A Breeders Award Program (BAP) is one of the most vital functions of an aquarium society. For those who participate— novice and advanced hobbyists alike— it fosters a deeper interest in the keeping and observation of tropical fish, and peps up the members by engendering a little friendly competition.
Yet, for all this, the BAP program sometimes seem to languish in spells of apathy.
The program was indeed fairly active, yet the records seemed to indicate in recent months that most of the spawnings were from the "veteran" members. This resulted in more-difficult-to-spawn fish showing up in our monthly meeting auctions.
How were the new members to acquire some of the more basic beginner fish at our auction such as guppies, danios, mollies, swords, etc.?
Imagine yourself back o the beginning of your own entry into the hobby. Were you ready then to bid on such fish as Rasbora heteromorpha, Bumblebee goby, Hoplosternum thoracatum, Neolamprologus compressiceps, or Kuhii loach? I think not— at least with the intent to breed. In looking over the list of fish spawned in the last six months of 1981, these were the majority.
This set us to wondering. Could we somehow stimulate the newer members to participate in our BAP?
Jack Kegan corrected the situation by first calling It to the attention of the Four Star Breeders, Master Breeders, and the Grand Master and asking them to include some of the "basic fish" in their breeding programs. Like other things in a fish club, BAP’s tend to have cycles, Ours reached a point where a substantial group had already progressed through the various levels (1-star, 2-star, 3-stars, etc,), and were now busily engaged in a challenge with the target fish and the 20-point fish. Once this was realized, many of the old timers began to keep and spawn at least a couple of the less difficult to spawn fish.
Second, and more important, Jack organized an all day mini-workshop for any member who might be interested in leaning more about spawning tropical fish. It was held in his fishroom where Jack operates 90+ tanks and on our patio, There were eight members in attendance— good enough considering it was a beautiful, hot summer Saturday and many people were on vacation. Those that did come came eager-eyed and bushy-tailed, and very anxious to learn.
It started at 10:30 a.m. on the patio, where the first hour was spent in casual fish chit-chat. During this hour, Jack was able to ascertain how much they already knew about spawning, any special interests, and particular problems. By the time they al1 went down to the fishroom, questions and answers were flowing freely.
Once in the fishroom, they were able to see first-hand some of the many set-ups for spawning various types of fish. Some had never seen a killie mop, others had never had seen eggs on a slate. For this hour they "soaked up" the atmosphere of a large fish room.
Then after a light hot dog lunch on the patio, they talked some more about what they had seen. New questions now came to mind. During this time, too, we went through the BAP Report Form point by point. The newbies now knew what was expected of them to fill in the blanks when they were reporting on their spawns. I still remember how I puzzled over the form the first time I filled one in…
The BAP seminar, or workshop if you will, ended in late afternoon. And it was time well spent, as we have come to see. New names are indeed coming in on our BAP list of spawnings each month. New enthusiasm and new life are evident in the BAP
Try it— zap your BAP by holding a BAP mini-workshop. It worked for us.
By Ruth Wilson. Originally published in 1982 in the Federation Report. Updated and edited in January 2007.