Bart Sprenkels is an entrepreneur University student from the Netherlands that has been working on multiple websites to reach as many people as possible. His biggest success is his aquarium website called Aquarium Genius, where his articles are being read by thousands of people every month.
Connect with me on LinkedIn here.
This is my main aquarium, a 25 gallon / 100 L freshwater community tank. I love plants so I keep a lot of live plants in the aquarium. To keep those alive I add pressurized CO2 and enough fertilizer. There are not that many fish in the aquarium. Currently I have a school of 12 rummynose tetras, one bristlenose catfish, a couple of black bar endler guppies and one regular guppy. The guppy population is rapidly increasing which I love to watch. I also have a bunch of helena “assassin” snails and a couple of dozen orange “sakura” caridina shrimp which are also breeding.
The aquarium is heated to about 24 degrees Celsius which is about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I use a canister filter which stands underneath the aquarium to filter my water. For the rest I am using a small powerhead to add more flow to the aquarium. I struggle with blackbeard algae so I have to remove some leaves every once in a while.
I do weekly 25% water changes. Although this is not always necessary due to all the plants it comforts me to know that my water quality is pristine for my fish.
My work story
Some people argue that one is not born an entrepreneur and I would agree. However in my opinion a person can be born with an entrepreneurial mindset. Not going into a nature vs. nurture discussion, I want to show you the following photograph.
The kid on this picture is me, and I am presenting over 400 signatures I had collected together with some friends to ask the township for a new swing for my local playground. This picture is extremely dear to me as it shows I have been getting things done since a very young age.
Since this picture, I have had several jobs. When I was sixteen years old I sold photos to parents of their children getting their swimming certificate. This is where my love for making people happy started. Seeing the happiness my photos brought the parents and children on their faces felt amazing to me. After doing this for around three years, I applied for a job in retail. I promoted television for Samsung in my local electronics store. I enjoyed helping customers choose the right television for them, and later on switched to selling vacuum cleaners. I enjoyed this even more because no-one would ever window shop when it came to a new vacuum cleaner.
My jobs were all part-time jobs. My main goal has been graduating University. The bachelor study I am currently following is called Creative Technology, and is a combination between Industrial Design, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The university where I am doing my bachelor’s is called University of Twente, which is a renowned technical university in the Netherlands. After finishing my bachelor, I am going to continue studying at my masters degree. The master’s degree that I am going to study for is called Interaction Technology, where my focus is going to be Usability Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design.
In the summer of 2017 I bought my first aquarium. I have to admit that it was more of a fish bowl, together with two goldfish. After a couple of weeks in the fish bowl, I realized that the bowl was too small for the fish and I upgraded to a small tank. A couple of months later I upgraded again and bought my 20 gallon / 100 L aquarium that I still have to this day. I release my goldfish in my girlfriend’s parents’ pond where they belong and created a tropical community fish tank. At that point I was hooked and extremely interested in everything related to freshwater aquarium fish. When explaining it to my friends and family, they were not always equally interested in what I had to say. However I knew that all the knowledge I had obtained would be useful to the right person, which is when I started thinking about a website to share my thoughts. The website would be called “AquariumGenius” and is the website you are currently reading.
Recognition and Awards
World Wildlife Fund photo-award nomination.
Obtained my first aid certificate
University of Twente bachelor: Creative Technology
Organized a study trip to Japan and South Korea
My personal story
My name is Bart Sprenkels and I am born and raised in Overijssel, the Netherlands. As a kid I was extremely into swimming and playing the French horn. I had many friends and played outside often. I remember all the times I “accidentally” fell into a small stream or got home soaked by the rain.
When I grew older, I followed a bilingual education which probably was one of the better decisions of my life. Here I followed Cambridge international baccalaureate English which taught me to speak, read and write in almost flawless English. When speaking you will hear I’m Dutch, when reading I need to google some words and when writing the auto correct always seems to know it better. However by practicing I am constantly improving my skills.
Since I am 16 I have a relationship with my beautiful and loving girlfriend, and I live together with 8 other housemates. We are all students at the University of Twente and make the absolute best of our time here. It is awesome to live with a group of students! However you need to be able to deal with all the mess we make, I’m not going to lie.
My long-term goals (also called life-goals but that sounds so heavy) I want to use what I have to battle loneliness among older adults in our society. In the last year of my bachelor study I have been learning more and more about loneliness and in my opinion no-one should be lonely. Therefore I am working on a centralized overview of activities for older adults in my local area that I want to spread to independently living older adults. Using this overview, they are able to have more control over their social life and therefore it might reduce loneliness.
Furthermore I want to travel the world. Although it sounds cheesy, one of my dreams is to buy an old van, turn it into a camper and explore all of Europe. When I’m done with Europe I will come to America and explore there.