Aquatic Experience 2019
Aquatic experience was held in October 2019 in Secaucus New Jersey this was the second time that this show was held in this location although no show dates have been announced for 2020 yet.
Compared to the show last year, this one was much smaller although it boasted many household brand names such as Zoo Med, API, Fluval, Brightwell Aquatics, JBJ, Hikari, Neptune Systems, Current USA to name a few.
The influencer booth, FishTube, had several influencers in attendance such as Miss Rachel O’Leary, George Farmer, Cory from Aquarium Co-op, Chris Lukhaup, Etc
Aquatic Experience is mostly freshwater focussed with a few coral vendors. It is still one of the only shows that is geared mostly towards the freshwater hobby.
This year was no exception with the amount of entries for both the shrimp and live aquascaping competitions, sponsored by Fluval and JBJ/Dennerle. Dustin’s Fishtank also hosted a kids aquascaping contest with the Fluval Flora aquarium kit.
Noticeably absent was the Shark Tank that had a couple of nurse sharks last year and a presentation on the hour about the animal.
Aquatic experience may not be returning to Secaucus New Jersey next year. They are in the process of surveying their vendors to see what location might be ideal but so far nothing has been announced.
We asked Zach Franck from the World Pet Association a few questions about aquatic experience.
Q: Is AE more about the hobbyist or geared towards educating the industry?
The overall purpose of Aquatic Experience is to bring everyone interested in aquatics together for one show. Our competitions attract serious hobbyists, the entertainment in games excite children and families, and the education and exhibiting companies attract many retailers. It really is a show that is geared toward all levels of the hobby. This intermingling between the different attendees is one of the best things about Aquatic Experience. It helps newer hobbyists learn, and it rejuvenates a passion in the more experienced.
Q: What does it take to put together the aquascaping and shrimp competition?
In general our aquatic competitions require close partnerships with relevant organizations such as AGA, JBJ/Dennerle, key sponsors and a lot of work! In all actuality, my job is to work with the AGA and JBJ/Dennerle and the sponsors in order to organize each contest. I make sure that we request the appropriate product from the sponsors, keep tabs on the volunteers and judges, set up the water delivery and handle any issues that arise before and during the show. However most of the on-site labor is actually handled by AGA and JBJ/Dennerle. It would be difficult to imagine these competitions without the help of these organizations. They determine many of the contest rules, choose the judges, provide volunteers, screen entrance, announce awards, etc. It would also be difficult to imagine any of our competitions without our sponsors: Fluval and JBJ/Dennerle. The contest sponsors provide all of the aquariums, filters, lights, etc. They make it possible to keep doing this contest each year.
The competitions at Aquatic Experience draw the most interest and crowd. This years top winners in the Aquascaping Live contest in both small and large tanks did a great job in creating aquascapes that told a story, drew you in to their underwater realm with their thoughtful design.