Got “Big Data“? Not sure how best to use it? Big Data is becoming an important facet of aquatic ecology, and researchers must learn to harness it to reap the rewards of using it. The benefits of using Big Data are many, and include advancements in scientific understanding at larger scales and higher resolution, applications to improving environmental management and policy, and public engagement. We aim to demystify the use of Big Data for individual scientists, and provide some food for thought for the aquatic ecology community on how to develop this sphere. To achieve this, we highlight six key challenges: (1) how to recognize if you have Big Data, (2) handling Big Data, (3) issues with classical analytical techniques, (4) verification of Big Data, (5) considerations for data sharing, and (6) community development of knowledge infrastructures. We then present approaches and tools which have been successfully applied to these challenges in aquatic ecology and other scientific fields.