reliable, up-to-date, and interesting articles and advice for their own aquarium success. Here’s a look at some of this month’s experts.
This Month’s Feature Authors
Takashi Amano was born in 1954 in Niigata,
Japan. He has explored the remote jungles of South
America and Africa and has photographed a vast
amount of nature scenes during his career as a
professional cyclist. He continued his research of
tropical fish husbandry and aquatic plant cultivation
and put forth an aquatic plant layout method,
“Nature Aquarium,” which combines his extensive
n the observation of nature and his unique sense of
beauty. Takashi was awarded the silver medal of the Fuji Film Nature
Photo Contest in 1991, and the Grand Prix of the same contest in
1992. Amano has also won many awards in various photo contests,
and has authored many books. He established Aqua Design Amano,
Co., Ltd in 1993, where he serves as president and CEO.
Ted Judy is an aquarist with over 25 years
of fishkeeping and breeding experience. He is
a generalist who enjoys all types of fish, from
anabantids to tetras, and always finds plenty of
space in his fishroom for species from West Africa
(especially the dwarf cichlids). Ted is currently
on the Board of Trustees of the American Cichlid
Association and is an active member of the
Aquarium Society. Ted also maintains the Websites
www.tedsfishroom.com (his personal site) and www.forum.
apistogramma.com (a community site dedicated to dwarf cichlids).
Ron Coleman is an Assistant Professor of
Biology at California State University, Sacramento.
He and his students study the behavior of fishes,
particularly cichlids, in the lab and field. Ron has
worked extensively in the New World tropics
since 1989 and has been a fish hobbyist for over
30 years. His goal is to further collaboration
between hobbyists and scientists through public
hrough his website—the Cichlid Research Home
Page ( cichlidresearch.com)—and by being active in the ACA
( cichlid.org), where he is a Board member and webmaster.
Ivan Gonzalez has been interested in fish
diversity since he was a young boy of about five
years old. Growing up in Uruguay, his father used to
take him on sport fishing trips on the Río Negro. At
16, he met Felipe Cantera of Salinas, Uruguay, who
began to take him along on collecting excursions
in the countryside. At the Facultad de Ciencias,
Universidad de la República Oriental del Uruguay,
eeper into the world of South American fish diversity.
He has worked extensively doing fish sampling in the whole
of Uruguay. Ivan is now working with fish identification and is
completing his initial studies with a licenciatura in Biology.
he delved d
Ad Konings, a Dutch native, caught the cichlid bug at
the age of 14. Eventually it proved terminal, and he left a
career in medical biology to chase, photograph, and write
Malawi alone. His busy schedule and traveling leave him time for only one
aquarium, fairly large even by cichlidophile standards—475 gallons.
about cichlids. He has written for various publications
and is the author of dozens of books. He started and
runs his own publishing company and continues to
make frequent trips to dive in natural cichlid habitats.
Over the years he has logged a thousand hours in Lake
Stan Sung grew up reading about adventurous
explorations and new fish discoveries in TFH, and
as a youngster Stan dreamed of visiting these fabled
destinations. He has led expeditions to Argentina,
Australia, Belize, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, Costa
Rica, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco,
Panama, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey,
Uruguay, and the South and Southwest of the United
y of these explorations have been documented in the pages
of TFH. Among his discoveries are new species of rivulins from Panama.
An avid painter and art lover, his award-winning stylized depictions of
tropical fish and their habitats have been used in fundraising events for
the American Zoological Association for preservation and education of
the endemic aquatic species of Madagascar.
of the Month
Samantha Hilber is a graduate student at the
University of Florida. Her research focuses on
the behavioral ecology of fishes, particularly
Neotropical cichlids. She has examined aspects
of mate preference, offspring care, and conflict
between parents in the lab and in Costa Rican
rivers. She is also an avid aquarist. Her goal
is to foster communication and collaboration
ientists and hobbyists, in the hopes of furthering
everyone’s knowledge and understanding of fishes.
Mike Hellweg has been an aquarist and breeder for
over 35 years, working almost exclusively with fishes
that mature at 4 inches or less in his 75 tanks. With
nearly 200 species from 21 families, he is the top-ranked Grand Master Breeder of All Time in his local
club. Mike is currently the President of the Missouri
Aquarium Society, Vice Chairman of the American
Livebearer Association, and Historian for the Aquatic
sociation. He has written over 100 articles for various hobby
publications and currently owns and operates a retail fish business.
Harry Piken has been a cichlid hobbyist since
the 1980s. He participated in a 10-day Earthwatch
Expedition with ichthyologist Dr. Irv Kornfield in
1981, to study the origin of Herichthys minckleyi
in the Mexican desert. The exact location of this
expedition was called Cuatro Ciénegas, near the
town of Coahuila, Mexico. Harry’s first article for
TFH was published in September of 1986, and he has
provided photography for several articles since then.
Top of the
Seth Gibson resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana,
where he is attending IPFW graduate school for his
Masters of Public Management. Currently doing
psychiatric assessments at a local mental health
facility, his passion lies within the fishkeeping
hobby, and his primary species of interest include
cichlids and catfish of the world, as well as
predators and oddballs. Currently, he maintains
ms, including a 240-gallon display tank of South and
Central American cichlids. He has been maintaining aquariums for
nearly 20 years. At the age of five, his parents bought him his first
aquarium, not realizing it would turn into a lifelong obsession.
Ivan Mikolji is a field explorer and investigator of
Venezuelan wildlife specializing in photography and
videotaping of rare and hard-to-find fish, and is the
founder and President of the Fish from Venezuela
Foundation. He also produces documentaries on wild
tropical fish, which have the objective of spreading
knowledge to the general public, with the notion that
you cannot preserve something that you don’t know
now active in the preservation of continental bodies of
water, including all species of aquatic fauna, trying to educate people
on how to have a minimal impact on their environment.
exists. He is
Iggy Tavares started keeping fish in the 1960s
when he caught some wild guppies in a stream
in Africa. At about the same time he became
interested in photography, after receiving an
Instamatic camera as a birthday present. In the
United Kingdom, where he currently resides, Iggy
retained his interest in livebearers and community
fish, but became particularly interested in
hlids, with a view to photographing their behavior,
thus combining his two hobbies. He also enjoys traveling and
exploring the tropical fish hobby in various parts of the world.