SAN ANTONIO WINS BID
The American Livebearer Association
(ALA) has selected San Antonio, Texas
as the site for its annual convention
slated for May 1–4, 2008. The winner
of the bid was a consortium of
hobbyists led by Charles Clappsaddle
of Goliad Fish Farms (Goliad, TX).
The Houston Livebearers Association
(HLA), under the leadership of Max
Smith, will be the official host.
“We are excited for the opportunity
to show off Texas hospitality,” said
Clappsaddle. “San Antonio is Texas’s
number one tourist destination, and
it also offers the opportunity to see
livebearers in their natural habitats.”
The ALA Convention, to be held
at the Hilton San Antonio Airport
Hotel, will consist of four days of
expert guest speakers with slides,
a multi-class competitive fish show
with beautiful and exotic livebearers,
an all-day auction of fish and dry
goods, and a vendor and manufacturer
exposition. But Clappsaddle feels it
was the extracurricular activities that
put Texas over the top in the bidding.
“It was probably because we offered
two fantastic collecting trips (Coleto
Creek and San Marcos River), which
feature wild mollies, cichlids, killies,
rare Gambusia, and aquatic plants,”
Clappsaddle explained, “and tours
of our fish hatchery, as well as the
Xiphophorus Genetic Stock Center at
Texas State University.”
Texas hobbyists will also benefit
from the Convention. “ALA members
from around the world will be bringing
fish and plants to San Antonio that
most Texas fishkeepers have only
seen in books or on the Internet”
explained ALA Chairman Rit Forcier.
“There will also be opportunities to
share experiences with a multinational
group of aquarists.”
The ALA Convention is open to all
hobbyists and their families, regardless
of membership. Attendees can visit
for a few hours or stay the whole
weekend. For more information, visit
the ALA website at www.livebearers.
org, or the Houston Livebearers
Association at www.hla.fotaswebsite.
com. Registration materials will be
available by year’s end.
Aquarium societies or groups of
hobbyists interested in hosting the
ALA Convention in 2009 or beyond
can download the Hosting Criteria
Document and Application at the
Limia nigrofasciata, male above, female below.
Limias range in size from 1 to 3
inches, so they are very suitable for the
aquarium. They share a characteristic
dorsal spot, at least in their juvenile
stage. Haitian species are often
characterized by striping on the bodies,
and Hispaniolan species often have
some color in the dorsals. Many have
shimmering scales and contrasting body
colors in the flanks versus the finnage.
I have found that the colors of limias
tend to get better with age, so hobbyists
need to be patient, as the original seller
of my lot of L. sulphurophila had told
me to be.
Nearly all limias mate via “sneak
copulation,” which is where males come
from underneath and behind without any
courtship display to entice a female. In
fishdom, this type of behavior generally
results in less elaborate size, color,
and finnage in males. But three species
(and perhaps the tiger limia) do court
their females, serving up interesting
behavioral displays for the hobbyist.
They are the closely related L. perugiae
and L. nigrofasciata (“humpbacked
limia”) from Hispaniola, as well as
what may be the most ancestral Limia,
Limia sulphurophila, female.
Jamaica’s L. melanogaster (“black belly
limia”). These three species are all truly
lovely in terms of their colors, finnage,
and unique shapes.
Limia tend to enjoy calcium hard or
brackish water that is alkaline. Most do just
fine in a 10-gallon tank. I like to keep the
temperatures a bit on the high side, near
80°F, until I can ascertain the hardiness or
domestication of the stock I am working
with. All these water variables coincide
with the native Caribbean conditions.
So the next time you’re at an auction and
a bag of these Caribbean jewels comes up,
don’t be afraid to plunk down some extra
coins for these interesting livebearers.
And remember: “Be patient and watch