I’m Kevin. I’ve been keeping fish since the age of 7 and I want to share my love for the aquarium hobby with you!
I do not consider myself an expert when it comes to fishkeeping or aquascaping, but I love learning about each facet of the hobby and I believe that the experience of keeping tropical fish, plants, and invertebrates can transport us away from the digital world that begs for our attention every minute of the day.
Designing and setting up your own snapshot of nature in the form of an aquarium is a way to get into flow and de-stress. For me, this is especially apparent when I look at an aquascape. The beauty of the tank, and the way in which it invokes nature have a calming effect on my brain and I experience a form of enjoyment that is akin to appreciating a piece of art.
ZenAquaria is my way of helping those who are new to the aquarium hobby, and also those who are avid enthusiasts, create miniature worlds inside a fish tank that will bring joy and reprieve from a noisy life.
I hope this blog helps others create their own piece of zen at home.
ZenAquaria currently focuses on betta fish and aquascaping, but its content and resources will expand as I research new topics. In the meantime, I hope you will help me make ZenAquaria a vibrant community of fish keepers, who usher in a new era of enlightened fish keeping.
3 of My Favorite Fish
Betta fish or Siamese fighting fish were a favorite of mine as youngster. Their bright colors and curious personalities fascinated me.
Back then, bettas were the most colorful fish in any pet store around town.
I loved dropping live bloodworms into my betta’s tank and watching him attack the worms like a shark.
Then school got in the way and I lost touch with fish keeping for a few years.
Today, I again find myself drawn to the incredible betta fish.
And now, new types of betta fish are entering the aquarium hobby.
Not only have new fin types been developed, but other species of betta fish are being bred and cared for by aquarists.
It”s a pretty cool time to be an aquarist.
The Leopard Ctenopoma or Leopard Bush Fish is (in my opinion) seriously underrated. This fish has a ton of personality, often coming out from behind drift wood or a plant to gaze at you with a gigantic eyeball.
With spots covering their body, Leopard Ctenopoma’s are showstoppers.
I purchased my Leopard Ctenopoma at a local fish store. At the time, my fish was about the size of a female betta fish.
Information about the Leopard Ctenopoma was difficult to find, but I discovered that the fish is an ambush predator, meaning Leopard Ctenopoma’s will sit still or hide, and then rush out and grab unsuspecting prey.
Leopard Ctenopoma’s are also anabantoids, meaning they possessive a labyrinth organ that allows the fish to breath atmospheric air, like a betta fish.
Watching a Leapard Ctenopoma “hunt” it’s food (try bloodworms) is a blast.
Bristlenose Catfishes (Plecos)
The bristlenose pleco or bushynose pleco belongs to a family of armored catfish but is commonly referred to as a suckerfish or plecostomus (pleco).
These fish are great algae eaters and fun to watch when they are not hiding.
Brislenose plecos are named for the fleshy tentacles found on the heads of adult males. This gives the pleco an alien like look, and “cool” factor of 10/10.
While nocturnal, these fish can be brought out by feeding algae wafers.
Bristlenose plecos make great tankmates for a variety of fish, including betta fish, and do not grow as large as common plecos.
The Mission of Enlightened Fish Keepers:
- Provide adequate tank sizes (we may differ on what exactly this means, but we agree that the small cups and vases we see in big box pet stores are wrong)
- Use heaters to replicate the temperatures of native tropical fish habitats
- Educate with compassion and patience rather than scorn and derision.
- Strive to improve our setups, knowing that fishkeeping is an imperfect hobby.
- Share our knowledge so that others may succeed.
- Optimize for both beauty and functionality.
- Maintain high water quality.
- Use natural plants where practical.
- Deeply enjoy observing fish and other aquatic creatures.
I look forward to hearing about your fish keeping stories, experiences, and tips.
Shoot me an email if you feel inspired.
Stay zen fish keepers.