Hundreds of stunning guppies recently went on show at the first International Guppy Championship held at Duisberg in Germany.
The event, which is on a scale not seen in the UK club scene, was predicted to be attended by over 30,000 livebearer enthusiasts and took up over 5580 sqm/60,000 sqft and included a large number of trade stands.
Unlike the British fish show circuit which lacks big money prizes, there were some quite substantial sums of cash up for grabs in this event, with the Best in Show scooping a 3421 prize fund, and the winners of each tail class taking home 684 each.
More than 30,000 fishkeepers attended the event at Duisberg in Germany. Next year sees the World Discus Championship at this venue.
Derek Jordan of the British Livebearer Association, went to the Championship with a number of fellow BLA members and was very impressed with the size and quality of the event.
Says Derek: "The variety of guppies on show was superb with all the tail classes represented from deltas to the seldom seen pintail variety. Not all were show-stoppers, but certainly 20% were - that's 140 pairs!"
Derek told us that the male fish is judged out of a possible 100 points, with most of those being picked up for the colour and the shape of the fins. Females are judged as poor, fair, good or excellent, with up to ten points deducted from the male's score if she is not very well matched or in poor condition.
"There are 12 different tail classes in a guppy show with a team of five judges who individually assess each fish. With the top score and the bottom score discarded, the three remaining scores are averaged to give the fish's final mark.
"This show was a pairs show, but normally it is three males that are judged under European standards.
"The swordtail guppies, which include top sword, bottom sword and double sword strains, are my personal favourites and the overall winner was a blue double sword. Good quality swordtail guppies are seldom seen by aquarists in the UK these days, which is a real shame."
The International Guppy Championship is held in Duisberg on alternate years with the World Discus Championship. The 2006 show will focus on Discus, with guppies returning in 2007.