Conventions / Aquatic Gardeners Association November 2003

The Aquatic Gardeners Association, Inc.

2003 Aquatic Gardeners Association Convention was hosted by
Dallas-Ft. Worth Aquatic Plant Club. This three year old society from Texas, full of knowledgeable plant keepers and great aquascapers, showed strong organization skills along with plenty of entertainment.

1. Field Trip

The field trip adventure began with a tour of the Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility at Lewisville Lake (LAERF). It is an experimental pond facility developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers' Aquatic Plant Control Research Program. LAERF supports studies on biology, ecology and management of aquatic plants. In addition to 53 earthen and 21 lined ponds, LAERF utilizes 18 flowing water raceways, 3 large outdoor mesocosm facilities, a research greenhouse, and several laboratories to conduct research activities.

1st row - Phil Edwards, James Hoftiezer, Davil Lim, Donald aka. Big D, Dr. Shaun Winterton, Ben Belton, Bailin Shaw, Ann Viverette and others.

2nd row - Salvinia The Weed, Hydrocotyle sp



The Fish Gallery -
At mid-day we visited new fish store in Dallas called The Fish Gallery. This place had the best looking display setups I have seen in any fish store I visited in US. They had African Lake setups, heavy planted, salt water etc., great selection of driftwood, rocks, fish and plants. For those who are hard core fish lovers and willing to spend ~$30 per freshwater fish, they had Puntius denisonii. TFG provided free BBQ lunch for all AGA participants. Thanks !!!


Dallas World Aquarium -
Final stop was at Dallas World Aquarium in the West End. There was an exhibit called The Orinoco - Secrets of the River rainforest exhibit, representing the relatively uknown South American Orinoco River basin in Venezuela.

Group picture - Ghazanfar Ghori, Karen Randall, James Hoftiezer, Ann Viverette, Phil Edwards, Christel Kasselman, Paul Krombolz, Dorothy Reimer, Jay L, Cavan.


DFWAPC presented new twist to convention which was an addition of Focus Groups. Members had the opportunity to choose among a variety of topics and have one-on-one interaction. Focus Groups were lead by: Neil Frank, Tom Barr, Luis Navarro, Dr. Shaun Winterton, Ghazanfar Ghori, Mike Cameron, Tarah Nyberg.

Luis Navarro's Focus Group - "aquascaping basics".
Tom Barr's Focus Group - "aquarium plants for the advanced hobbyist"


Christel Kasselmann, Keynote Speaker for AGA '03, made more than 30 trips to tropical regions to expand the limited knowledge about the ecological needs of aquarium plants. From 1983-2001 she was the editor of Aqua-Planta, and in addition assisted with three other magazines (DATZ, Aquarium heute and Aquaristik aktuell). She has written over 150 articles about aquarium plants and their ecology.
We exchanged few interesting conversations on various topics related to aquatic hobby and other. Although english is not her first language, which was pointed out every 5 minutes by her, she was very professional with her presentation. Picture quality was excellent and further focusing was done by Erik or Randall to show perfection.
(* Christel was very anal about quality of pictures)

Ricky Cain w/ Christel Kasselmann

Christel Kasselmann with East Coast Mafia (James Hoftiezer, Jay L, Ghazanfar Ghori, Phil Edwards).


1st Row:
1. left (Ben Belton, Ghazanfar Ghori, Tom Barr, Phil Edwards, Dr. Shaun Winterton, Mike Cameron, Ricky Cain, Neil Frank, Tarah Nyberg.
2. left (Dorothy Reimer, Karen Randall, George & Karla Booth, Erik Olsen,
Christel Kasselmann
3. left (Ricky Cain, Tarah Nyberg, Bailin Shaw)
4. left (Luis Navarro 12G cube tank, Cheryl Rogers)
2nd Row
1. left (Ricky Cain, Luis Navarro, Bailin Shaw)
2. left (Jay L, Phil Edwards, Luis Navarro, Ghazanfar Ghori, Neil Frank)
3. left (Erik Olsen, Scott Hieber) (Thanks to both for technical support)

4. Luis Navarro 12G cube tank



I would like to thank The Dallas-Forth Worth Aquatic Plant Club for great event. This club is a perfect example of well organized group of individuals who can coordinate national convention, plan field trip, and provide entertainment.

Last but not least, huge thanks to AGA organization for another well planned convention.


  • 2003 AGA Convention Program booklet