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BAP for Dummies! (Aquarium Clubs for Dummies too)


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I didn't see a general discussion, I just see people mentioning their "BAP" awards. I've been on the fence about joining my local club (seems like all the true benefits to being in one is to be able to go to meetings, which are on weekends, which I work 😑). Anyway, I know one of the features of a lot of clubs are BAP and HAP awards. My area club's site looks like something I used to see in the 90s (and I don't have social media so I can't follow them there). Limited information. Can someone explain the steps and benefits of something like this? Or if you want to comment on the benefits of being in an Aquarium Club (especially if you can't attend meetings like me) that would be nice too....

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My local club is 2 hours away so we're in somewhat similar situations. Personally I've never gone for awards as my club treats them more as a personal achievement. Everything in the award is something that you can do to begin with, it's just something that certain people really enjoy working towards. For this reason I never pursued any of them and the distance is what sealed the deal.

Depending on the club, visits from speakers might be recorded and made available to club members. Mine doesn't do this but if yours does, that might be a reason to join. The main reason that I'm in my club is because it permits me to join swaps and they have classifieds for members between swaps. I do get to one or two swaps every year and that's plenty for me. Given how poor availability of many fish has been impacted at local shops, the classifieds are how I've gotten some of the fish that used to be everywhere but are now crazy hard to get. I've also been able to find deals on fish. There's someone in my club breeding L260s and I'm on their waitlist for a trio (sexed). The whole thing is running me about what I'd pay for unsexed fish.

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Yeah @ange I'm in the same city as my local club but since I work all the weekend stuff, auctions/swaps and in person talks I'd miss because of working. I'm hoping there might be classifieds but I can't tell without being a member. I do see there is a forum, but again members only not sure how active it is.  It's not like it would be expensive though it's only 20 a year so no skin off my back to try. I just drag my feet over it. 

Edited by xXInkedPhoenixX
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I think it was you that doesn't live far from me so I'm guessing I know what club you're talking about. 

I've never been to a meeting, but I'm a member anyways because I use their group on the Band app to sell a lot of fish and live feed locally. They set up the group for sales when Facebook banned the sale of live animals. You don't actually have to be a society member to join the group but I feel less like I'm taking advantage of them if I'm a paying member.

I meet all sorts of people just selling and buying stuff through the app and they'll tell you all about anything you want to know. People have fish for sale I've never seen other places. There's at least one wholesaler on there that breeds the Gary Lange line of rainbowfish and a bunch of other stuff. He has hundreds of breeding tanks in his house. There's a few well known YouTubers and I heard Zenzo's brother is on there. Sometimes Tom Barr sells stuff but I haven't seen him around for a while. 

But really there's no advantage to being a member that I'm aware of that they don't give everyone access to for free regardless of membership. It seems like the main advantage is you can enter stuff into the auction and setup a sales stand during the swaps only if you're a member.

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Thanks @modified lung yeah sounds like there's not a whole lot there for me. I have plenty of good people/info on this forum. I don't really want anymore fish but would be nice to contact people who might want my homegrown Otos when I get them so I was just thinking ahead for that. Not sure I'd ever want to do a BAP thing just wasn't sure what it was really about. 

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On 4/30/2022 at 5:13 PM, Fish Folk said:

You should look into the Aquarium CoOp club! I’m thinking they have BAP and HAP. 

I’d have joined long it ago, but I am trying to beat my own kid’s BAP record at ours!!! 🤣🤣🤣

Ok, so I have no local club, so ACO is my only option.  But I really do t understand BAP.  

I’m guessing, you breed fish and get point. More challenging fish earn more points.  
So do you need a minimum number of surviving fish to get points?  

what are the different levels?

how would I figure out how many points a species is worth?

I would love to participate, but I can’t find any details😭😢

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I'm with you @Ken Burke - in the club site I have I can see there are points for spawning, raising fry, points for a talk (minimum 15 minutes), something about documentation, and they require you to donate x number of fish to the club too. ??? That still doesn't really tell me what's involved and requirements- is there a nationwide standard or is this just a club by club thing? etc and so forth. 

Edited by xXInkedPhoenixX
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Hi @xXInkedPhoenixX

If you are talking about the Southwest Aquatic Society - SAS I know the individual that founded that club.  When he moved to AZ from Seattle there was no aquarium club in the area so he started one modeled after the one in Seattle.  Not only do they have events like auctions, and swap meets, but they also bring in well known national speakers like master breeder Dean Tweeddale (yes the one you see on Aquarium Co-op videos).  I think what I like most about aquarium clubs is I can talk about fish with people whose eyes don't glass over to look at me like I am crazy!  lol -Roy

Edited by Seattle_Aquarist
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BAP = Breeders Award Program. Breed fish, write up detailed spawning and raising report. If submitted online, link photos and videos. For most species, 10x fish must be successfully hatched / dropped and raised from fry through one month to earn a stated amount of points. Species are classified into different difficulty levels, with corresponding points. My son is “Advanced Breeder” in our fish club (PVAS) and I am trying  to beat him 😎 The term “Master Breeder” is earned by someone who breeds enough fish from enough categories to earn the award. I think our club awards that at 500 pts, with certain very difficult species being spawned, and certain CARES (endangered) species being spawned.

