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Authors & Columnists

 Amano Takashi Amano was born in 1954 in Niigata, Japan. He has explored the remote jungles of South America and Africa and photographed a vast amount of nature scenes during his 16-year career as professional cyclist. He continued his research of tropical fish husbandry and aquatic plant cultivation and put forth an aquatic plant layout method, “Nature Aquarium,” which combines his extensive experience in the observation of nature and his unique sense of beauty. Takashi was awarded the silver medal of the Fuji Film Nature Photo Contest in 1991, and the Grand Prix of the same contest in 1992. He has also won many awards in various photo contests, and has authored many books. He established Aqua Design Amano (ADA) Co., Ltd. in 1993, of which he is the president and CEO.

 Adams Craig Adams has been an avid tropical-fish hobbyist for many years. He received a Master of Science degree from the University of Washington School of Fisheries, where he studied salmonid ecology. He then earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Washinton State University, and received additional training in fish medicine through programs such as Aquavet I and Aquavet II in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He currently owns and operates Aquatic Veterinary Services, and can be reached at

 Allen Bill Allen retired after 20 years of teaching music to train as a pathologist’s assistant at Delta Pathology Laboratory in Shreveport, Louisiana. Boyhood experiences catching and breeding fish spawned a lifelong interest in aquaria and his specialization in livebearers. Primarily interested in fancy swords and platies, he also keeps endangered xiphs, mollies/limias, and a few goodeids, and usually has a pair or two of Belonesox around—in fact, he briefly performed in a rock band named “Belonesox.” He presently plays banjo in North Louisiana’s only marching Dixieland band, “Struttin’ South,” and is the editor of Livebearers, the journal of the American Livebearer Association.

 Blundell Adam Blundell is the Director of the Aquatic & Terrestrial Research Team, whose efforts are designed to bring hobbyists and researchers together for common goals. When not teaching in the laboratory, Adam stays busy with many projects, local aquatic clubs, and a hectic travel schedule for speaking engagements. Adam can be contacted at

 Clapsaddle Charles Clapsaddle began fishkeeping at age seven, after winning some goldfish at a carnival. Successfully spawning them, he was hooked on fish. Mastering goldfish, his attention turned to livebearers, locally collected mosquitofish Gambusia affinis and sailfin mollies Poecilia latipinna. By junior high he graduated to fancy guppies, and his fascination with livebearers continues. Although his commercial hatchery breeds many other fishes, the development of new livebearer strains and the improvement of existing strains occupy his best efforts. Charles speaks to aquarium clubs across the country on various hobby topics. He has a BSc in Zoology from The University of Texas at Austin.

 Dunlop Colin Dunlop currently works full-time as a countryside ranger in Scotland and part-time as a self-employed ecologist specializing in European protected species. He has a background in applied biological sciences and animal husbandry and has been keeping fish and other exotic animals all his life. Colin has kept and bred many species of marine and freshwater fish and invertebrates over the years. He has recently moved back to the farm where he grew up, and he has plans for a much bigger and better fish shed!

 Fatherree James Fatherree has had more than a quarter century’s experience with aquariums of all kinds and has been deeply involved in the reef hobby for more than a decade. His background includes diving, collecting, as well as writing and photography, and he has worked in the trade on both retail and wholesale levels. With all this experience, he has seen his share of aquarium disasters, both natural and manmade, making invaluable his insights on how to save your tank during a crisis.

 Fenner Bob Fenner is an aquatic Renaissance man. His professional life has included jobs in tropical fish retailing, wholesaling, collection, photography, research, aquarium maintenance, and writing. He is an accomplished freshwater, marine, and reef aquarist, and an authority on aquatic plants and ponds as well. Bob is a frequent speaker at national and local aquarium society events, a long-time TFH and Microcosm author, and the expert the experts go to for advice. For more from Bob, visit

 Gonzalez Ivan Gonzalez has been interested in fish diversity since he was a young boy of about five years old. Growing up in Uruguay, his father used to take him on sport fishing trips on the Río Negro. At 16, he met Felipe Cantera of Salinas, Uruguay, who began to take him along on collecting excursions in the countryside. At the Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República Oriental del Uruguay, he delved deeper into the world of South American fish diversity. He has worked extensively doing fish sampling in the whole of Uruguay. Ivan is now working with fish identification and is completing his initial studies with a licenciatura in Biology.

 Hellweg Mike Hellweg has been an aquarist and breeder for over 35 years, working almost exclusively with fishes that mature at 4 inches or less in his 75 tanks. With nearly 200 species from 21 families, he is the top-ranked Grand Master Breeder of All Time in his local club. Mike is currently President of the Missouri Aquarium Society, Vice Chairman of the American Livebearer Association, and Historian for the Aquatic Gardener’s Association. He has written over 100 articles for various hobby publications and currently owns and operates a retail fish business.

