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Breeders Award

Part I. Purpose
The purpose of this Breeder Award Program (“BAP”) is to encourage the captive maintenance and propagation of the various species of Cichlids, and also to recognize the achievements of breeders within our Association. The reason for this is two-fold:
(a) Captive breeding increases the breadth of knowledge available about the species in question.
(b) It helps to ensure the continued availability of the species within the hobby, without continued importation from the wild.

Any TCA member in good standing with the club is eligible to participate. Any non-crossbred fish, will be eligible for inclusion. Discus and Angelfish will be excepted from this rule due to the standards for these two species throughout the hobby.

Part II. Awards

Participants in this program are eligible to receive awards as follows:

1. LEVEL 1 – THE TCA SPAWNING AWARD: The TCA SPAWNING AWARD will be given to a breeder upon the successful spawning of any species of fish. This award will be in the form of a certificate, and will be presented each time a member successfully spawns a different fish. After the successful spawning of the first five species, this award will be presented as a ribbon. All subsequent awards in this category will be in the form of a certificate.

2. LEVEL 2 – THE TCA BREEDER AWARD: The TCA BREEDER AWARD will be presented to a breeder after the required number of species (encompassing at least 4 different genera) within a class have been spawned and accredited. The number of species required for each class is spelled out in Part IV below. A member can receive this award in more than one class over time. This award will be in the form of a plaque.

3. LEVEL 3 – THE TCA ADVANCED BREEDER AWARD: The TCA ADVANCED BREEDER AWARD will be presented after the successful breeding of the required number of diverse species (encompassing at least 4 different genera) within a class. The number of species required for each class is spelled out in Part IV below. The purpose of this award is to encourage the expansion of TCA’s semi-annual auctions to include more diversity. This will be in the form of a plaque.

4. LEVEL 4 – THE TCA ALL-AROUND BREEDER AWARD: The TCA ALL- AROUND BREEDER AWARD will be presented after the member has successfully earned the TCA BREEDER AWARD in five classes. This will be in the form of a plaque and a one-year membership in the TCA.

5. LEVEL 5 – MASTER BREEDER AWARD: The MASTER BREEDER AWARD will be presented after the member has successfully reached “TCA ADVANCED BREEDER” in five classes. This will be in the form of a plaque and a two-year membership in the TCA.

6. The MOST PROLIFIC BREEDER AWARD will be presented yearly to the participant who spawns the greatest number of different cichlid species during the year. This will be in the form of a plaque.

7. The BAP CHAIRMAN’S AWARD will be awarded for spawnings of outstanding difficulty or merit. This will be in the form of a plaque. The breeder must apply for this award by requesting of the chairman that a particular spawn or spawns be considered. Only one will be awarded yearly, and the recipient will be chosen by the BAP Committee from among those requests received. It is possible that this award may not be given out each year, however, it will not be carried over to succeeding years.

8. SPECIAL PRIZE. A breeder who reaches Level 3 may submit a list of six (6) species or varieties of cichlid fish from a class other than the one just specialized in to the BAP Committee. The TCA will then buy 6 to 12 of one species or variety from the submitted list (dependant upon cost and availability) for the breeder to maintain and spawn. The first spawn of six (6) or more must be donated to the TCA. Any subsequent spawns, as well as the parents, then become the breeder’s property.

For the purpose of this program, awarded memberships (see level 4 & 5 prizes) may be revoked if the breeder does not actively participate in the society. A minimum of two regular meetings a year must be attended.

The breeder must make a written request to the BAP Committee to review the records when the breeder feels he has accomplished the requirements for any award.

Part III. Requirements

The following requirements must be met in order for an award to be presented.

1. A standard spawning report must be filled out and returned to the breeder award program chairman. The form should include all information relevant to the spawning and rearing of the fish. The BAP Committee prefers the form be e-mailed, but it can be snail-mailed if necessary.

2. One of the following conditions must be satisfied:

a. Submit a written report of the spawning for publication in the club newsletter, Cichlid Tails. This report should contain everything relevant to the spawning and rearing of the fish. The article should contain details related to the fish themselves, such as species, size, age, color, other sexual differences between fish. But it should also give details related to the specific conditions that led to the spawning such as tank set-up, size and location, water conditions, temperature, lighting, water change practices, and what the fish are fed before, during and after spawning. How they act and behave at different times will also prove beneficial. Be as simple or as technical as you want; just write your observations down. Pictures should be included if possible.

b. Bring at least six(6) fry to a meeting/workshop for auction. The following conditions apply to the fry:

        i. Must be at least 1” in length, or ½” for dwarf species.
        ii. Must not require special fry foods.

c. Present a talk or lecture at a meeting regarding the spawning.

d. Auction the breeding parents.

3. A spawning does not have to be verified by a member, but must simply be submitted, in writing, to the BAP Committee. Verification will be given automatically, under the honor system. To be considered a successful spawning, fry must be reared to six weeks of age or one (1) inch ( ½” for dwarf species) in size.

4. Any species of cichlid may be turned in for awards. However, crossbreeds will not be accepted. Distinct color varieties will be awarded certificates, but no more than two will be considered for categories 2 and 3 above. Exceptions and doubtful cases may be approved by the BAP Committee.

5. Credit will be given in the year that the requirements are completely fulfilled. (For example: fish spawned August, 2003, requirement 1 met October, 2003, requirement 2 met February, 2004, credit will be given in the year 2004).

6. In order to receive an award in categories 3, 4, 5, or the BAP Chairman’s Award, a written report of the spawning must be prepared for publication in the Cichlid Tails newsletter. This report should contain everything relevant to the spawning and rearing of one of the species bred in earning the award. Pictures should be included if possible.

7. No awards will be presented to any BAP participant who has an outstanding debt to the TCA, or who is otherwise not a member in good standing with the TCA. Once the problem has been resolved to the satisfaction of the BAP Committee and/or the Board of Trustees, the award(s) will be given in accordance with these guidelines.

8. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has enacted a list of fish species restricted in the State of Texas. The TCA in no way encourages the keeping or breeding of fish banned within the State of Texas. No credit will be awarded for the spawning of any such restricted fish. The entire list of banned species can be found at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/species/exotic/

Part IV. TCA Breeder Award Classes

Class                              Class Name  TCA Breeder Award TCA Advanced Breeder Award 
1 South American Cichlids 6 10
2 North & Central American Cichlids 6 10
3 Lake Malawi Cichlids 10 15
4 Lake Tanganyikan Cichlids 10 15
5 Lake Victorian Cichlids 8 12
6 West African, Madagascar, and any other cichlid not listed abaove 4 8
7 Any Catfish/Scavenger(1) 5 10
8 Livebearers (1) 10 15
9 Any Non-Cichlid not listed above (1) 10 15
  (1): These classes qualify only for Breeder Award Levels 1, 2, and 3.    

 NOTE: Only two color/finnage varieties per species can be counted in any class.

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