October 12-13, 2019 | Saturday 10 am - 6 pm | Sunday 10 am - 4 pm
Secaucus, NJ | Meadowlands Exposition Center

The educational programming at Aquatic Experience is intended to address both the retailer and the hobbyist.  These seminars range from addressing intermediate level information to advanced issues.

Friday, November 3, 2017

$97 Friday Fish Health Management Course with Show Floor Access and Speaker Meet & Greet/Networking Reception.  (Does not include access to all other seminars.)
Timothy Miller-Morgan, Greg Lewbart, Patrick Donston, George Blasiola
Learn about basic principles of freshwater and marine fish management and enhance your knowledge of maintenance protocols, nutrition, chemotherapeutic approaches, anatomy, and more.
For more information on this course, please click here.

To access the below seminars you must purchase either the All Day Pass or Weekend Pass.



Social Media: The Question Isn’t Can You, It’s Will You
Lynn Switanowski
Are you using social media effectively to grow your aquatic business?
• What does your aquatic business look like to your customers on social media?
• Do you post 2-3 times per day?
• Do you connect with customers via engaging posts, contests, coupons, surveys, education tips and product information?
If not, this session is for you. This seminar will give you tips and tactics to create social media posts that professionally convey the personality of your business.
Attendees will learn:
• How to engage your customers on a regular basis using the 3 keys to creating great social media content
• How to create content that is shared, liked and commented on regularly by using video, pictures and more
• When to use humor and product knowledge to create social media posts that will engage your customers on a regular basis


Manage Your Inventory and Make More Money for your Aquatic Business
Lynn Switanowski
Do you want to increase sales and learn how to consistently maximize your inventory performance? If so, this seminar is for you.  We will review how to analyze your inventory and turn it into a key strategic weapon for your retail success.
You’ll learn how to:
• Minimize your inventory investment while increasing inventory turnover
• Make best sellers even more profitable and how to liquidate slow sellers more efficiently
• Create a proactive emphasis on inventory and learn how to minimize stock outs and capitalize on all sales opportunities


Social Media Advertising: Using Facebook and Instagram Ads to Make your Fans Click and Buy
Lynn Switanowski
Acquire knowledge to create social media ads and see examples of ads that are effective in getting customers to like, share, comment and buy at a moment’s notice.  Learn how to use Facebook and Instagram tracking and demographic insights to determine which of your posts are the most effective for engaging customers.  Learn step-by-step how to create ads and see examples of ads that are effective in getting customers to like, share, comment and buy at a moment’s notice.  Attending this session will help your business create social media ads where you can meet your businesses’ next customers at the click of a mouse!


Retail Panel
Please join our esteemed Aquatic Experience-Chicago retail panel for a discussion on the leading retail topics affecting the Aquatic Industry retailer today.  Topics for discussion may include tips on how to educate your customers, the value of supporting independent-friendly manufacturers, your shop environment, social media and events.  Bring your thoughts and questions for the retail panel and join them in this important discussion.


Aquatic Experience Opening Night Mixer
Sponsored by Hikari and Fluval  

State of the Aquatic Industry Legislative Update
A recap of the pertinent regulatory issues impacting the aquatics industry, the status and long term implications to our industry.

Heiko Bleher Presentation
Lost Aquatic Habitats Around the World- Two Decades of Proof
A shocking look at aquatics habitats around the world and the dramatic changes that have occurred over the past 20 years. What the ramifications for the aquatics industry are and pathways to future success.



Aquatic Plants in Nature and Culture
Claus Christensen
In this session Claus will provide descriptions and photos of natural habitats for aquarium plants.  He will present his studies from his many years of experience through his work both in natural settings and aquariums and advice on plant care.

Marine Fishes, Keeping them Disease Free
Patrick Donston
Marine fish are often wild-caught, handled and transported under extreme stress. Because of this, their immunity and protection have been compromised, challenging a marine-keeper’s success. This seminar will touch on 5 key concepts to understand and control stress factors which affect fish.  We will be demonstrating proven models to emphasize positive results and long-term health.


The Freshwater Shrimps of Sulawesi
Hans-Georg Evers
The Indonesian island of Sulawesi is a real hot spot in evolution. Many species are only found here. Members of the shrimp genus Caridina are abundant in rivers, ponds and lakes on this Treasure Island. Following his seven journeys to the regions of Sulawesi, Hans-George will provide an overview on the biotopes and preferred habitats of these tiny animals. The Malili-lakes with their extremely colorful flock of species are a highlight for every aquarist.

