MCA EXPO 2008 --
Some of the Fish
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV
Misc Frogs V
Pet World Visit
Fish Pix: Below are pictures of some of the fish I liked -- mostly the ones that liked to display. I was one of the judges, but we all have our own favorites. LA
Nice Looking Fish: Not everyone likes flowerhorns. Some purists hate, despise, and abhor flowerhorns. Actually, this guy's a good looking cichlid. He's not exactly a "painted convict." And there's nothing wrong with convicts either.. A good looking convict is still a great fish. They just like to breed a little more than your average discus -- which we also heard some disparaging remarks about this weekend.
Another Reject: Here we see a good-looking Paratilapia smallspot or polloni that also got kicked out. His "official genealogy" checked out, but (and it was a really big BUT) he's infested with several inch-long external parasites. Some said anchor worms. Definitely not. Most said leeches. They just don't look like any of the leeches I've ever seen. I will confess to not having seen all the leeches in the known world. Anyway, he's at Aqualand as of yesterday and under treatment.
Rowdy Cichlid: Not the best community fish. Gets along best with fish larger than itself. Not a picky eater, but this particular one has not eaten a thing for 10 days -- probably due to the dozen or so leeches in its mouth. Possibly, he tried to eat them when they fell off his body? His external leeches are now all gone.
Don't Get No Respect: Here we see a male Oreochromis tanganyikan which bears a close resemblance to the more common O. mossambicus, a tasty half of the (flowerhorn by the way because they're a cross between two species) tilapia that show up on many menus in a variety of tasty formats. If I remember correctly, he took best in his class but was not considered for Best of Show.
Little Guy: Weighing in under two inches, this attractive Apistogramma looked very good. We see very few Apistogrammas these days -- except for variations on the rams. Not the best picture but obviously a fish well worth adding to your collection.
Another Little Guy: Here's a shell dweller from the old country. Fairly slow grower but very showy as adults. Tend to dive into snail shells when startled or feeling threatened. Females not near as impressive.
Sand Diver: When startled, this guy will dive under the sand.
Shy Guy: Prefers a planted tank with a sandy bottom. Female broods the eggs in her mouth. Mixes best with the less aggressive African cichlids.
Hoover Mouth: When feeding, this guy pops out his mouth and looks like an old fashioned vacuum cleaner. I couldn't resist taking this double picture.
Sand Sifter: Geo (earth) + phagus (eater) species like to sift thru the substrate in search of succulent snacks. Males grow a red nuchal bump on their noggins.
Long-Finned Bristlenose Plecostomus: You can sex the males by the bristles that end in a "Y." This was a pretty good sized guy for a normally "dwarf pleco." Much better algae eater than the big guys.
Blotchy Guy: It takes about four years for these guys to develop to their full blotchiness. The kids look more like bait. I didn't judge his class because I consider them ugly. They always score well in competition. Still on the pricy side.
Not a Good Picture: He never flared his fins while I was close. All peacock males look great.
You've Come a Long Way, Baby: Lots of DNA changes evident here, but even a novice can recognize an angelfish. He'd look a lot better if he'd flared his fins.
Mucho Impressive Specimen: Eye candy.
Unfortunate Angelfish: This guy was taken out of the running by a large scrape on his obverse side. One fine looking fish. But black angels have always been one of my favorites.
Non-Impressive Discus: Unless you've been napping, you've probably noticed many changes taking place in the discus tribe -- some good, some not so much. This is one of the not so much category. But remember this is just my personal opinion. And I did not judge this particular category.
Albino? The neat thing about albinos is they make breeding programs easier. Albinos make it much easier to sort out the various DNA packages that are hidden in the other breeding partner.
Last Words: The reason MCA uses several judges to evaluate their show entries -- not everyone can be an expert on every fish. And the most intriguing characteristic of cichlids is the way they look different at different times. As Kenny Rogers says: "Every hand's a winner. And every hand's a loser." Try to avoid the part where he says: "The best that you can hope for, is to die in your sleep." You’ll catch many other details on MCA’s web site. Go to midwestcichlid.com and look under their Forum and check out the comments on and pictures of EXPO 2008. LA
3600 Sixth Avenue
Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues
Des Moines, IA 50313
Betta Breed 1
Betta Breed II
Betta Pla Kat
Pleco Costly I
Pleco Costly II
Pleco Costly III
Pleco Costly IV
Pleco Costly VI
Misc. Catfish II
Misc. Catfish III
More Oscar II
More Oscars III
More Red Devil
Red Bay Snooks
Roger Stephen's Cichlids
Misc Cichlids I
Misc Cichlids II
Misc Cichlids III
Misc Cichlids IV
Misc Cichlids V
Misc Cichlids VI
(Austral & Irian)
Gold Oriental II
Michael Troung's Pix
Chin Alg Eater
Siam Algae Eater
Misc. Odd II
Misc. Odd III
Misc. Odd IV
Chinese Hi-Fin Banded
Siam Algae Eater