ACA News, Volume 9, #6-7

ACA News

ACA News

Volume 9, #6-7, June-July 2023

Editor: Alan De Angelo

Contact: [email protected]


Greetings and summer salutations!

The ACA Convention is coming up soon. If you haven’t made your reservations yet and haven’t registered yet, what are you waiting for? Below are a few words from our 2023 Convention Chair. It’s going to be yet another great weekend in the world of cichlids.

Til next time,


Combo Plate offers two groups of delectable treats for you to Savor.

Megan McGuire – Convention Co-chair | [email protected] |
608-843-5757 |


One of the biggest events in the aquarium hobby will be held in beautiful Madison, WI July 13-16,. The American Cichlid Association (ACA) and Madison Area Aquatic Hobbyists (MAAH) are putting on a joint convention called, “The Combo Plate.” It will be held at the Madison Marriott West. This hotel is newly renovated and very comfortable.
Serving up world renown speakers from not only the United States, but also Canada, South American and Europe, this event will not only be educational, but fun! A Friday evening mixer, goodie bags, three fish auctions, a vendor room, silent auctions, raffles, field trips and a well-stocked hospitality suite later in the evening on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. A perfect place to get to know fellow aquarium hobbyists as well as experts from around the country and the world. Many attendees will also be bringing unique fish to sell. The convention is expected to attract 400 attendees.
Speakers will include Ivan Mikolji (Venezuela), Markus Kaluza (Germany), Julian Dignall (Scotland), Dr. Adrian Indermaur (Switzerland), Thomas Tillman (Germany), Jacqueline Heijmen Bennet-Leaver (Neatherlands), Lawrence Kent (US), Barbie Fiorentino (US), Steve Lundblad (US), Pam Chin (US) and the Mad Aquarist himself, Chris Biggs (Canada).
There will be three auctions. The infamous BABES auction on Friday night, a rare cichlid and catfish auction on Saturday and an all-species auction on Sunday.
Thursday there are two field trips, but one is full, so we won’t go into that. The second is a brewery tour and beer tasting at Karben4 brewery ( Friday an intrepid group of road trippers will be exploring The House on the Rock. An episode of Neil Gaimen’s American Gods television series was filled here – the one with the giant carousel.
Thursday evening the hospitality suite will be held at a bar which is 2 blocks from the hotel – The World of Beer – that name says it all, doesn’t it? There will be Spotted Cow on tap and appetizers for munching. Friday and Saturday the hospitality suite will be at the hotel featuring several ½ barrels of WI beer, cheese curds, cheese & meat platters, a variety of individually bagged snacks and soda.
Speakers will begin on Thursday evening with Pam Chin sharing her adventures swimming with cichlids in Lake Tanganyika and Steve Lundblad sharing his extensive knowledge of Aulonocara (Peacock cichlids).
On Friday, Markus Kaluza will take you on a journey to Mato Grosso Do Sul – from Pantanal to Parana. Barbie Fiorentino will explain how to get your floor wet in 12 easy steps. (Honestly, I know how to do so in one easy step, but am interested in hearing her story.) Jacqueline Heijmen Bennett-Leaver will give us a tour of her “fish house” and share her care and breeding techniques.
Saturday the fun starts at 9 with Lawrence Kent share his quest to find cichlids, catfish & more all over Africa. Dr. Adrian Indermaur will take us through a day and night in Lake Tanganyika. Julian Dignall will take us back to the future – of fishkeeping. Thomas Tillman will be doing a comparative look at changes in the biotopes of Panama over a ten-year period. Ivan Mikolji will be looking at the fish of the Orinoco in the wild – accompanied by his stunning photography.
The day will be crowned by a fun filled banquet with the lovable (if incorrigible) Chris “The Mad Aquarist” Biggs and show awards presentation. There will be all sorts of surprises at this one!

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The Museum of Aquarium and Pet History. It’s pretty cool …