CCAC November 1st, 2018 MEETING – Bailin Shaw “The Essentials of a Planted Tank”

Bailin Shaw has had a love of fishkeeping from when he received his first aquarium for Christmas at the age of 5 and has had at least one aquarium running since that day.  To relieve the stress of graduate school, he dove into learning about keeping naturally planted aquariums through the Aquatic Plant Digest listserve and used the information to create natural and balanced environments to breed his fish.  To look for like-minded individuals, he restarted the Oklahoma City Aquarium Association to find people with similar interests in both fish and plants and served as the president of the organization for 2 years before moving for employment.

While working at his first job in Dallas, he started the first plant specific aquarium club and served as the president of the Dallas-Fort Worth Aquatic Plant Club during his time there.  The club eventually grew large enough to host the Aquatic Gardeners Association convention and is still running strong to this day.  His next move brought him to Connecticut where he started the New England Aquatic Plant Society and was president of the club for the two years before moving to Chicago.  In Chicago, while working the Aquatic Gardeners Association’s booth at the Aquatic Experience, he took names of people who were interested in starting a planted aquarium club in the area.  As a result, the Chicago Aquatic Plant Society started in early 2016 in a meeting room at a local Panera Bread and has grown to be one of the largest and strongest planted aquarium clubs in the United States.

In addition to serving as the current president of the Chicago club, Bailin also serves as an executive board member for the Aquatic Gardeners Association and is the chairperson for the annual Aquatic Gardeners Association International Aquascaping Contest.  When he’s not working on various club duties, Bailin runs 6-8 low maintenance and high-tech planted tanks and is passionate about educating hobbyists about the benefits of keeping a naturally planted aquariums.

CCAC September 6th, 2018 MEETING – Matt Parkinson “Freshwater Invertebrates”


Matt Parkison is the general manager of Aquatic Arts, an internet-based aquarium livestock and plant company in the Indianapolis, IN area. Matt began keeping aquariums at the age of eleven, and he has since logged 24 years of private aquarium-keeping as well as several years of working in the industry at various times over the past 20+ years, beginning with overall management of the aquarium department at an Anderson, IN pet shop at the age of 14 (i.e. – as soon as he could get a work permit!). Matt is responsible for the product stocking, overall management, and strategizing expansion and sales at Aquatic Arts.

Matt’s interests in the aquarium hobby are very diverse, but his longtime interests have included ancient, predatory, and venomous fish, particularly the scorpionfish family. He is also a herptile enthusiast, especially regarding turtles. Since he has worked for Aquatic Arts, Matt has become very interested and more well-versed in freshwater shrimp, crayfish, snails, invertebrates, nano fish, and plants.

In addition to his passion for the aquarium hobby, Matt has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance (Guitar) from Butler University and has played extensively in several musical acts and taught guitar and bass privately to hundreds of students. He enjoys attending concerts, reading, and spending time with friends and family.


CCAC October 4th, 2018 MEETING – Lucas Bretz “Keeping Aquariums Natural and Keeping it Simple”

Lucas Bretz has been keeping freshwater fish since he was a kid, inheriting his love for aquariums and nature from both his mother & father. Growing up in Tennessee and rural Indiana, he spent a lot of time outdoors and works to recreate a piece of nature in each of his aquariums. Once he discovered what adding natural plants can do for a tanks eco-system, he was hooked!

Since then, he’s always maintained a great line of Cherry Red Neocaridina Shrimp and expanded his aquatic plant collection from all around the world. In 2010 he began breeding Rainbowfish, noting their love for Indiana’s hard water. He also discovered mixing Neocaridina shrimp colors can create new types and has created many new colors of Neocaridina shrimp.

During the time Lucas was working full time in the construction field, caring for his fish on the side, making occasional sales through a variety of aquatic forums. Weeks before his son Wesley was born in 2014, he quit his full-time job and became a full time Dad. At this point, Lucas had around a dozen naturally planted tanks and started his YouTube Channel, L R Bretz’s Aquatics.

In 2015, Lucas took part in the 1st International Shrimp Contest at the Chicago Aquatic Experience, winning 1st and 2nd place in the two categories he entered. Almost 3 years later, he’s still maintaining and selling his 1st place winning Fire Red Neocaridina. In the 2nd International Shrimp Contest he acquired two more awards for his Neocaridina shrimp, making him the most awarded shrimp breeder in the US. You’ll find him competing again in October 2018 at the Aquatic Experience in Secaucus NJ.

After the initial recognition for his shrimp, LRB Aquatics was officially born & has been growing rapidly ever since! Lucas introduced his website and has been expending to keep up with demand, now maintaining 200 aquariums in his house. He also operates outdoor breeding ponds and tubs year-round & has created his own signature line of Rainbow Tiger Endler Livebearers.

Lucas often admits his is stricken with MTS, Multiple Tank Syndrome! In order to help manage the workload he designed and installed individual plumbing to each of his tanks. This was a lot of work, but it keeps him from having cross-contamination issues between tanks.

His fans know him for being a bit unorthodox in his approach to fishkeeping. He takes natural habitats into consideration whenever possible. This style has been a big contributor to his successes breeding a variety of aquatic life. He always challenges the status quo and enjoys taking you along on his experiments through his YouTube Channel.

Over the past year Lucas has been working to be more active in his local fish club, Circle City Aquarium Club out of Indianapolis IN. He’s also accepting invites to provide talks at other clubs.



Meeting Time:

Thursday, August 2 , 2018 at 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Meeting Location:

Waterfront Hotel and Conference Center
2930 Waterfront Pky West Dr, Indianapolis, Indiana 46214

What to Expect:

A typical meeting we start setting up about 7:00 pm and will official start around 7:30 pm. At the start of the meeting all club business and announcements are made.

Next is our speaker/presentation. Typically they last about 1 hour. Topics have a very broad range as far as a hobbyist can see.

After that a  brief intermission

  The Conclusion consists of door prizes, a members-only raffle item donated from one of our many proud sponsors/supporters, and  a members-only mini-auction of fish and aquarium related goods.  Meetings usually last until 9:30 or 10:00 pm

Red Raffle Tickets are priced as follows:

1 ticket $1.00              6 tickets $5.00            15 tickets $10.00            35 tickets $20.00


Remember it is only $20.00 a year for membership. You can join in person or online