Author Topic: 2018 Southwest Aquarium Keepers Event (SAKE) - 20th anniversary  (Read 965 times)


  • Administrator
  • Jr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 89
    • View Profile
The 20th annual Southwest Aquarium Keeper Event (or SAKE) is scheduled for Saturday, March 24, 2018.  We will have several programs, a giant raffle, and both a silent and a regular auction.  There is no admission fee and everyone is welcome.  We do encourage you to donate fish, aquatic plants, live food cultures, and aquarium items for the auctions to help us defray our expenses.

LOCATION:  SAKE will be held at:
    La Quinta Inns & Suites
    2510 W Greenway Rd  (NE corner of I-17 at Greenway)
    Phoenix, AZ 85023

  • Steven Waldron, owner of Aquarium Zen in Seattle - will talk on "From nature to the Nature Aquarium" about aquascaping, aquarium design, and natural inspiration.
  • Gabe Skidmore - will relate his experiences "Collecting fish in Florida."
  • Nick Saint-Erne DVM, an aquarium hobbyist for 50 years and a veterinarian working with fishes for 33 years, will discuss "Fish diseases and treatments."
  • Sarah Walker will talk about "Tips and Tricks from the First Year of Killifish."
  • Dr. Ron Harlan describes "How fish get their sometimes strange and even funny names."
Scroll down to see more information about the speakers

REGISTER NOW:  There is no registration fee to attend SAKE.  You can register at the door; however, we encourage you to "register" before the event.  There may be some incentives offered at the event for those who register early. To register early, on or after January 8, 2018, please send an e-mail to  The e-mail to register must include:

    1.    Your name
    2.    Any current aquarium club affiliation(s)
    3.    Current hometown (and state)

If you are registering a spouse, children, or a friend, please include the same information for each attendee.  When your registration has been processed, you will see your name listed below.

 9:00 a.m.     Set up begins (log in and sort mailed in fish shipments; set up Silent Auction and raffle tables; etc.)
 9:30           Doors open for attendees
11:30           Silent Auction begins - the Silent Auction closes at 3:00 and items will be distributed starting at 5:00 (if you canít stay until then, please do NOT bid on items in the Silent Auction)
11:45-12:45  First program:  Steve Waldron
12:45-1:15   1st Raffle Drawing session
 1:15-2:00     Second program:  Gabe Skidmore
 2:00-2:15     Break
 2:15-2:45     Regular Auction Ė first session (you can pay for your items during either the next break, when the Silent Auction items are distributed, or after the evening auction)
 2:45-3:00     Break
 3:00             Silent Auction ends
 3:00-3:45     Third program:  Sarah Walker - "Tips and Tricks from the First Year of Killifish." 
 3:45             2nd (final) Raffle Drawing session 
 4:00-5:00      Fourth program:  Nick Saint-Erne DVM
 5:00             Silent Auction distribution begins
 5:00             Dinner break starts
 5:45-6:45     Fifth program:  Dr. Ron Harlan
 6:45             Break
 7:00             Regular Auction - second session - until completed

RAFFLE ITEMS:  If you have items you would like to donate to the raffle, they are certainly welcome.  However, all raffle items should be new and in the original packaging whenever possible.  Partially used or "not new" items should go into the auction.

EVENT SPONSORS:  We encourage you to buy products from the companies who are donating to SAKE.  For the list of companies from whom we have received raffle items, go to

AUCTION DONATIONS:  Since SAKE is a FREE event we ask that you donate your auction items in order to help offset our costs. Expenses for SAKE run from $1,500 - $2,000 so every donated auction item help to defray costs.

