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The Potomac Valley Aquarium Society is a not-for-profit educational and social organization. The society was founded in 1960 for the purpose of furthering the aquarium hobby by the dissemination of information and advice, and the promotion of good fellowship among the members by organized activities and competitions.


Our club meets every month the first Saturday of the month except for the Spring and Fall All-Day Auctions which fall on Sunday. Sometimes the dates are pushed to avoid a holiday so always check the Program. Meetings are free and open to the public. People who attend more than one or two meetings per year are asked to join the club. The annual membership fees for individuals is only $20/year and helps us pay for the meeting room and other expenses of running the club.


Meetings vary over the course of the year in their format. At the regular monthly meetings in January, February, March, May, June, August, and September we have a feature presentation followed by a raffle and mini-auction. Oftentimes we also have a "lightning" presentation where a club member gives a short presentation on a topic of interest. Anyone can buy items in the mini-auction, but only members can sell. Pizza and beverages are offered for a nominal fee to cover costs. Members can purchase high quality plastic fish bags at meetings. These are offered by the club at cost as a service to members. 

Bowl Show & Indoor Picnic

Some meetings follow special formats. Every July we feature the Bowl Show & Indoor Picnic where members bring in an amazing assortment of fish and invertebrates for friendly competition for ribbons and cash prizes in a number of classes. If you're interested in seeing beautiful specimens of fish, shrimp, and snails you should stop by. It is our most heavily attended event of the year. A raffle and mini-auction follow the Bowl Show awards.

Annual Meeting & Elections

In November we hold our Annual Meeting which is formatted like a regular monthly meeting with the exception that we hold our annual elections. For more information on the election process and becoming an Officer or Director of the club see our Bylaws. The November feature presentation is often replaced by a live demonstration or hands-on workshop although some years we do that in August if the planned activity requires warm weather.

Holiday Party & Potluck

In December we hold our Holiday Party & Potluck Dinner. This meeting is dedicated to socializing and good cheer. There is no feature presentation. Instead, the club provides ham and turkey with all the fixings, and club members show off their culinary skills by bringing side dishes and desserts. A raffle and mini-auction follow the feast.

All-Day Auctions

The April and October monthly meetings are replaced by the Spring and Fall All-Day Auctions. These are held on Sundays, not Saturdays, to give sellers the opportunity to prepare their fish for bagging and travel.


The auctions are open to the public and free to attend. Anyone can buy or sell fish at the auctions. Members receive a higher sales commission than nonmembers.


Registration opens at 9:30 am, tag sale opens at 10 am, and bidding opens at 10:30 am. Auctions last until all items are sold, generally between 4:00 - 5:00 pm. The auctions also feature raffles of dry goods and livestock.

Outside Activities

Every year we organize a number of outside activities. These vary but include things like:

  • trips to public aquaria such as the National Aquarium in Baltimore

  • private, behind-the-scenes tours of Amazonia at the Smithsonian National Zoo

  • shop tour

  • fish room visits,

  • collecting trips

  • overnight trips to sister club meetings

Special Events

Every other year in October we host the All-Aquarium Catfish Convention bringing together enthusiasts from all over the world for three to four days of presentations, demonstrations, field trips, collecting trips capped off by the All-Day Auction.

The next All-Aquarium Catfish Convention will be held October 9-10, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Dulles followed by the Fall All-Day Auction on Sunday, 10/11/2020.

These activities serve to fulfill our mission of furthering the aquarium hobby through sharing knowledge and promoting good fellowship.

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