ACA News, Volume 8, #3-4

ACA News

Volume 8, #3-4 March/April 2022

Editor: Alan De Angelo

Publisher: Daryl Hutchins

Contact: [email protected]


Will Summer ever come?

It’s April 14th and my favorite lake in N. MN still has 28″ of ice on it. Hmmmm. The ice may finally go out in August. (Just kidding.) No, it’s not the start of a new Ice Age, it’s just the weather being, well, you know, the weather. Going back to 2014, the same weather pattern occurred. Last year, the ice was already out by now. If one looks at the historical record, one would see that in the ebb and flow of nature, temperatures vary and ice-out dates can range far and wide. Records dating back to 1906 shows ice-out dates from 4/6 to 5/17. The coldest year and longest ice was as recent as 2017.

What does this have to do with cichlids? A whole bunch. In a fish’s natural environment, there are a lot of seasonal changes that occur. Of course, no cichlids need to contend with ice and snow but they do need to handle changes in hardness, pH and water temperatures as the seasons may change, rainfall may be heavy or light and cloud cover may block the sun. Equatorial fish may be stable in the temperature range but an increased rainfall could change the pH and hardness of the lakes or streams that the fishes live in. These changes may be triggers for spawning or triggers for putting on the feed bag to help build reserves for tough times ahead.

Some fishes, when they are in danger of dying due to drought, may breed because young fish may be able to survive where adults cannot. Nature is amazing!

In your quest to breed the unbreedable fish (for me it is Crenicichla sp. Tapajos I, the red Tapajos Pike cichlid). It may take years to figure out these triggers, or not, ending in years of unsuccessful attempts and frustration. But every cloud has its silver lining. Even though I failed to breed this big, gorgeous red pike, I had five years of enjoyment keeping them in my tanks. The trio of big pikes got along famously in their pile of wood and PVC pipe and provided me with a challenge. I’m sure I missed a trigger but I tried water changes,
gluttonous feedings, once weekly feedings, hot temperatures, cooling off periods, gallons upon gallons of RO water to simulate the rainy season, change in light cycles and every other trick in the book but they would not breed. Sigh! Maybe they needed to have 28″ of ice over them.


Most of the country’s CoVid restrictions have lifted and life is returning to normal. A majority of us have either gotten the vaccine(s) or have had CoVid and survived or have done both. (Yes, you can get the vaccine and still get CoVid but most of that is now in the rear-view mirror.) It’s time to get back to normal, like attending the Triple Crown ACA Convention. Our hosts, the Louisville Tropical Fish Fanciers, have pulled out all the stops. It looks to be one heck of an awesome event. The ACA, AKA, ALA and NA-ANGFA all under one roof. Wow!


Bourbon Tasting

During the American Cichlid Association’s 50th Convention in July, there will be a special bourbon-tasting event on both Wednesday and Thursday nights at Rusty’s fish house tour. Morgan and Ashley will host an Old-Fashioned Bourbon Experience near the koi ponds. Learn the art of making one of Kentucky’s finest cocktails! Register:

Things are going really well with the convention registrations and the hotels are filling up (a share is available if you’re solo). The second block of rooms still had some rooms left. If you are too late, though, there are overflow hotels next door. Don’t miss out. Go to for more information and register for this unprecedented, once-in-a-lifetime event. Don’t forget that every paid registrant gets a goody bag chock full of aquarium products brought to us by our good friends at Zoo Med.

Baggers! The “Powers That Be” tell me that the Jordan auction on Saturday is in need of baggers. Donate a bit of time to help out bagging some great fish. You can be the first to see some of the fish going on the auction block this way, too.

Demolishers! Don’t forget that once the party is over, LTFF and its members could use a hand with the tear-down of the event. It’s really a great way to meet people and have fun. Yes, fun. If you’ve never volunteered, you don’t know what you’re missing.

By the way, in case you were wondering, the plaques for the Fish Show winners were hand-painted by Chuck Davis. Look below to see a few examples. Toilet seats, wall plaques … Chuck does them all. What a great addition to your wall, so be sure to have your best fish enter the show. (You could always hang a hand-painted toilet seat on your wall too, but I’ll let you work that out with Chuck. LOL!)

Another bus was added to the Rusty Wessel Fish House Tour, so if you wanted to get in on the action and couldn’t before, now’s your chance. Act fast though because there will be no more add-ons after this.

BB Pays


What would an edition of the ACA News be without a request for articles to fill the pages of BB. You even get paid for them. You also get paid for any photos or illustrations provided (for which you own the copyright). It’s a great way to balance out the cost of outfitting a fishroom. You’ll need to be setting up a few more tanks anyway because you’ll be finding great fish to buy at the Triple Crown.

The Aquatic Triple Crown, be there or be square!



A Letter from the Publishers of Amazonas Magazine

We believe aquarists are drawn to the aquarium hobby for many reasons, including reconnecting with nature, the act of creation, and an escape from the noise of the world around us. Unfortunately for aquarists in the US, proposed legislation could end aquarium keeping as we know it.

While credible sources believe there is little chance of the proposed Lacey Act legislation being signed into law, aquarists should not be complacent or indifferent. For all the times that legislation like this has failed to pass in the House, this time it did. As marine aquarium fishermen in Hawaii learned first-hand, despite years of successfully preventing the closure of their fishery with supportive data and state agency backing, the anti-aquarium activists needed to win only once, and by closing the fishery, everything changed. Experts suggest that these Lacey Act proposals are just the latest in a steady stream of wake-up calls that the aquarium trade and industry cannot ignore.

Current status: The America COMPETES Act (H.R. 4521) and U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (S1260) will be reconciled (merged) in committee. The merged bill will likely have a new name (promoting a “Make It In America” moniker). As of 02/28/2022, H.R. 4521 was read the second time in the Senate and placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 282. The formal Senate/House conference should begin in March.

There are a few ways that you can advocate for the aquatic pastime we all enjoy:
Contact your Senators;
Support the PIJAC Aquatic Defense Fund;
Support USARK – while officially advocating for reptile and amphibian keepers, they are absolutely advocating on behalf of aquarists as well;
Ask the vendors you support to do the same.

Clearly, this won’t be the last word on the subject, and it’s far from the only threat to aquarium keeping around the globe. Even if the Lacey Act legislation fails, we ask all Amazonas readers not to shrug it off. While Dr Andrew Rhyne is more familiar to marine aquarists, the insights that Dr Rhyne provides below are of value to everyone who stands to lose should aquarium keeping be crippled or ended in the US.

– Matt Pedersen and Stephan M Tanner, Ph.D,
Amazonas Magazine Publishers and Editors.

All for now,






Send your cichlid-related news/events to the AN Editor at [email protected] and we will be happy to help you spread the word about your local events. Please allow six weeks lead-time.

Update Details


Please ensure that the ACA has your current e-mail address. Otherwise we could lose touch … e-mails not arriving, fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, rivers and seas boiling, 40 years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes, dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria! Oh, wait …

Your street address and/or mobile/phone number could prove useful too … just in case.