September 2014 MAS General Meeting


The September General Meeting of the Milwaukee Aquarium Society will be held at Hoffers Tropic Life on 76th st. and Good Hope rd. on Friday September 19th at 7:30 pm.  This month’s meeting will feature Liz Marchio.

Liz has been keeping fish all through childhood but never seriously until 2000. She has worked in every fish-specific aquarium store in Columbus, Ohio where she became involved in the Columbus Area Fish Enthusiasts (CAFÉ). During that time she bred and maintained many fish taxa but most notably livebearers, small cichlids, rainbowfish, and shrimp. While living in Columbus she maintained 200+ gallons of aquaria and earned HAP and BAP awards in CAFÉ.

In 2010 she completed her degree in Zoology at Ohio State University then obtained her Masters of Science in 2012 at Southeastern Louisiana University studying Ichthyology. She is now working on her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University. Currently she keeps wild-caught livebearing fishes from the highlands of Mexico.

Liz will be presenting a talk entitled “Forest Fishes of the Peruvian Amazon” which will feature her recent international fieldwork and study abroad in the Madre de Dios region of Peru.

Those of you interested in more, she will be presenting on Saturday to MAAH, the other talk will be “Fieldwork in Belize” which will cover another country south of the border, its ichthyofauna, and fieldwork for my Master’s degree thesis which included discerning two potential species of Belonesox livebearers. If you’re interested in international fieldwork and taking a peek into the more scientific realm of ichthyology, these talks are not to be missed.

Liz’s current studies are how the public and biological sciences interact. Once her talk is over, feel free to come and tell her your fish-related stories!

Her website is and e-mail is

The Fish Bowl is only 65 days away, are you registered yet?  Will you be participating in the aquarium decorating contest?  Kids 12 and under can enter the Kids Decorating contest free.

BAP, HAP, and donation bags are auctioned off at every general meeting, there are some great finds, and they folks who grew or bred them are happy to chat about them.  Nominations for the board will be taken at this meeting too.  it’s a big one.

We will meet at Trysting Place following the meeting for bite to eat, and a beverage or two.

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August 2014 MAS General Meeting and news

The August General Meeting of the Milwaukee Aquarium Society will be held at Hoffers Tropic Life on 76th st. and Good Hope rd. on Friday August 15th at 7:30 pm.  This month’s meeting will feature Cavan Allen with an exciting talk on Planted Aquaria – more details to come!  We are gearing up for the first Annual Milwaukee Fish Bowl in November and I’m certain more details on that event will be forthcoming shortly as well!

On a personal note your webmaster will be traveling to the Washington D.C. area this October to attend the PVAS All Aquarium Catfish Convention!  This is an event that only takes place every other year, and features the top names in the world of Aquarium Catfish. I am very excited to meet and hear talks from the world’s leading experts like Ian Fuller, Hans Evers, Julian Dignall, and Ingo Seidel!  If anyone in MAS is interested please talk to me- Rob McLure or visit the website

BAP, HAP, and donation bags are auctioned off at every general meeting, there are some great finds, and they folks who grew or bred them are happy to chat about them.  We will meet at Trysting Place following the meeting for bite to eat, and a beverage or two.

P.S. Rock Smith is unstoppable!

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June 2014 MAS General Meeting

SPECIAL NOTE: There will be some fish from the Box Swap with Capital Cichlid Association going into the auction at the end of the meeting – Show up and find out what

June’s general meeting will be Friday, June 20th at Hoffer’s Tropic Life, 7:30 PM as usual.  Our guest speaker will be Dave Fraguglia . David has been keeping fish off and on for thirty years. His first tank was a six gallon hex with a couple angel fish and corydoras cats. From that point on he was hooked. Through the years he’s kept a little bit of everything. Briefly, he worked in a wholesalers business while in junior high and highschool, furthering his desire to explore the hobby more deeply. Currently he is the editor of the Cichlid Blues a bimonthly magazine of the PCCA, an active member of the American Cichlid Association and travels 3-4 times around the country to conventions and other fish related events. A couple of years ago David had an opportunity to jump on a plane and fly half way around the world and jump into Lake Malawi, how could he pass that up?

