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

2018 Session Schedule

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

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

Friday, October 19


Fish Health Management Course
Sponsored by Fish Mart
Cost: $169
Presented by Dr. Timothy Miller-Morgan, George Blasiola, Patrick Donston and Dr. Ashley Emanuele
Learn about the basic principles of freshwater and marine fish health management and enhance your knowledge of maintenance protocols, nutrition, disease recognition and treatment, and more.  The Fish Health Management Course includes Show Floor Access, Seminars and Legislative Update-Opening Night Mixer. *AAVSB RACE 7.00 Veterinary /Veterinary Technician CE Credits 


Legislative Update-Opening Night Mixer
Attend the Legislative Update for a recap of the pertinent regulatory issues impacting the aquatics industry, the status and the long term implications to our industry.

Saturday, October 21 


Are Your Customers Finding You on Social Media (Retail Session)
Presented by Lynn Switanowski
As social media usage continues to grow (77% of online adults use social networking sites) your Aquatic business can no longer rely on word-of-mouth, local advertisements and email marketing as the only tools to connect with customers. The key to success in 2018 and beyond is to ensure that your marketing strategies keep up with this customer growth to maintain engagement and grow sales. Attending this seminar can help your Aquatic business further your path toward success using social media.
You will learn:
• The 6 tips for making sure your customers are regularly engaged and ready to spend
• How to give them updates that entertain, educate and ring the register
• What rewards to offer your customers that excite them and don’t break the bank for you
• Learning how to incorporate video to your content that drives increased engagement
The time is now! Join us and see how your Aquatic business can use social media engagement as a marketing tool and learn how to have fun with your customers via the internet every day!

Interesting Aquarium Plants-Natural Habitats and Culture
Presented by Christel Kasselmann
Christel Kasselmann will take you on a journey around the world of interesting aquarium plants in their natural habitats (ecology), discuss water values and the cultivation of these aquarium plants in tanks. Highlighting the style known as the Dutch plant aquariums, enjoy pictures that demonstrate how beautiful tanks can look like. Join her on a journey around the tropical regions of the world looking for interesting aquarium plants. Don’t miss this beautiful journey!


Using Reviews to Generate Sales for Your Aquatic Business (Retail Session)
What Your Customers Say Matters
Presented by Lynn Switanowski
Research shows that 90% of customers suggest that seeing a positive online review will influence their buying decision and 86% said their decision not to purchase was influenced by negative reviews*. Your customers and potential customers are sharing their experiences on
everything and what they say has an impact. That means online reviews are one of the most powerful marketing tools your Aquatic business can use this year. Attend this session and learn how your aquatic business must participate in the new era of brand marketing as told by the customers who experience it. Learn the top 6 ways to get your trusted customers to talk on your businesses’ behalf, how to get your customers to write reviews for your business that reach their friends- and their friends. Most importantly learn how and where to position those reviews so that potential customers for your pet business can easily find them!

Colombia – La Confluencia
Presented by Ted Judy
The city of Puerto Inirida, Colombia, lies near the confluence of three important river systems: the Rio Inirida, Rio Guaviare, Rio Atabapo and Rio Orinoco.  Some of the most popular species of fish in the aquarium hobby come from these rivers and are exported from Puerto Inirida, including the jaguar catfish, altum angelfish and panda uaru.


Establishing Standard Fish Health Practices in Stores (Retail Session)
Presented by George Blasiola
The development of a manual of standard operating procedures (SOP) keyed to four main areas of fish health management is essential to maintain healthy livestock in your store. These areas are: water quality management, basic disease recognition, quarantine and feeding practices. The SOP manuals are especially important for the training of new employees as well as for daily reference. Writing the procedures for the manual can be a difficult task. This seminar will outline the steps needed to successfully complete such a project.

Freshwater Shrimp in the Wild and in the Aquarium
Presented by Chris Lukhaup
Dwarf shrimps have experienced a real boom in the aquatic world in recent years. As recently as 5 years ago only 2 to 3 species were on offer in the ornamental fish trade in the USA. The range of species now in the tanks of breeders, importers and wholesalers has become almost overwhelming. Vibrantly colored breeds in starkly contrasting colors from Europe and Asia, as well as new wild catches from all parts of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong are reaching US aquarists. Today shrimp are the most popular inverts in our aquaria.


