This domain - characin.com - was home to Randy's Aquaria (initially called "Randy's Fishroom"). The site was active from 1996-2004.
Originally the site focused on the personal fishroom experiences of Randy Carey. In those early web days, this site was a recognized authority on aquarium-related topics - particularly regarding the tetras, barbs, Apistogramma, and other small, soft-water fish groups.
With a need to provide something visual on this web site, Carey arguably became the first pioneer of digital aquarium photography - exploring how it could be used as early as 1998 (when the first 1 megapixel cameras were becoming available to consumers who could afford them). Randy provided TFH Magazine with the first digital photos that it published. Eventually his digital photography found its way into the magazine as two-page spreads and a cover shot.
Another web first, Randy started and maintained what is known as the first aquarium-related blog, titled Randy's Journal. He began the chronically in 1997 - years before the term and "official" concept of a blog came to be. As if a precurser to the modern-day blog, the journal contained short accounts of personal experience, illustrated with photos, titled, dated, and organized in chronological order. Carey saw this journal as distinct from the articles he published - articles were timeless and somewhat extensive pieces, while the journal entries were more personal, casual, and tied to an event or personal experience.
Randy quickly gained recognition in the aquaria field. He was offered a column in TFH in 1999, and in that same year begain to tour the US and Canada, giving presentations to aquarium societies. His writing expanded into feature articles, including an interview with Stan Weitzman of the Smithsonian and a multipart series that took him on a two-week expedition within the Amazon Raninforest. A book contract followed (Tetras and Barbs, TFH Publications). Since 2009 he has sat on the Petco Editorial Review Board, reviewing candidate titles for the selves of this national retailer.
Randy had not abandoned the vision of resuscitating characin.com - with a new approach to providing resources and information on characins, cyprinids, and serious aquaria keeping. This is will be revived and resumed in early 2023!