Evan Baldonado

By Evan Baldonado
(Founder of AquariumKids)

What is AquariumKids?

AquariumKids is a website, a passion project, and, above all, a community of like-minded people from all around the world. Our mission is to ensure that kids and young adults play a crucial role in promoting aquatic education, defending aquatic life, and protecting aquatic ecosystems.

What does AquariumKids do?

We educate the public. Our online content, which includes articles, videos, features, and care sheets, has been viewed over two million times. In addition, we are currently developing a free online course about freshwater ecology.

We defend aquatic life. We have saved hundreds of fish lives by first convincing a local carnival to switch from giving away goldfish to bettas (which require less space and are more easily cared for by new owners) and then convincing them to stop giving away fish altogether. Currently, AquariumKids founder Evan Baldonado uses Speech and Debate as a platform to deliver his Original Advocacy speech, Eyes on the Prize, about giving away animals as prizes.

We protect the environment. Human influence is destroying aquatic ecosystems. We fight to conserve these habitats. Our most recent work on this front includes creating a piece about climate change for Get Involved Foundation's Hack for Social Good as well as working with environmental clubs at Palo Alto High School to bring Jr Ocean Guardians’ No Straw November campaign to campus, collecting pledges from over 200 people to abstain from using single-use plastic straws during the month of November.

We connect people. AquariumKids serves as a platform to unite aquatic enthusiasts from all corners of the world. We unite people who love anything and everything aquatic, and our community is over 200,000 strong.

What is the story behind AquariumKids?

At the 2012 Duveneck Harvest Carnival, kids could win their very own pet goldfish by tossing ping-pong balls into cups. With inadequate care, many of these fish sadly passed away.

The next year, at the same carnival, we were prepared—the AquariumKids goldfish care sheet was available to the public and it was a success. Many of the goldfish survived and thrived as a result of the readily available information.

That was the beginning of AquariumKids. Since then, we have given away more care sheets, written more articles, and grown rapidly online.

In 2015, 2016, and 2017, kids could win bettas at the carnival instead of goldfish, so we created a betta care sheet. Again, the response was overwhelming and many families are still caring for their happy betta fish today.

In 2018, we approached the carnival organizers and convinced them to stop giving away fish as prizes altogether because many fish suffer as a result of inadequate care when they are given away as prizes.

In addition to our efforts in person at the carnival, AquariumKids has grown online. Our YouTube videos have been viewed over 1.8 million times to date, and over 200,000 people follow us across various social media websites.

Who runs AquariumKids?

Evan Baldonado

Hello! My name is Evan Baldonado and I am the person behind

I've spent quite a lot of time on this little “pet project” of mine and have watched it start as a simple webpage with a single care sheet and blossom into a large community full of aquarists. I've done all of coding for the website (except for the Disqus commenting system) as well the content generation and have been rewarded with a rapidly-growing group of people who follow my work.

When I'm not working on AquariumKids or school, I am busy with extracurricular activities. I am the captain of my high school debate team, the director of a middle school debate team, a board member of a local nonprofit, the president of an environmental club, the vice president of my school's largest community service club, and a member of my school's varsity Science Olympiad team.

I am quite passionate regarding my work and am always eager to connect with other like-minded people, especially those my age. While I enjoy almost all aspects of my work, I would have to say that my favorite part of AquariumKids is watching the results come in, whether it's in the form of comments, views, friendly emails, or watching a webpage unfold before my very eyes as I code. It is very rewarding to see my work impacting the lives of others on a day-to-day basis.

What is the current status of AquariumKids?

We're working on designing a free online course about freshwater ecology.

What do people think about AquariumKids?

We don't have a goldfish - but this is impressive! We read it all - maybe we should now get a goldfish!

— Barbara V. (Palo Alto, California)

Thank you for sharing your website on how to care for a goldfish. My children won goldfish at the Harvest Carnival a few weeks ago and we have been using your website to help us care for them.

- Michele W. (Palo Alto, California)

Evan's article was great. So easy to understand and very well written. Can you contact the Harvest Carnival staff and have them actually stick the labels with the website information on the bag that the goldfish are in, so that everyone who gets a goldfish at the Harvest Carnival has access to this information? If the parents and kids read it, the goldfishes have a better rate of survival.

- Vini J. (Palo Alto, California)

Hi!!! Fish enthusiast here and I just wanted to say I love your blog!! I also love your original posts with beautiful pictures and definitions!

- forestmellow (Tumblr)