AGA 2006 – Day 1 Speakers

November 11th, 2006

Erik OlsonAfter many months of waiting, the 2006 Aquatic Gardeners’ Association Conference is underway after president, Erik Olson, welcomed all attendees. He introduced many of the speakers for the weekend conference, and asked several local clubs to come up to the podium to speak about their activities. There was a brief, unexpected intermission, when one of the folks, who will rename unnamed, fainted at the podium, and needed some time to readjust themselves to their surroundings.

Fortunately, everything resumed without a hitch, and our first speaker, Eric DoEric Do gave the opening presentation about invertebrates. Eric is from the host club, the San Francisco Bay Area Aquatic Plant Society, and gave an excellent presentation with many very professional-like macro photos of shrimp, snails, crayfish, and even triops. He described how he uses the “drip-method” to acclimate all of his new arrivals, and recommended feeding them a number of prepared foods, veggies, with a new homemade food by a hobbist in Finland, being especially good. Eric covered pretty much any small shrimp in the hobby, including cherry reds, amano shrimp, cardinia sp. ‘red dragon’, green shrimp, bee shrimp, tiger shrimp, crystal reds, ghost shrimp, etc. The green shrimp were particularly interesting because the photos Eric showed demonstrated how they camouflaged themselves based on their environment. He also talked about how some of the more Cardinia sp. 'red dragon'expensive shrimp are graded, using crystal reds as an example. Basically, the width and number of white bands on a crystal red define how “good” of a shrimp it is. He mentioned how folks in Asia are trying to selectively breed a crystal red shrimp that is entirely white, with all the white bands merging together.

Eric wrapped up his presentation by going over a number of other small invertebrates, spending the most time on dwarf crayfish – the cajun and orange varieties. After that, he quickly flipped through a couple of pictures of various snails, triops, and a few other VERY small invertebrates.

Jeff SenskeThe second, and last, presentation for the evening was about Aquarium Photography by Jeff Senske of Aquarium Design Group, in Houston, Texas. Jeff is well-known in the aquarium community, and on the online forums, for pictures of his tanks. He wanted to briefly share a few of his tips and tricks to successfully shooting an aquarium. A few tips:

  • Add extra light over the tank. (Flash, or another light strip)
  • Use a high F-stop for more depth of field
  • Use a low shuttle speed so your fish aren’t blurry.
  • Never use your camera’s auto-mode.
  • Shoot in RAW mode, if your camera supports this.
  • Underexposure is easier to fixed in Photoshop, than overexposure.
  • Take a Photoshop class. He recommended NAPP classes. This will teach how to properly use layers, brushes, and curves. (These are the three basic things he described as being essential to touch-up photographs.)

Obviously, he gave a lot more detail through demonstration about these various topics, but it’s not really possible to describe them all here.

Overall, a pretty good opening night. The vendor room is setup, and very nice. Aqua Forest is present, showing off lots of ADA goods. SeaChem, Ray Lucas, Zoomed, and otheres are also here.

2 Responses to “AGA 2006 – Day 1 Speakers”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Nice!! Thanks for keeping us up to date! Looks like some really cool stuff going on there, to bad I cant be there. Have fun and buy lots of rare plants to bring back!

  2. Aquafest 2007 - Speakers-- Guitarfish Says:

    […] know his invertebrates and plants, but he’s a great guy. Eric gave an updated version of the same presentation I saw him give at the AGA last year. He went through a huge list of shrimp that we know in the hobby — Cherry Reds, Amanos, […]