Paul V Loiselle, 2004
Cichlid Room Companion

Showing Cichlids: There Has To Be a Better Way

By , 1981.

Classification: People and associations.

(This article was originally published in Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine, Jun 1981; pp. 38-43, 62-63. It is here reproduced with the permission of author Dr. Paul V. Loiselle).

One of the best ways to start a lively conversation among a group of cichlid fanciers is to ask them how they became interested in keeping cichlids. Making allowances for individual peculiarities of expression, the replies fall into several distinct categories. In a few cases, the printed word served as the medium of contagion. A roughly equivalent percentage of respondents will confess to having become cichlidiots through direct contact with an already afflicted party. Such contacts take their most extreme form when a cichlid breeder inflicts a batch of fry upon an uninitiated fellow hobbyist. To paraphrase a medical friend, this approach to arousing someone's interest in cichlid keeping is comparable to mainlining with hard drugs it is either immediately fatal or else produces total addiction! However, the overwhelming majority of one's interlocutors will reply that seeing living specimens over a period of time piqued their interest in cichlids. This may hardly seem surprising. After all, this is how most aquarists get into the hobby in the first place. What is of more than incidental interest is the breakdown of replies these persons give when one asks where they saw cichlids to such advantage. Most will say their contacts occurred at a retail establishment. A few will mention a particularly impressive display of cichlids at a friend's home or at a public aquarium. Virtually no one will cite a fish show as his, or her, point of contact with cichlids. Yet when one considers the number of such shows held annually and the number of persons attending them, this might seem passing strange, indeed.

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