Frederic Potvin, 2002
Cichlid Room Companion

Frederic Potvin

last updated on 30-Apr-1997

Frederic Potvin, from Quebec, Canada, has been interest in fish keeping beginning in 1971 (He was ten years old), when his father bought him his first 5 gallon tank. This was a community setting with a few guppies and tetras. Since that moment, he always kept fishes. In the mid 70's, he bought a second tank, a 15g, from his older brother, and set it up with 4 angels and a few corys cats. After a leave of absence due to a summer work in the late 70's, his angels had died and he was given some convicts cichlids by a hobbyist in his aquarium society. They grew quickly and the inevitable happened, they spawned! That was it! That's when his fascination for cichlids begun, observing the spawning and breeding behavior of fishes have never ceased to amaze Fred. Since then, he has added tanks after tanks, until he had to move to do his graduate studies. At that time, he had finished a Bachelor in Biology (what else?) and he had to move to another town to find more interesting fields of study, in an attempt to higher the odds of finding a good job afterwards. Fred did a Masters in Microbiology, while he kept only one tank or two with some of the commonly available American cichlids. He stayed at that minimum for some years, until he passed his thesis in Molecular biology (genetics). Then it was a rebirth. Fred was single again, following a separation, and he was living in a small one bedroom apartment in a basement. When he left there, after 3 years, every small corner of the apartment was filled with tanks. Throughout all these years, cichlids remained Fred's main interest. Even when he was reduced to a small number of tanks, he never stopped to follow the literature. Fred moved with his former girlfriend in 1996, and she offered him to build a fishroom in an unemployed room in the basement of the house. HIS DREAM!!! He has 45 tanks ranging from 5 to 55 gallons in this room. He kept this set up for two years before moving again, this time in a one bedroom appartment, where he kept 12 or the original 45 tanks. Fred keeps every type of cichlids you can think of, like Central and South American cichlids, some wild angels notably, Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria lakes cichlids, East Africans and even some Malagasy cichlids. What he likes most is to find unavailable species in his area, to breed them and to propagate them in his Aquarium society. But his higher interest goes for conservation, I think its the biologist inside him that tends to surface from time to time. In 1995, Fred met Paul Loiselle, when he was invited to give a conference in his Aquarium Society, and he never lost contact with him. He had it sent to his club four shipments of victorians cichlids, endangered species that bred in the NY Aquarium, and Paul always promptly fulfill their demands for new species, for which he is very grateful to him.

Fred has always been attending every meeting possible since his very beginning in fish keeping. His current club in Quebec City recently found an article Fred wrote in 1973, about his beginnings in fish keeping. This is because this club had an association of the club in his home town at the time. Fred has been on boards a number of times, and he has been president of his home town association for 4 years, just before he moved to Quebec City. In the ARAQ (Quebec Club), Fred is responsible for the conservation program, has a regular column in the society's journal.

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