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Old 07-16-2012, 1:02 PM   #21
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Tony put together a pretty good summary of the trip. My main difference was I didn't make the Rusty Wessel trip, but I attended the UPG factory tour.

I rode in a carpool with Steve Edie (one of the speakers), Phil Benes (past ACA chair) and his wife. Very friendly group of people. We were given a walking tour of the factory by 2 UPG employees. Very large facility consisting of 22 buildings on 25 acres, run off of well water and natural gas (they do not receive public utilities). It was really neat to see tanks being built, and to see thousands of tanks waiting for delivery.

Nearly every process is stil performed by hand, with very little automated machinery. The tour guides stated that the process was driven by quality measures as opposed to lack of desire to automate the process. Every tank has a "Built by" sticker and every employee is paid accoring to the work they complete.

I didn't really take any pictures, I'm not sure it was even allowed. After about a 90 minute tour, we left the factory for the return trip. We stopped by The Reef LFS, which was also a large sponsor for the ACA. They had a great selection of fish, and were offering discounts to convention attendees. Afterwards we stopped by the Stone Yard, which had 100's of types of rock and stone. Steve picked up 60 pounds of rock for less than $15. We then stopped by a Steak n' Shake for lunch before returning to the hotel.

The rest of the trip was well put by Tony. All the talks were interesting and informative, the fish show had great specimens, and there were plenty og great deals on fish and dry goods. Picked up some stuff from Steve and Nancy at South Central Cichlids among a few other vendors.

Its not easy to return to work after a long, fun weekend but it had to be done. I had an incredible time with Jon, Jim, Tony, and Christine and can't wait for the next convention. Time to start saving for Denver 2013!



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Old 07-16-2012, 1:21 PM   #22
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Thanks fellas.



Considering the quantity of hoppy beverages and Irish whiskey consumed this weekend, not likely.
That only effects the slow brain cells
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Old 07-16-2012, 3:56 PM   #23
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Great update, Tony!

Siena and I got back home about 10:15 last night...all fish intact...but with a filter that leacked in the (basement) fishroom. Got the fish put away and ran the steam cleaner for awhile... Still damp but much better.

The venue for the hotel (Wyndham by the Indy Airport) was very nice - tons of room, comfortable beds...but kind of out of the way of dining places and areas to walk. Siena and I found a good sandwich shop and a Waffle House (coffee for me, pancakes witha smiley face for her).

I brought 5 fish (4 in the acara catergory) and one in the Central Americans but didn't place any. They really didn't like the local water - too limestoney. Dan Ye Jennings brought 50+ fish from Colorado! She won best of show with a gorgeous Caquetia myersi. A little small in my opinion but a very nice fish. I actually thought that she brought some nicer fish (her Neet for one) but am glad she won.

As Tony said, the speakers were great. I just couldn't hang on Friday night after the BABES auction (which ended at like 1:00 AM). I threw in the towel at 2-something during Joe Middleton's (great) presentation aboout traveling to Central America.

Saturday was a little more low key...Siena participated in the Kids Aquarium Decorating contest. Unfortunately her 2/3 pink gravel - 1/3 blue gravel design wasn't a winner. But she still got to keep the 10g set-up and 4 platies! There were arts and crafts afterward and all of the kids had a great time. What was excellent was that kids from the cheerleading camp and general area (not fish people) participated!

Sunday we left after bagging fish / gathering Siena's stuff in the room and making a cameo appearance at the auction (and hearing about the water in the basement from my wife).

I picked up:
A pair of wild chanchitos and a couple of Gymnogeos from Ken Davis
A wild trio of Cichlasoma dimerus ("Arroyo Chelsea") about 10 km inland from Bella Union also from Ken
2M/4F F1 Gymnogeo gymnogenys "Arroyo Yerbolito" from the Babes Auction
2M/1F F1 G. gymnogenys from Rio Olimar (Tres Puentes) from the Babes Auction
F1 Pair of Amatitlania siquia "Rio Monga" cons
4 platies
6 F1 C. dimerus "Bella Union" fry
Wild Aequidens diadema
F1 Aequidens sp. inridae
Some Hericthys tamosopensis

Circle City Aquarium Society and Joe F. deserve a lot of credit for pulling off a great weekend! Well done...