What Makes my Fish Tick When They are Sick – How a Fish Defends Itself from Disease and What Happens When it gets Sick
Timothy Miller-Morgan
Aquarium fish get sick, it is a fact of aquarium keeping. As conscientious hobbyists we should strive to understand the basics of fish biology as it pertains to fish health. Such understanding helps us become better fish keepers. In this talk I will discuss some of the amazing mechanisms fish have developed to avoid disease and how these protections can fail and lead to disease. Finally, I’ll discuss some of the common husbandry activities that can predispose fish to illness and those that will prevent disease among your aquarium fish.


Chasing the Wapoga Red Laser Rainbowfish
Gary Lange
What would you do to catch a glorious rainbowfish? Would you go by outrigger over the seas and around the coast and up the rivers for two days? Would you trek through a pathless jungle to find your prize? What happens when you get back and find the boat has left without you? Come hear about our adventures collecting Melanotaenia rubrivittata (Wapoga Red Laser) and Chilatherina alleni along with several other rainbowfish species

Common Sense and Controversies in the Hobby
Mike Paletta
While controversies in terms of how to something should be done are common in the hobby, common sense at times is not. In this talk I will try to show some of the common sense practices that can help lead to long-term success in the hobby. Topics such as lighting, water testing, water changes and the high cost of some aspects of the hobby will be discussed.


Peacock Cichlids from Lake Malawi
Patrick Tawil
Patrick will present his knowledge of Peacock Cichlids (Aulonocara sp.) of Lake Malawi, and why they are the most sought after by aquarists. Various species of Peacock Cichlids will be discussed – from the most popular varieties to their numerous relatives

Exciting Progress in Marine Ornamental Aquaculture: An Update on the Production of Yellow Tang and the Next Steps for Marine Ornamentals from Hawaii
Chad Callan
This talk will cover some of the highlights of recent breakthroughs in marine ornamental aquaculture, focusing specifically on the work at Oceanic Institute (OI) in Hawaii.  In 2015, after years of research, OI scientists finally overcome key challenges and were the first to successfully culture the Yellow Tang. This breakthrough led to many  others, including the first ever culture of Pacific Blue Tang (AKA “Dory”), several species of butterfly fish, the Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse and Potter’s angelfish.  The results of this work will have important implications in the future of this hobby, and in particular to the species routinely exported from Hawaii, all of which will be discussed.


New Discoveries from West Papua, Iran, Argentina, Vietnam, Laos and Palau
Heiko Bleher
In this session Heiko will showcase new Rainbowfishes, Blue-eyes, gobies, cichlids, tetras, loaches and underwater plants from his latest expeditions.

Coral Compatibility: On Reducing Negative Cnidarian Interaction
Bob Fenner
Learn valuable insights into avoiding trouble in putting together “coral” assortments and introducing them appropriately to new and established captive reef systems.  Many envision the reefs of the world to be some aquatic equivalent of “Bambi crossing a meadow” with some sort of miraculous “balance” amongst the life that occurs there.  This is a dangerous precept for aquarists; these areas are veritable battle zones with life competing for space, food and mates. Corals themselves overgrowing, shading,  poisoning, stinging and eating their neighbors are issues that need to be addressed in placing stinging-celled life.


Speaker Meet & Greet/Networking Reception
Sponsored by Aqueon, Fluval, Hikari, & Segrest Farms  



Sunken Gardens
Karen Randall
Sunken Gardens will tell you how to set-up and maintain a planted aquarium. It covers low tech, simple methods as well as high-tech methods for fast growth set-ups.  This talk also touches on the basics of formal aquascaping.

Lamprologine Cichlids from Lake Tanganyika
Patrick Tawil
This session will highlight Patrick’s observations of the Lamprologine Cichlids of Lake Tanganyika.  Most great African Lakes lineages of cichlids are mouth-brooders. Apart from a few isolated members of non-native lineages, Lamprologines are the only exception to this rule. This session will include an overview of the currently accepted genera and other species groups which illustrate their complexity.


Hans-Georg Evers
Corydoras catfish are among the most popular aquarium fish. Many different species are available in the trade and many more are being bred by specialists. This session will provide an overview of the recent scientific and hobbyist´s work on this group of catfish. This session will provide information on the latest species, how to keep them and breed them in captivity.

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