Questions & AnswersQ: Your Favorite thing about working at Aquarium Co-Op?
A: Working at Aquarium Co-Op has been quite different than my last couple jobs which were in more of a corporate setting. One of my favorite aspects so far is the amazing people I get to work with every day. From local club representatives, brand ambassadors and my co-workers, there is never a dull moment. I love to make people happy doing what we do and to see the reactions from surprising people with goodies! I also really love the laid-back attitude of everyone around here, we get a lot of things done, but at the end of the day, it’s great to be surrounded by friends.
I obtained my degree in Pennsylvania at Lebanon Valley College – a Bachelor of Science in Digital Communications. As far as the hobby, I primarily aquascape, but I have only competed once so far. I placed sixth in Aquatic Experience’s nano aquascaping competition. I plan to continue competing as much as I can!Q: What has been your best moment while working for Aquarium Co-Op?
A: I’m sure I’ll have many more since I’ve only been around a short time… But, my favorite so far was watching our brand ambassadors open their first care package. Seeing their surprise and excitement was so rewarding!Q: What do you do in your daily job at Aquarium Co-Op?
A: In my daily job here, I work to complete many of our on-going projects and programs in the pipeline. This includes anything from improving the product pages on the website, sending out care packages to ambassadors and members, coordinating with local aquarium clubs for donations and events and doing many other day-to-day tasks and reminders for Cory so that he can focus on larger picture items. Though I am still learning the ropes, I hope to get as many projects completed as I can to continue driving business forward.Q: What is your favorite fish and why?
A: My absolute favorite fish are Golden White Cloud Mountain Minnows. They have so many great aspects. They thrive in tanks without heaters (I usually prefer the aesthetic of a very clean, no equipment aquarium), they’re really pretty, they’re cheap, they’re relatively easy to spawn and I love to watch the males’ flaring behavior. They are just really neat to me!Q: What would your dream aquarium be?
A: My dream aquarium would probably be a giant aquascape in a nature aquarium style. I’ve always wanted to visit Florestas Submersas by Takashi Amano, his largest aquascape. I would like something like that in my house with a couple thousand nano fish schooling around, preferably ones to go with the native habitat of the plants in my giant aquascape. And I would hire staff to take care of it for me
- Tanks Type: It's a high tech planted aquascape
- How long has it been setup? 2 years! It has been re-scaped once though.
- List the fish in it: Right now, I have green neon tetras, celestial pearl danios, blue dream neocaridina and black rose neocaridina shrimp, Amano shrimp and a couple nerite snails.
- What is your biggest goal or challenge with this aquarium? Easily the biggest challenge was avoiding algae in the beginning when I set it up. Once my cycle was established, it wasn’t too bad, but I still get an outbreak every now and then when the balance between light, nutrients and CO2 is tweaked. Most recently, staghorn algae caused by too much light.
A: I have never met an Aquarium Co-Op product that I would not recommend. One of my favorites is the sponge filter. I have a small size one and it’s perfect for my betta fish, he is never bothered by flow and his water stays really oxygen rich, so he doesn’t have to swim to the surface for air continuously. I also really love Easy Green, I have been using it on my aquascapes for years because I’m all about simplifying. I do a couple pumps with each water change and my plants are extremely healthy and lush. In fact, they’re growing like weeds.
Top 5 Tips for hobbyists
- Don’t rush it! This applies to pretty much everything – cycling, spawning, growing plants, aquascaping. This hobby is not instantly gratifying, in order to properly take care of your fish buddies and plants, take your time! Rushing through processes usually results in losing expensive livestock or equipment.
- Research, research, research. Seriously, before buying anything on a whim, investigate it first and make sure you’re not biting off more than you can chew. The internet is your best friend – also, generally take your LFS’s advise with a grain of salt and do your own research at home. They’re not always wrong, but they also have a vested interest to make money, so keep that in mind.
- Do what makes you happy. If you want artificial plants, get them! If you want rainbow gravel, go for it. Not everyone has the same style and your aquarium should match you. Don’t let internet people tell you what you should and shouldn’t decorate your tank with, let your creativity flow!
- Don’t jump to conclusions about your fish. This is difficult even for me, but if you see something amiss with your aquarium livestock, don’t make assumptions before taking action. Always, always consider every single possibility about what could be happening, do some digging and talk to other people to get their experiences as well. It’s highly likely that someone else out there has had the exact same issue or experience, learn first and make a well-informed decision afterwards.
- Do more water changes. This is one of my biggest pieces of advice. Your fish, plants and other livestock appreciate nice, clean water. Don’t you? Less waste/nutrient buildup = less algae too.