 Kent Lawrence Kent originally hails from New Jersey, where he was trained as an economist at Princeton University. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania in West Africa and went on to a career in international agricultural development. He has worked for 20 years on humanitarian projects to enhance food production in Africa and Asia, mainly through agricultural research and extension. He has lived in Burkina Faso, Chad, Madagascar, and Egypt, and worked in over 20 African countries. Lawrence takes advantage of his work-related travel to marvel at indigenous reptiles, birds, and especially tropical fish. Currently based in Seattle, he keeps and breeds African fish in his home and has a particular interest in cichlids. His generous wife Kristin and three children (George, Moses, and Frances) feed the fish when he travels, which is often.

 Levine Roy Levine is an Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine at Cornell University. He has been an aquarist for over 40 years, specializing most recently in the breeding and development of new varieties of fancy-finned livebearers. Roy utilizes artificial insemination to facilitate breeding and to aid in the development of new interspecies hybrids. He was a guest speaker at the first American Livebearer Association (ALA) convention in 1976 and has given talks on artificial insemination at several aquarium society meetings. Roy is currently a member of the ALA and serves as a technical editor for its journal, Livebearers. As a hobbyist, he has published articles on artificial insemination, the use of Xiphophorus as an animal model of cancer, hifin genetics, and the development of X. birchmanni hifin hybrids. His website XFins ( has been visited by hobbyists from all over the world and contains photographs of his fish and useful breeding information for both beginners and advanced hobbyists.

 Maddox Mike Maddox is an aquatics hobbyist and author whose articles have appeared on various major aquarium websites, and he also owns Captive Marine Aquatics (, a company that installs custom aquariums and provides wholesale aquatic livestock to pet stores. Over the past 15 years, Mike has kept many aquatic species in many different types of aquariums, from sharks to clams. He has visited collection sites on coral reefs, observing capture and handling techniques, and followed livestock all the way from the wholesaler, to the aquarium store, and finally to the individual home aquarist. Mike greatly enjoys helping people successfully provide long-term care for captive aquatic animals and has been actively sharing his knowledge for over a decade. Visit his Captive Aquatics blog at and his Microcosm blog at

 Ophir Michael Ophir has been an avid loach enthusiast for the majority of his life. Now a graduate student pursuing a PhD in Immunology at Tufts University, Michael has written numerous articles on loaches, especially botiid species, which are his primary interest, and co-authored the recently released book from T.F.H. Publications entitled Loaches: Natural History and Aquarium Care. He credits his parents Shalom and Ellen Ophir and his brother Alex for his interest in aquarium fishes, science, and the appreciation of the world and its inhabitants around him.

 Pinto Tony Pinto has been an aquarist since he was 13 years old and discovered a book on keeping tropical aquarium fish in the local British Council library while living in the Middle East (well, we all have to start somewhere). He currently keeps a small collection of tropical plants and fish—his primary interests are killifish and labyrinth fish, although every so often he can be persuaded to keep a few tetras, dwarf cichlids, rainbowfish, cories, or livebearers. Any fish that is colorful or an oddball and doesn’t grow bigger than 3 inches could end up in Tony’s tanks—the only exceptions to date have been his large mouthbrooding bettas! He spends his vacations traveling, observing, and collecting aquarium fishes in Indonesia, India, Malaysia, and South America (and on occasion from other hobbyists’ fishrooms). Future plans include a trip or two to Africa to collect fish—some things never change...

 Reck Donna M. Recktenwalt has been keeping aquarium fish since childhood and has successfully bred a number of species of catfish, cichlids, killifish, and livebearers. A member of several aquarium clubs, Donna has served in a variety of positions, from newsletter editor to president. She is the author of many articles on fish and aquaria, and has written on a variety of other specialty topics. Her short fiction appears occasionally in the small press market—she is the author of two novels.

 Rich Andy Rich joined Paradigm Management Services as Vice President of Human Resources in early 2008 and is responsible for talent strategies, acquisition, retention, and development—as well as organizational and business strategy alignment, and culture and change management. Andy has 30-plus years of successful senior-level human resource leadership, executive management, and consulting experience. As a graduate of Cornell and Long Island University, he holds an MBA, MPA, and BS, along with a degree in Executive Management, and has been certified in coaching by the Center for Creative Leadership. He is married with two children ages 20 and 30, and in addition to his long-time interest in plants and fishkeeping, he is an avid skier, fisherman, golfer, is certified in wilderness search and rescue, and is a member of the National Ski Patrol.

