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Hello everyone!


CCA Members
Hello from Rockville. I've been in the hobby almost continuously for more than 50 years (I started as a child as my dad had aquariums). I retired several months ago (but still consulting), and now have more time to spend with the hobby. My aquarium is a 125 I've had for more than 25 years. For the last 15+ years, I've kept mixed Africans--before that it was rainbows, and before that South Americans.

Ever since Tropical Fish World closed many years ago, my tank has languished a bit. Jim always had a great selection of Africans. About a year ago, I cleared out the 70+ Brichardi that had been breeding out of control—then I started to restock the tank. (Yes, the remaining Brichardi are still breeding!)

I recently changed out the canister filters for two Fluval 407s. For the past 25 years I’ve been using the same three Magnum 350s—they were still working fine (they were incredibly reliable beasts!), but routine maintenance parts are now getting hard to find as the Magnums were discontinued a few years ago. If anyone wants four working Magnum 350s (one is a new spare I had kept around) and many spare parts, let me know.

I’m looking for local suppliers of Africans other than Congressional—I think I saw someone post some local breeders names—any thoughts on them would be appreciated. How’s House of Tropicals these days? It’s been a long time since I’ve been there.

Thanks, Jeff

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Staff member
Welcome! House of tropicals is still going strong, I haven't been there in a while but they generally have a good selection, I'd say it's worth the trip, at least to know what's available.

Plenty of good local breeders, several people who have nice peacocks and haps available, some with tangs or mbuna, and plenty of non African stuff as well. How far are you willing to travel? Several in the Nova area, some in the Baltimore and Harford county area, and some in between as well.

Anything specific you're looking for? If circumstances were normal we'd be having a meeting in a few weeks where you could meet some of those people, and generally people are willing to put fish in our auction or marketplace, and bring stuff they've advertised for sale.

We also have a few club sponsors that are very reputable and trustworthy for shipping fish, I'm about to place an order with www.davesfish.com who specializes in African cichlids, he's based out of Texas but I've had great luck with him in the past and several other people on the forum would recommend him as well. www.cichlidsarespecial.com is located in the Lancaster PA area and generally does local pickup and sometimes delivers to meetings.

Nice looking tank, I'm assuming you're looking for fish to add?


Welcome and nice tank! I’ve purchased great looking and healthy haps and peacocks from lkelly lkelly and Pat Kelly Pat Kelly . I haven’t purchased any from Reed Reed but he has nice fish as well. I’d check with them to see if they have anything you’re interested in.
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Global Moderators
Staff member
Welcome to the CCA. We likely metany years ago, when I was the Sunday manager of Tropical Fish World. As others have mentioned, you will find many sources for quality fish within our club members and club sponsors. Let us know what specifically you're after.


CCA Members
Welcome! As far ash fish stores, I think a lot of them in this area have become a let down.
Tropical lagoon is great for driftwood, but their fish can be hit or miss

House of Tropicals has a great selection but their prices are absolutely insane, often 3x the standard retail prices. I’ve also had a lot of bad experiences with quality there.

Congressional’s quality has drastically fallen while their prices seem to continue to rise.

Vienna Pets is pretty limited. Great for rock and driftwood usually, sometimes has some hidden gem fish. Way out in Leesburg though.

Centreville Aquarium is pretty limited stock wise. Small store overall. Again, a hike away.

Aquatic Creations in Ijamsville will have a lot of your normal, standard staple fish, with the occasional rarity mixed in. My only experience here was good, and their equipment prices seemed spot on.

Londontowne Is the new store. Large amount of tanks, pretty good mix of stock. Prices are high on somethings but good on others. Stock a lot of short-body defects and such like that.


CCA Members
Welcome to the CCA. We likely metany years ago, when I was the Sunday manager of Tropical Fish World. As others have mentioned, you will find many sources for quality fish within our club members and club sponsors. Let us know what specifically you're after.
Thanks Andrew. I'm sure we met as I frequented TFW for 20+ years, mostly on weekends.


CCA Members
Thanks everyone for your replies and recommendations. The updates on sponsors, breeders, and local stores are very helpful. I look forward to more interactions with you.

After changing out the entire filtration system, I'm waiting a couple of more weeks to add any new fish to ensure the biological filtration and oxygen levels have stabilized. Having some fluctuations...

Thanks again.


CCA Members
On centerville its a real crap shoot, some times you get a solid fish some times not so much.

Every cichlid I have purchased from them did well. Mixed results with the smaller tetra and guppie type fish.

Ashburn pets in Leesburg gets some nice plecos fairly often, the cichlid prices can get a bit high.
As has been stated great selection of rock and wood.

Can also find some unique plants from time to time.

Aquatic creations has been solid for me as far as price and quality.

Fintastic aquarium in fredrick..... in my experience, not so great.
I walked out when I heard the fresh water specialist tell some one a flower horn would be fine in a mixed tank of similar sized fish.
However the prices on the driftwood are pretty darn good.

But they get things like electric catfish so eh.

I think it was congresional I went to and the sticker show was real, so was the ich.

I haven't hit HOT yet but ild like to.

Then a hike, Winchester has a solid place with some nice fish but I don't recall the name


Another hike, you can try Super Cichlids but since the virus it's appointment only. (1055 Barl Ct. Dover De)