What Does it Take to Make them Buy at Your Aquatic Business? (Retail Session)
Key Lessons on Driving Sales by Generation
Presented by Lynn Switanowski
This seminar will help Aquatic Experience retails understand today’s changing consumer landscape of 2018 and beyond. Diving in to help attendees uncover consumer purchasing motivation and shopping patterns by generation, this session will explore critical business factors including how and why consumers spend money today, how and where consumers “listen” to messages about brands and how your retail business can engage customers more effectively to produce and deliver the best products and services in the marketplace.  Walk away with a better understanding of what motivates each generation of consumers to spend money today.

Fish Surgery
Presented by Dr. Jessie Sanders
In the scope of fish care and keeping, surgical intervention is sometimes required to improve fish health and quality of life. But, how does a fish undergo surgery? With a few adaptations from their fluffy pet counterparts, fish can receive multiple surgical treatment options with minimal pain and suffering.


Retail Panel
Please join our Aquatic Experience retail panel for a discussion on the leading retail topics affecting the aquatic industry retailer today.  Bring your thoughts and questions for the retail panel and join this important discussion.


What’s in your Tank?: Protecting your fish from a Dangerous World. The principles of Biosecurity from Hobbyist to Importer
Presented by Dr. Timothy Miller-Mogan
Biosecurity is a term that describes the collection of practices employed to prevent disease introduction and spread within our animal facilities. Lack of consistent health management and biosecurity protocols throughout the chain of custody may place our animals and facilities at risk. Dr. Miller-Morgan will present a basic introduction the concept of biosecurity and provide some basic principles and techniques that can be deployed by hobbyists, retailers, wholesalers and importers to reduce their risks of disease introduction and spread.

Sunday, October 20


Advances in Fish Nutrition
Presented by Ashley Emanuele
This lecture will provide an overview of marine and freshwater fish nutritional requirements. Additional topics of discussion will include novel and sustainable protein sources, diet ingredients meant to provide immune support, and the use of nutrition in treating fish disease.

Aquarium Lighting Basics for Reef and Planted Aquariums
Presented by Sanjay Joshi
Don’t miss this presentation which will cover the basics of aquarium lighting for reefs and planted aquariums. It will include the pros and cons of various lighting choices, common terminology such as spectrum, PAR, PUR etc. what they mean and how they relate to reef keeping and plants.


Freshwater Inverts on the Rise in the US
Presented by Chris Lukhaup
In the 1980’s, invertebrates were only viewed as exotic guests in freshwater aquaria, with the exception of a few snail species, often added as hitchhikers among newly-acquired aquarium plants, and one species of shrimp known as glass shrimp or ghost shrimp, which were primarily used as live a food source for fish. For the past several years, however, use of inverts has been booming. Today we have a varied range of crayfish, snails and – most of all – shrimp, and almost every week a new variant or species is brought onto the market.

From the Globe to the Glass-The Journey of your Aquarium Companions
Presented by Shelby Bush
Join us in watching the journey of your aquatic companions unfold as they reach their final destination from Segrest Farms, to your home aquarium. You will see some of the best practices in the industry displayed as we travel to our farms in Florida and then around the globe to select hand reared animals and sustainably collected wild species.  From there we will visit our five buildings that house over one million fish each week! See how we care for and ship animals and plants to a store near you, bringing life to thousands of glass boxes great and small around the globe.
During the final leg of this visual adventure of Segrest Farms Fish, you will learn about how we support conservation and take action on legislation that can affect the future of the Aquarium Hobby. Connecting you to the big picture, and how as a hobbyist, you are the heartbeat of the industry and can make a difference.


Live Aquascaping with George Farmer
Presented by George Farmer
George will aquascape a classic Nature Aquarium layout and explain the whole process from equipment choice to hardscaping and planting. Q&As are encouraged throughout the demo!


Coral Spawning in the Aquarium
Presented by Richard Ross
In 2018, Steinhart Aquarium became the second institution to synchronously spawn Acropora in aquaria. This is no small project, requiring the building of a climate controlled, light and lunar controlled, specialized room and system and a collection trip to Palau. This talk will cover the basics of coral spawning, details about the lab and methods, as well as what corals are practical for hobbyists to work with and spawn.



*This program 1198-34293 is approved by the AAVSB RACE to offer a total of 7.00 CE Credits (7.00 max) being available to any one veterinarian, and/or 7.00 Veterinary Technician CE Credits (7.00 max). This RACE approval is for the subject matter for Category One (Scientific) and Category Two (Non-Scientific-Clinical) using the Seminars/Lectures.

This approval is valid in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE; however, participants are responsible for ascertaining each board’s CE requirements. RACE does not “accredit” or “endorse” or “certify” any program or person, nor does RACE approval validate the content of the program.

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