ACA News Volume 1, #2‏

Editor: Alan R.De Angelo
Greetings and Salutations!

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today so we are in for six more weeks of winter. I don’t know about you, but in the Chicago area, we just dug ourselves out of a 19” snow storm. I’m hoping the shadow Phil saw was made by camera lights and Spring comes sooner. The highlight of winter, though, is the time available to devote to our finny charges and concentration on all things piscatorial. So, it’s not all bad.

ELECTIONS are going to be held soon after the release of this newsletter. The ballots will be mailed out to our most recent database of members and the election process will begin. Please vote for people that you feel will get the job done for the ACA. We are making great headway and strong leadership is needed at this time. So, don’t just vote for your buddy, vote for the people that you feel will make the ACA strong.

Speaking of the database, Sean Danekind has been working overtime to get things sorted out. All of the issues have not been fixed yet but progress is being made. Please, give us a bit more time. If you are still having problems, contact Sean at [email protected]

“Confessions of a Tropical Fish Addict” by Ross Socolof has been reprinted with the permission of Ross’ daughter, Jodie Socolof. Mike Schadle of The Fish Factory aquarium book sales offers the book at his numerous appearances at major fish events. Mike does not make anything from the sales of the book, $26.00, with all monies going to the ACA. Thank you, Mike! You can also get a copy from Rusty Wessel by sending a check for $ 30.00 made out to the American Cichlid Association to ACA, 6815 Carolyn Rd., Louisville, KY 40214 (Send $50.00 if outside the USA.) You can also order it online at . It’s a great book telling of the early history of the aquarium hobby as Ross experienced it. I’ve read it twice!


Again, if you know of any ACA member that has not gotten the ACA NEWS via email, have them contact Sean: [email protected].


The State of the ACA and a notice about the CRC will be following. Chuck Rambo delivers yet another address to you, our members, to keep you informed as to what is going on in the ACA.


I’d like to welcome Daryl Hutchins to the ACA cadre as the new Editor of BB. Daryl has years of editorial experience and will bring BB into the electronic age. BB may go to only four issues but they will be bigger issues and with the inclusion of the CRC in your membership, you will have the latest and greatest in the world of cichlids available to you.

State of the American Cichlid Association

February 2015
By Chuck Rambo, ACA Chairman 2014

I am happy to announce that we have a new Electronic Editor. Daryl Hutchins is from Australia. He is the editor of The Cichlid Monthly, the publication of the Victorian Cichlid Society. He has over 30 years experience as the club’s Editor and the publication has been all electronic since 1995. We are very excited to have Daryl as part of our ACA team. We need to get him some additional hardware for his computer and our editorial team has already been in contact with Daryl to get the ball rolling. Since we are going electronic we are going to condense the BBs from 6 times a year down to four. We can make each issue larger since we no longer have weight restrictions for mailing. The ACA is truly becoming more of an international organization.

We have six members running for the BOT. I would like to have a minimum of eight. Please contact me at [email protected] if would like to be involved in running the ACA. If I don’t get any additional candidates I will go with the six that I have.

Sean continues to work out the kinks in accessing Cichlid Room Companion. This is a major technical undertaking between the two sites and we really want to get it right the first time. Your patience is appreciated.

We still have spots available in the ACA/ZooMed Lab’s speaker Program. The way it works is you have your clubs program chairman go to the ACA website and contact an ACA sponsored speaker. Make arrangements with the speaker to come out and talk to your club. ZooMed will pay ½ the travel arrangements up to a maximum of $200 per event. The club can only use the program once per calendar year. Please contact Andy Hudson at [email protected] for details.

As always, I need to thank Alan for making this Newsletter possible.


Welcome to the American Cichlid Association members

By Juan Miguel Artigas Azas

After three years of talks a major agreement has been made to benefit all persons interested in cichlids in North America. The American Cichlid Association (ACA), the largest and most respected national cichlid association in America, and the Cichlid Room Companion (CRC), now in its 19th year providing daily online updates about cichlids, have joined forces. Beginning December 26th, 2014, all ACA members can obtain access the CRC website for information and services as part of their ACA membership.

We of the CRC have always wanted this to happen, as we have been working maintaining a delicate balance between a very extensive website requiring round the clock updates, additions, and revisions by numerous editors (in six languages) and a very limited budget, to keep this now extensive site online and growing, and at the same time get to the largest number of people around the world. With this agreement we have achieved one more important step, a major one, in maintaining the balance.

I want to welcome all ACA members to the CRC; I’m happy that you are now part of it, as you will give us renewed energy to our daily goal to provide you with first-hand information with a standard of excellence, so that you can best enjoy your hobby or support your research. Together we can continue awakening interest and concern for the well-being of our beloved cichlids.

