Upcoming Events

All-Aquarium Catfish Convention 2016

October 13-16, 2016
Hyatt Regency Dulles


Want to get more involved in PVAS? Serving on a club committee is a great way to meet members and have fun. Click here to read about all the committees at work today.


About Us

The Potomac Valley Aquarium Society is a not-for-profit educational and social organization. The society was founded in 1960 for the purpose of furthering the aquarium hobby by the dissemination of information and advice, and the promotion of good fellowship among the members by organized activities and competitions.


Click here for our full calendar of events.

Next meeting: May 7th at 1:00pm
Joe Gargas, "Water and the Aquarium"

Joe Gargas

Joe Gargas, a native of the South Suburbs of Chicago, began his interest in Tropical Fish in the mid 60's when an aunt gave him his first fish tank with guppies. His interested in tropical fish grew through his teen years, and his collection grew into walls of aquariums. In the late 70's, he became a Law Enforcement Officer in the South Suburbs of Chicago. During that time he worked extensively breeding Discus, as well as other hard to breed species of fish, making extra money in the process.

Joe began writing for a number of Aquarium Fish Publications, including FAMA (Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine) and TFH (Tropical Fish Hobbyist). He had a column in the "Pet Dealer" Magazine called "Facts on Fish" for 7 years. He also began teaching a class that he put together at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, "Advanced Freshwater Fish Keeping." This was a 6-week, 6-part course that he gave twice a year.

In the early 90's he was approached by the Wardley Corporation in Secaucus, New Jersey (An Aquarium Fish Food Company) and was offered the job as a consultant. At this time he began doing the PIJAC "Freshwater Fish" certification seminar throughout the USA, Canada and the UK, speaking on all aspects of the aquarium hobby. In the mid 90's, the Wardley Corporation was bought out by the Hartz Mountain Corporation, and Joe was offered the job of the Director of Research for Wardley. He and his family were relocated to the Tampa Bay area, where he lives today.

He was granted by the US Government 13 patents on new technologies and Applications for Potable Water, Swimming Pools, Fountains and the Aquarium Fish Industry.

Joe lectured World Wide, on behalf of the Wardley Corporation, on all aspects of Tropical Fish Keeping and he developed many products. He currently has a hatchery were he is breeding Discus, Rams and Angelfish, selling to breeders and high end stores across the country. He is currently an active member of the Tampa Bay Aquarium Society. Through his research and expertise he has helped aquarists/hobbyists keep their fish alive and remain in the hobby.


Join us for the presentation, raffles, a door-prize and our (not-so-mini) mini-auction.


PVAS meetings are held at the following location in the cafeteria:

Green Acres School
4401 Sideburn Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Click here for directions.


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