Dave Schumacher

Blog

News & Articles
Dave Schumacher

Dave Schumacher

Dave Schumacher has been an avid aquarist from a young age. Getting his first job at 16 as “the reptile guy” at a local pet store specializing in cichlids, he quickly found he enjoyed the fish even more than the lizards and turtles he’d started with. Dave worked for Armke’s Rare Aquarium Fish while in college, which was the go to source for cichlids in the hobby during the 90s and 2000s. In 2006, he bought the company, changed the name to Dave’s Rare Aquarium Fish, and moved to San Antonio, TX. Dave has been a part of the Hill Country Cichlid Club since it was founded in 2004, and is serving his third term as a board member of the American Cichlid Association.

LTFF Meeting

  • 2024-09

Sponsors

Thanks to the club sponsors for making what we do better.

Caroline Estes

Blog

News & Articles
Caroline Estes

Caroline Estes

Caroline Estes has been in the hobby for 41 years. She owned and operated Amazonia Aquariums for 20 years; a retail store in Austin Texas with 500 tanks specializing mainly in Cichlids and oddball rare fish. 

Caroline has collected Cichlids all over Mexico and Lake Tanganyika, which was a highlight in her life.  She was one of the founders of Babes in the Cichlid Hobby (BITCH). The BITCHes have raised over $200,000 for research and conservation over a 29-year period.  Now her fish interests are mainly new world Cichlids, conservation, and raising hell at fish conventions with her BITCH friends. She is retired from retail and now spends her time at home.  She stays busy by going to see live music 3-4 nights a week, working with German Shorthaired Pointer rescue groups, and she collects art made by her friends in the Austin music scene. Caroline is also a backup singer in a local band.  During retirement, she is busier than ever seeing live music, enjoying art, and traveling the country visiting fish friends and giving talks to fish clubs. She is a political activist and is often at the Texas state capitol raising hell in unconventional ways and bringing attention and awareness to the issues that are important to her.

LTFF Meeting

  • 2023-10

Sponsors

Thanks to the club sponsors for making what we do better.

Art Parola

Blog

News & Articles
Art Parola

Art Parola

Art Parola is a member of the Advisory Board of the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) and leads the NAIA’s CITES Engagement Program. He is also a consultant and is pursuing a law degree.

Art developed a love of nature from a young age, spending as much time as he could, covered in mud and creek water, with a butterfly net chasing every critter that crawled, slithered, or swam and trying to identify them with his collection of field guides. This led him to a career path focused on animal welfare, sustainable development, and conserving nature, particularly through sustainable use policy initiatives.

He still hasn’t lost his childhood enthusiasm for spending time in nature, although he now more commonly carries a camera instead of a net. His writing and photographs have appeared in numerous online articles, as well as in print publications in multiple countries around the world.

LTFF Meeting

  • 2023-11

Sponsors

Thanks to the club sponsors for making what we do better.

Don Danko

Blog

News & Articles
Don Danko

Don Danko

Don Danko has kept cichlids for many years, breeding many rare species, including several that were first U.S.A. spawnings. He keeps a mix of new world and Lake Tanganyika cichlids in his current fish room which has an automatic water change system. His wife, Marilyn, also enjoys keeping fish and has a passion for breeding Ancistrus catfish species. Don has been involved in several aspects of the cichlid hobby, including writing articles, speaking, taking photographs, holding club offices, and most recently, editing.

Don has collected extensively throughout Mexico since 1987, from Linares and Cuatro Cienegas to Bonampak. He has visited Costa Rica as well.

He has written a number of articles for magazines such as the American Cichlid Association’s Buntbarsche Bulletin, Cichlid News, Amazonas, and the Ohio Cichlid Association’s Buckeye Bulletin. Don is an accomplished nature photographer that has amassed an extensive collection of cichlid pictures as well as of other animals. Many of his photographs have appeared in both fish and nature-specialized magazines. He has contributed many of them to the Cichlid Room Companion.

For the past year, Don has acted as the editor of Cichlid News Magazine. In addition, he served as guest editor for two special issues of the ACA’s Buntbarsche Bulletin, one featuring all Tanganyika articles and one featuring New World articles.

Don has held leadership positions in the Ohio Cichlid Association for many years and has served on the BOT and Cadre of the American Cichlid Association. Don is currently engaged in helping to promote events for both the OCA and ACA.

LTFF Meeting

  • 2023-08

Sponsors

Thanks to the club sponsors for making what we do better.

Brantley Berry

Blog

News & Articles
Brantley Berry

Brantley Berry

Pleco Caves

Several years while attending an annual ACA convention, I was walking through the vendor showroom and spotted several tables covered with some really cool-looking clay caves. I had been looking for something very specific for one of my tanks, so I walked over to the tables and saw a large sign that said Pleco Caves. I began talking to the young lady on the other side and explained that I was looking for something specific. I then asked her if they do custom work. She said, “Sure.” That was my introduction to Jodi and Brantley Berry, owners of Pleco Caves.

