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SFAS experts generously share their invaluable knowledge. Introduce yourself at a meeting.

Have you had difficulty breeding that special fish, or maintaining a lush green aquascape? Don't give up. Come to an SFAS meeting and speak with one of our experts. Their knowledge and troubleshooting skills can help you attain your vision of the ultimate aquarium.

Dick Au, aquarium fish breeding expert


World Class Aquarium Fish Breeder

Dick Au, author, show judge and international lecturer has bred more than 200 varieties of fish. He supplies many SFO Bay Area tropical fish stores and usually brings his top-quality specimens to the SFAS auction. Dick is our usual fauna auctioneer, and shares his knowledge of each animal sold. His lectures are always entertaining and invariably generate "Aha!" moments as he shares the results of his aquatic detective work. Learn the breeding secrets of your favorite aquarium gem.

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World Class Aquarium Plant Expert

Leon Garden knows plants; their common and Latin names, origins, water and lighting requirements, growth rates, propagation methods and more. He has hosted many Special Interest Groups (SIGs) on plants, and often brings dozens of different types to the auction. Leon typically auctions our flora and educates us with each sale. Nothing makes an aquarium look more attractive than a robust environment of healthy plants. Ask Leon how to make that happen in your tank!

Experts: Services


Dick Au’s fascination with Discus began as a child living close to several ornamental fish farms in Hong Kong. Each day after school, he would spend hours at a farm watching a pair of discus, probably the first pair sent to the Far East, as they nursed their fry under a huge Amazon sword plant. Since then, Dick has never been without Discus, all through college, raising a family and retired from a career in the computer software industry. With decades of uninterrupted fish keeping, he accumulated lots of invaluable practical knowledge which he generously shares. As a veteran speaker and show judge, Dick has given lectures at many aquarium societies in North America, at American Cichlids Association and North American Discus Association conventions as well as at international shows such as Aquarama in Singapore. Dick has written many articles for various publications and authored two books on Discus – “The Back to Nature Guide to Discus”, and “Trophy Discus – the art of selecting, grooming, and showing discus”.


Growing up in Southern California, Leon first got into the tropical fish hobby when he volunteered to bring the guppy tank home for the summer break from his 5th grade science classroom in the 1940’s. Almost every night he would read his only fish book – William T. Innes’, Exotic Aquarium Fishes – and dream of someday going to where the fishes lived. Most of his life he has had freshwater, planted fish tanks along with tropical and temperate saltwater tanks in his home or at work. Technology and Knowledge have greatly expanded in our hobby and have kept Leon changing to adopt the latest in fish keeping. Certified as a SCUBA diver by the Los Angeles County Lifeguards in the early 1950’s Leon has traveled the world diving with a camera in his hands for over 60 years. Leon’s formal education includes a BS from UCLA in Bio Chemistry and a MS in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He retired from a 24 year career in the U.S. Navy in 1984 as an Adjunct Professor of Engineering and he and his wife, Joanne, decided to make their permanent home in Monterey, CA. Since retirement he has finally been able to go to where the fishes live – both in fish farms and in the wild, around the world. He has dived with and collected fish and plants from almost every corner of the world. In addition to his many years membership in SFAS, Leon is a member of the Aquatic Gardeners Association, the American Livebearers Association, the American Cichlid Association and the North American Native Fishes Association. He is one of the early members of the San Francisco Bay Area Aquatic Plant Society and helps with the leadership of that club. He is an Emeritus volunteer diver for the Monterey Bay Aquarium where he started collecting animals and plants for the new exhibits before the aquarium opened to the public and he continued to do that for over 25 years along with maintaining exhibits and working with pelagic invertebrates (the jellies) behind the scenes. He regularly traveled to every aquarium convention he could, to keep learning about the hobby. His current passion is to try to make his dozen tanks look something like the photographs we see of beautifully aquascaped natural environments.

Experts: Portfolio
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