Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Potomac Valley Aquarium Society?
 The Potomac Valley Aquarium Society is a not-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.

Who can become a member of PVAS?
 Anyone may become a member of PVAS. Individual memberships are $20/year, Family memberships are $30/year, Corresponding memberships are $15/year, and Junior memberships (under 18 years old) are $5/year. You can register online, download and print an application or pick one up at a monthly meeting.

I'm new to the hobby and worried about looking dumb or being intimidated by the veterans. Should I still join?
 Yes! We all treat each other with respect and in a friendly manner. Almost all discussions include some "back to basics." We're all glad to be able to assist the new hobbyist. Being a member is a great way to learn while having a good time!

What type of fish do PVAS members keep?
 All types of fish are kept by PVAS members from the most common to the rare and exotic. Our interests often include fish rarely available through the average pet store.

Does PVAS hold any type of monthly meetings?
 PVAS meets once a month, on the first Saturday of each month (except July). Each monthly meeting has a featured program or presentation, a door prize, a mini-auction, a raffle, and free refreshments. See the calendar for more information.

Where are the Monthly Meetings? What time do they start and how long do they last?
 Meetings are held at the Green Acres School, 4401 Sideburn Road, Fairfax City, VA (in the cafeteria or in Room 112). The meetings start at 1:00pm, but doors open at noon. The meetings usually end around 5 pm. Click here for directions.

Do I have to be a member to go to a Monthly Meeting?
 No, Everyone is welcome. We encourage anyone to attend and bring additional people.
What is the Monthly Mini-Auction?
 At each monthly meeting, members are encouraged to bring fish or fish related items to be auctioned. You can enter any number of items. You can also set a minimun price for each item, but if the minimun is not met your item is returned. For each item sold 25% will be retained by PVAS and will be deleted before the proceeds are given to the seller. Click here for more information on Mini-Auctions.

Does PVAS hold any major event like an Auction or a Workshops?
 Yes. Auctions are held twice a year, usually April and October. We also host the All-Aquarium Catfish Convention in even numbered years (2004, 2006... 2016). Workshops are given most years - keep an eye on our calendar.
What happens at the conventions? Must I be a member to attend?
 The workshop is a series of speakers (some nationally known) giving various presentations on the tropical fish hobby. At the end of the convention, a banquet is held accompanied by a presentation by a notable guest speaker from the hobby. Everyone - members and non-members of PVAS - are encouraged to attend the convention.
Who have been some of the past speakers at PVAS's Conventions?
 Some of the past speakers have been: Dr. Chris Andrews, Robert Goldstein, Jack Watley, Ian Fuller, Dr Wayne Leibel, Dr. Stan Weitzman, Lee Finley, Shane Linder, Karen Randall, Rusty Wessel, Paul Speice, Martin Moe and Julian Sprung, Bing Seto, just to name a few!
How does the auction work? Do I have to be a member of PVAS?
 Well, here are the basics. Anyone - members and non-members of PVAS - may buy and/or sell items at the auctions. Past auctions have had over 130 buyers and 75 sellers with some auctions having more than 900 items sold. Any item that is related to the tropical fish hobby may be entered into the auction. PVAS retains 30% of the sale price of items sold for more than $2. PVAS retains the full sale price of all items sold for $2 or less. There are no other buyers or sellers fees. The auctions, held on a Sunday, usually start at 9:00am with registration, actual selling begins around 10:00am. The auction ends after all items have been sold, usually ending around 5:00pm. Click here for more information.
Do I have to be a member to go to an Auction and Workshop?
 No, anyone may attend these events. PVAS encourages everyone to attend.
What other activities does PVAS engage in?
 In the past there have been trips to That Fish Place in Lancaster, PA along with a stop at the Aquarium Center, in Randallstown, MD. December's monthly meeting is PVAS's annual Holiday Party.
What is the Breeder's Award Program?
 The PVAS Breeder's Award Program (BAP) was established to encourage members to breed a broader variety of fishes and to share with others the knowledge they have gained by doing so. The program is open to all members in good standing (except corresponding members) of the Potomac Valley Aquarium Society. There is no time limit, you may proceed at your own pace.
How can I obtain more information about PVAS?
 We would encourage you to attend a monthly meeting, an Auction/Workshop, or visit the PVAS Web site.
Is there anything that a member can do to help PVAS?
 Volunteers are always welcome to assist at our meetings, auctions and other functions. A member may volunteer to the President to serve on any of the committees or to the Nominating Committee (after the September Meeting) to serve in any office or as a member of the Board of Trustees. Members, please see the Committees area on the PVAS Forum.

2018 Events

January 6: Jeremy Basch “Auchenipteridae – The Wonderful Woodcatfish”

February 3: Devon Graham “On the Origin of Species, or why are there so many fish in the Amazon?”

March 10: Panel Discussion -- Jim Chitty Frank Cowherd, Don Kinyon, and Dave Sombach “Successful Fish Breeding”, moderated by  Patchin Curtis

April 8 (Sunday): Spring All-Day Auction

May 5: Gary Lange “Cruising Papua - Following New Roads and Exploring the 'Bird’s Head'”

June 2: Larry Jinks “Building My Fish Room”

July 7: Bowl Show

August 4: Workshop: Christine Keys and TBD “Drilling and Repairing Glass Tanks”

September 1: Barbie Fiorentino Spawning Loricariidae

October 4-6: All-Aquarium Catfish Convention

October 7 (Sunday): Fall All-Day Auction at Hyatt Regency Dulles

November 3: Andrew Blumhagen “Why Bristlenose Plecos Have Bristles” and Annual Meeting, Elections, Workshop

December 1: Holiday Party