Day two (Saturday) of the Extravaganza was outstanding….well, at least for me.
The day began with several talks – Hans George Evers, Oliver Lucanus (his 2nd talk of the event), and Ad Konings, I didn’t attend Evers’ talk but I did Lucanus’ and Konings’. Both are excellent speakers and their presentations were very informative. Below are the talk titles:
- Hans George Evers – “Loricariids of Madre de Dios, Southern Peru”
- Oliver Lucanus – “Rio Xingu, a Cichlid and Catfish Habitat in Peril”
- Ad Konings – “The Zambian Shore of Lake Tanganyika”
The talks ended just after lunch. Afterwards, I spent quite a bit of time in the vendor room and in the fish room. The fish room did not disappoint. See photos of some of the fish below. NOTE: All of these fish were in small, individual tanks because they were all entries in the fish show. In the photos, you can see reflections in the glass, which take away from the absolute beauty of these fish, some of which are well over 12″ in length. I’m not sure how many entries were in the show but there was a lot.
I also took some time to check out the room sales. If you aren’t familiar with these types of fish conventions, many attendees sell fish and dry goods out of their hotel rooms. Those who do often set up multiple racks of tanks. In the past, I’ve seen rooms with at least 20 tanks in them, but I didn’t see that many this time. Btw, this is all approved by the hotel. To find out what is for sale and in what room, sellers post their stock list, their prices, and their room number on a large board somewhere easily seen (see photo below).
The night concluded with the awards ceremony and the hard goods auction. The awards ceremony is for winners of the fish show, where nearly 30 classes of fish are judged, and awards are given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each class along with Best in Show (and a couple of others).
Immediately following the awards ceremony was the dry goods auction. This is where vendors from the vendor room donate items to benefit the Jim Smith fund. This is a fund set up in honor of the former OCA member, and the auction proceeds go to fund fish research. You can buy some great products at outstanding prices during the auction, if you know what you’re doing. All sorts of products are donated – LED lights, filters, heaters, fish food, etc. I scored a nice grab bag of Fritz Aquatics products for $18. I called it a night shortly after the dry goods auction.
I had planned to stick around for day three, which is the fish auction, but I didn’t. I had already perused the fish offerings, and no one had the species I was looking for. Therefore, I left in the morning.
It was a great convention! Saw and talked to many folks I knew. I highly encourage you to attend next year’s OCA Extravaganza.