If you read my post on May 9th, then you know I ordered some new fish. They delivered on May 15 and still look great. Currently, they’re all in quarantine. Yes, I quarantine all my new fish regardless of where they come from. My typical quarantine is 4-6 weeks. Many illnesses and maladies will reveal themselves within that timeframe.
Back in March, I posted about losing a seal on my 55g and about 40 gallons of water as a result (yes, that sucked). That was my dwarf mbuna tank. Since I moved all those fish to another tank, I was left with a 55g stand and no tank for it. Yes, I could have resealed the 55g but, because I get a discount on my tanks, it was cheaper for me to buy a new one than reseal the 55g (see my post on time vs. money). So I bought one, a 33g long to be exact. The 55g and the 33g long have the same footprint and bottom dwellers are planned for the new tank. I don’t need the extra height of a 55g, which would end up being wasted space. Yes, I could get some dithers, Cyps, or some other mid-water occupants but…
About a year ago, I was looking for some cichlids that were proving to be difficult to find. I began thinking to myself “Who might have these fish?” I remembered hearing about a guy in Texas who often has some of the more difficult to find species, so I went to his site – Dave’s Rare Aquarium Fish. The owner, Dave Schumacher, didn’t have what I was looking for, but I thought “Why not ask him to do an interview?” I did, and he agreed.
As a kid, Dave was always into reptiles and amphibians. He got his first job in high school at a fish store in Houston that focused on cichlids but the store owner was wanting to carry reptiles. The owner didn’t know how to care for them and didn’t want to handle them. It was at that store that he became fascinated with cichlids.
After high school, he moved to San Marcos for college at Texas State University, and while there, got a job at Armke’s Rare Aquarium Fish. He worked there for a couple years, then bought the business in 2006. Not long after, he moved everything a short drive south to San Antonio. Currently, his shop houses more than 200 cichlid species.
Dave’s been an active member of the Hill Country Cichlid Club, alongside Greg Steeves (who I interviewed back in 2017), where he’s been on the board and even served as secretary of the American Cichlid Association. He travels a few times each year speaking to clubs about Mbuna, Lamprologines, building his shop, and basic cichlid genetics/nomenclature.