“Bowl Show Bob” Rob Williams – Biography

Presentations Bob has given for our Club

November 7th, 2017- “What about Bettas?”

Watch it on Video – “What about Bettas?” By Bob Williamson


Bob’s Facebook


“Bowl Show Bob” Williams    


Hey everyone! I’m Bob Williams. Some folks call me ‘Rob’ but my name is Bobby, one of three fine Bob Williams’. I live in Niles, and I am a server at an Olive Garden restaurant. I’ve worked in the food industry since I was 15 years old. I’ll be 36 in August.

My passion for music is almost as intense as my passion for fish keeping. Mostly I like alternative music and independent modern rock. I was in the marching band in high school and played a plethora of instruments including the trumpet, snare drums and xylophone. I am currently the videographer for the Niles McKinley High School Red Dragon Marching Band.

I also stay busy raising my three
dogs: Ben, Tinkerbell, and Toby, whom I absolutely love with all of my heart and soul. My dogs are everything to me.

In my spare time, when I’m not a pasta pusher, I set up, clean and maintain aquariums for people in their
homes, offices, businesses, and classrooms. I also have a 4-H club for children in Trumbull County who are
interested in tropical fish keeping. We are called Junior Fish Keepers of Trumbull County 4-H.

I got my first fish when I was seven, but I didn’t get my first aquarium until I was nine, and I haven’t been without an aquarium since. Can you guess what my first fish was? It was a betta. I know it sounds weird but I kind of see myself in a betta, if that makes any sense. I like my alone time, I don’t need to live in a huge house or have extravagant things to be happy and I’m sure I could make one hell of a bubble nest! LOL.

Although I started with a betta, that’s not what really got me into the fish hobby. I actually raised newts and African frogs and kept various  salamanders. They were really cool. I loved my fire belly newts. I may set up a tank for some now that I think about it. What really got me into the FISH hobby though, was visiting my dad’s house. He had a 20 gallon long. I remember his blue gouramis, cory cats, zebra danios and plecos, and I always thought they were so cool. When I would visit my mom, she had fish tanks as well, and I would see her guppies and swordtails and other live bearers. I always thought that they were just as cool, but couldn’t put my finger on which ones I liked better.
My first tank was just your basic 10 gallon community: Some tetras – which I still think are gorgeous- and some cory cats which I think are little underwater monkeys. Currently I have 16 aquariums but I’m rapidly setting up more. My fish room is underway and I should be able to accommodate at least 35 aquariums in there.

Most people keep aquariums in multiples because they’re breeding or doing something with mass production of fish. I’ve gone at it from a different angle. Yes, I do have some tanks set up specifically for breeding purposes. But, some are set up because they are their own communities of different biotopes. I love making show tanks and growing fish for the sake of showing. For example, my 150 has evolved from a South American aquarium to an Asian fish themed Aquarium. My 90 gallon has turned into my African cichlid tank. My 54 gallon bowfront has turned into my livebearer tank because I just love livebearers. My 75 gallon tank is becoming a brackish water tank.

There are fish that I keep religiously because I grew up seeing them. I just feel like I need to have them and those are my bettas, cory cats and gouramis. My favorite biotope would be South American. I absolutely love the Amazon River and I will go there someday. I also think that for the sake of the hobby, it’s very important to dedicate an aquarium or two to a species of fish in the name of conservation. There are species out there that are rapidly going extinct. If you can get them in an aquarium, I think it’s very important to keep them and breed them. You never know – one day you could have the last of that species.

In 2008 I became a member of YATFS,(Youngstown Area Tropical Fish Society)  and in 2014, I was given the duties of being the Y.A.T.F.S. Bowl Show Chairman for the club. My first meeting with the bowl show under my direction went down like the Titanic. I forgot to get the bowl show judged! Lol. I am proud to say the shows have gotten stronger, as participation has increased to numbers in the 20s and 30s. The direction I’d like to take their bowl show in, is that of introducing club members to cool and unique things, and sparking interest in unfamiliar things. Everyone has something they are interested in, something they think is the most awesome thing ever. Sharing interests is a very good thing. What better opportunity than showing at our bowl show!!!

In 2017 I also became a member of GAAS (The greater Akron Aquarium Society) where I performed my first Speaking presentation, the topic was “What about Bettas?” So there ya are. It’s been a winding road, but we made it. Thanks for not falling asleep!!!!