Cichlids have been my hobby for almost 50 years. At the age of 20, while still living in Germany my interest turned to cichlids and I was permanently hooked. Looking for more fish and information, I joined the German Cichlid Association (DCG) in the mid 1970s. I got involved with one of the regional chapters and started writing articles for their publication. The DCG was a very active group and where I learned a lot but also had much fun.
When I moved to Canada in 1982 I had to sell all my fish and equipment as I was unable to continue my hobby due to my new job. After things settled down a bit, the old Fish Tank Disease took over again. “I need another tank for my fry.” …and another and another. I ended up with 24 tanks in my fish room and my main focus has been the cichlids of Lake Tanganyika, specifically the genus Tropheus. However, lately my focus has shifted to the Central and South American cichlids, my interest especially peeked by the eartheaters. I have also set tanks aside to keep some endangered cichlids from different areas to help with the conservation effort. That is why I got involved with CARES.
To really enjoy a hobby, there has to be a social aspect to it. Being able to discuss your successes and failures with fellow hobbyists is one important part. The most important part however is to meet new people that have the same interests you have and make new friends. So I needed to look for an organization that not only promoted our hobby, but also included the missing social aspect. Since my main interest is with cichlids, I joined the American Cichlid Association. It is my opinion that we ‘old’ hobbyists have an obligation to give something back to this beautiful hobby that has given us so much pleasure over such a long time.
Klaus has dedicated immense time and efforts to CARES thoughout the years, serving as a liaison to CARES Member Clubs and spreading awareness as well as demonstrating how to implement the program as a CARES Speaker. We are so grateful, Klaus, for all that you do!