Matt
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Old 07-16-2012, 4:59 PM   #24
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Yep, I don't have a whole lot more to add to the previous updates. The trip to Rusty's fish house was amazing. His outdoor ponds were incredible, and his tank setup is phenominal. Interestingly, the thing that caught my eye the most was his use of large numbers of a new swordtail in his big tanks. It created a really interesting contrast...lots of very active swordtails swimming together with a few big, beautiful cichilds.

My favorite talks were from:
- Anton Jamboj - I love seeing the phylogenetics and talking DNA with him.
- Heinz Buscher - his videos were absolutely outstanding. How can you not love a talk titled "Creepers and Crawlers"?
- Ad Konings - I really enjoyed the updates, especially his in-depth explanation of what's going on to clean up the nomenclature and verify the holotypes in the genus Melanochromis and Cynotilapia. This was an important talk for me to attend, since now I understand why my Mainganos are called Pseudotropheus instead of Melanochromis.

There were lots of other great talks, too....I enjoyed the CA/SA talks especially since I don't tend to keep those fish. It's good to learn a little more about those fish that I haven't kept (yet).

The Babes auction was hysterical! During the meeting I also stocked up on some supplies (South Central Cichlids and Swiss Tropicals, for example). Tony and I also each won one of the many raffles. We both got a huge bucket of Cobalt's new line of food with probiotics. I'm looking forward to trying it out.

I didn't actually bring home too many new fish, but I did pick up some color-variant Ancistrus. I sold a few of my Mainganos, but brought a bunch home too.

As far as purchases go, though, my personal additction was a big tank of potted aquarium plants that were being sold by one of their LFS sponsors (The Reef). I think I visited the plants at least a few times a day to see what else they added to it since they kept unpacking boxes of plants througout the meeting. I also picked up a 15 gal column tank/stand at one of the auctions. Thank you, Rachel, for being my sherpa back to the East Coast for that item!

The ride with Tony, Jon, Mike, and Jim was also a lot of fun. Last year I truly had a great time helping out with our ACA meeting. I was a new CCA member...I learned a lot, and got to know a lot of our own club people. This this year was really fantastic but in a different way. It felt great to sit and watch the talks, and interact with people and not worry about helping fill tanks, set up stands, or see if the registration desk needed help!

I've already put the bug in my husband's ear that next year, it's in Denver....he hasn't said no yet.
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Old 07-16-2012, 6:39 PM   #25
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Everyone has summed up the trip pretty well, so it is a tough act to follow. I got to meet some really cool people around the convention and spent a lot of time talking with folks like Rusty Wessel, Eric Hanneman, Sam Borstien, and Ken Davis. I sat next to Ad Konings at the BBQ and chatted it up with Anton Lamboj throughout the weekend. I know I sound like a fan-boy, but this was my first ACA that I wasn't working and I got to have the full experience. I can see why folks go back year after year.

Tony, O'Shea, Jim, Christine and I had a great time together on the trip. Although we were nervous that we wouldn't be able to fit all our stuff in the truck on the way home, we managed to get it all stuffed in and I could still see out of the rear view mirror.

I did manage to bring back a few fish:

- An F1 pair of cryptoheros siquia from Lake Nicaragua
- A group of herichthys tamasoponesis (splitting a group of 8 with Matt)
- A group of thorichthys sp. mixteco gold juvies
- A group of cryptoheros nanoleutus juvies
- A group of F1 theraps wesseli - These came from an auction at Rusty's house. I just could not pass up a chance to get a group of fish named after Rusty right out of his own fish house.

All in all, the trip was a blast. We were all talking about not going to Denver next year on the way to Indy, but I think that all changed after the good time we had.
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Old 07-16-2012, 7:54 PM   #26
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Wow, thanks guys for the update. It looks like there was a lot of talk about Central American cichlids exactly the fish I am passionate about. Hopefully if the finances are well next year I'll try to make it out to Denver and I won't forget my fly rod.
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Old 07-16-2012, 8:46 PM   #27
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I didn't actually bring home too many new fish, but I did pick up some color-variant Ancistrus.
What kind of Ancistrus did you get?
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Old 07-16-2012, 8:56 PM   #28
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What kind of Ancistrus did you get?
LF green dragon, super reds, and LF blue eyed. I can't wait till they grow out!

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Old 07-17-2012, 9:28 AM   #29
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Hey Guys! It was great seeing you all again!

