January Program Preview

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Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 12:03 am
Location: Norwalk, OH

January Program Preview

Post by LewC » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:32 am

This month’s speaker, for a change, will not have to travel far to visit us, and I won’t have to give him directions to the Old Oak Church.

Don Danko’s interest in the natural aquatic world started in childhood, when he would bring home fish and herps from the stream in a wooded area near his house. Following the doctor’s suggestion after a childhood eye injury, his parents bought him his first real aquarium as informal physical therapy for his eyes. His interest in Cichlids was kindled by a tank at his father’s office that contained several of the relatively few (compared to today) species generally available at that time.

As a young adult, Don’s interest in Cichlids was fed by the increasing availability of Neo-Tropical, and then African, Cichlids. He and his wife Marilyn fell in with a motley bunch that included Bill and Jan Bilski, and Mike and Neadean Gumto, that started communicating with a newsletter called the Buckeye Cichlid Lovers’ Bulletin. As many of you know, this organization, in 1984, morphed into the Ohio Cichlid Association, making Don and Marilyn charter members of the OCA’s charter group.

As Don’s interest in Cichlids grew, he became involved with more aspects of the hobby than just keeping them. He collected Cichlids in their Mexican and Central American native habitats. He wrote articles that appeared in major aquarium publications. (Several can be found here on the Cichlid Room Companion website.) He became friends and colleagues with important Cichlid researchers and hobbyists all over the US and Europe. Through these connections and his own collecting, he introduced many species into this country, and achieved an amazing number of 1st US spawns. His reputation was such that in the mid- 90s, Lee Finley, in an Aquarium Fish Magazine article, referred to him as “America’s Mr. Cichlasoma”.

Don and Marilyn recently moved to the Medina area, affording them the opportunity to build a new fish room from scratch. This month, we hear about the process and technology that went into his endeavor.

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