HAP = Horticulture Award Program. Similar to BAP. But with plants. There are different twists. Our club doesn’t currently offer HAP.

On the whole, the programs get Club Members experienced, recognized, and rewarded.

Here’s an example of one of my son’s BAP Spawning reports…


Here’s an example of one of mine…

What I appreciate about them is you have to really focus on a project well enough to succeed.

@Zenzo can probably speak into CoOp Club, BAP, etc.


Here is a form-outline for online BAP submissions at our fish club:



Spawning Report Form

Please create a forum post with the following information:



Scientific Name of Fish* (Genus and species)

Hobby Name of Fish


Method of Reproduction (Egg Scatterer/Livebearer/Mouth Brooder/Mop Spawner/Nest Builder/Pelvic Brooder/Substrate Spawner)

Number and Gender Distribution of Parents (Pair/Trio (1 male and 2 females)/Reverse Trio (1 female and 2 males)/Group)

Origin of Parents (Wild Caught/Tank Raised/Mixed)


Approximate number of eggs or fry*

Date of Hatch or Birth* (MM/DD/YYYY)

Date of Free Swimming If Hatched (MM/DD/YYYY)

Approx. Number of Fry at 30 Days*

Approx. Number of Fry at 60 Days


Aquarium Conditions:

pH (0 to 14)

General Hardness (ppm)

Average Temperature (F)

Salinity (if brackish or marine)

Average Nitrate (ppm)

Aquarium Size (L X W X H and Gallons)

Water Source

Water Changes (how much and how often)

Filtration System(s)

Additives (Salt, iron, etc.)


Décor (Please include all that apply):

Live Plants

Plastic Plants



Caves or Similar Hiding Places

Spawning mop


Substrate (Gravel/Pea size gravel/Sand/None/Other; Please Specify)

Lighting Type and Timing


Food Fed to Parents and How Often*

Food Fed to Fry and How Often*



Comments and Additional Information

Edited by Fish Folk
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@Seattle_Aquarist well Roy that's kind of what I was hoping I could do, go see some speakers (they seem to get some interesting ones) and socialize with other people in the hobby. A lot of my friends have left the area and I find myself without a social life. Would be nice to do in person stuff but sadly it seems to be very limited to those who work m-f. 😐

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@Fish Folk your club seems very organized compared to what I can see from mine and has much  more information about BAP. The club's site here looks like a very outdated, flashing advertisments galore website so it makes one feel like the club isn't very into their appearance which is a consideration for me too- part of my hesitation. 

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On 5/1/2022 at 12:14 AM, Ken Burke said:

Ok @Fish Folk, next question.


I like to leave the Cory eggs in the tank with the colony.  If I keep details logs on water parameters etc, then collect 10 juveniles (well over the 30 day mark) does that count for 30 points in your club?

Of course there is always some aspect of honor system with things like this. In theory, yes, of course. If you document the original egg laying, count fry free swimming at some point thereafter, and count at least 10x a month later that are reasonably the same size indicating that they hatched from the same spawning, then yes that would probably qualify.

In a good Fish Club, there will be a BAP Chairman. I might be wrong, but I _think_ Cory mentioned that he served as BAP Chairman for GSAS awhile back. Maybe I'm confusing him with someone else. Anyway, the BAP Chairman has a degree of leeway to count reports in or out . . . answer tricky scenarios, questions, etc. Often the BAP Chair will reach out to highly experienced breeders to get their input too.

Our fish club has a deep, deep bench of amazing aquarists. I could brag on them awhile. But the long story short, they're living legends. Believe me, they are very technical and qualified to answer questions. And this is what I've gleaned from joining a fish club. The few old, wise aquarists will eventually open up and pass along their treasure house of knowledge.

I message folks quite regularly from my club, exchange fish . . . it's amazing. I've been invited to join up with other break-off clubs too. The folks out east who really get into it are often members of multiple clubs.

But I'm kind of a one-and-done person. I stick with one Club, and am very thankful for all I've learned. We drive 3 hrs one way to get there. So, add that up . . . it's a nine hour commitment just getting to, through, and back. When we bag fish and plants to sell, that's an added 3+ hrs of prep in the wee hours before sunrise too.


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