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American Cichlid Association 2007 Annual Convention

ACA 2007 Grand Champion Discus

By Tony Griffitts

The American Cichlid Association 2007 Annual Convention was hosted by the Sacramento Aquarium Society from July 19th through 22nd, at the Hilton Hotel, Sacramento Arden West.  This convention brings together annually cichlid hobbyist from around the world to listen to speakers, display cichlids, sell fish to other hobbyist, raise money for cichlid research, attend a huge cichlid auction, attend an awards banquet, and share information about the hobby.  Many authors were in attendance and were more than happy to autograph books.  This years convention included a $1000 Grand Prize for the best discus entered in to the show.

Author Dick Au autographs his latest book "Trophy Discus."

Author Dick Au autographs his latest book "Trophy Discus" and talks about show Discus with Roberto Munoz.

This year the shows major sponsors were Tropical Fish Hobbyist, ZooMed, Tetra, and MonsterAquaria
Network.com
. Dick Au (author of the new Discus book "Trophy Discus," and "Back to Nature Guide to Discus") put up $1000 to be awarded to the royal cichlid crowned  "Grand Champion Discus."

On Thursday and Friday attendants had the option to go on tours to San Francisco, Amador Wine Country, or Lake Tahoe.  On Thursday, Dr. Tim Hovanec gave a talk on "Water Quality for New and Old World Cichlids, Ad Konings talked about "Breeding Strategies of Tanganyikan Cichlids."  Friday Andrew Soh talked about "Selecting Quality and Holistic Approach to Discus Keeping", and Rainer Stawikowski spoke on "The Fishes and Rapids."  Judging of the fish entered in the show was conducted Friday evening.  Study groups were also organized for later in the evening for those with specific interest.  This years study groups were "South American Cichlids," "Apistogrammas," "Cichlasoma," "Madagascar," and "Discus."  I had the opportunity to attend the "Discus Study Group" and hear a talk given by Jack Taylor of KC Discus about his time supporting the USAF mission in Iraq, and building out his Discus Hatchery in his basement.

Andrew Soh and Tom Waltzek.

Tom Waltzek (University of California - Davis) shows Andrew Soh (author of "Discus - The Naked Truth") his research video of diseases found in and on discus.

Saturdays line up of speakers included Alex Saunders on "Madagascar Cichlids," Chris Clevers on "Cichlids and Nutrition, Fact and Fiction," Oliver Lucanus on "Cichlids of West and Central Africa," Dr. Ron Coleman "Introduction on Phylogenetics," and Rainer Stawikowski on "Field and Aquarium Observations on South American Cichlids."  The highlight of the convention was the awards banquet, and the handing out of the awards and cash for the Grand Champion Discus.  After the banquet the attendees had the opportunity to view the award winning fish and congratulate the winners.

Grand Champion Discus winners International Aquarium.

International Aquarium was awarded the $1000 prize for the Grand Champion Discus. Pictured above left to right, Dick Au (author of "Trophy Discus"), Louis Lam (International Aquarium), Tony Griffitts (SAS BOD and aquaworldaquarium.com), Kenny Cheug (International Aquarium), and Andrew Soh (author of "Discus -  The Naked Truth")


Above is a slide show of some of the fish that were on display in the show room.   Fish shown are Vieja argentea, Aulonacara Albino Eureka Red, Paretroplus menarambo, Gnathochromis permaxillaris, Fossorachromis rostratus, Theraps irregularis, Cichlasoma bocourti, Geophagus brasiliensis, Snake Skin Discus, Turquoise Discus, Red Discus, Snake Skin Discus, and Pigeon Blood Discus.

Sunday was the cichlid auction that started at 10:00am and lasted until the evening.  Attendees brought in cichlids to be auctioned off.  Many of the fish that were on display in the show were auctioned off.  The auction is one of the ways the ACA generates funds for operating costs and funding research.   Attendees had a great opportunity to pick up rare cichlids at often below wholesales prices.  The breakdown of the displays took place on Sunday, and attendees had the opportunity to pick up 50, 20, and 10 gallon tanks and sponge filters for a wholesale price.

Next year the ACA 2008 Convention will be hosted by the Atlanta Area Aquarium Association at the Airport Hilton Hotel.  If your a cichlid hobbyist, you should think about joining the American Cichlid Association and attend their annual convention.

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