February 23, 2024 – Speaker: Rich Terrell

• Presentation: Risk Management and Contingency Planning for Aquarists

• Speaker: Rich Terrell

Bio: Rich Terrell has been interested in aquatic life since middle school. He blames this largely on his parents watching lots of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and Jacques Cousteau specials. Rich attended Jacksonville University (Jacksonville FL) where he got a B.S. in Biology and Marine Science. He went on for a M.S. in Marine Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Delaware College of Marine Studies in 1996.

Rich worked in several retail pet stores over the years from 1991 to as recently as 2014. But his really big break came in 1998 when he landed a job as a freshwater aquarist at the (then under-construction) Newport Aquarium in Newport, KY (across the river from Cincinnati, OH). In just a few years he advanced from Aquatic Biologist to Assistant Curator to Aquatics Curator.

But not getting his hands wet didn't suit. So Rich took his talents to the PPG Aquarium at the Pittsburgh Zoo in October 2002 where he worked in roles as Tropical Marine Aquarist, Amazon Freshwater Aquarist and with the filtration systems over nearly 16 years. During that time Rich co-authored the chapter on Abiotic Filtration in Advances in Coral Husbandry in Public Aquariums, co-authored the Freshwater Stingray chapter in Elasmobranch Husbandry Manual Vol II and also co-authored pieces in C-the Journal and Amazonas magazine. And he presented at numerous Regional Aquatics Workshop conferences and the Symposium on Advances in Coral Husbandry in Public Aquariums.

While still at the PPG Aquarium Rich started Rich's Fishes, an aquarium service company providing freshwater and marine aquarium installation and maintenance in residential and commercial settings as well as retail aquarium system repairs. Rich left the PPG Aquarium in 2018 to take Rich's Fishes full time and is loving every day of it. Rich's Fishes has grown to 3 employees serving clients in 6 states.

Rich still keeps fish at home. His favorites include cichlids, rainbowfish and live corals. But Rich is a true fish junkie at heart and appreciates lots of different fishes as well as reptiles and amphibians. In the little time not working with fish in one capacity or another, Rich has served as a leader in the Boy Scouts of America (now Scouts BSA) for over a decade and enjoys spending time with his family or in the garden. He has served on the board of the Greater Pittsburgh Aquarium Society, Inc. for around ten years, six as President.

Presentation overview: “Risk Management and Contingency Planning for Aquarists” will discuss strategies for minimizing risk in the aquarium hobby to both our fishes and the aquarist. The presentation is designed as a primer to foster discussion of these topics and to encourage aquarists to think thru the many possible scenarios that they could encounter in their own unique circumstances. I'll try to do this while sharing some of my experiences, successes and failures. I'll also include some stories and tips shared by some of the aquarists I've been fortunate to talk with over my years in public aquariums and the organized aquarium hobby. Audience participation will be encouraged and I hope that everyone from the noobs in the room to the most grizzled veteran fish-head will walk away with an idea or two. But the ultimate goal is to help everyone think thru their own hobby situation and how they can minimize losses and stress (to aquarists and their charges) caused by the inevitable hurdles we all encounter on our aquatic journey.

Meeting Location:

Crafton Volunteer Fire Department
8 Stotz Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15205

Doors open at 6:30 PM; meeting starts at 7:30 PM

Turn in your BAP/AHAP

Breeders Award Program (BAP) and Aquatic Horticulture Awards Program (AHAP) will be accepted.


Support your club and potentially win prizes donated by our sponsors. Support our sponsors by visiting their web pages listed on this web site.

50/50 to help cover cost of event venue

50% of the winnings go to a participant, 50% goes to club to help pay rent for facilities.


There will be a mini-auction. Sellers will receive 70% of sales. 30% goes to club to help pay for expenses and supplies.


There will be plenty of time to mingle with members and guests throughout the evening.