AUCTION SALES: In past years some sellers, mainly those coming from out-of-state, would both donate and sell items at the auction. Trying to account for each individual auction lot can get tedious with 500+ auction lots.  Our solution is that if you are planning on selling your items at SAKE, all items of yours will be sold with a 50% club split.  We would still like to approve all sales items ahead of time.  If you would like to sell something at SAKE, please contact Allan Semeit at

AUCTION ITEM REGISTRATION: If you are bringing items for the auctions, it would greatly help if you fill out an auction form BEFORE you arrive. Please e-mail your list to - and bring the form with you and turn it in when you check in at SAKE.  The form is attached as a pdf file below.  If you are unable to print the pdf, you can write your items on a piece of paper and provide the same information.  Almost anything "fish-related" is welcome as a donation. 

SHIPPING AUCTION ITEMS FOR SAKE:  If you would like to send fish for the auction, please e-mail Allan Semeit at for the shipping address.

« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 09:45:39 AM by azkillie »


  • Administrator
  • Jr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 89
    • View Profile
People who have registered for 2018 SAKE
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2018, 10:26:43 AM »
These are the people who have registered for the 2018 SAKE.  If you are not listed, see the registration instructions above.  You can still register at the door.

     Name                  Club Affiliations (if any)     City, State   
  1. Allan Semeit......AKA, ARK, DWAS, GPPS....Phoenix, AZ
  2. Sarah Walker.......ARK, DWAS, AAPE, DAS, AKA....Phoenix, AZ
  3. J.D. Uker.......ARK, DWAS, AAPE, DAS, AKA....Phoenix, AZ
  4. James Hall......ARK....Gilbert AZ
  5. Danelle Chaney......ARK, AAPE....Glendale, AZ

  6. Rebecca Oakley......ARK, AAPE....Glendale, AZ
  7. Tara Launders......ARK....Peoria, AZ
  8. Tina Launders....Peoria, AZ
  9. Scott Jacobson......ACA....Shepherdstown, WV
 10. Dan Pape......ARK, DAS, AKA....Tucson, AZ

 11. David Padgett......ARK, DAS....Tucson, AZ
 12. Gabe Skidmore......ARK, AKA, DAS....Tucson, AZ
 13. Derek Tang......ARK, DWAS, VSKS....Chandler, AZ
 14. Tyler Gaston....Tempe, AZ
 15. Harold Ansell......DWAS....Mesa, AZ

 16. Dave Ryan......ARK, AKA....Phoenix, AZ
 17. Matt Pfeilstucker....Phoenix, AZ
 18. Mark Milliken......AZBH....Peoria, AZ
 19. John Willmon......ARK, AKA, AAPE, AGA, DAS....Tucson, AZ
 20. Philip Sarelis......DAS, AAPE, ARK....Tucson, AZ

 21. James Darlack......ARK, DAS....Tucson, AZ
 22. Jim Russell......SCKC, AKA....Yorba Linda, CA
 23. Ken Onulak......FRAG, AAPE....Scottsdale, AZ
 24. Howard Wu......AKA....Bishop, CA
 25. Nick Saint Erne....Phoenix, AZ

 26. Ron Harlan......AKA, SCKC, SDKG, SDAS, COAST....Fallbrook, CA
 27. Phil Farrell......SAS, NANFA....Placerville, CA
 28. Joseph Meinholz......ARK, AKA, DWAS, ACA, ALA....Prescott, AZ
 29. Tim McCullough......ARK, AKA....Flagstaff, AZ
 30. Bill Blair......ARK, DAS, AAPE....Sun City, AZ

 31. Sherry Blair......ARK, DAS, AAPE...Sun City, AZ
 32. Leonardo Gutierrez......DWAS, ARK, AAPE....Tempe, AZ
 33. Brianna Nunez......DWAS, ARK, AAPE....Phoenix, AZ
 34. Sondra Walker......AAPE....Phoenix, AZ
 35. John G. Pitcairn......SDKG, SCKC, SDTFS, AKA, SCWG....San Diego, CA

