About Irene Bearly

Content Strategist and Blog Expert
I live with my husband and two young kids in Colorado, and both of us adults manage to work from home without getting sick of each other. As a closet introvert, I enjoy taking walks with our dog, reading, making YouTube videos, and drinking bubble tea with a few close friends. The house is a mess and my cooking is barely functional, but at least everyone’s happy and alive.
Q: What is your favorite thing about working at Aquarium Co-Op?

A: Every day I get to wake up and work my dream job in the aquarium industry! I love how passionate everyone at the company is about helping both the customers and the fish they keep. I graduated with my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech and spent most of my career as a technical marketing manager for engineering companies. Then I started a YouTube channel about fish keeping and began writing articles for Aquarium Co-Op. I’m thrilled that I can combine my marketing skills with my passion for aquariums.

Q: What has been your best moment while working for Aquarium Co-Op?

A: Several people have commented how my blog posts have helped them immensely in their fish keeping journey. Thank you for the kind words; they really touch and motivate me!

Q: What do you do in your daily job at Aquarium Co-Op?

A: As a content strategist, I create marketing and educational content for Aquarium Co-Op. This includes publishing our YouTube videos, writing blog posts and e-newsletters, posting on social media, and designing infographics. I’ve also started making videos for the Aquarium Co-Op channel.

Q: What is your favorite fish and why?

A: My first love will always be corydoras because they have cool armored scales, never fight, eat everything, rarely get sick, don’t destroy plants, and make lots of babies when treated well. What more could you ask for?

Q: What would your dream aquarium be?

A: I only have the space to keep nano fish and smaller aquariums, so one day I want to get clown loaches, severums, or maybe blood parrot cichlids.

Q: What is your current favorite aquarium at home?

  • Type of tank: 20-gallon low light planted tank with community fish
  • How long has it been setup? Since March 2020
  • List the fish in it: Dwarf chain loaches, hillstream loaches, otocinclus catfish, amano shrimp, peacock gudgeon
  • What is your biggest goal or challenge with this aquarium? Algae growth – still working on balancing the nutrients vs. lighting (especially since the Fluval 3.0 light is so powerful)

Q: What product that we sell do you highly recommend?
  • Quarantine med trio: every fish that enters my house gets preventative medications (like new puppy vaccinations), and these meds have been thoroughly tested on thousands of fish
  • Easy Green: I’ve tried to balance individual nutrients for my plants before, and it was very difficult. Easy Green makes it much easier to balance my tank so that I’m only adjusting 2 axies – how much light and how much Easy Green
  • USB nano air pump: very quiet and can run off a USB battery pack in a power outage
  • Cryptocoryne tropica: Good combination of interesting texture, different color, and decent growth rate

Top 5 Tips for hobbyists

  • Quarantine every single fish for at least 4-6 weeks, and proactively treat with the med trio if you can.
  • Don’t get so many aquariums that you can’t spend time enjoying all your fish. If you don’t enjoy a tank or it takes too much time to care for, take it down and consolidate.
  • Sponge filters are my preferred filter because I never have to worry about oxygen depletion issues, they won’t flood my house, and they rarely break down. During power outages, the beneficial bacteria on them has a higher chance of survival, and the filter automatically restarts when the power comes on
  • Buy fish and plants from local hobbyists and breeders whenever possible. They’ll have a better chance of thriving since they’re already used to your water parameters.
  • If you keep a ton of live aquarium plants and just a few fish in an aquarium, you will rarely run into water quality issues, and you won’t have to change the water in your fish tank as often.
Care Guide for Platy Fish – Feeding, Breeding, and Tank Mates
How to Breed Aquarium Fish for Profit
Anubias Rot: Symptoms, Causes, and Solutions
Care Guide for German Blue Rams – Housing, Breeding, and More
5 Best Fish Tank Ideas for a 20-Gallon Aquarium

Blogs and videos by Irene

Videos and articles about Irene