Aquarium and Fish-Keeping Favorites

Welcome to "Aquarium and Fish Keeping Favorites"! As an avid fish keeper for many years, I have had the opportunity to try and test various products to maintain healthy and beautiful aquariums. Throughout my journey, I have found some products that have consistently delivered quality results and provided value for money.

On this page, I will be sharing my personal favorite products that have proven to be effective in achieving a thriving aquarium. From filters to fish food, you can trust that these products have been thoroughly tested and are worth considering for your own tank.

In addition to my personal recommendations, I will also be sharing my top picks for established vendors in the aquarium community. These vendors have earned a reputation for providing high-quality products and excellent customer service, making them trusted sources for all your aquarium needs.

I hope that my recommendations will help enhance your fish keeping and aquarium experience by providing you with the best tools to maximize the health and beauty of your fish and tanks.

Water Conditioners Filters and Filter Media Fish Tanks
Aquarium Maintenance Equipment Fish Food Aqarium Decor and Substrate
Aquarium Plants Aquarium Fish and Clean Up Crew Mates

Water Conditioners

Seachem Safe or Prime water conditioner: Safe is powder and Prime is diluted in in a bottle. Both forms of the dechlorinator are the best on the market. Neutralizes heavy metals, ammonia, chlorine and chloramine. Stops Potassium Permanganate treatment. 
API water test kit:
Almond leaves: to encourage breeding in freshwater fish. Lowers PH and softens water. Makes the aquarium water an amber color. 

Filters and Filter Media

Aquaclear 50 or 110 filter: Powerful yet quiet filters that have room for your choice of filter media. 
UV filter: UV filters are good for clearing cloudy and green water. Also good to keep diseases minimized in a tank. Not good for a new aquarium because you are trying to grow beneficial bacteria. 
Kaldnes K1 media: Best fluid bed media for sump and diy moving bed filter. Self-cleaning and lots of surface for beneficial bacteria. 
Water polishing filter: Standard filter material for any sized aquarium. Cut to size.

Fish Tanks

My next tank will be a rimless low iron glass aquarium. Stay tuned!

45 Gallon Marineland Bowfront Glass aquarium
28 Gallon Breeder Aquarium from Petco
10 Gallon Glass aquarium from Petsmart

Aquarium Maintenance Equipment

Aquarium gravel vacuum and water changer:

Fish Food

Freeze dried black worms from Amazon. Free of parasites and other diseases, freeze dried blackworms are a favorite for any size fish. I soak a small amount for a betta fish. Discus will peck at the cube from your hands. 

Omega One Super Color Flakes: High quality flake food made from fresh Alaskan fish and seafood. No fish meal in this food. 

Omega One Sinking Shrimp Pellets for Catfish:

Hikari baby pellets: for bettas.

Frozen blood worms and mysis shrimp from Petco or Petsmart. 

Aquarium Decor and Substrate


Live freshwater black volcanic gravel: from Amazon. It is sold wet in bags. I rinse in reverse osmosis water gently before placing in tank. Looks great and adds beneficial bacteria to your water. Excellent for new aquarium setups. 

Ceramic grow media: This is also known as "hydrocorn" and used in  hydroponic gardening. I use it for my grow trays in my Aquaponics Back to the Roots Aquarium.

Sand: I use fine aragonite sand as a cap to a soil based tank. Very fine pretty sand that won't hurt corycat barbels. 


Live Plants and driftwood are great additions to your tank. Both encourage nitrifying bacteria growth and maintenance. 

You can also grow your plants from seed. This is the safest way to add plants to your aquarium because there is no exposure to fish. 

Aquarium Plants Big box pet store. I purchased java moss "coils"  here. The plants are sold in plastic containers, bags or tanks that are not in contact with fish or snails.

Anubias: Slow growing hardy plant that can survive in low light conditions.
Java Fern: Another slow growing low light hardy plant.

Aquarium Fish and Clean Up Crew St. Paul Minnesota brick and mortar store selling quality fresh water fish. Phil sells imported discus, bettas, shrimps, rays, and exotic and hard to find species. He has a proprietary process for all imported fish so quarantine can just be two weeks of water changes. Importer of discus fish that sells gorgeous, high quality fish. Kenny is for the more experienced aquarium keeper as the fish require specific quarantine process. The "ebay" of aquarium fish, plants, and gear where you can buy or bid. This site is for the more experienced aquarium keeper as the sellers can be from outside the US. I have purchased quality mosses and shrimp from US sellers here. Read the seller's reviews.