Project Description

March 19, 2022 | Karen Randall | Paludarium

Karen Randall grew up with aquariums as a child. While experienced in many facets of the aquarium hobby, as an adult her focus turned to a concentration in planted display aquariums and the study and propagation of aquatic plants. Her articles and photography have been published in multiple languages around the world. For many years she authored the monthly column, “Sunken Gardens” in Aquarium Fish Magazine. She is an international speaker on aquarium subjects.

Karen is past president of the Boston Aquarium Society, serves on the board of the Aquatic Gardeners Association and chairs the Aquascaping Live! Competition at Aquatic Experience each year. She was editor of the AGA magazine, The Aquatic Gardener for 5 years and is now technical editor of the magazine. She has served as a judge for both the AGA Aquascaping Contest and the Aqua Design Amano International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest since their inception as well as serving on the jury of a number of live aquascaping contests. She has also served as a consultant on several major projects at public aquaria.

Karen travels frequently to study aquatic plants in the wild. She has traveled extensively in South and Central America and South East Asia as well as the southern parts of the U.S. In Brazil she has assisted with Project Piaba, a conservation program in the Amazon centered on the aquarium fish trade. She regularly does programs on these topics as well as aquatic gardening for groups ranging from aquarium clubs, school children, garden clubs and church organizations.

Her book titled, Sunken Gardens, a Step-by-Step Guide to Planting Freshwater Aquariums published by Timber Press is due out in Feb, 2017.

Karen started a program a number of years ago to put aquariums in many classrooms in the local public elementary schools. In 2003 she was awarded the Northeast Council of Aquarium Society’s Betty Mueller Award; a life-time award for her outreach work and other contributions to the aquarium hobby.

In her spare time, Karen’s passion for plants extends to the perennial gardens on her farm in Massachusetts. For most of her life, she trained and showed horses and she still has one older gentleman horse, who has been with her since he was a baby, and will be with her for life. She has “down-sized” her animal training in recent years, and trains and competes with her Havanese dogs in Obedience, Rally and Agility competitions.