Aquatic Experience was held on October 19, 20, & 21st. It was a three-day event with Saturday being the busiest day. Aquatic experience has traditionally held its show in Chicago all these years this was the first time that they exhibited in Secaucus, New Jersey.
The show is mostly geared towards the freshwater hobby. Aisle upon aisle of livestock vendors included mostly freshwater animals and plants, with a huge emphasis on the cute ornamental shrimp in the invert category. There was a small selection of coral vendors but most dry-goods and equipment vendors are generally universal between saltwater and freshwater.
There was a live aquascaping competition sponsored by Fluval and each of the entries was outstanding. There was also a children’s aquascaping contest and it was incredible to see some budding young artists show their love of aquascaping. Live aquascaping demonstration by George Farmer were quite a draw at the tropica booth.
In addition the shrimp competition must have had over 200 varieties of shrimp in small Pico tanks supplied by JBJ/Dennerle. The variety of ornamental shrimp was quite outstanding with every color pattern imaginable. Some shrimp for sale at the show were priced as much as $5,000 to $8,000!
A live shark tank with shows every couple of hours was a huge draw – There were three nurse sharks in it. Aquatic experience also has an educational component with seminars and workshops – making it more of a conference than a trade show.
JBJ/Dennerle had an aquascaping workshop and they gave the workshop attendees a 10 gallon shrimp tank and accessories to take home with them. The workshop was conducted by Dennerle’s awuascaper from German Volker Jochum.
There was a huge pond with koi in the middle of the show floor. For kids there was even a touch tank with Marine Critters such starfish, horseshoe crabs and more.
Freshwater popular YouTubers had a booth all their own where they were live streaming from the show all day throughout the weekend.
An unusual exhibit was called the Jurassic tank with really unusual pre-historic looking fish which now live in a local thrift store in Clifton New Jersey.
Aquatic Experience was quite an immersive event. Even though this was the first time they had a show in NJ, word has it that they will be back next year. We certainly hope so.