 36. Kerry Schultz......DWAS....Avondale, AZ
 37. Ron Sower......ARK, GSAS, AGA, AAPE....Florence, AZ
 38. E-Jay Christopher......AAPE, AKA....Mesa, AZ
 39. Jenny Christopher......AAPE, AKA....Mesa, AZ
 40. Alexis Christopher....Mesa, AZ

 41. Jaxson Christopher....Mesa AZ
 42. Bob Goemans......ARK, DAS....Tucson, AZ
 43. Lynn Cain......DWAS....Phoenix, AZ
 44. Bob McRae......DWAS, AAPE, FRAG....Phoenix, AZ
 45. Shelly McRae....Phoenix, AZ

 46. Sam Murphy......DAS, ARK, AKA....Tucson, AZ
 47. James McIntosh......AAPE, ARK....Glendale, AZ
 48. Kenny Wong......DAS....Tucson, AZ
 49. Johnny Tse......ARK....Tempe, AZ
 50. Jennifer Washington......AAPE....Glendale, AZ

 51. Joel Minisquero......DWAS....Peoria, AZ
 52. Chrissy Kim......DAS....Tucson, AZ
 53. Ramon Bojorquez......DAS....Tucson, AZ
 54. Kristen Stewart......ARK....Mesa, AZ
 55. George Garcia......Phoenix, AZ

 56. Deena Dunham....Rio Verde, AZ
 57. Art Brinkmann......ARK, DWAS....Glendale, AZ
 58. Bonnie Brinkmann......ARK....Glendale, AZ
 59. Richard Self......DWAS....Phoenix, AZ
 60. Cathie Rasmussen....Sun City West, AZ

 61. Tom Wilkinson......ARK....Goodyear, AZ
 62. David Huie......SDTFS, COAST....El Cajon, CA
 63. Peter Fischer....Phoenix, AZ
 64. Albert Joiner....Glendale, AZ
 65. Earnest Pearson......DWAS....Phoenix, AZ

 66. Resureccion Baetiong....Phoenix, AZ
 67. Marita "Rita" Lammie......ARK....Gilbert, AZ
 68. Randy Dobson......DWAS....Waddell AZ
 69. Ben Melesio Jr......AKA, ARK....San Tan Valley, AZ
 70. Chris Breitkreutz......COAST, SCKC....North Edwards, CA

 71. Kathleen Breitkreutz......SCKC....North Edwards, CA
 72. Kenneth Peacock....Surprise, AZ
 73. Tonia Peacock....Surprise, AZ
 74. Duane Heller....Phoenix, AZ
 75. Sara Heller....Phoenix, AZ

 76. Alena Mahaffey....Mesa, AZ
 77. Armando Brown....Mesa, AZ
 78. Kim Sundberg....Peoria, AZ
 79. Travis Moore....Peoria, AZ
 80. Jesi Moore......ARK....Peoria, AZ

 81. Melissa Etheridge......ARK....Phoenix,AZ
 82.  Jennifer Hinds....Cave Creek, AZ
 83. William Kamphaus....Tucson, AZ
 84. Tyler Lutsic....Tucson, AZ
 85. Ryan Yoder......ARK....Mesa, AZ

 86. Jeff Hostetler......AAPE....Surprise, AZ
 87. Russ Feilzer......SCKC, BAKA....Arroyo Grande, CA
 88. Jay Bohland......DAS....Tucson, AZ
 89. Ramona Azure......AAPE, AAFS....Phoenix, AZ
 90. Jeff Rhodes......AAPE, AAFS....Phoenix, AZ

 91. Pat Seifried......DWAS....Glendale, AZ
 92. Gary Bagnall....San Luis Obispo, CA
 93.  Emily Jacobson......DAS....Tucson, AZ
 94. Allan Barber......SCKC....Hacienda Heights, CA
 95. Benilda Barber......SCKC....Hacienda Heights, CA

 96. Brittany Griwzow......DAS....Tucson, AZ
 97. Ray Keeling....Litchfield Park, AZ
 98. Steve Connolly....Sun City, AZ
 99. Cody Connelly....Sun City, AZ
100. Julio Cantabrana....Phoenix, AZ

