Jen got her first tank when she was seven and went through the appropriate array of guppies, barbs and tetras through to her first encounter with keeping Cichlids when she was in high school. Years later, a craigslist ad she posted stating “Firemouth Cichlids, bring a net and a bucket”, introduced her to something she wasn’t expecting. In her living room was a formidable former Army Lieutenant filling his bucket with fish, and telling her all about local fish clubs and planted tanks. Armed with a healthy dose of curiosity at what kind of characters would be at a fish club meeting, she attended her first Greater Washington Aquatic Plant Association (GWAPA) gathering and was completely hooked. Serving on the Board in several positions (including President) she has also enjoyed participating in events with the other local clubs and the true friendships she has made in this hobby.

She currently additionally sit on the board for the Aquatic Gardeners’ Association (AGA). To date, she has a stack of ribbons from aquascaping contests, including most recently a repeat win at the 2015 Aquatic Experience/AGA Aquascaping Live! Invitational Competition in Chicago, IL for her 75 gallon entry collaboration with Rachel O’Leary and her daughters. She is also an avid fan of Blue-eyed Rainbowfish (specifically Pseudomugil) and enjoys keeping and breeding them with the rest of her eclectic assortment of fish. To pay the electric and water bills that accompany all of the assorted gallons of aquatic madness, she works as a Graphic Designer. She also enjoy fast cars as a former professional drag racer and purring cats as a long-time volunteer/rescuer with the 4Paws Rescue Team.