ACA News, Volume 4, #1




Volume 4, #1 January 2018



Editor: Alan R. De Angelo

Contact: [email protected]


I don’t know about you, but the new year has blown in like a storm, a very cold storm, at that. We in the MidWest are getting a break right now with the temps warming up and the snow and ice melting. It is a welcome break. What does that have to do with fish? Well, for one thing, the days are getting longer and the sun is shining more so you should be having a little more energy every day to spend with your finny friends. That’s always welcome.

So what’s new since last time we met? Not much. Never being one to be short-winded, or -typed, whatever the case may be, I do have a few lines to give to you.


Check your schedules now because the ACA is going to deliver a big-time convention full of fish friends and fun down in Houston. I already see posts on FB by people making their reservations. So, check your schedules now and begin to make plans for a great week of fun. Go to this link:

to get convention information.


Whoa, boy, whoa! We are not getting into this discussion again, are we? Nope. All I am going to say is that the following is my opinion and not the official stance of the ACA. Although, they are pretty close to the same.

Hybrids exist. Some do occur in nature and that is how some new species are formed. I get it. That being said, I, you or some other guy with a fishroom, do not have the ability to hybridize fish in the same way that it occurs in nature. “Well, no duh!” you might say. And I couldn’t agree with you more.

That being said. Some people like to play with nature and create the bizarre, misshapen creatures like Blood Parrot cichlids. Or, they want to breed for a big nuchal hump, called a “kok” by some in the Flowerhorn trade. Yes, the real way to say it is “coke” but a lot of guys like to say it as “cock”, tee-hee, snicker, snicker, good grief, and enjoy comparing their fishes gibbossities. You didn’t really think that I was going to say it, did you?

Now, I have to tell you, I really do enjoy some of the absolutely gorgeous peacocks like the “strawberry” or the Dragon Blood fishes. And let’s not forget the Red Texas cichlids that have been created. Stunning! Beautiful! Fabulous! I would own them and enjoy the colors in my tanks, too, if I currently had the space. But, alas, while being cichlids, they are not what the American Cichlid Association is all about. We are about the conservation of existing species and the continuation of unique, wild, genetic populations so they are not lost forever through pollution, habitat destruction or over-fishing, whether for aquarium use or to feed the local population’s bellies. We are an organization dedicated to these principles. This is why we have programs like Species Maintenance and the ACA CARES initiative. The Lake Victoria Species Survival Group and the projects that we are involved with in Madagascar are trying to maintain the gene pool and hopefully reintroduce fishes that have been drastically impacted in recent years in their native environments.

I, personally, don’t care if you keep hybrids, more power to you, but, by definition, they don’t belong in these pages.

“What about the ACA cichlid shows?” you may say. Yes, we have had hybrids in our shows and that is because the ACA relies on the host club to allow, or not allow, ornamental classes in the show. They, the host club, can allow and find sponsors for these classes. In this way, the hybrid aficionados are included in ACA events, “if” the host club wants it. That makes everyone happy. But, there are host clubs that do not allow hybrids, and that is OK, too.

“But, but, what about line-bred fish?’ As long as the species is kept pure, I personally have no problem with them. The hobby angelfish, for example, may be a mixture of Pterophyllum species, especially if you are of the Heiko persuasion with numerous location points looking dissimilar and being
possible species or subspecies of scalare. I’ll let the scientists duke that out, I’m just a hobbyist. But, to me, unless they are the Dantum angel which we know is a mix of altum and scalare, albino, at that, I would assume that the common angelfish is scalare. Yes, I know, maybe a leipoldi got snuck in at some point too or that a Santa Isabel or Manacapuru population is different, again the Heiko perspective, but, again, I am assuming a scalare. Maybe Maury Povich will have to do a show on Angelfish DNA testing! And Jerry Springer will find out who the baby daddy angelfish really is. (Personal note, I do not think that I have used that many commas in such a short paragraph in a long time.) But, the ornamental class also takes care of that problem. Gotta love the ornamental class, don’t ya?

The same goes with discus. They are beautiful. They have been bred in so many color forms that Dr Scmhidt-Focke is drooling over them in heaven. Pandas, Ring Leopards, Marlboro, Golds and Blues. No one would have imagined the varieties that breeders are coming up with. Are they hybrids, who knows? Are they cichlids, yes! And, as an old angelfish breeder myself, I miss having numerous angels and discus in our shows. They speak volumes for the cichlid hobby!

