THE BIG FISH DEAL 7
Eric Hanneman brought goldfish home in those white, waxy paper boxes with the metal handle as a child and started his first aquarium in middle school. He got into the African cichlid frenzy and started breeding Tanganyikans before moving to the West Coast for graduate studies in neurobiology. He’s traveled to Mexico, Central America, and Africa to see cichlids in the wild. After owning Liquid Sunshine, a tropical fish specialty store in Eugene, he moved to North Carolina to serve as the Coordinator for Fish and Invertebrates at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Recently he worked as a Research Technician for Oregon State University and NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Oregon. He currently maintains about twenty tanks and breeds Mexican tetras, livebearers, and cichlids from Lake Tanganyika and Central America.
Willem is a retired bankmanager and has been keeping cichlids well over half his lifetime. He started out with the firemouth (Thorichthys meeki) and subsequently has been hooked up with Central American cichlids ever since. Having had small tanks at first he moved on to build his “Cichlidarium” containing two 600 gallon aquariums and some smaller ones. In the late 80’s he started collecting cichlids in México and other countries in Central America. On the first trips he focused on collecting cichlids but on later ones Willem tried his hand at shooting video both above and below the waterlevel. His last four trips were made to Nicaragua. He visited most of the crater lakes in this beautiful country searching for cichlids, concentrating on Laguna Xiloá.
As a life-long aquarist, Greg has always been fascinated by the “world beneath the surface”. His obsession with cichlids began early on as well. Utter curiosity led him to the realm of haplochromines, particularly those from in and around Lake Victoria. Greg and wife Lee Ann maintain a sizable fish hut where they house and study cichlids (you might also find catfish and livebearers if you look close enough). In addition to his cichlid obsession, Greg has extensively explored and catalogued the aquatic species inhabiting the unique ecosystem that is the Comal River in South Texas.