101. Holly Collins....Prescott, AZ
102. Sebastian Collins....Prescott, AZ
103. Pearl Mahar....Peoria, AZ
104. Ellie Yar....Queen Creek, AZ
105. Shawn Yar....Queen Creek, AZ

106. Lorena Caballero......ARK....Flagstaff, AZ
107. Isabel Zeilman....Flagstaff, AZ
108. Victoria Kean....Flagstaff, AZ
109. Tanya Vaughn......AAPE....Anthem, AZ
110. Alyssa Vaughn......AAPE....Anthem, AZ

111. Kylie Vaughn......AAPE....Anthem, AZ
112. Greycen Robson......AAPE, DAS....Phoenix, AZ
113. Richard Wilson....El Mirage, AZ
114. Katt Wilson....El Mirage, AZ


A strikethrough means the registrant notified us that they cannot attend after all.

Key to Club abbreviations:
AAFS = Arizona Aquarium Fresh and Saltwater
AAPE = Arizona Aquatic Plant Enthusiasts
AC = African Cichlids
ACIA = African Cichlids in Arizona
AKA = American Killifish Association
ALA = American Livebearer Association
AGA = Aquatic Gardeners Association
ARK = Arizona Rivulin Keepers
AZBH = Arizona Betta HEADS
BAKA = San Francisco Bay Area Killifish Association
CA = Cichlids Anonymous
CKC = Colorado Killie Club
COAST = California Organization of Aquatic Show Tropicals
DAS = Desert Aquarist Society (Arizona)
DFWKA = Dallas/Fort Worth Killifish Association (Texas)
DWAS = Dry Wash Aquarium Society (Arizona)
FRAG = Arizona Fish & Reef Aquarium Group
GPPS = Greater Phoenix Pond Society
GSAS = Greater Seattle Aquarium Society
IBC = International Betta Congress
HCCC = Hill Country Cichlid Club (Texas)
MAS = Minnesota Aquarium Society
NAAC = Northern Arizona Aquatics Club
NANFA = North American Native Fishes Association
PCCA = Pacific Coast Cichlid Association
SAS = Sacramento Aquarium Society
SCAPE = Southern California Aquatic Plant Enthusiasts
SCKC = Southern California Killi Club
SDKG = San Diego Killifish Group
SDTFS = San Diego Tropical Fish Society
SFAS = San Francisco Aquarium Society
SIA = Southwest Inverts and Aquatics
SWC = Southwest Cichlids
TAKO = Texas Area Killifish Organization
VSKC = Valley of the Sun Koi Club (Arizona)

« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 10:23:49 PM by azkillie »


  • Administrator
  • Jr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 89
    • View Profile
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 10:26:31 AM »
Steven Waldron is the owner of Aquarium Zen, an aquatics store in Seattle, Washington.  Prior to this, he had been working as a technician in fish genetics labs for around 15 years and found myself getting burned. Around the same time, Steve was really getting more and more interested in aquascaping as a hobby and started realizing he had more talent as an aquascaper than as a scientist. In 2012, Steve started a boutique-style aquascaping shop in Seattle. A large percentage of our floor space is dedicated to display aquariums that act as a gallery of ideas and inspiration for our clients or just people in the community who want to experience the beauty of aquarium life. We invite curiosity from our customers by displaying and presenting these aquatic animals and plants at their best. When people get inspired and start asking questions, we then look for these teachable moments and start revealing aspects of ecology and natural history. Aquarium Zen is one of the few retail distributors for Aqua Design Amano products, and we draw in people seeking to see, understand and purchase these beautiful and rather rare aquascaping supplies.

