Anton has been an aquarist since the age of ten. Around 1980, he began to take a special interest in the cichlids of West and Central Africa. This interest eventually led, in 1988, to the beginning of his academic education at the University of Vienna, an undertaking made while continuing to work full-time. He was awarded his Master’s degree in 1993 and his Ph.D. in 1997; both works were focused on the systematics of West African cichlids.
In addition to his “day” job, Anton Lamboj has worked as a lecturer at the University of Vienna since 1998. He teaches general biology of fishes, with the biology of perciform fishes as a more specialized goal, as well as instructing on didactics. Additionally, he works on the systematics and evolutionary biology of chromidotilapiine cichlids using morphological and anatomical methods, coupled with ethological studies and molecular methods.
Over the years, Anton Lamboj has made 13 field/collecting trips to Africa. In his works he has collaborated with several leading scientific institutions (e.g., the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Musée Royal de l’Afrique Central in Tervuren). He has authored over 100 papers (both academic and hobbyist) in six languages, including two books. The above accomplishments, coupled with the numerous presentations he has made in various countries, are indications of his scientific and aquaristic competence when discussing western African cichlids.
Matt was born and raised in Central Wisconsin. When he was a child his parents owned a small shop in Mequon focusing primarily on freshwater tropical fish and exotic birds. They had 72 tanks in the store and another half-dozen at home. They left the business when he was 8 but some of the knowledge stuck with him. In ’06 he was given his first tank, a 75 gallon, by a friend whose former roommate had left it behind. At the age of 26 his passion began.
The intent was a nice looking planted community tank. Within a few months of its setup; the breeding of Badis badis, Corydoras paleatus and Nomorhamphus liemi (Celebese Halfbeak), quickly had it cluttered with fry boxes and breeder baskets. It wasn’t long before a few more tanks were added. He tapered off at 5 tanks until he moved from Wisconsin to Northern Illinois in 2008.
In a new town with few friends he had little better to do than sit online shopping for new tanks and fish to play with. Matt’s love for Silruiforms started early during his fish keeping when he saw his first Royal Whiptail for sale at a local shop. Before that he was not familiar with anything but common plecos and corys with the occasional synodontis or other basic species being offered. This peaked his curiosity and he began scouring the internet astounded at all the species that existed.
In 2010, with a catfish collection of less than 10 species, he attended the All Aquarium Catfish Convention. He had loads of fun, learned a lot,
and met some great people. Matt then started collecting many species; but due to space constraints, focused on the Callichthyidae and the Loricariidae types that remain small.
By 2011 he had acquired quite the collection and launched a website. Even then he would have never thought he would be attending subsequent Catcons with a healthy supply of tank raised fish to sell and trade.
Matt is currently running near 100 tanks, his main focus being Catfish. He is keeping more than 70 species of catfish and has been successful with more than 45 species of Corydoradinae and over 20 species of Loricariidae.
Please join us in welcoming recent Wisconsin Academy Fellows Award winner and MAAH member Dr. John Lyon, Adjunct Curator of Fishes of the University of Wisconsin Zoological Museum, to the April meeting. John will be presenting on the Conservation of the Mexican Goodeid Livebearers: the Critical Role of the Aquarium Hobbyist. He will talk about what the Goodeid fishes are, where they occur, the many threats to their survival in the wild, their current dire status, and the conservation efforts that are being made, with emphasis on how aquarium hobbyists can contribute through captive maintenance of rare species.
John has been a fish nerd most of his life, observing, catching, and keeping fish for well over 50 years. Until he retired in 2017, John was also a fisheries research scientist and supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, where he worked for over 32 years. He originally from New York State, and came to Madison, Wisconsin, for graduate school in 1979, loved the area, and never left. He received a B.S. degree in biology from Union College in Schenectady, NY, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, all with an emphasis on the study of fish. Although interested in all fishes throughout the world, John’s specialties are the fishes of Wisconsin and the upper Midwest and the freshwater fishes of Mexico. He made 39 (and counting) scientific trips to Mexico and other parts of Latin America, working on a wide variety of species in many different habitats and locations. Currently, much of his focus has been on the conservation of Goodeid livebearers and other fishes in central Mexico. He currently maintain four species of rare Goodeids at home and at the Zoological Museum.
Joshua Wiegert is a well known aquarium author and speaker, having penned the “Conservation Corner” in FAMA and later AFI for many years.
More recently, he is the author of the Bottom of the Tank in Tropical Fish Hobbyist. His feature articles have been included in many magazines over the years, and he has travelled throughout the US and beyond speaking at various aquarium clubs.
He is best known, however, as the owner of Batfish Aquatics and is a solid fixture at large aquarium conventions. With Batfish Aquatics, he imports and sells a large variety of unusual aquarium fishes.
Doug Sweet’s program will be “Spawning Anguilliform (eel shaped) Loaches or Not!” A narrative of forty years of breeding (mostly not breeding) anguilliform loaches with hormone injections and modified Frank Kirschbaum techniques. Plus a discussion of general loach functional anatomy, physiology of using hormone injections for spawning fish, and how Frank Kirschbaum used his methods to spawn many infrequently spawned captive fishes. If time allows a patented method for the production of clown loaches can be discussed as well.
Doug has been a fish hobbyist for 45 years. He started with a goldfish bowl, then a ten-gallon tank, a dozen tanks, and finally culminating in 42 fish tanks in a “fish room” at his previous residence. Doug is most fond of domesticated fishes such as Siamese fighting fish and fancy goldfish. He also has a long term passion for finding the spawning triggers of kuhli loaches.