MAS – December/January

December 6th is our Christmas Party for members who have signed up and paid.  There is no general meeting in December.

Our January speaker is Amy Kretlow, Invasive Species Outreach Coordinator, with the Wisconsin DNR. She graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a BS in Conservation of Environmental Sciences. During her studies she had the opportunity to do research on the feeding patterns between yellow and blue walleye from Ontario Canada. For the last two summers she has worked for the DNR, monitoring lakes and streams/rivers for aquatic invasive species in the Lake Michigan Basin. Amy now educates folks about invasive species and the law that pertains to them. In her spare time she likes to fish out on Lake Michigan, hike in the kettles, or just spend time with her family.

Per Amy, here’s her talk description:
In 2009 and recently updated in 2014 the State of Wisconsin enacted, chapter NR 40, Wis. Admin. Code -Wisconsin’s Invasive Species Identification, Classification, and Control Rule. This law regulates the transportation, possession, transfer, and introduction of certain plants and animals. In this presentation I will have an overview of the law and how it pertains to the aquarium trade.  I will identify some of the prohibited/restricted species and discuss safe alternatives. I will also explain how the spread of Invasive Species can be controlled. Resources will be provided.

As usual, there will be the first mini-auction of 2016, and we will get together after the meeting at Mulligan’s

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MAS November Meeting

First, there is no meeting in October.  I repeat, no meeting in October.  We strongly encourage our membership to attend the MAAH Catfish Cataclysm

Our November meeting will take place on Friday, November 20th at 6:30 PM.  The first half hour is for introductions and catching up.  The first half hour is for introductions and catching up.  Doors close and our speaker will begin as promptly at 7 as is possible. During the presentation, please  be respectful of the other attendees, as well as the speaker and take any private discussions to the lobby.

Andy Hudson (Narwhal on the forums) will feature a presentation, discussion, and hands-on  examples of starting a marine tank.  The goal is to take the mystery out of making the switch to salt, and hopefully encourage club members to explore the possibilities.  The differences between keeping marine fish, and reefing, and the pitfalls and perils of salt will also be part of the discussion.  Contrary to popular belief, MAS  would love to include those of a ‘saltier’ nature in the club.

  • The elections of the 2016 board will take place at this meeting.
  • Memberships renewed at this meeting will be good through the end of 2016 (Cards will be at the meeting).
  • Time is be running out to get signed up for the 2015 Christmas Party (Paid members)

BAP and Donation auction to follow the presentation.  We generally go out and grab a bite and a drink or two at Mulligans following the meetings.  Non-members are welcomed, and, importantly, welcomed to become members.

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MAS September Meeting

September’s general meeting will be on Friday, September 18th, at 6:30.  The first half hour is for introductions and catching up.  Doors close and our speaker will begin as promptly at 7 as is possible.

Our speaker for this meeting is Jen Williams, she will be speaking on Aquascaping with Plants.


“I got my first tank when I was seven and went through the appropriate array of guppies, barbs and tetras through to my first encounter with keeping Cichlids when I was in high school and “Bubba” (a Melanochromis auratus with an extra dose of sassiness) paved the way to more. Years later, a craigslist ad I posted stating “Firemouth Cichlids, bring a net and a bucket” (as not surprisingly two had turned into what I swear was easily zillions), I was introduced to something I wasn’t expecting…a formidable former Army Lieutenant in my living room filling his bucket with fish, and telling me all about local fish clubs and planted tanks. Armed with a healthy dose of curiosity at what kind of characters would be at a plant and fish club meeting, I attended my first planted tank (GWAPA) gathering and was completely hooked. Serving on the Board in several positions (including President) I have also enjoyed participating in events with the other local clubs and the true friendships I have made in this hobby. To date I have a stack of ribbons from aquascaping contests, including most recently firsts in both categories at the 2014 Aquatic Experience/AGA Aquascaping Live! Invitational Competition in Chicago, IL for 75 gallon and nano entries. I am also an avid fan of Blue-eyed Rainbowfish and enjoy keeping and breeding them with the rest of my eclectic assortment of fish. To pay the electric and water bills that accompany 241 assorted gallons of aquatic madness, I work as a Graphic Designer…and also enjoy fast cars and purring cats.”


