A: Working at Aquarium Co-Op has been quite different than my last couple jobs which were in more of a corporate setting. My favorite aspect of this job so far has been the incredible people I get to work every day. From local club representatives, brand ambassadors and my co-workers, there is never a dull moment. It’s a joy to make people happy and see their reactions when they surprise them with goodies. I love the relaxed attitude of everyone here. We get a lot done but it’s great being surrounded with friends.
I obtained my degree in Pennsylvania at Lebanon Valley College – a Bachelor of Science in Digital Communications. The hobby I am most passionate about is aquascape. I have competed only once. I finished sixth in Aquatic Experience’s Nano Aquascaping Competition. I plan to continue competing as much as I can!
A I’m certain I’ll have more as I’ve only been here for a while… But, I think my favourite so far was seeing our brand ambassadors receive their first care package. It was so satisfying to watch their excitement and surprise.
A In my day job, I complete many of the ongoing projects and programs. 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.
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!
A I would love to have a large aquascape that resembles a nature aquarium. 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. I would also hire staff to manage it.
– Tanks Type: It’s a high tech planted aquascape – How long has it been setup? 2 years! However, it was re-scaped once. – 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. It wasn’t difficult once my cycle was established. However, there are still occasional outbreaks when the right balance between nutrients, light and CO2 has been adjusted. Most recently, staghorn algae caused by too much light.
A I have never seen an Aquarium Co-Op product which I didn’t like. My favorite filter 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. Easy Green is a great product that I love. I’ve been using it in my aquascapes since they were new. I only need to do two pumps each time I water my plants. They are lush and healthy. In fact, they’re growing like weeds.
– 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. Get artificial plants if you are looking for them. If you want rainbow gravel, go for it. Not everyone has the same style and your aquarium should match you. You don’t have to follow the advice of others on what your aquarium should look like. Let your imagination run wild! – Don’t jump to conclusions about your fish. Although this is hard for me to do, if something seems wrong with your fish, don’t assume that you have the right answer. Always think about all possibilities. Do some research. Talk to other people. 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? Also, less waste/nutrient buildup equals less algae.