BAP, HAP, and donation bags are auctioned off at every general meeting, there are some great finds, and they folks who grew or bred them are happy to chat about them.  We will meet at Trysting Place following the meeting for bite to eat, and a beverage or two.  Another reminder, there will be NO meeting in July, but there may potentially be a field trip as a club, show up at the meeting for details.  If you can’t make the meeting, check in on the forums after the meeting.

P.S. Rob McClure is a ninja

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May MAS Meeting

May’s general meeting will be Friday, May 16th at Hoffer’s Tropic Life, 7:30 PM as usual.  Our guest speaker will be Bill Shields from the the Tampa Bay Aquarium Society.

Bill Shields, a lifelong aquarium fish hobbyist who started keeping fish at the ripe old age of six, grew up in South Florida in the 1950′s. During his youth, Bill’s entrepreneurial streak had him collecting guppies and mollies from the town park’s pond and trading them with the local fish store for other fish and supplies. After college and various jobs, Bill finally started working “officially” in the pet trade as a salesman, store manager and then, finally, general manager of three Docktor Pet Centers in the Harrisburg, PA area. During this time, an invitation to attend and join the Susquehanna Aquarium Society in 1974 became his formal introduction into the organized portion of the hobby. Not long after joining, he became Vice-President , President, and then member of the Board of the Directors; later he was named Hobbyist of the Year in 1976. After joining the American Killifish Association (AKA) in 1974, he realized he had jumped to the next level of the hobby.
After a hiatus from the pet trade–during which he was an elephant handler and midwife for 37 Asian elephant births– Bill’s avocation became his vocation. His aquarium fish expertise earned him a position as a professional fish breeder at 5 -D Tropical Inc, an ornamental fish production and import/export facility, in Plant City, Florida where he worked from 1995 until retirement in 2010. Finding no organized fish club in Tampa, FL, Bill’s life came full circle as he and eight other fish keepers founded the Tampa Bay Aquarium Society (TBAS; website: ) in 1992. Bill remains active with the TBAS and other hobbyist organizations. He has served on the committees for two national AKA conventions, in 2000 & 2006, as well as the 2009 North American Native Fish Association (NANFA) all held in the Tampa area. In addition, Bill manages the annual Aquarium Beautiful Competition for the Florida State Fair. And as a bucket list trip travelled to Iquitos Peru in 2009 with seven of his long time fish friends .


BAP, HAP, and donation bags are auctioned off at every general meeting, there are some great finds, and they folks who grew or bred them are happy to chat about them.  We usually go to Ruby Tuesday’s after the meeting for a bite to eat, and a beverage or two.


P.S. Andy Hudson is my hero

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April MAS General Meeting

“A New View on Lake Victoria”
Matt McGee is a PhD student with Peter Wainwright at UC Davis. Matt works with stickleback and recently, Victorian cichlids. Matt will talk about the Victorian cichlid extinction, including new evidence on why some cichlids have recovered, why others have not, and what this means for hobbyist cichlid conservation programs. He will also share some Victorian breeding tips from the legendary Seehausen lab, and talk about some rare, peaceful, and colorful species that shatter some common myths about Victorian cichlids.



BAP, HAP, and donation bags are auctioned off at every general meeting, there are some great finds, and they folks who grew or bred them are happy to chat about them.  Thanks to everyone for a successful  auction, don’t forget there’s a swap just around the corner.

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March Meeting

March’s general meeting will be Friday, March 21st at Hoffer’s Tropic Life, 7:00 PM as usual.  Our guest speaker will be Josie from Chicago Discus .

The following bio is taken directly from Chicago Discus’ website:
Josie is the founder and president of Chicago Discus. A hobbyist and discus enthusiast for many years, she decided to take her love of discus to the public in 2010. After planning and building the hatchery, she and her business partner established Chicago Discus in 2012.
Besides breeding and caring for the discus, Josie is constantly inventing new and better ways of taking handling the many facets of aquarium culture. Some of these include new water filtration (including the moving bed in a bottle) and new incubators for fry.

