Here comes February! MAS General Meeting


Our February meeting of 2017 will be   Friday, February 17*th at 6:30 PM.  The location is in the main bowling alley, just past the bar.  Our speaker for the month of February is Scott Czechan and his lovely wife Tracey.  They are members of the Walleye For Tomorrow- Pewaukee Chapter.  Both Scott and Tracey are very involved in the outdoors and conservation. Along with being members of the WFT Chapter they are also active members of the Badger Fisherman’s League, Wisconsin’s oldest conservation organization.

They will be doing a presentation on the mobile hatchery used on Pewaukee Lake each spring to harvest Walleye eggs and release the new fry into the lake. A discussion about the process, equipment, health of the lake will take place during the presentation.  Website info:

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 bar, oh, and please silence your phones. 


*- Thanks for the good catch, Brett Perry

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Happy New Year! January MAS General Meeting

Our first meeting of 2017 will also be our first general meeting at the New Berlin Ale House!  Friday, January 20th at 6:30 PM.  The location is in the main bowling alley, just past the bar.  Our first speaker of 2017 will be Chris Carpenter, whose talk is titled “Shell Dwellers of Lake Tanganyika”

chris-speaker-pic951My name is Chris Carpenter, I’ve been a board member of the Grand Valley Aquarium for many years, and have recently been given the title, and responsibilities of Vice President. I’ve won a few awards such as Breeder of the year, Aquarist of the year, Master Breeder, and Old World Cichlid Master. I wish I had some of the credentials I see on other speakers’ bio’s, but the fact is I don’t.  I wasted a great deal of my life consumed with drugs and alcohol. I gave all that up ten years ago, and got serious about fishkeeping. I have learned a lot in the last ten years and I have focused a great deal of my time in the hobby on the cichlids from Lake Tanganyika, particularly the Shell Dwellers. I have kept, and bred many of these species, and I’m honored to have the chance to share what I’ve learned with you.

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 bar, oh, and please silence your phones. 

Note, we’ll technically ring in the new year with a swap on January 8th, hope to see all of you there.  


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New Home of MAS – familiar Territory!

Have you ever been to New Berlin Ale House? MAS Swap? Auction? Christmas Party? What about Fish Bowl 2014 or 2016?

Then you have been to the new home of our monthly meetings! We have secured a meeting space in the New Berlin Ale House for every 2017 meeting. November will be our last scheduled meeting at Central Aquatics in Franklin. On behalf of the board and the club, our most heartfelt thanks for the use of the venue, and all their continued support for the  club.

Dates for 2017 (Since I’ve got your attention anyway):
January 8th – Swap
January 20th – General Meeting Speaker – Chris Carpenter (Shellies)
February 17th – General Meeting – Badger Fishermen’s League (Walleyes for Tomorrow)
March 5th – Auction
March 17th – General Meeting, Speaker – Joel Antkowiak (Killifish)
April 2nd – Swap
April 21st – General Meeting, Speaker – Ashley Smith (No relation to Rock)
May 19th – General Meeting, Speaker – Rob Lupton (Freshwater Shrimp)
June 16th – General Meeting, Speaker – Matt Pederson (Saltwater topic)
July – No meeting, Picnic is tentative
August 18th – General Meeting, Speaker – Jack Spenser
September – No meeting due to Cataclysm
October 20th – General Meeting, Speaker – Mike Hellweg
October 22nd – Auction
November 12th – Swap
November 17th – General Meeting, Speaker – Rick Borstein
December 3rd – Christmas Party

If you’d like to import all of these dates into your calendar, use this file:mas-calendar

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November 2016 MAS General Meeting

November’s meeting will be the last at Central Aquatics. The doors open at 6:30, and the meeting will start at 7.  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, oh, and please silence your phones. 

Our speaker for November is Kris Weinhold.  Kris grew up keeping aquariums, but really fell in love with planted aquariums several years ago, diving head-first into researching  and experimenting with various plants, growing techniques, and aquascape designs. Kris is the vice-president of the Greater Washington Aquatic Plant Association (GWAPA), and has published articles in The Aquatic Gardener ( He also maintains a website/blog ( showcasing his aquarium and nature photography, and his informative articles on aquarium keeping and aquatic plant ecology.

His talk to the Milwaukee club will be: Photography — how to take good pictures of fish, plants, and whole tanks. I cover some photography basics, as well as, things you can do even if you don’t have a more expensive camera.

Our meeting will follow the standard format, club business (including the election, though all candidates are running unopposed), presentation by the speaker, mini-auction (but hopefully not as mini as September’s), and we head to Mulligan’s for dinner and drinks.

This will, once again, be our last meeting at Central Aquatics.  They’ve been  very gracious hosts these last two years, and the club appreciates it more than I can describe.

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Fish Bowl is THIS WEEKEND!

