Questions & Answers
What is your favorite thing about working at Aquarium Co-Op?
My favorite thing when working in the retail store is getting a new person into the aquarium hobby, helping them get their tank setup, and making sure they have success from the start. At the warehouse, I really enjoy seeing a busy day go smoothly and seeing a whole bunch of orders going out. When I reflect back to how much we have grown, I can remember my first month or so working at Aquarium Co-Op. I was both the shipper and store employee in the retail location, and back then, 10-15 orders for the day was like "Oh man, it’s a busy day!"
What is your career background?
I have a B.A. in Anthropology with a focus on archaeology, and I've been keeping fish since I was little — freshwater, brackish, and saltwater.
What has been your best moment while working for Aquarium Co-Op?
When we got the betta racks. I have always wanted to bring in many bettas for customers to choose from and have a beautiful display system for the bettas. I can even remember talking to Cory about a sweet betta system back in 2015. This finally came true in the summer of 2019.
What do you do in your daily job at Aquarium Co-Op?
Every morning, I come into the warehouse and make sure we are set up for success for the day. This entails making sure computers are working, stat boards are on, and crew placement board is updated. I also make sure we are on top of orders and they are going out on time and without issue. I might have a meeting with Randy, the Director of Operations, and go over projects for the warehouse or retail store. I also talk to Candi about customer reviews and HR to make sure I have a happy and safe crew. Some days I try to split time between warehouse and retail. For retail, there are a lot of similar approaches like the warehouse — making sure the store is clean, the fish are healthy and displayed well, and the team understands our goals and the newest products. Plus, I always like figuring out what cool fish to bring in next!
A: That is a really hard question for me to answer. I love all fish and really don't have a favorite. I want to say cichlids, especially African cichlids, but I think my favorite fish might have to be my goldfish. I love that they recognize me and come in a variety of colors and body shapes and have a gregarious attitude to them. When I'm home and feeding my fish, I can spend 20 minutes easily just watching my goldfish tote when feeding them.Q: What would your dream aquarium be?
A: Hmm, another hard question. Probably going to go with the dream aquarium I keep thinking of these past few years. That would probably be a 210 or bigger saltwater aquarium that houses a coral cat shark. I've always been interested in sharks since I was a kid, and who doesn't want a pocket sized shark? Assuming I could keep the nitrates down and able to house a few other species in this tank, they probably be something like Sargent major damsels, yellow tang, maroon clownfish, etc.
- Type of tank: 25 gallon cube planted community tank.
- How long has it been setup? This tank has been going for about one and half years. With some changes here and there.
- List the fish in it: Fish in it currently are Siamese algae eater, a few assorted fancy guppies, glowlight danios, otos, habrosus corydoras (my favorite), blue neon goby, Florida flag fish, Vietnamese white clouds, eques pencilfish, and sunset honey goruamis. For inverts and snails, I have nerite snails and amano shrimp.
- What is your biggest goal or challenge with this aquarium? Probably keeping the algae down in the tank. I run a fairly powerful light on the top but keeping some floating plants on the top such as water lettuce and good algae eating crew helps curb that. Also finding time to do the needed gardening in the tank with a fairly busy schedule that I have.
- Never clog air stone. Crumbly fused-to-your-airline air stones are a thing of the past. Plus, the fine bubbles are great for reducing noise in your tank.
- Sponge filters. I have always been a fan of low tech easy old school filtration. They are great for any tank even secondary to other filtration.
- Easy Green fertilizer. Super easy to use, no complication to it! No more dosing 4-6 different fertilizers and figuring out a schedule. Just one pump for every 10 gallons of water once a week.
- Frozen food. It's what we feed in the shop, and so should you. Its clean and no filler, just straight up good healthy food for your fish. My favorite are Cyclops, Bloodworms, and Mysis Shrimp.
Top 5 Tips for hobbyists
- Patience when starting a new tank. I can't preach this enough for new people.
- Getting a schedule down for cleaning your tanks. Weekly water changes, etc.
- Getting a light schedule for your planted tanks. This can be light timer, or using the Fluval 3.0 app.
- Not overfeeding your fish and sticking to a good feeding schedule with a variety of good food.
- No impulse buying. Try to research anything you buy. Don't go home with that fin nipper to put in your betta tank.