June 28, 2016

COVINGTON, Ky. -- The Greater Cincinnati Aquarium Society (GCAS) will welcome fish enthusiasts from all over North America to the American Cichlid Association’s (ACA) annual convention on July 7-10 at the Cincinnati Marriott RiverCenter in Covington, Ky.

“We are really excited to be holding this event in the Cincinnati region again,” said Barbara Garcia, GCAS & ACA member and local publicity chair for the ACA Convention. “Keeping aquariums is such a family-friendly hobby, and we’ve strived to create a convention which emulated that – both for ACA members and for the public who are invited to several of the convention’s events.”

For aquarists (people who keep aquariums) and even those who don’t keep fish, the ACA convention offers a unique opportunity to have some fun, see some really amazing common and not-so-common fish and a chance to learn more about an exciting, family-oriented hobby.

Members of the family Cichlidae are among the most “intelligent” and behaviorally advanced of freshwater aquarium fishes. They hold and defend territories, go through elaborate courtship rituals, and then guard and rear their eggs and offspring.

For registered ACA members, the convention will showcase a variety of expert speakers who will talk to Cichlid enthusiasts about research, sustainability, and expeditions related to keeping aquariums. Guest speakers include, Ad Konings, Greg Steeves, Rusty Wessel, Jeff Cardwell, Vin Kutty, Steve Lundblad, and Wayne Leibel who will provide top notch lectures throughout the convention. 

For the public, the convention will feature numerous FREE events including:

  • Show Room: the largest juried cichlid show of the year with over 100 tanks on display.
    • Thurs 7/7 2-7pm, Fri 7/8 9am-7pm & Sat 7/9 9am-5pm
  • Vendor Room:  featuring a large selection of products for aquarium enthusiasts.
    • Thurs 7/7 2-7pm, Fri 7/8 9am-7pm & Sat 7/99am-5pm
  • Decorated Tanks Display: 10+ beautifully decorated 50- to 300-gallon fish tanks will be on display in the hotel lobby.  All of these tanks will be sold by silent auction.
    • Thurs 7/7 2-7pm, Fri 7/8 9am-7pm & Sat 7/9 9am-5pm
  • Dry Goods Auction: live auctioneer-led event with dry goods for sale
    • Fri 7/8 3-5pm
  • Kids Tank Decorating Contest: children can decorate and take home their very own tank to keep. $10 entry fee with all supplies provided. 
    • Sat 7/9 1-3pm
  • Fish auction: Live auctioneer-led event featuring cichlids and catfish
    • Sun 7/10 Registration at 8am, auction at 10am

“We are excited about the American Cichlid Association Convention 2016, Born to be Wild,” said Phil Benes, 2016 ACA Convention Chairman, and Fellow of the American Cichlid Association. ”Last year, hundreds came to experience the infamous yearly gathering of cichlidiots, cichlidophiles, and fans of all things cichlid. This year will be even more exciting and we hope local families will stop by and learn about the GCAS and the exciting world of cichlids!”

For a detailed schedule of events open to the public, speaker biographies and to learn more information please visit


About The Greater Cincinnati Aquarium Society. The Greater Cincinnati Aquarium Society (GCAS) is an all-species club, dedicated to promoting the interests of the aquarium hobby.  GCAS was founded in 1958 as a way for hobbyists to come together, talk about fish and conservation efforts, fishkeeping, and to exchange ideas and techniques.  GCAS has active Breeders, Horticulture, and Mariculture programs, spring and fall fish and plant auctions, and a winter SWAP meet.  GCAS supports several global fish conservation efforts as well as a local “Stay in School” program that educates students on fishkeeping with tanks, fish, and equipment.