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July 26, 2012

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to attend the 2009 American Cichlid Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. My time there was rather brief, and I didn’t get to really see much of the city outside of visiting the Newport Aquarium. The aquarium houses one of my very few favorite saltwater animals. Bowmouth Guitarfish (Rhina ancylostoma) better known as the Shark Ray. If you have never been to the Newport Aquarium then I would highly recommend it if you ever make it to the state of Ohio. These sea animals alone made the trip worth it.

Flashing forward to the second week of this month I once again had the honor of attending this year’s 2012 convention in Indianapolis. I arrived at the hotel a little after noon on Thursday the 12th and immediately took a nap. Most of the group had taken the trip to Rusty Wessell’s fish house located in Ohio which left me alone for the better part of the day. After some much needed rest from my red eye flight I made my rounds throughout the hotel trying my best to stay out of the way of the fish that was coming in from vendors all over the east coast.

The next day I attended many of the talks, including one of the best talks I have ever seen that was presented by Heinz H. Büscher on invertebrates of Lake Tanganyika. Unlike other speakers I have seen before he had included a high-definition video along with his talk that took you on a journey under the water on snails, shrimps, and the crabs that call the lake home. The macro video footage was so phenomenal that you could see a shrimp cleaning its eye socket with grains of sand! Sadly, I had overslept and missed his other talk on other Tanganyika species.

By Saturday the event was in full swing with the silent B.I.T.C.H (Babes In The Cichlid Hobby) auction going. The “Babes” auction off artwork, clothing, fish food, and other items in support of the Guy Jordan Research fund as well as raising money for next year’s event. Guy Jordan was the founding member of ACA and there is a fund in his memory for the research and study of cichlids in their natural habitat.

There were fish being sold that hobbyists and other venders provided in the “tank rental” room where you could buy a variety of fish. The judges were making their last minute decisions on what fish would bring home the “best in show” trophy. Our store donated 3 boxes of fish to the event that I had personally bagged and shipped the day before I had left for the ACA auction that happens on Sunday morning. The event ended on Saturday evening with a large banquet dinner, award ceremony for the fish show, and the Kingfish auction.

To me the conventions are not just about the cichlids we oh so love, but the friends and new bonds you make held at each one. These events are like a family gathering and everyone who attends is always welcomed. If you have never attended an ACA convention, I strongly suggest getting to Denver for next years!

I would also like to ask for your help in another matter. The website owner and a very dear friend of mine, from MonsterFishKeepers.com are being sold by Monster Energy Drinks for the use of the word “monster” and for similar logos. All of us here at The Wet Spot know just how important it is for hobbyists to support each other. I would like to ask that you visit the link below and sign the petition against Monster Energy Drinks. You don’t have to be a “monster” fish owner to know that this website is more than just that of fish of substantial size. Thank you to all of you who already have and to those who choose to support our cause.

Until next week!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager