Sonia has always had a keen interest in wildlife and animals, one great love being horses, having owned two during her life. It was after she set up home with her partner, Dave Tourle in 1988, that the interest in tropical fish really took off. Dave had always wanted a tropical set-up and by coincidence, so had Sonia and as a result their first tank was acquired with the usual "community" fishes. It was not too long before Sonia's son Marcus, then aged 14, suggested that some more "exciting" fish like cichlids, might be a good idea. Sonia and Dave agreed and so some
Since those early days, Sonia and Dave have kept and successfully bred many cichlid fishes, including some very rare species, from Central America, South America, Malawi, Tanganyika and Madagascar. For the last few years, the endangered status of the cichlids from Madagascar has become a very important issue with Sonia, who, through a number of contacts in the Aquarium and Cichlid world, is now maintaining eleven species of Madagascan cichlids.
Sonia is currently Cichlidae Editor of the British Cichlid Association, as well as being a member of other cichlid organisations, including the ACA. Sonia and Dave participated in Ad Konings Malawi Safari in 1997 and will there again in 1999, so she is still travelling!.