Questions & AnswersQ: Your Favorite thing about working at Aquarium Co-Op?
A: My role is always evolving, however the one thing that mains true is that I love helping people. Whether it’s one on one in person at the store or at an event or in a video, I take pride in my work knowing what I do helps others.
Master Aquatic Horticulturalist
Served on the Board of Directors for the Greater Seattle Aquarium Society as the Fish Breeder Award Program Chair
Named in Pet Age Magazine as a top 40 under the age of 40.Q: What has been your best moment while working for Aquarium Co-Op?
A: While I’ve had many great moments, the one that stands out in my mind comes from a child who had a mental disability. Every week his parents would bring him into my store to pick up live black worms to feed their African Dwarf Frog. To teach their son how to socialize, they would not leave until he asked me for “Froggy Food” in the most cheerful and innocent voice you’ve ever heard. Eventually he got the courage to hand me the money to pay as well. I think about these interactions to this day on how Aquarium Co-Op aims to do so much more than just sell aquarium supplies as a business.Q: What do you do in your daily job at Aquarium Co-Op?
A: Most would probably know me as “that guy on youtube”. However, I spend most of my time managing all of the special teams we have that make Aquarium Co-Op work so well. We have the retail store team, the warehouse fulfillment team, the online ecommerce team and our social media team. While each team has a manager who reports to me, I’m still hands on all areas ensuring the Aquarium Co-Op vision continues to exceed what we thought possible only a short time ago. Although not a daily activity, every product we sell or develop is personally tested by me and approved before we will sell it, this process can sometimes take longer than a year for a single product to be ready to meet our standards.Q: What is your favorite fish and why?
A: I love Mbu Pufferfish. While I always thought pufferfish were cool, I believe the bond I had with my first Mbu pufferfish Hank was that of a dog that has gotten it’s owner through hard times. When Hank passed there was a big piece of me missing and we got another Mbu Puffer named Murphy who is known as our store mascot today. Because I don’t spend each day in the store, I found myself missing Murphy so I have Lady Bird who is another Mbu puffer at home.Q: What would your dream aquarium be?
A: I am in a very lucky position that I have dream setups already. The one aquarium I am still hoping to do is a large aquarium of Community fish mixed with a Fly River Turtle. If you don’t know what a Fly River Turtle is, imagine a sea turtle that has fins except it lives in our freshwater aquariums.
Q: What Product that we sell do you highly recommend?
A: I think the best product we sell is Easy Green Fertilizer. I believe it has truly opened aquatic plants to the masses to have success. No doubt we were in the right place at the right time but removing the mystery of how-to fertilize aquarium plants has removed the barrier to entry on a planted aquarium.
Pre Filter Sponges are such an essential item for anyone with power filters. Not only do they save people money, but they keep fish safe as well. I take pride that we refined pre filter sponges over the years and produce them specifically for the hobbyist in mind.
Top 5 Tips for hobbyists
- When in doubt, test your water.
- Build an ecosystem, not an aquarium.
- Watch your fish for 20 minutes at a time by sitting still you’ll see new behaviors.
- Experiment and learn what works for you instead of doing only what others say. Evolve from being the student to being the master of your hobby.
- Less is more. Fewer species allows you to learn about their needs.