Sonia Guinane was born in Hove, East Sussex, which is located on the southern coast of England in 1946, where she spent the early part of her life. Living in the Gatwick Airport area in 1965, at age 19, she became a flight attendant, with a large British airline. This gave her the opportunity to visit many countries around the world, not just within Europe, but also North America, the Carribean, Africa, the Middle East and the Orient. One notable trip actually went right around the world. Six years with the airline gave Sonia an irresistable travel bug that has persisted to the present day and she still travels whenever possible. Her flying days were unfortunately cut short when she developed diabetes, but this condition has never been allowed to curtail her sorties to foreign parts.
Sonia has always had a keen interest in wildlife and animals, one great love being horses, having owned two during her life. It was after she set up home with her partner, Dave Tourle in 1988, that the interest in tropical fish really took off. Dave had always wanted a tropical set-up and by coincidence, so had Sonia and as a result their first tank was acquired with the usual "community" fishes. It was not too long before Sonia's son Marcus, then aged 14, suggested that some more "exciting" fish like cichlids, might be a good idea. Sonia and Dave agreed and so some Pelvicachromis pulcher were purchased and subsequently bred and that was definitely the start of the cichlid addiction.
Since those early days, Sonia and Dave have kept and successfully bred many cichlid fishes, including some very rare species, from Central America, South America, Malawi, Tanganyika and Madagascar. For the last few years, the endangered status of the cichlids from Madagascar has become a very important issue with Sonia, who, through a number of contacts in the Aquarium and Cichlid world, is now maintaining eleven species of Madagascan cichlids.
Sonia is currently Cichlidae Editor of the British Cichlid Association, as well as being a member of other cichlid organisations, including the ACA. Sonia and Dave participated in Ad Konings Malawi Safari in 1997 and will there again in 1999, so she is still travelling!.
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