Questions & Answers

Zenzo Tazawa | Director of Company Culture and Teams

Questions & Answers

What is your favorite thing about working at Aquarium Co-Op?
My favorite thing that I love about working with Aquarium Co-Op is that it allows me an opportunity to help people solve challenges. That could be challenges internally, where we are looking to improve the way we do business. It can also be challenges that our customer may be faced with, where we have helped them with their aquarium journeys and maybe solved a problem with their aquatic pet or plant.

What has been your best moment while working for Aquarium Co-Op?
The best moment that I have had while working with Aquarium Co-Op hasn’t been just one moment, but several reoccurring moments. These moments are when I get to meet customers and viewers that share with us how we are improving their experience in keeping aquariums and that they appreciate the education and assistance that we provide. Interacting with people that we have helped, in an industry that I am extremely passionate about, is very rewarding and I cherish it every time.

What do you do in your daily job at Aquarium Co-Op?
I’m excited that I get to foster a healthy company culture and make Aquarium Co-Op a great place to work at. My leadership role allows me to connect with all our different teams — such as retail, warehouse, customer service, and marketing — and align them with the company’s goals and values. I especially enjoy supporting our wonderful managers to help them grow and be successful in their roles.

What is your favorite fish and why?
It is hard to choose a favorite fish. With so many amazing fish in the aquarium and pond hobby, it isn’t easy to choose one. With that being said, I would probably choose koi as my favorite fish. They are beautiful, majestic, easy to keep under the right conditions, personable, and a joy to have. One day I hope to be able to have a larger pond with multiple koi to enjoy.

What would your dream aquarium be?
My dream aquarium would be a 12-foot long Lake Tanganyika biotope-type tank, with multiple levels in the aquarium, which would allow me to keep both small and large Tanganyikan species together in the same tank. I even have gone as far as to sketch designs of what this dream aquarium might look like.

What is your current favorite aquarium at home?

  • Type of tank: My favorite aquarium that I have now is actually two tanks (I can’t choose just one!). Both are 40-gallon display tanks. One is a planted shrimp tank, and the other is a brackish paludarium with a waterfall.
  • How long has it been set up? The shrimp tank was set up in late summer of 2022, and the paludarium was set up in early 2019.
  • Fish stocking list: In the shrimp tank, I have red cherry shrimp, Amano shrimp, and a couple of otocinclus. In the paludarium, I have Indian mudskippers, bumblebee gobies, Amano shrimp, and nerite snails.
  • Biggest goal or challenge with this aquarium? Both tanks are very easy to care for. The biggest challenge that I have with any aquarium is spending enough time just enjoying them.

Zenzo's shrimp tank

What products do you highly recommend?
We have so many amazing and well-thought-out products at Aquarium Co-Op, and I could easily recommend dozens of different products — from amazing live plants to fish foods and medications to our most recent Easy Plant LED light. However, if I were to narrow it down to a handful of can’t-miss products, it would include our Easy Green fertilizer, Easy Root Tabs, and our Aquarium Co-Op Coarse Sponge Filters. With these three products, I feel that most aquarists can accomplish so much, both in plant health and overall easy aquarium enjoyment.

Top 5 Tips for Hobbyists

  • Have a timer on every tank with lights. It can be a programmable Wi-Fi device or even a simple dial timer.
  • As tempting as it may be, avoid collecting too many aquariums too quickly. It is better to be patient, learn and enjoy from your first aquarium, and then slowly add to your collection as you find yourself needing some additional creative stimulation. Many people jump into the deep end by having several tanks within the first few months, which can lessen your enjoyment and even the ability to learn from a more-patient approach.
  • Find and join a local fish club. If you aren’t sure if there is one near you, check our online club finder. If one doesn’t exist, start one! You will have a newfound joy for the aquarium hobby when you get to meet other people that share your passion.
  • Test your water. That’s the best place to start when you are trying to identify a problem. It can also make your life easier, as the test will tell you when you have a balanced aquarium that may need less maintenance than planned.
  • Join the Aquarium Co-Op CARES Forum. It is free, friendly, and fun space to hang out with other aquarium enthusiasts.

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Zenzo Tazawa | Director of Company Culture and Teams