Aquatic Escapes was born from the desire to bring home a little piece of nature's beauty. Being avid aquatic hobbyists since childhood the staff at Aquatic Escapes are pleased to share their extensive knowledge and appreciation of underwater life. Let us help you enter a beautiful underwater world and escape the everyday.
Raf's passion for aquariums started not with fish but with a small lizard he captured in his backyard on Bowen Island, BC. After several days of watching the lizard's behaviour he realized he could not provide the care that the little lizard needed, so he released it. Left with an empty aquarium young Raf decided he would get some tropical fish. Hundreds of aquariums and numerous diving trips later Raf is now the owner of Aquatic Escapes Aquarium Services as well as the website Malawi Mayhem, a specialist's hub for information on the cichlids of Lake Malawi, Africa.
Raf holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Capilano University and has logged countless volunteer hours at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center. He is a "lifetime" member of the Vancouver Aquatic Hobbyist Club and for years bred dozens of species of Lake Malawi Cichlid. Along with his wife Diana he has been diving and snorkelling along some of the most beautiful yet fragile reefs in the world, helping to appreciate and achieve a better understanding of underwater life in its natural habitat.
Diana started her collecting of marine life at a very young age. Playing in the tide pools of Qualicum, BC, Diana would collect small fishes, invertebrates and algae to keep for the day in jars on the porch. It wasn't long after that her family set up a small 10 gallon tropical aquarium. Diana started setting up aquariums in her bedroom and was soon in the market for some Cichlids from Lake Malawi in Africa. Finding her way to Malawi Mayhem Diana met Raf, a friendship formed, and together they created one of Vancouver's top Aquarium Maintenance companies. Diana contributes not only her knowledge and passion but also a unique eye for Aquascaping - the creation of beautiful and sustainable underwater ecosystems.
Diana holds a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology from Simon Fraser University and has volunteered with marine life in numerous research capacities including at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center and the North Vancouver Outdoor School's Salmon Program. She is highly environmentally conscious and takes great care in selecting captive bred species that will not only survive but thrive in an aquarium environment. Diana has experience captive breeding various tropical community fish, African Cichlids, Seahorses and Clownfish.