January 2013 Meeting

Friday, February 1st, 2013 at 1:05 pm

GWAPA’s first meeting of 2013 was hosted by Viktor Gyorffy in his home in Montgomery Village, Maryland on Saturday, January 26. Before giving a talk on the topic of planted aquarium basics, President Kris Weinhold spoke for a few minutes about what is in store for the club this coming year. Upcoming speakers and events include Jason Baliban, a workshop with the folks from RapidLED, a plant talk by Cavan Allen, CCA’s AquaMania in March, and Aquafest in October.

We will have tank tours again, in July. Tank tours are a great opportunity for members who don’t feel they can host a meeting, but would like to show off their tanks. We hope to have volunteers in both Maryland and Virginia. In August, the club will do something new and hold either an outdoor picnic or perhaps a tour of Kennilworth Aquatic Gardens.A large turnout is expected for Aquafest, the weekend of October 19-20. There will be speakers, vendors, and an all day auction. GWAPA plans an aquascaping event, and will bring in Gary Lange to speak on rainbowfish habitats. This event is tentatively planned to be held at the Holiday Inn in Laurel, Maryland.The Capital Cichlid Association will host AquaMania the weekend of March 9-10 at the Gaithersburg Hilton. There will be speakers like Ad Konigs and Rachel O’Leary, raffles, a silent auction, and a Marketplace for vendors and hobbyists. GWAPA members may want to bring a tank to display in the Aquarium Beautiful Competition. This would be a great way to showcase your talent, and the planted aquarium hobby. For more information, visit the AquaMania website: http://capitalcichlids.org/aquamania/

Speaking of Aquascaping, GWAPA’s annual aquascaping contest will be officially underway soon. This year’s theme will be Iwagumi. We will go back to requiring a nominal registration fee, and hope to have vendor sponsors for the contest, so that each registrant would receive some sort of “goody bag” from a sponsor.

The Board has amended the club ByLaws in allow for two Member-At-Large positions on the Board. They would have voting rights, but no specific responsibilities. This will hopefully encourage participation from people who want to be more involved in the club, but don’t feel they want to take on the responsibilities of a regular board position. The ByLaws have also been amended to allow a past president to remain involved on the board they want, to allow for some continuity on the Board. Also, committee chairs are now officially in the By Laws, and the Board will write up specific job descriptions for them.

Memberships expired on December 31. Please renew at a meeting, or online with Paypal.

The club has a PAR meter which can be borrowed by any member in good standing. A stickied thread has been created on the forum which states the guidelines for borrowing the PAR meter, and for members to request a turn.


In an effort to improve our monthly mini auctions, we will be piloting the use of the online auction software “My Group Auctions” currently in use by PVAS and CCA. This would allow members to register their items online prior to the meeting.

The Board is exploring the possibility of hosting the Aquatic Gardener’s Association convention in either 2014 or 2016, and are communicating with the club who hosted the 2012 convention in St Louis. A club in Seattle is also looking into hosting the convention. GWAPA last hosted the AGA convention in 2004. It is a good moneymaker for the club(which would allow us to bring in great speakers and host workshops), and provides excellent exposure for the hobby. Volunteers would be needed to plan and run the conference. When the Board gets closer to a decision, they will communicate with the club and see how much support there is for this effort.


Kris touched on both low tech and high tech methods of keeping planted aquariums in his talk “Planted Aquariums: The Basics,” in the hope that everyone would be able to learn something.

There are many reasons to keep a planted aquarium. Planted aquariums are beautiful, lush, and natural looking. Fish often look better, behave more naturally, and may be induced to spawn in a planted tank. Plants improve water quality. Planted aquariums are a way to engage in indoor gardening during the winter months, and can provide an artistic outlet via aquascaping.

Kris showed a number of slides from recent Aquatic Gardening Association contests, both low and high tech. It is not necessary to go high tech to have a beautiful planted tank.

[not finished –more coming. jh]