set up an aquarium. Those things are surprisingly hard to plan, there’s a lot of variables to control: size of tank, water pH, the temperaments of the various fish you plan to keep, their various diets… There’s a number of sites where you can find information like that (and some realy helpful forums with some really helpful people), but nowhere where it’s all tied together. Wouldn’t it be useful if there was a site where you could key in the variables, and it would tell you what fish would be best to keep in there, what species live well together, what plants would work well in that environment, how to look after them and solutions to common problems? It could also link you to retailers in your area that carried the products you needed. It would also be very cool (although not strictly necessary) to have some kind of animation on the site, so you could see the aquarium you’d created, like the “virtual aquarium” screensavers you can get.
I had a look around online and I couldn’t find anywhere that drew all that together (anyone reading this – if you know of a site that sounds like what I’ve just described and I’ve somehow missed it, please tell me!). Thing is, I’m pretty sure that if I knew enough about aquarium keeping (or knew someone else who did), and had the time and the resources, I could build this (except for the virtual animated aquarium part – I know my limitations!). I’m not really sure how I’d start, but I bet I could learn. Could be a fun, nerdy project for when I’ve finished my dissertation!