East Anglia Cichlid Group meeting report

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The East Anglia Cichlid Group held its second auction and meeting on Sunday 3rd May in Moulton Village Hall, Suffolk.

At the first meeting in February, over 80 people braved the cold and snow to fill the hall to witness a lively and at times entertaining auction as Jim Dawson presided with his usual dry wit and dished out (and received) a fair sprinkling of cheeky one-liners to well-known breeders and locals in the audience.

There was a good degree of cichlid variety in the auction, with nearly all regions represented. Despite protests from the American crowd Malawis, blue, yellow and other colours were well represented as well as Tangs, West Africans and even a monster Nile Tilapia.

As usual many bargains were had with a fair number of lots going for reserve and in general prices were probably a third of shop prices with many of the fish not even seen in most shops. There were a few bidding wars, the best probably for a wild pair of T. meeki (Firemouths) going above 40!

It was also a good social occasion, many people meeting for the first time people they had known through emails and phone calls for many months or even years. There was a lively atmosphere before and after the auction as people made new friends and caught up with old ones, there was even a fair bit of trading of fish, food and equipment going on.

Due to the success of the first auction, the second meeting was arranged immediately and held on 3rd May. What a difference a few months makes.

The sun came out and the auction was generously supported by a number of sponsors.

Juwel Aquarium top raffle prize

The raffle - presented by Jeremy Gay, was very popular due to the main prize - a Juwel Vision 180 aquarium complete with stand. A Fluval 304 external cannister filter donated by Swallow Aquatics, a subscription to Practical Fishkeeping Magazine, copies of Practical Fishkeeping Magazine, and several pots of JBL fish food were also won.

Many thank to Juwel, JBL, PFK and Swallow Aquatics. The winner, Stuart Burgess, was completely amazed - his face was a picture, he also won the year's subscription to PFK.

Jim Dawson conducted the auction alonside some of the clubs founders Rick Thibert (President) and Simon Plested (Vice-President) which were supported by a team of runners. There was a good variety of fish again with Central and South American species, African fish from Malawi, Tanganyika and Lake Victoria even some Madagascans.

Highlights include: Hypsophrys nematopus, Scieanochromis fryeri, Nandopsis haitensis and a stunning group of Cryptoheros panamensis.

There were many bargains, some lots going at reserve prices as well as a few exciting bidding wars!

The East Anglia Cichlid Group was started by a small but dedicated band of cichlid enthusiasts from the Cambs/Suffolk borders. There are nearly 60 official members who have joined us from all over the country. The addition of people who attended on the day as guests really bumped the numbers up.

The next meeting is 10th October and includes talks from Rusty Wessel on the Rio Panuco Basin and Willem Heijns (subject matter to be confirmed on the day), both world class experts on cichlids. You don't have to be a member to attend or to buy fish in the auction.