A: Working at Aquarium Co-Op has been quite different than my last couple jobs which were in more of a corporate setting. The amazing people that I work with each day is one of my favourite aspects. There is never a dull moment, from brand ambassadors to local club representatives to my co-workers. 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 received my bachelor’s degree from Lebanon Valley College, Pennsylvania. It was a Bachelor of Science (Digital Communications). The hobby I am most passionate about is aquascape. I have competed only once. I placed sixth in Aquatic Experience’s nano aquascaping competition. I plan to continue competing as much as I can!
A I’m sure there will be many more, since I’m only here a short while… But my favorite was watching our brand ambassadors open the first care package. Seeing their surprise and excitement was so rewarding!
A In my day job, I complete many of the ongoing projects and programs. These include improving the product pages of the website, sending care packages out to ambassadors and members, coordination with local aquarium clubs in order to donate and organize events, and many other daily tasks and reminders that Cory can use to help him focus on bigger picture items. While I’m still learning the ropes, my goal is to finish as many projects and continue driving business forward.
A: My absolute favorite fish are Golden White Cloud Mountain Minnows. They are so amazing. 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. I find them to be very fascinating!
A I would love to have a large aquascape that resembles a nature aquarium. I have always wanted the opportunity to see Florestas Submersas by Takashi Amato, 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. It would be a great idea to hire staff to look after it.
– 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 was the greatest challenge or goal you had with your aquarium? It was difficult to avoid algae when it was first set 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. Staghorn algae is a result of too much sunlight.
A I have yet to meet an Aquarium Co-Op product I wouldn’t recommend. The sponge filter is one of my favorite products. 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 also a favorite of mine. It has been used on my aquascapes for many years. I do a couple pumps with each water change and my plants are extremely healthy and lush. They’re actually growing like weeds.
Don’t rush it. This goes for everything, including aquascaping, spawning, growing and cycling. This hobby is not instantly gratifying, in order to properly take care of your fish buddies and plants, take your time! Rushing can cause equipment or livestock to be lost. – Research, research, research. It’s important to research everything before you buy anything. 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. While they may not be right all the time, they do have a vested interest in making money. Keep that in mind. – Do what makes you happy. Get artificial plants if you are looking for them. Rainbow gravel is a great option. Not everyone has the same style and your aquarium should match you. Do not listen to the internet about what is appropriate and inappropriate for your tank. You should let your imagination take over! – 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, 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 the most important piece of advice I can give. Your fish, plants and other livestock appreciate nice, clean water. Don’t you? You will also see less waste/nutrient accumulation, which means less algae.