Nick James has been an aquarist since his early days at school. Growing up in the then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) he was an avid angler and spent most holidays on Lake Kariba on the Zambesi river, from where his love of cichlids took root. He later turned from angling to catching cichlids to breed in aquaria and ponds at his home. Later he worked as a research officer at the world renowned JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology, in Grahamstown, South Africa for some eight years and earned an MSc degreee in ichthyology under the guidance of such ichthyological luminaries as Prof. Mike Bruton and Prof. Paul Skelton. His office was next door to that of Humphry Greenwood, that charismatic fund of Victorian knowledge and humour, with whom he chatted for hours on cichlid matters that left other shaking their heads. During this period overland adventures to exotic locations such as the Okavango Swamps in Botswana, the Cunene river and Ruacana Falls in Namibia/Angola, the Mkuze swamps in Kwa-Zulu Natal (South Africa), Lake Malawi, and the source of the Zambesi and Congo rivers at the borders of NW. Zambia and Zaire (now DRC) kept this fascination with freshwater fish alive and kicking. Christened "old blue fingers" and "Nichlid" for his love of rearing cichlids when he left the Institute in 1992, he now runs his own cichlid hatchery on his farm near Grahamstown (E. Cape, South Africa). Here he lives with his wife and three young daughters, and breeds nearly 100 different species for sale to the aquarium trade.