And before you say that line-breeding fishes weakens them, there are plenty of examples in the cichlid world of cichlids being found only on one reef in Lake Malawi or one rocky outcropping in Lake Tanganyika to shoot that line of thinking down. I recall talking with James Langhammer at the first ICC about line-bred black angels and how some strains were weak with numerous belly sliders. We agreed that the hobbyist or fish farmer was at fault for not keeping a close eye on the strain and allowing weak fish to breed. You can line breed, with great discrimination, and keep strains healthy, vigorous and highly successful.


Do you know that there is an ACA Members FB page where we verify the membership of participants and only members can partake in the conversations? As opposed to the regular American Cichlid Association page where non-members can join in? So far, only 270 of our members have joined it. So, if you are on FB, visit and join the ACA Members page now.


I am going to start something new. Beginning with this issue, I will be asking you, the members, a question regarding the ACA and will hope to get replies, lots of replies, from most of you. I would do this on the ACA Members FB page but, as mentioned above, not even half of you are on it whereas all members will receive this newsletter.

Question of the month:
How important is the membership benefit of the Cichlid Room Companion (CRC) to you? Did you join the ACA for the CRC? Do you use the CRC often, occasionally or never? What are your views on the CRC? I will look at and summarize the responses, printing some of them in the next newsletter. Please take a few minutes and send your reply to: [email protected] Thanks!


I got a very pleasant surprise recently in the form of an email from one of the originators of the ACA, Richard Stratton. Although he now focuses mainly on his beloved dogs, he apparently still keeps track of what is going on in the ACA, too. Richard told me that he thought I did very well as BOT Chair. That meant a lot to me. It really did.

Speaking about the BOT Chair … after serving as Chair, I can attest to the amount of time it takes to run the organization and keep it going. It also takes a lot of time to coordinate all of the votes needed to accomplish things by committee. If I ever do it again, it will be after I retire or at least slow down in my practice. Keeping track of it all, and being effective, can be all-consuming. So, be kind to your BOT Chair, they do quite a bit behind the scenes that you are not aware of.

Take care,




BB submissions pay (or funds can be directed to Conservation/Research projects in your name)! Authors/photographers please contact the Editor at [email protected] for detail

You do not need to be an ACA member to submit material for publication.

NB: ACA does not assume copyright of images, neither are images submitted for publication added to a database without permission. In the event that we desire to re-use an image in other projects, permission would be sought and supplementary payment is guaranteed.


New Membership Structure:

$35 Annual ACA Membership.

Life Memberships — build your membership levels incrementally and move up in rank. All memberships above the basic Life Membership will be published annually in an ACA publication to recognize your contributions to Conservation, Research and Education.

$1000 LIFE Membership — all current Life Memberships still honored, no increase in dues. This and all higher-level memberships receive a Life Membership to the ACA.

Higher levels of donation/membership:

$1250 Patron Member;
$1500 Endowment Member;
$1750 Benefactor Member;
$2000 Conservation Member;

$2500 Legacy Member;
Chairman’s Circle(individual donations of $5000+)

You can also include the ACA in your estate plan as several members have already done. Please visit the link below.

General Donations

You can also donate smaller or larger increments, make personal or corporate donations, etc at the link below. It is only by your support that the ACA can maintain its leadership in Cichlid Conservation, Research and Education. Remember, it is tax deductible. Please find out more at the link below:
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Life Memberships/Donations


You can very easily give your friends/family an ACA Gift Membership, bringing them all the benefits attendant thereto. A lasting gift that has flow-on beneficial effects via the ACA’s research and conservation
programs, etc.
To organise an ACA Gift Membership, please:

1) Send payment(s) of $35 per gift membership to the ACA PayPal account at [email protected].

2) Send an email to ACA Treasurer, Tim Hovanec, at [email protected] with a CC to ACA Membership Coordinator, Claudia Dickinson ([email protected]), stating that you have just
sent money for a gift membership/s and the names and email addresses of the recipients.

3) Each ACA Gift Membership recipient will then receive an ACA Gift Member email with a copy to the
gift-giver, followed by email welcome letters from the ACA and CRC.





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Send your cichlid-related news/events to the AN Editor at [email protected] and we will be happy to spread the word for you. Allow six weeks lead time. Thank you.

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Check/edit your Contact Details on CRC yourself when you move or change your e-mail address. It’s so simple … try it.

Go to and click your username in the Welcome Panel
Select the Edit Tab and make changes
Click Save


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Support the ACA by shopping at AmazonSmile

Amazon Smile

Simply go to, choose the American Cichlid Association as your charity and Amazon will donate 0.5% of each purchase to the ACA!
It’s easy and basically free money. Please help spread the word.