Our second Bi-Annual Milwaukee Fish Bowl will be held the weekend of October 22nd & 23rd.  We have 5 great speakers, lots of silent auctions, a decorating contest, a swap on Sunday, and  a bowling party.  Check out the details at Milwaukee Fish Bowl.

Fred Krause is generously donating nearly 50 bags of fish to the mini auctions on Saturday.  After Ian’s talk he is hosting an open house at his fish room in Muskego for anyone who would like to come. There will even be a giveaway for some fish at his house also.

Fred will be at the event Saturday and will be bringing his photo albums of his trips in the Amazon, Africa, and Southeast Asia to tell the tales of his travels. You can get directions to his house from Fred on Saturday.

Sidenote #1: There will be a contest among non-Milwaukee clubs.  The club with the most members in attendance will win a $100 restaurant and bar tab at the New Berlin Ale House (Home of the Milwaukee Fish Bowl). Word has it Chicago may have a contingent! It’s all about total number by 4 on Saturday.  Make sure you identify your club when you’re checking in.

Sidenote #2: 6 danios, a tiny net, a 75 gallon tank (Upgraded from a 55, thank you Aqueon).  $5 entry and the fastest to catch all 6 danios will walk away with the complete setup.  I’ve been practicing, ignore the puddle in front of my tank.  Got my time just under half an hour so far.

Sidenote #3: The tank decorating contest is at capacity.  Setup can start at 9, so use that extra hour to make your tank extra awesome.  Good luck to all the participants.  Voting will be strictly by registered attendees.  We’re working on getting the word out, if you have ideas to spread the word, share them with Rock Smith.  Did anyone see the ad in Amazonas?!?

Sidenote #4: There will be a swap from 10 until 2 on Sunday, and the bowling party for Fish Bowl Attendees will be at 3.


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September 2016 MAS General Meeting

September’s general meeting will be on Friday, September 16th, 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.

13620319_10154223393250482_5169086006691080851_nHeather Burke is a 24-year-old aquarist from Lansing, Michigan. She has kept and bred fish for most of her young life and harbors a keen interest and passion for the aquarium hobby. She has been active in aquarium societies since the age of 14 and has witnessed some 40 spawns of freshwater fish and invertebrates spanning two clubs. Heather currently associates with the Grand Valley Aquarium Club most prominently. Her interests in fish are broad and range from nano species of cyprinids to wild-type live bearing fishes and dwarf cichlids. She recently obtained a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. She will soon start working as a research assistant for the University of Michigan in the zebrafish research lab.

Her talk is titled “A Tale of Two Hatcheries: Fish for Recreation vs. Fish for the Pet
Industry” In the summer of 2014, Heather engaged in a double-internship that spanned May-August. This started off for her in the Preuss Pets breeding room and ended at the Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery in Mattawan, MI. This talk, previously performed for GVAC
last year, takes a look at insights on captive fish management from the two gained perspectives; that of the pet trade and that of the Department of Natural Resources.

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 2017 MAS board are due by the end of this meeting, elections will be held in November.  Club members may run for any seat on the board, except for Treasurer and President, which require current standing as a member of the board.

The board positions are as follows (2016 Board member listed after)

President – Rock Smith
Vice President – Andy Hudson
Treasurer – Tim Pilat
Secretary – Brian Torreano
Sgt at Arms – Warren Berg (Not running for position in 2017)
Member at Large – Don Hinske
Member at Large – Aaron Glass

We are also always looking for people interested in participating in non-board roles:

  • Splash!
  • Speakers
  • HAP
  • BAP
  • PAP
  • Auctions and Swaps
  • Fish Bowl
  • Library

Please email or contact Rock Smith via one of the forums or FaceBook.


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August MAS General Meeting

Our August meeting will take place on Friday, August 19th.  THIS WILL BE THE LAST CHANCE TO PLACE YOUR ORDERS FOR THE DIATOM FILTERS FROM Joe Gargas.

Steve Edie

Steve Edie

This month’s speaker is Steve Edie.  Steve Edie has been keeping fish since the Eisenhower administration. (Look it up) He has kept almost every kind of fish available, and some that weren’t. He now keeps about 1,100 gallons of freshwater aquariums, with a preference toward Rift Lake Cichlids. He has had good success in maintaining many different species and moderate success at breeding them. He is the past President and current BAP Chair of the Missouri Aquarium Society.  He once kept a saltwater tank for about a year, but has promised not to do it again.

His talk is titled “The Name Game: A Classification Permutation”, a tongue-in-cheek take on nomenclature with an emphasis on Cichlids.

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, oh, and please silence your phones. 

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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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2015 is rapidly approaching!


Important dates to ponder in the upcoming year:

Saturday, January 10th – Board Meeting, open to members as well, please RSVP with Tim Pilat

Sunday, January 11th – MAS Winter Swap – Vendors please contact Jerry Michels to arrange your tables

Friday, January 16th – MAS General Meeting – at Central Aquatics Directions To Central Aquatics

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