It is not a secret that cichlids are suffering and are threatened by human development all around their natural range in America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. We of the CRC want to inform people about them, let them know how unique and important they are for the balance of the ecosystems, what role they play in understanding evolution, species adaptation, and behavioral development. Our main goal is to promote care and interest in cichlids.

We are also honoring the work of many bright people that through the last centuries has devoted their life’s or careers to the understanding of cichlids, a process still underway, a field were many discoveries and future contributions to this knowledge come day after day, perhaps some by you. As part of the American Cichlid Association, you are now part of it, and we welcome you aboard.

The CRC is an international site, and open to opinions and work of cichlidophiles from all around the world. We pride ourselves in hosting contributions by many of the most acknowledged cichlid authors, photo- and videographers. No opinion is shunned and you will find many thought-provoking ideas about cichlid classification, their biology and ecology on the many pages of the site. We welcome your own ideas and work to add to the site’s contents as well.

The CRC is a place of opinion, detailed scrutiny, and rigorous application of ever developing publication policies and standards, designed with the ultimate goal of providing trustworthy information.

So, ACA members, we welcome you, we are looking forward to your involvement in the site as well as making it a place you trust and which helps you to obtain more joy from your cichlids.

– Juan Miguel


Adventures in Cichlidom

I was one of the first kids in my grammar school class to have a fish tank. At age 6, I was ahead of my time, but as we got a little older, more and more of my fellow classmates had tanks. By the 5th Grade well over half of the boys were keeping fishes. Gerard had swordtails, Tony was the self-proclaimed “Tetra King’, Wally had a Betta (good thing too, because Wally wasn’t much to care for things, if you know what I mean.) Eddie kept an odd assortment, Ken had black angels. These black angels were really black and so velvety that you wanted to paint Elvis on them. Then there was Big Bill Hill. Now Bill’s last name wasn’t Hill but in the 5th Grade he was already 6’2” and towered over the rest of us. I mention Bill because he was even worse than Wally in a way. You see, Bill kept an Oscar in a 5 gallon tank.

I know, I know, even back then we told Bill that he was wrong. That the poor fish didn’t have swimming room and that he needed a larger tank but Bill, being one of the dimmer bulbs in the light string, could not get this through his thick skull. He did change a lot of water but that only allowed the Oscar to grow more. Finally, after the fish grew almost to 7” Bill bought a 20H for it. Not adequate by today’s standards but at least it gave the fish a bit more room.

Carl, Danny, Albert and I were by far the most illustrious aquarists of our class and we had multiple tanks. We also all raised cichlids. Albert loved Jack Dempsey’s and Severums and had about a dozen tanks. Danny’s Dad built him a 48” X 24” X 24” marine plywood tank with a glass viewing pane. The plywood was covered with marine epoxy that waterproofed it and we were all envious of it. Dan bred Oscars in that tank quite frequently and he also had a few more tanks. Mostly cichlids, of course. The best part of going to Dan’s house was that his Mom would always feed us. Thank you, Mrs. S. You were wonderful. Carl and I were a different story.

Carl’s father was a physician and as such knew a lot of people. He also knew some avid aquarists and his Dad would bring us to these guys’ homes to let us drool. We would also ask questions, a lot of them, and immersed ourselves in their fishrooms. The most memorable was a plumber named Joe who was a Guppy breeder with marvelous Green Snakeskin Guppies that were vigorous and colorful and healthy. We would ride our bikes to his storefront office, it was on our way to our favorite pet shop, and gaze into his tanks on a whim. We were always welcome. At least we thought we were. LOL! But I don’t think that he ever really minded. He just said to stay in the reception area where it was safe and look as much as we wanted. Man, what a treat. We also met a man named Hank. But that’s a long story for a later time.

Carl almost specialized in Angelfish. He had about 20 tanks and he had the knack. Let me tell you, the boy could raise Angels even better than me. He also had a few Guppies and Swords and a smattering of other fish. I, on the other hand, had 28 tanks and bred everything I could get my hands on. Cichlids, barbs, danios, tetras (a lot harder to do without an RO, let me tell you.) gourami’s, Betta’s, you name it, I tried to breed it and usually succeeded. I also did a long spell of raising Angelfish, after all, if Carl could do it, so could I.

We had a wonderful time riding our bikes back and forth to see one another’s tanks. We would check out the other guy’s new tanks or new spawns or get hungry and have Mrs. S feed us. It was quite the social network. Who needed the internet. We had pedal power and roamed the neighborhoods even on the lousiest of days, looking to see who was home to visit.

It was a great time to grow up and the aquarium hobby was in full bloom. A fantastic time for us all to develop aquaristically.

Til next time…


The ACA NEWS is going to be printed and mailed to you as a hard copy. This will continue until we are confident our email database is up to date. It will begin with the first issue from January, 2015. Look for it in your mail box soon.


​ACA 2015 Annual Convention
The Sheraton Hotel
Springfield, Mass
July 30-August 2