'5 Minutes With....'

Welcome to another edition of our exciting series of interviews with some inspiring members of the fishkeeping community. Here, we ask some quick-fire questions to gain insight into their backgrounds, their preferences, and their creations. Read on and find out more, in ‘5 Minutes With…….Paulina Ngo aka @bumblingbettas’!

Hi Paulina, thanks for talking with us today and sharing some insight into your world. We are looking forward to hearing your answers, so lets start…..

When did you first become interested in the hobby and how long have you had fish tanks?

Hi Matthew, thanks for having me! I’ve always been fascinated by aquariums and aquatic life and had tanks when I was younger. I unfortunately didn’t know much about proper tank care at that time though. I started seriously getting into the hobby, especially aquascaping, around 2017. I was in medical school, which is very intense, and I needed something outside of medicine to take my mind off things and relax. Aquascaping was the perfect hobby for me - not only is it incredibly therapeutic, but it also appealed to the science-loving side of me!

I agree, aquariums are so relaxing and brilliant for wellbeing! Now this may be an obvious question, but do you have a favourite fish?! And what is your favourite plant to use?

Of course, my favourite fish has to be bettas! Each fish is unique, it’s hard not to love them! Literally any type of corydora would be a close second though - they’re such spunky little fish! As for my favourite plant, it’s definitely hygrophila pinnatifida. It’s so versatile and I love its unique colours and leaf shape.

Brilliant! You’re obviously really experienced with bettas so what would you say is the best part about owning a betta fish?

Hands down their personalities, and the bond you form with them because of it. There’s never a boring moment with them - no two fish are the same, and you would be surprised at how big an impact they can make on our hearts. They’re essentially angry little water-puppies and who wouldn’t love that?!

Well you’ve definitely inspired me to get a betta as my next fish! As you’ve been in the hobby for a few years now, what advice would you give to beginners?

Always do your research! Especially on how to cycle a tank and the care requirements that are needed for any livestock you intend to keep. The fundamentals are so important in this hobby because we are responsible for the little aquatic lives that are in our hands. The least we

can do is give them a proper home where they can thrive. On that note, this hobby has a very steep learning curve and the learning never really stops. Naturally, we will all make mistakes along the way. It’s very easy to get discouraged, but I promise you, it happens to everyone! Never be afraid to reach out for help and most importantly, be open to learning and taking in any advice you are given. We have such a wonderful community, especially on Instagram, and most of us just want to share our knowledge and help each other succeed in the hobby.

It is a fantastic community, and one which we would love to see continue to grow and flourish! During your journey what or who has inspired you?

I draw most of my inspiration from all the beautiful scapes I see on Instagram, often created by my own very talented friends. And of course, the father of aquascaping himself, Mr. Takashi Amano.

Now we couldn’t finish the interview without mentioning your beautiful betta, Raymond, who we all love! What’s his all-time favourite treat?

Thank you! He’s a special fish and I’m lucky to have him. His favourite treats would definitely be bloodworms! He goes crazy for them and happily jumps out of the water for them. Not without a cheeky flare first though - no matter what treats I have for him, there’s no escaping that!

What a fabulous little fish he is! We hope he continues to thrive and look forward to seeing more of him in the future! Thank you so much for your time Paulina and we wish you all the best!

To see more of Paulina (and Raymond!) and their aquatic journey follow them on Instagram at @bumblingbettas

Stay tuned for our next interview coming soon!

Images copyright @bumblingbettas

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