Based in Indiana, Pleco Caves is a regular vendor at many cichlid and fish conventions/shows. The number and diversity of clay products they make for aquariums is incredible. Not only do they make great stuff but they are fantastic to work with. They have made several custom items for me, which have always been produced exactly to my specifications. Don’t let their business name fool you. Their products work great for cichlids too! I can honestly say they have made my fish journey a better one. I reached out to Jodi and Brantley back in the spring and asked if they would be willing to do an interview for the blog. Thankfully, they didn’t hesitate. Let’s get started!

LTFF Meeting

  • 2021-11

Sponsors

Thanks to the club sponsors for making what we do better.

Dave Smith

Blog

News & Articles
Dave Smith

Dave Smith

Dave Smith will be giving a talk about “Building Your Fish Room” in October.  Dave is a scientist in the food industry. He has 50 years of experience in the hobby and has had articles published in the Journal of the American Livebearer Association and the ACA’s Buntbarsche Bulletin. Although currently concentrating on livebearers, his Cichlasoma bimaculatum took Best of Show at the 2017 ACA convention.

LTFF Meeting

  • 2021-10

Sponsors

Thanks to the club sponsors for making what we do better.

Kevin Cumberton

Blog

News & Articles
Kevin Cumberton

Kevin Cumberton

Tangled Up in Cichlids

Kevin is the owner of Tangled Up in Cichlids, an internet-based tropical freshwater fish import/export company that has been in operation since 1995 that specializes in New World Cichlids, as well as Characins, catfish, pleco, and other rare and unusual species from around the globe. Kevin has been in the aquarium hobby for 35 years most of which was as a private hobbyist and breeder until taking on the role of owner/operator of TUIC in 2019. Tangled Up in Cichlids is located in Northwestern NJ and operates as a single sole proprietor operation with no other employees in a closed to the public 10,000+ gallon, 2,000 sq. ft. facility. TUIC continually offers a unique and widely diverse weekly updated online stock list that is available to the public via the internet, that rivals or surpasses most private and open-to-public retail establishments in the US. Tangled Up In Cichlids

LTFF Meeting

  • 2022-01

Sponsors

Thanks to the club sponsors for making what we do better.

Charley Grimes

Blog

News & Articles
Charley Grimes

Charley Grimes

Title

Body

LTFF Meeting

  • 2021-11

Sponsors

Thanks to the club sponsors for making what we do better.

Gerald Grifin

Blog

News & Articles
Gerald Grifin

Gerald Grifin

Anabantoids

Gerald started keeping fish at age nine and by ten bred his first species, Colisa lalia. He was hooked and soon after bred three more Colisa species (chuna, fasciata and labiosa). At age twelve, he read All About Bettas by Walt Maurus and instantly knew that wild Bettas were in his future. However, it being the 1970’s and living in Oklahoma, the future would be a long time in waiting until he would enter college in the 80’s. From there he was able to use the library’s resources to research articles on wild Bettas and establish connections in the hobby. Gerald would soon join the International Betta Congress (IBC) and finally procure his own wild Betta stock. It wouldn’t be long before he would be writing his own articles on his own observations and experiences. In the meantime, Gerald was also busy with the domesticated Betta splendens and their genetics. From there, Gerald would establish and become the President of the Oklahoma Betta Breeders Association.

In 2000, Gerald’s passion for fish was reignited as family and career responsibilities were settling, and would jump head-first back into domestic and wild Bettas. Since the world was quickly changing and wild habitats were being destroyed before science could observe and record, Gerald would help establish the IBC Species Management Program to identify keepers and breeders of wild Bettas worldwide in an effort to share knowledge, stock, and information before species would disappear from the wild forever.

Today, Gerald is running 80 plus aquariums dedicated to all types of fish both fresh and saltwater but his first love will always be Bettas and Anabantoids. Gerald is currently President of the Oklahoma Aquarium Association and has served as the BAP, HAP, and Presentations chair. Also, he is currently the President of the multistate Betta Chapter SCUBA, President of the Oklahoma Betta Breeders Association, Treasurer for the American Labyrinth Fishes Association, and editor of the IBC periodic magazine, FLARE. In all this, he is also currently the Judging Board Chair of the IBC having just rewritten the international judging standards for show Bettas.

LTFF Meeting

  • 2021-10

Sponsors

Thanks to the club sponsors for making what we do better.

Brandon May

Blog

News & Articles
Brandon May

Brandon May

Nano Fish

Brandon has a background in Biology and water ecology and worked for Kentucky State University’s College of Agriculture and Sustainable Systems before joining the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection as an Environmental Scientist in 2015. He has been a hobbyist for over 30 years primarily focused on ‘nano breeds’ like livebearers, killifish, tetras and dwarf cichlids. Since 2012 he has gotten into keeping a variety of aquarium dwarf shrimp. He lives in Frankfort with his wife and three boys.

LTFF Meeting

  • 2021-07

Sponsors

Thanks to the club sponsors for making what we do better.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!