With a shriek of disbelief and a 10,000-watt grin, Marvin and Kathy England captured the top prize at the 2002 American Cichlid Association convention in Atlanta, Georgia. The Englands won the Best in Show award with a Lake Malawi cichlid, Melanochromis labrosus. Other TCA-member winners in the annual nationwide show were Alan Young and Ralph DeBoard. Alan won with his tropheus and Ralph won with an Aulonocara and a natural habitat tank.

This year’s convention was on shaky ground after 9/11, but things came together at the last minute. Folks were uncertain about whether or not they could fly with fish, but as it turned out, no problems were encountered by anyone. Approximately 500 people eventually registered and attended.

The tour of the Tennessee Aquarium was well attended, as was the tour of historic Atlanta and Sun Pets, a fish wholesaler. Side trips included Mike Reilly’s fish room and Underground Atlanta.

Fish sales from rented tanks went well, but were not as spirited as last year. Bristlenose plecos and synodontis catfish moved quickly, but the more expensive cichlids didn’t sell until late Saturday evening. I guess folks were looking for bargains.

The Babes In the Cichlid Hobby held their annual silent auction to benefit the Paul Loiselle Conservation Fund, and a good number of nice donations, as well as some on the outlandish side, were noted. One pair of Dr. Seuss boxers went for $47 . . . I guess sometimes you HAVE to have something, regardless of the cost.

During the awards banquet Saturday evening, John and Amy Gilliam received a certificate from the ACA for their donation to the Loiselle Conservation Fund. Larry Lampert also shared Honorable Mention in the Sweepstakes Division of the Excellence in Writing Awards with Eric Hanneman for an article on the rediscovery of an old cichlid species.

TCA was well represented at the convention. At last count, approximately 20 members attended. Next year’s convention is scheduled for July 17-20, at the Radisson Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio, hosted by the Greater Cincinnati Aquarium Society. For more information, go to We hope to see you there!

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