She will discuss how to set up a tank to maintain Discus, how to setup a breeding tank, and how to raise Discus fry. She will cover selecting good quality Discus from the start, and how it makes keeping them easier. In addition she will take any questions from current or perspective Discus keepers.

Last month had  quite a few bags brought in for both donations and BAP points, and this month promises to have some interesting selections as well.  Save a little room in your tanks, the Spring Auction is the Sunday that follows.  Have you heard about the Milwaukee Fish Bowl?  Mark your calendars, November 14-16!

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February General Meeting

The next general meeting of the Milwaukee Aquarium Society will be held at Hoffer’s Tropic Life at 7:30 pm, Friday, February 21st.

Rick Borstein will be presenting a talk on Aquarium Photography.

In this talk, Rick Borstein — a Principal Solutions Consultant for Adobe Systems Incorporated– will show you how to use Adobe Photoshop to repair and enhance pictures of your fish. You’ll learn about camera options and hardware via slides, but after that it is all demo. See how to remove scratches and water droplets from photos, remove objects from photos, replace backgrounds, correct color and sharpen your pictures to improve quality.

Rick Borstein is the Webmaster of the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association (GCCA), President of the Chicago Livebearer Society (CLS) and President of the Federation of American Aquarium Societies (FAAS). Rick was the Chairman of the successful 2006 American Cichlid Association Convention held in Chicago, IL. Rick has spawned over 200 species of cichlids and is one of only ten people to hold the title of Master Breeder in the GCCA. Rick’s basement fishroom has 32 tanks ranging in size from 5 gallons to 125 gallons. Rick is primarily interested in cichlids and livebearers.

This will be the first meeting where 2014 spawns will start showing up for the BAP auction, and rumor has it there will be some gems on offer.  Do not miss this meeting.

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January General Meeting and Fish O Ramma

Well it feels like it’s been a long time since I made a post, a little too long!  Sorry for the delay! The holiday season was a bit time consuming this year!  First things first the January Winter Fish O Ramma will be held on Sunday, January 12th at New Berlin Ale House, 16000 W. Cleveland Ave., New Berlin, WI.  The swap will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Be there for great deals on fish, food, aquarium supplies, and more!

Coming up next is our January General Meeting which will be held on Friday, January 17th at Hoffer’s Tropic Life on North 76th st. and Good Hope Rd. in Milwaukee.  Meeting starts at 7:30pm and this month will feature Matt Beilski giving his Do-it-yourself LED talk and demo! Here is a little more detail:

“why switch to LED lighting? ….more important ,why build your own LED light?
money money money ….LED lighting can save money on your electric bills, allowing that extra savings for the important things like fish!
we all know that commercially available LED lights are expensive
what if I told you that you could build your own and customize it for your specific needs ,at a fraction of the cost of a commercially available one? “

Here is Matt’s Bio:

“I have over 30 years in the hobby ,i am a father of 3 and been married for going on 25 yrs
I am basically a general interest hobbyist. I breed most of what I keep, ranging from catfish, killifish, to cichlids and tetras. At this time, I have 70 tanks  in a  fish room of about 520 sq ft, I have automated for the most part the water changing and lighting in the room. i am always in the process of modifying or adding to the fish room ,to me this is half the fun.
I work as a mechanical contractor,and been so for over 28 yrs , i am currently the service manager  for a local refrigeration contractor .i draw my expertise in lighting from my work experience .I have over 2000 points in the local clubs breeders award program and I 
have served as president ,on and off for the local aquarium society for 8 years now.”

Hope to see you all there for a great first meeting of the new year!


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November 2013 General Meeting and Fish-O-Ramma!

The next general meeting of the Milwaukee Aquarium Society will be Friday, November 15th, 7:30 pm at Hoffer’s Tropic Life Pets.

