Don Zilliox from Western New York State has been in the hobby for 20 years. He maintains 75 tanks with a capacity of around a 3,800 liters (one thousand gallons); most being in the 38 and 57 liters (10 and 15 gallon) range. Many of the tanks are home to dwarf South American cichlids and of those, there are 18 different Apistogramma species. Having bred over 100 different cichlids Don has been writing monthly articles for the "Youngstown Aquarist"; the newsletter of the Youngstown (Ohio) Area Tropical Fish Society since 1995. Editor Curt Smith started calling him the Z-man and that name has become familiar in the northeast USA at all auctions, conventions and the OCA Extravaganza. He especially enjoys getting new hobbyists interested in Apistos and is now getting himself involved in dwarf to medium size Crenicichla species.
A member of the American Cichlid Association, Tropical Fish Club of Erie County and the North American Fish Breeders Guild, Don has exchanged many new and hard to find species through those clubs' trading newsletters and area auctions.