June 18th, 2016 | Water and the Aquarium: Keeping and Breeding Discus, Rams and Angelfish

  JoeGargasJoe Gargas, a native of the South Suburbs of Chicago, began his interest in Tropical Fish in the mid 60’s when a aunt gave him his first fish tank with guppies. His interested in tropical fish stayed and grew through the teen years which grew into walls of aquariums. In the late 70’s he became a Law Enforcement Officer in the South Suburbs of Chicago. During that time he worked extensively breeding Discus as well as other hard to breed species of  fish making extra money in the process. Joe began writing for a number of Aquarium Fish Publications and had a column in one of them that ran for 7 years. He also began teaching a class that he put together at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago it was “Advanced Freshwater Fish Keeping” This was a 6 week 6 part course that he gave twice a year.

In the early 90’s he was approached by the Wardley Corporation in Secaucus, New Jersey (An Aquarium Fish Food Company) and was offered the job as a consultant. At this time he began doing the PIJAC “Freshwater Fish” certification seminar throughout the USA and Canada and the UK speaking on all aspects of the aquarium hobby. In the mid 90’s the Wardley Corporation was bought out by the Hartz Mountain Corporation and Joe was offered the job of the Director of Research for Wardley and he and his family were relocated to the Tampa Bay area where he lives today.

Joe lectured World Wide on behalf of the Wardley Corporation on all aspects of Tropical Fish Keeping and developed many products. He currently has a hatchery were he is breeding Discus, Rams and Angelfish selling to breeders and high end stores across the country and is currently an active member of the TBAS Tampa Bay Aquarium Society. Through his research and expertise he has helped aquarists/hobbyists keep their fish alive and remain in the hobby.



University of Illinois (Champaign Urbana)

University Atlanta Georgia

Selected Publications:

Wrote for FAMA (Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine) TFH (Tropical Fish

Hobbyist) Also had an ongoing column in the “Pet Dealer” Magazine (An Industry Trade Publication) Called “Facts on Fish” Which ran consecutively for a number of years.

Research Interests:

Developed applications for water treatment  and analysis for the potable water industry as well as Swimming Pools, Fountains and the Aquarium Fish Trade.


Was granted by the US Government 13 patents on new technologies  and Applications for Potable Water, Swimming Pools, Fountains and the Aquarium Fish Industry