Aquascaping – Jen will share her strategies and tips for creating beautiful, award-winning aquascapes using structure and plants.

BAP and Donation auction to follow the meeting, and we generally go out and grab a bite at Mulligans on 27th street, and perhaps an adult beverage or two following the meetings.  Non-members are welcomed, and, importantly, welcomed to become members.

Nominations for the 2016 MAS board are due by the end of this meeting, elections will be held in November.  Please email or contact Rock Smith via one of the forums or FaceBook.


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MAS August Meeting

First, there is no meeting in July.  I repeat, no meeting in July.  Additionally, the August Meeting has been moved to the 14th, to accommodate our speaker and Madison’s needs.

Our speaker for this meeting is Rachel O’Leary, MsJinkd to some, FISH PIMP to others.  She’s an interesting speaker, and just a great asset to the hobby.  She will be speaking on Choosing Unusual and Interesting Inhabitants for the Planted Aquarium.  Here’s her Bio:

Rachel O’Leary, from Mount Wolf, PA is a proud mother of 3, loving wife, and an unmistakable personality within the hobby. A life-long fish keeper, her interests range from nanofish to monsters, with a focus on invertebrates and dwarf species. Rachel has spent the last 10 years studying invertebrate husbandry, aquascaping, and breeding practices. Rachel’s fishroom consists of over 100 tanks ranging from 10 to 220 gallons, and her breeding program includes members of the Corydoradinae group, Apistogramma, Ancistrus, Hypancistrus, Pelvicachromis,  as well as various Cyprinids and livebearers. One of the leading importers of invertebrates in the US, she breeds and keeps dozens of dwarf shrimp and snail species, as well as dwarf crayfish and crabs, and is regularly bringing in new and hard to find specimens. She also has a passion and interest in gar and polypterids and houses several species.

Rachel actively attends conventions and travels to speak at clubs and conventions on her invertebrate and nano fish interests. A big advocate of rallying regional support, Rachel also sponsors many clubs and events around the United States. She provides freshwater aquarium livestock 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 is a frequent contributor to Amazonas magazine with articles featuring her travels and interactions with other hobbyists and breeders, as well as species spotlights and special features. She recently had a book co-authored with Mark Denario published titled The 101 Best Freshwater Nano Species: How to Choose & Keep Hardy, Brilliant, Fascinating Nano Fishes, Plants and Invertebrates.

As dedicated to education and community as she is to her fish, Rachel has served as a moderator in several of the largest online aquatic communities.  A member of close to a dozen associations, she can frequently be found at conventions and club meetings around the country and internationally. An invited guest, host, judge, and speaker, Rachel loves to share her knowledge and experiences with like-minded enthusiasts.

BAP and Donation auction to follow the meeting, and we generally go out and grab a bite and perhaps an adult beverage or two following the meetings.  Non-members are welcomed, and, importantly, welcomed to become members.

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June MAS Meeting – Jeremy Basch


June’s Milwaukee Aquarium Society meeting will be held on June 19th at 7PM.  We will open the doors at 6:30 to allow some time to chit-chat and catch up with your fellow members of the society. Once the meeting has come to order, please respect our speaker and keep discussions not contributing to the meeting to a minimum.

Jeremy Basch lives in Columbus, OH but is originally from Westlake, Cleveland, OH. He started keeping fish around 22 years ago when his father took him to a pet shop. At around 16 Jeremy started working at one of the local fish stores and started to acquire various sized aquariums and fish. He became hooked.

This continued until 2004 when he setup his first fishroom. Currently Jeremy is on his third modified fishroom design which now contains 100+ aquariums ranging in size from 2.5 to 150 gallons. Over the years, he has bred over 40 species of fish including many cichlids, catfish, rainbows, killifish, livebearers and invertebrates. He was also the first person in the world to have the Jaguar Catfish, Liosomadoras oncinus, spawn and give viable offspring!

