Research and Resources

Below is a list of both online and offline resources that I have found helpful.

Online Resources

Online Publications – some great general info about ponds, geared towards professional pond builders. This page is great because it is updated with lists of restricted invasive plant species in the US.

Who doesn’t love vegging on the couch and watching hours of fish videos? Here are some great channels to follow for tips and tricks.

Aquarium Co-op – Cory is a walking, talking, taco-eating encyclopedia of information. Not only is he a hobbyist, but he owns and manages his own fish store! If you can dream it, he’s already tried it and decided guppies are still better.

Inglorious Bettas –  Gianne is an expert bettamaster and competition judge. She also keeps bearded dragons!

Marks Shrimp Tanks – This Scottsman/Norwegian is a wealth of knowledge about shrimp. He shares a lot of DIY tips and has a sunny disposition.

Rachel O’leary – Fantastic hair aside, Rachel is another good source of general info. I love her species spotlight segments. Also she has a knack for how to handle the occasional SNAFU.

H2O Plants – If you are a plant lover, then this is the channel for you. Also you might want to follow him on instagram to follow what’s coming up for sale.

L.R.Bret’z Aquatics – champion shrimp breeder, who will let you pick his brainius.

LupDiesel Flip Aquatics – Another great shrimp-centered channel. Can you tell I like shrimp? Lots of good insight and he has an impressive shrimp room.

As with any forum there is a mix of good info, bad info, and drama. But all-in-all I have learned a lot. These subreddits below are my favorite lurking grounds.

/r/PlantedTank – Subreddit dedicated to the planted aquarium.

/r/nanotank – for those of us who love a small tank (3 gallon or less).

/r/Jarrariums – does 3 gallons seem a bit excessive? Try an old pickle jar!

/r/shrimptank – good source of info about shrimp.

/r/AquaSwap – Reddit’s own aquaria exchange group. Even if you are not buying or selling, it’s always fun to see what’s on offer. Groups and Pages

Facebook groups can be a mixed bag. These are the ones I personally subscribe to and benefit from.

Aquarium Plants Shrimp Snails – this Facebook page has a lot of great posts to articles and images. It’s moderated by Eric, who is tremendously helpful and sells quality plants, shrimp, and snails.

The Planted Vase – This group is centered around making stunningly beautiful mini aquariums in vases. Even if this isn’t your thing, it’s worth joining just for the pictures!

Sane Fish Husbandry – Are you tired of being ostracized by “fish police”? Well this group’s goal is to share information about aquarium keeping while not hurting anyone’s feelings.

Snails, Snails, Snails – Do you like aquatic snails? Do you especially love mystery snails? I think you’ll like this group of snail-lovers.

Fish Tank Talk – A massive community of fish-lovers here. Saltwater, brackish water, and freshwater. With a big crowd comes a lot of opinions, so don’t be shocked if someone doesn’t agree with your methods.

Miscellaneous Websites – this site uses a form-style interface to help with stocking decisions. Simply enter the fish, quantity, size of tank, filter type, and it will give you an analysis of bioload, water change schedule, etc… Take the info with a grain of salt, but it helps create a template of setup and maintenance when planning out a tank. – It’s like eBay for fish stuff! Buy or sell fish, plants, invertebrates,  filters, etc… This is a great place to find species you don’t often see at the local pet store.

Must Read Books

There are plenty of other books out there, but these are the ones that have helped me the most.

“Ecology of the Planted Aquarium” written by Diana Walstad – crucial resource on keeping a planted aquarium “the natural way” (low/no tech).

“101 Best Aquarium Plants” by Mary E. Sweeny

“Guppy Genetics Simplified” written by Philip Shaddock (book two of a larger series) – an accessible breakdown of genetic theory applied to breeding guppies, but the information is applicable to many other species.

“Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants” by Peter Hiscock – a great reference to have handy. A lot of plants out there are difficult to identify through the haze of common names and marketing.

“Encyclopedia of Aquarium & Pond Fish” by David Alderton – like the “Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants,” this is a good reference to have handy.

“The 101 Best Freshwater Nano Species” by Mark Denaro and Rachel O’Leary – A great guide for someone looking to create a nano (less than 20 gallons) aquarium. It has beginner information about how to set up and maintain a tank. The great thing about this book is the species profiles and suggested tank set ups.

“An Alternative Aquarium: A Robust Habitat” by Matt Owens – This is a great book that sort of takes off where “Ecology of the Planted Aquarium” leaves off. The concept of the book revolves around the idea of using prey species like worms, copepods, amphipods, and fish fry to nearly if not completely remove the need to feed fish. The author describes how to set up such an aquarium as well as how to build a refugium for culturing different kinds of live food.