Join us for 5 days, 4 speakers, 6 talks, and endless hours of fun.  We’re back in a big way.  You don’t want to miss this one.


Marcel Wuethrich

Marcel is a Research Scientist in the field of microbiology and immunology at the University of Wisconsin studying pathogenic fungi. He has been keeping fish and Aquaria since his childhood and has actively bred fish for the last 20+ years. His primary interest and focus is in breeding rainbow fish, blue eyes (Pseudomugils) and lately hillstream loaches and plecostomus.

Extended Bio

He currently maintains 70+ tanks for breeding and displaying fish ranging from 10 to 180 gallons. For the last 3 years, he has started breeding fish outside in 65 and 100-gallon tubs taking advantage of the conditions outdoor tubs offer for breeding fish during the summer months.

In July 2019 he had the opportunity to attend and speak at a scientific meeting in Brisbane, Australia. He took advantage of the opportunity to explore the outdoors after the meeting.  Leo O’Reilly, who collects, keeps, and breeds 20 locations of Rhadinocentrus took him fishing and showed him collecting, Aussie style, at Tin Can Bay.

Featured Talk
Rhadical Rhads! Collecting The Ornate rainbowfish (Rhadinocentrus ornatus) at Tin Can Bay

Marcel will be showing us pictures of the habitat and the fish that they collected during this trip. He will also be talking about how he breeds his Rhads both indoors and in outside tubs.

Johannes Graf

My passion for aquariums began when, as a child, I inherited my grandfather's aquarium after his death. The swordtails living in it were my first acquaintance with aquarium fish. To the astonishment of my parents, a passion developed from it, which was interrupted only briefly by the study time and accompanied me my whole life.

Extended Bio

Starting with the aforementioned swordtails, I continued with "Royal Blue" discus (an extraordinary rarity in the 1980s), followed by excursions into the world of tetras, dwarf cichlids, livebearer wild forms (resulting in several trips through Mexico) and Corydoras species, until I came across the rainbow fish at the end of the 1990s. These have not let me go until today and an end is not in sight.

Through the friendship with Dan Dority and Gary Lange and inspired by the travels of Gilbert Maebe the first idea of a trip to New Guinea was born in 2007, which then took place in 2008. From this trip, we brought back e.g. G. dorityi, G. pseudoincisus and M. praecox. This hooked me so much that five more trips followed and only the Corona virus could keep me from the seventh trip so far.

On the sixth trip in 2019 together with Wim Heemskerk, Gary Lange, and Marten Luter Salossa we again experienced a lot and discovered many new rainbowfish.  One of my talks will report on this trip. I thank you very much for the honor to speak at the ACA Triple Crown Convention. 



Featured Talks
Wapoga River: Collecting Chilatherina alleni and Melanotaenia rubrivittata in the remote wilderness.

Friday - 7-8:30

Commonly found in rainbowfish aquariums today, Chilatherina alleni and Melanotaenia rubrivittata have only been in the hobby since 2012. All aquarium animals go back to this collection. I will report on this exciting trip to the remote wilderness of the Wapoga River in western, New Guinea, with no human settlement for 50 miles around and untouched jungle around us.

Papua 2019: Discovery and collecting of “The Most Amazing Rainbowfish”; Melanotaenia species Kali Tawa and Melanotaenia mairasi.

Saturday - 4-5:30 pm

These two new and exciting species are about to take the rainbowfish world by storm. They have all the qualities that make an ideal aquarium fish: beauty and ease of keeping. I will report from the long journey by plane, boat, truck, and a long and exhausting walk to find these species and their capture.

Gary Lange

Gary has been keeping fish since he was 10 and has been associated with the organized hobby for the last 39 years. He is a member of the Missouri Aquarium Society (MASI) and has held various positions in the club. He is a grand master breeder in MASI, and has won "Best Fish In Show" on four different occasions, twice with rainbowfish.

Extended Bio

In 2005 he took the rainbowfish collectors' dream trip – collecting in West Papua.  He’s now made a total of seven trips to West Papua.  He brought back rainbowfish that have never been seen in the hobby including Chilatherina alleni and Melanotaenia vanheurni.  With these trips, he’s collected and brought back at least 15 different undescribed species of rainbowfish.  Gary, along with his collecting partners, Johannes Graf and Wim Heemskerk are currently working on getting them named.  He is currently running over 90 aquariums (~2,500 gallons, 9,500 liters) and keeping over 65 species and locations of rainbowfish and blue-eyes. 

Featured Talks
Everything You Wanted to Know About Rainbowfish But Were Afraid to Ask

Friday - 1:00- 2:30 

How to keep them happy, all about RAINBOWFISH SEX, how to raise the fry and how to keep your fish pure and uncrossed!  I’ll go over some of the basic “groups” that form the different tribes of rainbowfish and how sampling different species in New Guinea has opened my eyes to a lot of previous assumptions that were incorrect.  Science is moving forward with DNA analysis and more new places to collect and species to find!

The Blood Sweat and Cheers of 105 Days of Chasing Rainbowfish in New Guinea

Saturday - 11 -12:30

Since 2005 I have been fortunate enough to make seven trips to West Papua.  We have brought back species that haven’t been in the hobby as well as some fifteen brand new species of rainbowfish!  I’ll take snippets from each of those trips showing you the wonderful fish found and some of the difficulties encountered to collect them.

Leo O’Reilly

Leo served as an officer in the Australian Army for 25 years, in a career that included being a helicopter pilot, a flying instructor, a tactics instructor, a capability developer, and a project manager. He’s no stranger to the USA, having spent one year instructing on Hueys at the US Army Aviation Centre at Fort Rucker Alabama. Since retiring from the military in 2006 he’s worked as a management consultant, working with a diverse group of clients ranging from large Defence contractors to small businesses.

Extended Bio

Leo has been a keen sports fisherman for many years, targeting large sport fish such as Barramundi, Saratoga, Bass, and Trout. But he’s only been keeping aquarium fish for the past 20 years. Leo has kept a variety of fish including Cichlids, Corydoras, Bristle nose catfish, Angelfish, and Gouramis. But these days he keeps mainly Australian Rainbowfish and specialises in the Rhadinocentrus ornatus (Ornate Rainbowfish) and the Pseudomugil mellis (Honey Blue-eye). He’s in the process of building a fish room, but currently does most of his breeding in ponds and tubs outdoors. Fortunately, the Australian climate in his area (equivalent to northern Florida) allows him to keep local rainbows outdoors all year without heating. He currently has around 100 small tubs ranging from 100lt (26 Gal) to 220lt (60 Gal), and 25 x 1,000lt (264 Gal) IBCs, with plans to add more IBCs.

Featured Talk
Weipa Wanderings – and the hunt for the elusive Threadfin Rainbowfish

Friday 3-4:30pm

Weipa is a small mining town on the West Coast of Cape York in far northern Australia. Situated in the Australian tropics, it abounds with tropical freshwater fish such as M. trifasciata (the Regal Rainbowfish), M.s. inornata (the Chequered Rainbowfish), I. werneri (the Threadfin Rainbowfish), P. gertrudae (the Spotted Blue-eye) and M. mogurnda (the Purple Spotted Gudgeon). It’s also home to the Saltwater Crocodile, one of the most dangerous creatures on earth!!
This presentation will detail the amazing variety of fish and color forms that are found in the Weipa area, and detail the trials and tribulations of tracking down the elusive Threadfin Rainbowfish. You’ll see some amazing Australian landscapes, learn about the color variations of fish in each creek, and see where the Threadfin Rainbows were finally located. And all from the master of fishy stories, Leo O’Reilly!!

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