O'Leary, Rachael

Rachel O’Leary of Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania has been in the hobby since childhood but has gotten increasingly active in the past decade. She is currently operating over seventy tanks with interests that range from the micro to monster. She has a special focus on dwarf freshwater invertebrates including snails, shrimp, crayfish, and aquatic crabs as well as all freshwater nano fish. Rachel is currently housing over one hundred different species, all of which are in the nano category. She also has a passion and interest in gar and polypterids and houses several species.

Rachel has spent the last 15 years studying invertebrate husbandry, aquascaping, and breeding practices. Rachel’s fish room consists of over 100 tanks ranging from 10 to 220 gallons, with a focus on nano species as well as dwarf Asian hillstream species and 3,000 gallons of outdoor container gardens used for breeding fish.

Rachel is an active member and on the board of the Capital Cichlid Association, as well as a global moderator on Aquaria Central and a moderator at MonsterFishKeepers. She actively attends conventions and travels to speak at clubs and conventions on her invertebrate and micro fish interests. A big advocate of rallying regional support, Rachel also sponsors many clubs and events around the United States.

She imports from around the globe to redistribute and help share with hobbyists around the country. Rachel is very focused on education and information for her customers, and personally deals with each individual to help them make the best choices for the tank.

Rachel produces educational content on her YouTube channel, including species spotlights and informational tips for the avid hobbyist. Rachel is a frequent contributor to Amazonas magazine and The Aquatic Gardener, with articles featuring her travels and interactions with other hobbyists and breeders, as well as species spotlights and special features. She also wrote a book with co-author Mark Denaro entitled "The 101 Best Freshwater Nano Species: How to Choose & Keep Hardy, Brilliant, Fascinating Nano Fishes, Plants and Invertebrates".

A proud mother of two, she actively donates livestock to schools around her area, and the country.


  • Freshwater Invertebrates: A Primer
  • Freshwater Nano Diversity: More Than Just a Small Tank
  • Dwarf Hill Stream Loaches
  • Nano Aquaria Ins, Outs, and In Betweens!
  • Summer Tubbin' - Breeding Fish in Container Gardens
  • Microfish & Inverts
  • Freshwater Invertebrates: A Primer for the Devoted Hobbyist
  • Freshwater Invertebrates: Myths & Misconceptions
  • Invertebrates
  • Animals for Nano Tanks
  • Nano Fish for Nano Tanks
  • A Guide to Freshwater Invertebrates
Speaker Type: 
Speaker Topics: 
Loaches & related cypriniformes
Nano Tanks
Ponds & Water Features

Past Speaking Events

Event Name Date
NJAS Meeting Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 20:30
JSAS Meeting Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 20:30
BASNY Meeting Friday, April 11, 2014 - 20:30
TFCB 25th Anniversary Celebration Friday, June 6, 2014 - 13:00 to Sunday, June 8, 2014 - 18:30
CCY Meeting Saturday, March 26, 2016 - 15:00
ACLC Meeting Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 14:00
CCY Meeting Monday, March 28, 2016 - 15:00
NJAS Meeting Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 20:30
AGA Convention 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 - 18:00 to Sunday, April 30, 2017 - 18:00
NEC 2013 Convention - "Keepin' It Green" Friday, April 5, 2013 - 09:00 to Sunday, April 7, 2013 - 18:00