Jeremy’s main focus is on the cichlids and catfish from South America and killifish from West Africa. He is a current member and the chairman of the Columbus Area Fish Enthusiasts. Other fish associations he has belonged to include: the Ohio Cichlid Association, the Greater Cincinnati Aquarium Society, the American Killifish Association and the American Cichlid Association. He has written a few articles which have appeared in the Buntbarsche Bulletin, his hometown club, the CAFE Menu and Amazonas sharing his first successful breeding of Liosomadoras oncinus, the Jaguar Catfish. Jeremy can be seen at many fish shows and conventions throughout the Midwest. His speech will focus on Auchenipteridae – The Wood Catfish.

After the club business, and presentation, there will be an auction of BAP and HAP submissions.  Remember, there’s no meeting in July, so get your fix this month.Trachelyopterichthys taeniatusCentromochlus reticulatusCentromochlus perugiae

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May MAS Meeting

This month’s meeting will be on May 17th Lawrence Kent works for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support projects fighting hunger and poverty in the developing world.  He is based in Seattle but travels frequently for his job to Africa and Asia.  Lawrence takes advantage of his travels to look for interesting tropical fish in places as diverse as Cambodia, Ecuador, and Nigeria.  At home, Lawrence keeps twenty aquaria, many stocked with cichlids he collected abroad.  A frequent contributor to Tropical Fish Hobbyist and Cichlid News, Lawrence is fascinated by all types of fish, birds, and reptiles, and the challenge of correctly identifying and breeding them.

His talk will be Looking for East African Cichlids beyond the Big Three Rift Lakes, which covers Kivu in Rwanda, Edward on Uganda-Congo border, and Magadi in Kenya.  

After the talk, we will auction off donations, BAP and HAP submissions.

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Forget flowers! April showers bring swaps and stingrays!

Our next general MAS meeting will be Friday, April 17th at 7PM.  Two days later is our Spring Swap.  Tables are still available, get that spring cleaning done and make room for all the deals to be had.  Our speaker for April will be Jennifer Reynolds.

Jennifer Reynolds

Jennifer hails from Vancouver BC, where she spent over a decade as a Senior Biologist at the Vancouver Aquarium.  She will be presenting Freshwater Stingrays in the Wild and in the Aquarium. Learn more about the natural history of South America’s Neotropical Stingrays (Potamotrygonidae), and how it relates to keeping them in captivity. Jennifer discusses evolution, biology, captive husbandry (including tank sizes and dietary needs), and provides tips and tricks for dealing with picky or delicate rays, including newborn pups. The talk finishes with a case study of the rare successful reproduction of Tiger Stingrays (Potamotrygon tigrina) in her area at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Monthly auction to follow as usual.

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March MAS-Ness! (Auction and Meeting, only 6 days apart!)

MAS Auction Sunday, March 15th (Wow, Ides of March already).  Great opportunity to do a bit of spring cleaning, reset some of those tanks and make some room for that dream fish that you’ve been wanting, but never had a place to put it.  If you’ve got room, all the better.  Plants and live fish will be on the auction block, starting promptly at noon, and running until the last bag is sold.

Viewing starts at 10, with the auction itself starting at noon.  New Berlin Ale House has a good Bloody Mary, so you can get your breakfast Connie style while awaiting the auction.  Bid early, bid often, and remember, we take plastic now!!!

Thanks to everyone who attended and participated in February’s meeting/workshop.  Thanks to Andy and Aquatics for being gracious hosts.  This month we’ll have a speaker again, Charley Grimes, and he’ll be presenting his infamous “Dead Fish” talk.  I’ve heard about it, but never seen it in person.

Charley Grimes


Charley is an avid fish collector, having taken several trips to South America and Mexico. In the spring, he often gets “Native Fish Fever” and collects locally in Indiana and in the southeastern part of the country.

His popularity is the result of his aquaristic skill and experience, his personality and sense of humor.

I got my first fish tank when I was twelve or thirteen years old. It was a 12+ gallon tank that I made from an old gasoline pump cylinder. Shortly after ‘cutting my teeth’ on some Mollies and Zebra Danios, I added my first cichlids, two Angelfish, two Green Severums, and two Festivums. Within six months, my quarter sized Angelfish had body size a lot bigger than a silver dollar and erased any doubt that Angelfish are true cichlids——-they ate all of the Molly fry, and then all of the Zebra Danios.

