About Me: The Story Behind Build Your Aquarium

I’m Jason, an aquarium fanatic that has been a fish hobbyist for almost three decades. 

Here you will learn about my background, why I launched BuildYourAquarium.com, and why you should feel confident with the advice I offer my readers.

The Start of my Fish-Keeping Story

I’ve been fascinated with fish for as long as I can remember. While growing up, my family enjoyed fishing, so I guess my obsession began during those years.

Before my tenth birthday, my mother acquired a used fish tank from my neighbors who wanted to throw it away. We lived next to a small lake, so naturally, I filled the old aquarium with lake water and started to catch some new pets.

I spent countless hours scooping through the shallow lake water with a small net. The lake was lively, and there was plenty to catch, like small mosquito fish, baby bluegills, ghost shrimp, and the occasional baby catfish.

I experienced several failures. I didn’t know how to maintain a healthy and stable fish tank, but I was determined to learn.

I studied every article/video/book I could get my hands on, upgraded my aquarium system, and stopped catching fish from my backyard lake.

My Experience Breeding Fish

One thing about fishkeeping that has always fascinated me is fish breeding.

My first successful attempt at breeding was accidental. The five guppies I bought at a local fish store quickly filled my ten-gallon tank with baby guppies.

Since then, I’ve bred the following marine species:

  • Convict cichlids – my first aquarium breed after the guppies, and I still have the offspring of the original lineage 15 years later.
  • African cichlids – mostly yellow lab, 
  • Kribensis, and 
  • firemouth cichlids.
  • Betta fish
  • Angelfish – bred these commercially and had at least ten active tanks at one point.
  • Bangaii Cardinalfish (saltwater) – proud of these.
  • Clownfish (saltwater) – bred for a short period.

One day, I will try to breed discus…maybe.

My mission is to help new and experienced aquarists maintain healthy, successful, and responsible fish tanks.

How I Write Articles

The written content on this platform is selected, researched, and edited by me.

Occasionally, I will enlist experienced fish-keepers to help produce extra content. I typically do this when a topic I want to cover is outside of my expertise.

Each writer has years of experience in the fish-keeping field (usually more than me) and is extremely knowledgeable in their chosen area.

I never publish anything without first ensuring its accuracy and quality.

When relevant, I’ll recommend specific products in my articles. The products I recommend are ones that I would use personally.

Although I may receive a small commission when products are ordered through links on my site, I do not recommend sub-par products in exchange for payment. I also do not accept payment for sponsored posts, links, or recommendations.

I conduct extensive research on every product I recommend,  often testing them myself.

I communicate with fish vendors and other experienced aquarists to stay up to date with the latest product releases and reviews.

More than anything, I want Build Your Aquarium to be a trustworthy and educational resource.  

Responsible Fish-keeping

One of the reasons I launched this site was to reduce the amount of misinformation that was available to the fishkeeping world.

Unfortunately, fish are one of the most neglected house pets worldwide.

Beginners often receive horrible advice from pet store owners when buying aquariums. Large pet retailers maintain the idea that fish can be kept in bowls without filters, heaters, and aquarium equipment. This allows them to sell fish (often Betta fish and Goldfish) as “impulse” buys to those otherwise in the market for a pet.

Keeping a fish tank is work intensive and requires proper setup and weekly maintenance.

A few examples of popular myths:

  • Betta fish can be kept in bowls without filters – Betta fish are arguably one of the biggest victims in the pet industry. The idea that they can be kept in tiny, stagnant bowls is 100 percent incorrect. 
  • Although Betta fish don’t require large tanks, you should never keep them in anything less than five gallons – and they require a functioning filter.
  • Goldfish are the best beginner fish but are also on the harder end of the spectrum. They are messy eaters, can become large, and are sensitive to bad water chemistry.

This website will help beginners properly establish and maintain their aquarium, and without the bias of large pet retail stores.

I advise everyone to do their research before setting up a fish tank.

What You’ll Learn from This Site

As mentioned, the purpose of this website is to help aquarium owners at all levels keep their fish and tank inhabitants healthier.

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

If there are topics you’re interested in learning about that haven’t been featured on this site, feel free to reach out and suggest article ideas.

You can contact me here.

Good luck and happy fishkeeping!