The 2008 Aquatic Gardeners Association Convention in Atlanta, Georgia November 14 - 16 will present some of the most fascinating and progressive speakers in the planted aquarium hobby. You don’t want to miss this event! Here’s more information about two of the six speakers: Takashi Amano Aqua Design Amano Niigata, Japan Amano established the original layout style ‘Nature Aquarium’ that introduced the concept of aquascaping to the planted aquarium hobby. He founded Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd in 1982. He developed and manufactured aquatic plants cultivation equipment, called ‘Nature Aquarium Goods’ that was focused on its design and quality. In 1992, he published ”Nature Aquarium World Book 1” and his 2nd photo book, ”Nature Aquarium World Book 2” was translated into seven languages. Thus the concept of ‘Nature Aquarium’ was spread all over the world. Since 1975, Amano has visited tropical rainforests in Amazon, Borneo and West Africa and pristine forests in Japan, and he has been working on series of photos focusing on “untouched nature” with his large-format cameras. He captures minute details of nature found at site on extra large size films (up to 8x20 inches). His works have been introduced internationally through the several exhibitions and publications. Amano is now taking on a challenge to record the existing precious nature of Japan on large-format films and pass down to posterity. Michael Kane, Ph.D. Assistant Chair & Professor Environmental Horticulture Department University of Florida Dr. Michael Kane is a professor in the Environmental Horticulture Department at the UF Gainesville campus and the program manager of the Plant Restoration, Conservation and Propagation Biotechnology Program. The goal of his research is to develop ecologically sound and commercially viable plant tissue culture (micropropagation) procedures for production of aquarium, wetland and coastal plants and endangered orchids. Dr. Kane uses this knowledge to enhance the restoration of wetland habitats and retention ponds for phytoremediation (using plants to clean up the environment). In his lecture, Dr. Kane will explain the micropropagation process and how it can be applied to the efficient propagation of aquatics using Cryptocoryne, Anubias, Nelumbo, Aponogeton, Myriophyllum and Sagittaria species as examples. Rumor has it that he will provide a “Home Tissue Culture Kit” to each convention attendee. Neat! Atlanta Attractions If you have extra time in Atlanta, there’s plenty to see and do. Here are some recommendations if you’re planning to come early or stay late for the Convention. Georgia Aquarium (AGA Field Trip Tickets $23.50) MARTA: Peachtree Center Station 225 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30313 Phone: 404.581.4000, http://www.georgiaaquarium.org With eight million gallons of fresh and marine water, the Georgia Aquarium is home to approximately 80,000 animals, representing 500 species. Some of the Aquarium's most notable specimens include four whale sharks, the largest fish in the world, and four beluga whales. To get the special field trip rates, go to the AGA web site. Atlanta Botanical Garden MARTA: Arts Center Station, then #36 North Decatur bus (#27 Monroe/Lindberg bus on Sundays) 1345 Piedmont Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 Phone: 404.876.5859, Atlanta Botanical Garden The Atlanta Botanical Garden features over thirty acres of unmatched beauty in the heart of Atlanta. Stroll through Japanese, rose, perennial, vegetable, rock, herb and conifer gardens, or walk the trails in a 15-acre mature hardwood forest. Atlanta Botanical Garden is home to one of the largest permanent orchid displays in the world, as well as a conservatory dedicated to rare and endangered plants from deserts and tropical rainforests. Register soon! Go to the Aquatic Gardeners Association web site to register and see a preliminary schedule.