I learned three things during my first year of fish keeping:
1) I really like keeping fish
2) By and large, it is cichlids nature to eat fish if given the opportunity
3) I really like cichlids!!!

Except for my college years, I have always kept tropical fish, and, I have never been without cichlids. Our current home has a 600 square foot fishroom that I added onto the existing house. I currently have over a hundred tanks operating in my fishroom (I’ve had more, a lot more, but that was too much). For me, a hundred tanks is a good number; enough for both fun and projects, but not so many as to become burdensome. I have, by the way, been keeping fish for sixty years and still love it.

Oh, yeah, there’s another thing I learned 45 years ago:
4) Being around other aquarists makes a fun and rewarding hobby even more fun and more rewarding. Some of the nicest people in the world belong to the A.C.A.”

Charley Grimes

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MAS February Meeting – Feb 20th 7PM

It’s already February, Punxsutawney Phil says six more weeks of winter, but that just means more time to spend with your fish tank projects, so it’s all good.

This month in lieu of a speaker, we’re going to do a DIY workshop on building Breeder Pods. Ted Judy showed Andy how to make these several years ago and he uses his all the time. They are simple, effective, and inexpensive.

Breeder pods are great little tanks within tanks that you can use for a variety of purposes.  The #1 use is for holding baby fish or fry. This gives them a safe place where predators can’t get to them but doesn’t require setting up a separate aquarium since it can rest within the main aquarium.

You can also use it to hold injured fish until they heal, or separate pairs to reduce aggression.

Andy will be making a few units to put into the mini auction as well.  See his thread in the forums if you want to purchase materials, or collect them yourself to bring to the meeting.

As always, we will have standard meeting fare, including auctioning off HAP and BAP bags, make a little room in your tanks, who knows what will be up for grabs!?!

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MAS January Meeting Friday 1/16/15 at Central Aquatics!

Regrets on the lateness of this posting, as information becomes available, I am updating it.

Our speaker for our January meeting (The first at Central Aquatics) will be Matt Schauer

Matt was born and raised in Central Wisconsin. When he was a child his parents owned a small shop in Mequon focusing primarily on freshwater tropical fish and exotic birds. They had 72 tanks in the store and another half-dozen at home. They left the business when he was 8 but some of the knowledge must have stuck with him. In ’06 he was given his first tank, a 75 gallon, by a friend whose former roommate had left it behind. At the age of 26 his passion began.  The intent was a nice looking planted community tank. Within a few months of its setup; the breeding of Badis badis, Corydoras  paleatus and Nomorhamphus liemi (Celebese Halfbeak), quickly had it cluttered with fry boxes and breeder baskets.  It wasn’t long before a few more tanks were added. He tapered off at 5 tanks until he moved from Wisconsin to Northern Illinois in 2008. In a new town with few friends he had little better to do than sit online shopping for new tanks and fish to play with.

Matt’s love for Silruiforms started early during his fish keeping when he saw his first Royal Whiptail for sale at a local shop. Before that he was not familiar with anything but  common plecos and corys with the occasional synodontis or other basic species being offered. This peaked his curiosity and he began scouring the internet astounded at all the species that existed. In 2010, with a catfish collection of less than 10 species he did something that changed his life, he attended the All Aquarium Catfish Convention.  He had loads of fun, learned a lot, and met some great people. Matt then started collecting as many species as he could; but due to space constraints, focused on the Callichthyidae and the Loricariidae types that remain small. By 2011 he bought out a cory breeder and acquired quite the collection of species. Even then he would have never thought  he would be attending subsequent Catcons with a healthy supply of tank raised fish to sell and trade.

Matt is currently running near 100 tanks, his main focus being Catfish. He is keeping more than 70 species of Silruiform and has been successful with more than 35 species of  corydoradinae and near 20 species of Loricariidae.

Matt’s Talk “K.I.S.S. Corys” will be a good follow up to Mark Soberman’s Corydoradinae Talk at the Fall Fish bowl. Matt will spend little time on introductory information and move quickly into spawning these little gems.

I would like to, on behalf of the entire board and the club, express our utmost thanks to Hoffer’s Tropic Life Pets for being such gracious hosts to our club for these many years.  You will be missed.

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