Syeve believes that the one thing that really sets Aquarium Zen apart from other stores is that he hasnít lost his passion for his  hobby. Even though he has been doing aquariums for 35 years, itís important to him to keep that passion strong and the fire lit, just as it did when he was a little kid pouring over old TFH magazines and stalking his local fish stores. Steve only sells products that he would use himself, and all of his livestock is cared for as if they were in his own home aquariums. He is still 100 percent a hobbyist at heart.

Dr. Ron Harlan can trace his interest in tropical fish to his childhood in Rangoon, Burma.  He helped a family friend, U Cho, drag a seine through streams collecting tropical fish.  Ron joined the American Killifish Association in 1965 and was a member of the BAKA during his high school years when he lived in a bedroom with with 35 species of killies and dwarf cichlids.

More recently he had been the resident Rivulus expert in the Southern California Killi Club and keeps a slightly more modest number of species.  Ron has taken 6 fish collecting trips into the Peruvian Amazon as well as collected in Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and most recently in Myanmar (Burma). Professionally, Ron was a biology faculty member, department chairman, and Dean of Instruction at Glendale College (California) for 33 years. Now retired, he is the owner of Back to Nature Filtration founded in 1985 and still provides affordable reverse osmosis systems to the tropical fish and orchid hobbyist.

Nicholas Saint-Erne, DVM has been keeping exotic pets since getting his first pet turtle in 1966, and setting up his first aquarium in 1968.  His major field of study was Fisheries Biology for his Bachelor of Science degree.  In 1984 he received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Kansas State University. He practiced small animal and exotic pet medicine in Las Vegas, Nevada for 15 years (1984-1999), the last 5 years of which were at a PetSmart Veterinary Service clinic within a PetSmart store in Las Vegas.  Nick was the consulting veterinarian for the Las Vegas Zoo, and for many of the performers with animal acts in Las Vegas, treating lions, tigers and other big cats, as well as performing birds and primates. He also supervised health care for the koi ponds at many of the Las Vegas Resorts.

Since 1999, Nick has lived in Arizona where he is the Quality Assurance Veterinarian for PetSmart Inc., which is based in Phoenix. His current role is to supervise the care of the fish and reptiles sold at over 1600 PetSmart stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.  This includes annual visits to pet breederís facilities in the US and Canada, and supervising the health care of the tropical fish in 5 distribution facilities, each containing over 4000 fish tanks with state-of-the-art recirculating filtration systems.

Nick is an Executive Board member of the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association and the WAVMA President for 2016, a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians, as well as the Valley of the Sun Koi Club in Phoenix.  He was the 2010 Chairman for the AVMA Aquatic Veterinary Medical Committee, and is currently the Executive Editor for the WAVMA quarterly journal.

Gabe Skidmore was raised in Ohio where he enjoyed spending time exploring the creeks and streams. He got his first fish tank at ten years of age. In the 90's, he became interested in cichlids from Lake Malawi.  While serving as a missionary in Sierra Leone for 12 years, one of the things he did was show local people how to raise tilapia as a food source. He's been married to his high school sweetheart for 25 years.  As international volunteers and world travelers they have enjoyed observing many fish in their natural habitats, particularly when they spent time snorkeling in Lake Malawi.  In 2015, he saw his first killifish. Now, he uses the majority of his aquaria for keeping them.

Sarah Walker has been keeping fish since college.  She primarily is keeping killifish and snails.  Her interest in killifish started one year ago at this very conference.  She will be giving a presentation reflecting on her experiences during this past year. From purchasing the first fish to raising babies, Sarah has learned a lot (many of it the hard way).  She is passionate about sharing the gospel of killifish to regular hobbyists.  Most people do not realize what a special fish community we have here in Phoenix.  Sarah currently has 32 aquariums, 10 tubs, and countless live food cultures. Her partner in crime, Jed Uker, manages the live food and builds the infrastructure.  Sarah works in Scottsdale, AZ as a Certified Public Accountant and volunteers with the A.K.A. as the Communications Director for the Killifish Conservation Committee.