 Robbins Mark Robbins was born in 1957 in Bermuda and was raised in a suburb of Houston, Texas by professional opera singers. Mark has had a varied professional life dealing in both the world of music/sound recording and the world of computers and online communications, dating back to the early 1980s. A lifetime aquarium hobbyist, Mark’s interest began with a dwarf seahorse ad in the back of a kid’s magazine, which included a 2-gallon plastic box for a tank. Mark still deals with breeding dwarf seahorses, but has raised and bred many fishes and animals in the 40-plus years since. This ranges from keeping guppies and cichlids to catching wild octopuses, anemone, and other wildlife from the Gulf of Mexico. Mark now resides in North Texas and has two wonderful boys in college, Shaun and Joshua Robbins. Mark is very interested in invasive species study, as well as the use of cloned animals for world hunger relief.

 Rosser Bill Rosser has been involved in the aquarium industry for 15 years. He has participated in the development of several retail stores, most recently managing a store with a 6000-gallon retail capacity as well as a 5000-gallon shark and ray exhibit. Over his career in the pet industry, he has accumulated a vast amount of expertise in the fields of captive husbandry and propagation. With this, he hopes to bring awareness to the plight of marine life, and is now focusing on conservation through education and captive propagation. Bill currently operates, a South Carolina-based company specializing in both aquatic life and reptiles, offering a vast amount of information, services, livestock, and supplies, as well as aquarium maintenance for both residential and commercial displays, and educational displays and presentations. You can email Bill at

 Sernotti Craig Sernotti graduated from The College of New Jersey in 2002 with a BA in English and a minor in Journalism. After working various editorial jobs, he joined T.F.H. Publications, where he is currently employed as the Aquatics Book Editor. He plans to one day rule the world’s waterways and will ride a Mekong catfish to his lavish coronation—until then, Craig lives in New Jersey with his wife, his rescued dog and cat, and a 20-gallon freshwater aquarium.

 Sung Stan Sung grew up reading about adventurous explorations and new fish discoveries in TFH, and as a youngster Stan dreamed of visiting these fabled destinations. He has led expeditions to Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, and the South and Southwest of the United States—many of these explorations have been documented in the pages of TFH. Among his discoveries are new species of rivulins from Panama. An avid painter and art lover, his award-winning stylized depictions of tropical fish and their habitats have been used in fundraising events for the American Zoological Association for preservation and education of the endemic aquatic species of Madagascar.

 Takeshita Glenn Takeshita is a retired assistant chief water chemist with 35 years of service with the Honolulu Board of Water Supply. He attended the University of Hawai‘i and Indiana University. Glenn has raised fish all his life, and became a serious hobbyist in the 1950s. He started writing fish articles around that same time. He plans to keep writing as long he is able to. Glenn’s forte in the tropical fish hobby has been in fancy livebearer genetics. He also has many other interests, including karate, sports, plants, birds, body surfing, surfing, and ballroom dancing.

 Terceira Tony Terceira was born in 1943 and has been involved in the hobby for over 40 years specializing in killifish. He recently retired from education after 35 years, where he served as Director of Mathematics. He has been involved in the importation, breeding, and distribution of many species including wild bettas and killifish. He has written and illustrated numerous articles on all facets of the hobby, appearing in publications worldwide. Tony is a renowned photographer and author of Killifish, Their Care and Breeding, published in 1974. In 1982, Tony was named a Fellow of the American Killifish Association in recognition of his numerous contributions to the AKA and its goals.

 Violand Nicholas Violand is a recent graduate of the School of Environmental & Biological Sciences at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, having earned a BS in general biotechnology, a minor in biochemistry, and certification in technical writing after completing an editorial internship with TFH Magazine. He has enjoyed keeping fish since childhood, and now houses saltwater fish and invertebrates, as well as an outdoor pond with some long-surviving goldfish. While his continuing education goals are not completely certain, he may likely become a career student.

 Walmsley Jeff Walmsley started fishkeeping in childhood with wild-caught newts, loaches, sticklebacks, and minnows from the now built-over ponds and streams around his then Lancashire home. Sent to work in India for some years, he graduated to local tropical species, and, for the first time, tropical plants—which rapidly, and ever thereafter, commanded almost his entire attention. Now in retirement, he keeps four planted aquaria totaling 24 feet in length, plus a 5-acre terrestrial garden at his home in the Welsh hills. He has written for most of the British fishkeeping magazines, and warmly welcomes interaction with readers via e-mail:

  Joshua Wiegert is currently pursuing a PhD and is a former college instructor. His professional background includes several publications, as well as experience in the fields of ecology and limnology, from simple backyard pond and landscape work, to ecological studies of large lakes; he also donates a large portion of his time to the Native Fish Conservancy (NFC). His personal aquarium experience is fairly eclectic, and centers on planted aquaria, North American fishes, killies, and goodeids. When not out collecting fish or native plants, he can often be found hiking in the mountains, or occasionally writing his own biography for TFH.

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