The Home of PAPAS

Welcome to the home of the Pittsburgh Area Planted Aquarium Society. 

Have you ever wanted to make the fish in your tank happier and healthier by adding live plants?

Were you ever awed by the beauty of an aquascaped aquarium and wanted to try it yourself?

Thought you were the only one in the Pittsburgh area who cared about such things? PAPAS is here to help!


2015 is going to be a big year for PAPAS. It is our 10th Anniversary, we have strengthened our partnership with GPASI, our display tank at Oddball is doing better than ever, and the AGA is only a short drive away this year. 2015 also brings the return of our strongest group of officers along with some resourceful and innovative new faces in the Society. We invite you to come and join us as we take the club in new and unexpected directions.

The next meeting is February 8th, when Tim Gross covers the highlights of his two major planted tank trips of 2014. The Aquatic Experience in Chicago, and collecting aquatic plants in North Carolina

I started keeping aquariums at the age of 12.  One of my first aquariums was a 29 gallon African cichlid tank with an abundance of aquatic plants.  Luckily, the cichlids left the plants alone.  They seemed to thrive from all of the excess waste produced by the fish in my overcrowded African cichlid tank.  I really loved the lush growth of the plants and often received compliments from family and friends about my attractive natural looking aquarium.  Since then, I’ve been eager to grow as many species and varieties of aquatic plants as I can, and acquired a deep lifelong passion for natural planted aquariums.

In past years, I’ve acquired over a decade of experience working in and managing aquarium retail outlets, fish rooms and hatcheries.  I was always willing to spread my knowledge of aquatic plants to owners of these shops, which helped some of them build a nice quality selection of live aquatic plants.  Currently, Oddball Pets still has the largest selection of aquatic plants in Pittsburgh.

In 2004, a couple of friends and I considered organizing a club dedicated to the fast growing hobby of natural planted aquariums.  We founded the Pittsburgh Area Planted Aquarium Society (PAPAS) in 2005.  I have held all officer positions within PAPAS and am currently President of this prosperous club going into its tenth year.   I have also been co-chair of the Aquatic Horticultural Award Program (AHAP) with the Greater Pittsburgh Aquarium Society Inc. (GPASI) since 2005.  I have given numerous lectures on the many aspects of planted aquariums at PAPAS meetings and have written many articles for local aquarium related newsletters and websites on the subject of aquatic plants.

I have also contributed many photos to the Plantfinder identification guide on and have had numerous photos published in the Aquatic Gardener Associations quarterly journal.

At present, I keep over 100 species/varieties of aquatic plants in my eight aquariums at home and have been able to get my hands on and propagate over 300 species of aquatic plants.  I am interested in all aspects of planted aquariums and continue to grow as a hobbyist and contribute whenever I can.






Copyright, PAPAS 2010-2015