About Me: The Story Behind Build Your Aquarium

Hey there, my name is Jason and I’m an aquarium fanatic that has been involved in the fish-keeping hobby for 20+ years.

On this page, you will learn a little bit more about my background, why I started BuildYourAquarium.com, and why you should feel confident in the advice that I offer the my readers here!


The Start of my Fish-Keeping Story

I’ve had a fascination with fish for as long as I can remember. My family was always really big into fishing when I was little, so I’m guessing the obsession started there.

 Around the time when I was 9 or 10 years old, my mom picked up an old fish tank that my neighbors happened to be throwing out. We lived on a small lake, so naturally I had the idea to fill up the old aquarium with lake water and catch myself some new pets.

I spent countless hours scooping through the shallow water with my net. Our lake was pretty lively, so there was plenty for me to catch – mostly just small mosquito fish, baby bluegills, ghost shrimp, and the occasional baby catfish.

I (obviously) had plenty of failures since I didn’t know much about keeping a fish tank healthy and stable, but I was determined to learn.

I soaked up every single article/video/book I came across, upgraded my system, and stopped catching my fish out of our backyard pond.


My Experience Breeding Fish

One of the things that has always fascinated me the most about fishkeeping is the idea of breeding fish.

My first experience successfully breeding and raising fish was a total accident – the 5 guppies that I brought home from the local fish store filled up my 10 gallon tank with babies in no time.

Since then, I’ve bred species such as:

  • Convict cichlids – these were the first fish I bred after guppies, and I still has offspring on the same lineage 15 years later!
  • Several species of African cichlids – mostly yellow lab cichlids
  • Kribensis cichlids
  • Firemouth cichlids
  • Betta fish
  • Angelfish – bred these on somewhat of a commercial level – had 10 or so tanks going at one point
  • Bangaii Cardinalfish (saltwater) – really proud of this one!
  • Clownfish (saltwater) – bred these for a very short period of time

And some day I will make the time to breed Discus…maybe.

My mission for this website is to help both new & experienced aquarists keep healthy, successful, and responsible fish tanks.


How I Write Articles

All the articles on Build Your Aquarium are researched, planned, and edited by me.

Once in a while I recruit the help of experienced fish-keepers to help product extra content – I usually do this when a topic I want to cover is outside my area of expertise.

All of our writers have years of experience in the fish-keeping field (often times more than me) and are extremely knowledgeable in the area.

I never publish anything on my site without first ensuring accuracy and quality.

When relevant, I sometime recommend specific products throughout my articles. All of the product that I recommend are products that I would personally use.

Although I may receive a small commission when products are ordered through links on this site, I will never recommend sub-par products in exchange for payment. I also will not accept payment for sponsored posts, links, or recommendations.

I do extensive research on every product I recommend and often personally test them myself.

I spend a ton of time talking with fish shop owners and other experiences aquarists to stay up-to-date with the latest product releases and reviews.

More than anything, I want Build Your Aquarium to be a place that my readers can trust and learn from.


Responsible Fish-keeping

One of the main reasons that I started this site was to help reduce the amount of bad advice in the fish keeping world.

Unfortunately, fish are one of the most neglected pets in the world.

Beginners are often given horrible advice by pet store owners when they’re being sold an aquarium. Large chain pet stores want to maintain the idea that fish can be kept in bowls without filters, heaters, and equipment. This lets them sell fish (often Betta fish and Goldfish) as “impulse” buys to people that otherwise we’re really in the market for a pet.

In reality, fish tanks are a lot of work and require proper setup and weekly maintenance.

Here are a few examples of popular myths that are just plain wrong:

  1. Betta fish can be kept in bowls without filters – Betta fish are arguable one of the biggest victims in the pet industry. The idea that they can be kept in tiny, stagnant bowls is 100% wrong. Although they don’t require large tanks, you should never keep them in anything less than 5 gallons – and they do need a functioning filter!
  2. Goldfish are the best beginner fish – in reality, goldfish are actually on the harder end of the spectrum. They are messy eaters, get really large, and are sensitive to bad water chemistry.

This website will help beginners set up and maintain their aquarium the right way, without the bias of the large chain pet stores.

I highly advise you to do your own research before setting up a fish tank!


What You’ll Get from This Site

Like I shared above, the purpose of this website is to help aquarium owners of all skill levels keep their fish and tank inhabitants healthier.

Whether you’re doing research to set up your first tank or looking for care and breeding tips for advanced species, my goal is to produce content that everyone can find useful.

If there are any topics that you are interested in learning more about but aren’t yet featured on the site, feel free to reach out an suggest article ideas!

You can reach me any time at [email protected].

Good luck and happy fish keeping!