This month’s speaker is brought to you by:

The American Cichlid Association



November will feature a talk by Mr. Mike Wise one of the worlds best experts on Dwarf Cichlids.  His talk is entitled:

“Adventures in the Amazon 2012: Tom & Mike’s excellent adventure”. Covers last year’s trip to the upper Rio Napo (Peru/Ecuador), Estrecho (Peru/Colombia border), and other locations nearer to Iquitos.


Mike Wise has been a fish hobbyist for over 35 years and has kept dwarf cichlids almost from the beginning. He’s been a member of the Colorado Aquarium Society since 1977 and the American Cichlid Association since 1982. Presently, Mike is a moderator for the Apistogramma Forum and curates Apistogramma at the Cichlid Room Companion web sites. He has had articles published in several magazines and received writing awards from the ACA and FAAS. Mike has also translated into English three German language books on dwarf cichlids, as well as many scientific and hobby related papers. He is one of the contributors to the German/English book South American Dwarf Cichlids a “Special Publication” (Sonderheft) published by the German magazine DATZ. Among his many experiences are two, month-long collecting trips in which he of lived, ate, and collected fish with native collectors in Peru , Ecuador and Colombia . Mike has given programs at ACA & BCA conventions, as well as to many local, regional, and international fish clubs on the various aspects of collecting, identifying, keeping, and breeding dwarf cichlids.


This is your last chance to sign up for (and pay for) the Christmas Party.  You must be a club member to attend, but good news, we’re accepting club dues for your 2014 membership!



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October 2013

Don’t forget – this month features our MAS Fall Auction!  The Auction takes place at New Berlin Bowl (16000 W. Cleveland Ave., New Berlin, WI 53151) on Sunday, October 13th.  10:00 AM for seller check-in and buyer viewing, 12:00 PM the Auction begins!

The speaker for this month is Karen Randall


The talk she will be giving is called -Modern Aquascape Design

– For a club that has a lot of people involved in planted tanks, this is a really fun talk.  It is interactive, with audience participation REQUIRED.  It gets people really thinking about why they like a certain style, and how to decorate a tank thoughtfully, using classic design principles.  It is useful even for those who want nicer tanks without a single plant, and I’ve even been told by a number of reef keepers that it has helped them avoid the “produce cart” look in their tanks.<g>  It’s also just a “pretty picture show” for those who haven’t seen really top notch planted tanks.

Here is a little bit about Karen:

Karen Randall grew up with aquariums as a child.  While experienced in many facets of the aquarium hobby, as an adult her focus turned to a concentration in planted display aquariums and the study and propagation of aquatic plants.  Her articles and photography have been published in six languages in 9 countries.  For many years she authored the monthly column, “Sunken Gardens” in Aquarium Fish Magazine. She is an international speaker on aquarium subjects.

Karen is past president of the Boston Aquarium Society, and serves on the board of the Aquatic Gardeners Association.  She was editor of the AGA magazine, The Aquatic Gardener for 5 years and is now technical editor of the magazine.  She has served as a judge for both the AGA Aquascaping Contest and the Aqua Design Amano International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest since their inception.   In 2010 she had the pleasure to serve as a speaker and jury member for the prestigious live international contest, “The Art of the Planted Aquarium” held in Hannover, Germany.  She has also served as a consultant on several major projects at public aquaria.

She has traveled extensively in South and Central America and South East Asia as well as the southern parts of the U.S. to study aquatic plants and biotopes in the wild.  In Brazil she has assisted with Project Piaba, a conservation program in the Amazon centered on the aquarium fish trade.  She regularly does programs on these topics as well as aquatic gardening for groups ranging from aquarium clubs, school children, garden clubs and church organizations.

Karen started a program a number of years ago to put aquariums in many classrooms in the local public elementary schools.  Now, with her own children grown, this program is still going strong.  In 2003 she was awarded the Northeast Council of Aquarium Society’s Betty Mueller Award; a life-time award for her outreach work and other contributions to the aquarium hobby.

And of course we will have our monthly mini-auction and drawings.  Look forward to seeing you there!

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