The annual meeting of the Federation of Texas Aquarium Societies was held September 12-14 in Houston, hosted by the Houston Aquarium Society. Speakers included world-renown fish collector Heiko Bleher, as well as Anita Nelson (a local pond owner/store owners), Jeff Cardwell and Spencer Jack. I think all the TCA folks were looking forward to Spencer’s talk, as we had met him previously at the ACA convention in Cincinnati.
The tour of local pet shops Friday evening was a big hit, as was the Hospitality Room. We were on the 12th floor of the hotel, with a breathtaking view of Clear Lake. How relaxing, after a hard day at work, to sit out on the balcony and watch the many different boats (I use that term very loosely!) cruise by.
This year HAS also had a show in connection with hosting FOTAS, which had over 50 entries. Winner of Best in Show was a beautiful Emperor Pleco owned by Kathy and Marvin England.
The auction was HUGE! There were nearly 100 buyers, which must have been a record for HAS. Many types of fish, and even some shrimp and eels, were auctioned off. Dry goods also made an appearance here and there, and several tanks were raffled off. In the room next door, HAS conducted a silent auction with many great items. Several TCA folks left with their pockets lighter but with more “stuff” for their fish.
FOTAS next year is scheduled to be hosted by Brazos Valley Aquarium Society in Bryan/College Station. However, if TCA gets the bid for ACA 2005, we will swap with BVAS and host FOTAS 2004 in the Metroplex area.
Many thanks to HAS President Prosper DeBee and his able assistants for keeping things moving and as organized as possible over the weekend. Also, thanks to Prosper for allowing HAS to hold the show at his facility. All in all, a job very well done by everyone over the entire weekend!