eXXtravaganza Speaker Profile

Details on this year’s Extravaganza

Moderators: Jombi21, TheFishGuy, Don Danko, tankmates, LewC, Hilary, IThinkFast

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Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 12:03 am
Location: Norwalk, OH

eXXtravaganza Speaker Profile

Post by LewC » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:03 am

Barbie Fiorentino was born and raised in small-town Washington, and currently lives in the state, but has also lived in Missouri and Alaska at various times. Early in the adulthood, her main hobby was raising quarter horses, but during the mid-90s, worsening allergies forced her to find an equally engaging indoor activity. Her sister was already into keeping tropical fish, with a mind-blowing (to a non-aquarist) 9 tanks, and this caught Barbie’s attention. By 1997, she was handling over 800 gallons.

Barbie started with angelfish, and went on to breed a wide variety of freshwater species during her early years in the hobby. She was eventually drawn to Loricariids. After Julian Dignal, of Scotland, initiated “Planet Catfish”, a website dealing in all things Siluriform, she became a frequent poster on its forum, both asking and answering questions. When they invited her to moderate, she at first declined, citing her lack of experience. They had been reading her posts for months, however, and were impressed with her knowledge, and soon convinced her to sign on. She’s been involved with the site ever since. She also is a moderator on the American Cichlid Association forum and is the president of the Inland NW Aquarium Society, in the Spokane area.

Barbie keeps fish at two locations. At her home, she maintains over 1100 gallons distributed over 21 tanks, in which she keeps mostly Loracariids and Synodontis. Since 2006, she has owned an aquarium shop, Aquarium Solutions, in Spokane Valley. It includes a 900 gallon centralized grow-out system plus a 350 gallon quarantine area, not to mention the show/retail tanks in the public part of the store.

Barbie attributes her unique presentation style to the fact that she gave her first fish talk without having ever heard one! She welcomes questions and comments during her presentation, so don’t be shy. She will speak on Friday at 6:00 (“Catfish and Cichlid Nutrition”) and on Saturday at 9:00 AM (“Spawning Loricariidae”).


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