Spencer has been active within the aquaria hobby since the age of five. A true: cichlidiot”, he has worked exclusively with cichlids for over thirty years. He has since expanded his horizons to include all types of tropical fish.
Spencer has been an active hobbyist within Winnipeg for a number of years. Some of his roles within the fish hobbyist community include:
- Co-founder of the Aquarium Society of Winnipeg (1989)
- Founder and President of the Canadian Cichlid Association (2000)
- Co-founder of the Dead Fish Order (2012)
- Spencer now owns and operates a tropical fish business. The aFISHionados, and is still an avid fishkeeper and breeder.
- Spencer’s enthusiasm, humour and dedication towards the aquarium hobby is easily witnessed through his lectures. All of Spencer’s lectures are full multimedia presentations using powerpoint, and almost all the pictures in use are original pictures taken by Spencer during his years in the hobby and travels across North America, South, Central America, and beyond.
- Spencer is a part of the American Cichlid Association speakers program.
A research biochemist for Pfizer in St. Louis, Gary Lange has been keeping fish since the age of 10 and has been associated with the organized hobby for the last 30 years. He is a member of the Missouri Aquarium Society (MASI) and has held various positions in the club. A Grand Master Breeder in MASI, Gary has won Best Fish in Show on four different occasions, twice with rainbowfish.
In the fall of 1987, Gary founded the Rainbowfish Study Group of North America (RSG). Feeling that there weren’t many quality pictures of rainbowfish available, he decided to begin taking his own photographs. The rest is definitely history as Gary’s celebrated work has since been published in TFH, FAMA, and AFM. Also an eloquent author, he has had several articles published in TFH and AFM.
In 2002, Gary imported eight new rainbowfish from world explorer, Heiko Bleher, including Glossolepis pseudoincisus (millennium rainbow), Glossolepis dorityi (zigzag rainbow), and Melanotaenia parva (dwarf parva rainbow). In 2003, he made his second trip to Australia for further collecting. In 2005, he took the rainbowfish collector’s dream trip, collecting in Irian Jaya (New Guinea), and returned again in 2008. He currently maintains around 100 tanks and keeps about 30 varieties of rainbowfish and blue-eyes.
Bill was born in Montana in 1940. The formative years were spent in Boulder, Colorado where he graduated from High School. He obtained a BA in Latin American Studies from the University of Colorado in 1966. He received his Phd from the University of Colorado in 1976 in the field of Economics. From 1971 to 2005 he was employed by the University of Saskatchewan as a Professor of Economics.
Bill got his first aquarium in December 1956 for Christmas. He has been keeping fish off an on ever since. He still has that first aquarium. Bill has kept a variety of community tank fish, but has over the last 20 years specialized mostly in Killifish, Livebearers, and Catfish (Corydoras, and similar fish). More recently, Bill has been keeping mostly annual killifish, especially those in the genus of Nothobranchius.
Bill accompanied Brian Watters and Barry Cooper on two collecting trips in Africa. The first was in Tanzania, and the second was in Zambia and a corner of Namibia. In the latter trip, the crew was joined by Otto Schmidt. These two trips broadened Bill’s interest in the genus of Nothobranchius, and of Lampeyes (non-annual killifish).
Bill has propagated, or helped in the propagation of, over 180 species of fish for the Saskatoon Aquarium Society BAP program. He is still active in that program and the propagation of the fish collected in Africa. He is a certified CAOAC and AKA judge.