Unfortunately, I had to cut my trip short. Our little dog got very sick and had to be hospitalized so we headed back Saturday afternoon instead of staying for the auction as planned.

But here's what I did and picked up:
Left Wednesday morning and arrived around 3 pm local time. A truck kicked up a rock on 294 going around Chicago and cracked our windshield.

Thursday morning, wife, baby, and I went do downtown Indy and walked the canal walk. It is a pretty city and the canal walk was nice (but not nearly as nice as San Antonio).

Got back in time to see Peter Durkin unpacking his fish in the rental room. Immediately bought 4 gold nugget plecos as they are on my list of must haves. (Received about 30 calls over the next three days of people wanting to buy them from me).
Saw Steve Edie's talk (which I had seen before but still enjoy seeing each time).

Friday:
Had the ACA BOT meeting from 11-4:30. It was long and arduous but we got a lot of good work done. Glad the board had no problem lowering our balance sheet so we could fund some important conservation work in Madagascar.
Saw Ad's talk on AND's. Great to see where the money goes. Caught most of Heiko's talk too.
BABES auction bid on and picked up a ton of fish. I had been setting aside $8 a week for months to buy fish specifically at BABES auction. I was going to spend it all even if I had to bid myself up $25 on the very last bag. I ended up buying a bunch of fish I really didn't need but it all goes to a good cause.

Saturday recovered from BABES hangover and then got the call about the dog. Packed up and was on the way home by 3 pm.

I did end up picking up the following:
Gymnogeophagus labiatus "Rio Olimar"
Gymnogeophagus gymnogenys Arroyo Yerbilito
Gymnogeophagus balzani
Gymnogeophagus tiraparae Rio Yi (Ken Davis supplied me a nice male as the bags I bought were all females).
Geophagus sp. Red Head Tapajos (these did not look like Red Heads to me but when I compared them to my adults at home they are.)
Biotodoma cupido (lost one so far)
Acarichthys heckelli (Lost two)
Mikrogeophagus altispinosa
Iatuba tiger plecos
Gold Nugget plecos
Astatotilapia sp. "Tomato" trio
Pundamilia pundamilia group of juvies
Steve Edie's bag o shells
and some Tomocichla asfraci.

Next Year there definitely has to be several "Bag o Beers" in the BABES auction!

The spawn of the year votes are in the box on my desk and I will count them and add the totals to the online poll tonight. The winner will be posted on the ACA forum.

Andy
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:38 PM   #30
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The Bag O Beers was definitely a great thing. A fantastic way to combine beers from around the country with a lap dance, for a good cause!

One other thing that I don't think has come up, for those with iPads is the new app book that Ad Konings has created. It was demo'ed in his talk on Saturday morning. It's an Ad Konings book on Peacocks with all the usual good information and profiles that we'd expect from one of his books... plus a lot of features that the iPad platform has made available, like more depth of photos, interactive maps that show where the photos were taken and where each fish can be found, and some videos. For $20, certainly less than the price of the books, it seemed to hold a lot of good stuff. If you search for "cichlid" on the app store, it will come up. For now it's iPad only. It sounds like he plans on producing additional volumes if this is successful.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:29 AM   #31
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The posts hurt a bit not having been there after not missing too many in the past. Sounds like a good time was had by all. I bet you enjoyed it more after busting your butts at the last one.

I particularly liked Tony's pictures. It must have been something to see Rusty's house. I can't help remembering when many CCA folks laughed at Caroline's picture (the topless pet store) a long time ago. I knew her then and was not pleased at the way she was laughed at. Now some of you know her and you still laugh at her, but certainly in a totally different way.

I sure hope I am in a position to hit Denver next year.

George



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Old 07-25-2012, 7:21 AM   #32
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The posts hurt a bit not having been there after not missing too many in the past. Sounds like a good time was had by all. I bet you enjoyed it more after busting your butts at the last one.

I particularly liked Tony's pictures. It must have been something to see Rusty's house. I can't help remembering when many CCA folks laughed at Caroline's picture (the topless pet store) a long time ago. I knew her then and was not pleased at the way she was laughed at. Now some of you know her and you still laugh at her, but certainly in a totally different way.

I sure hope I am in a position to hit Denver next year.

George
I sure hope you can make it too, George. I'm about 90% sure I'll be there.

Looking forward to see you at Catfish Convention. If you want, we can build another fort in the lobby.
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