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GCCA History

In 1974, Ken Schultz, Jan Alm, Carlo Leon and Carl Lundquist met to form the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association (GCCA). After much discussion, a name for the organization was agreed upon, and Carlo was designated President, Jan, Vice-President and Ken, Treasurer.

Postcards and posters were printed announcing the formation of a Chicago area Cichlid group, and over 500 responses were received from interested hobbyists. As most respondents were from the north side and northwest suburban area, it was decided to hold the meetings in that area.

Jerry Lindquist, another hobbyist, had parents who were managing the International Motor Inn on North Mannheim Road. The club was able to use the Inn for meetings. In January 1975, the first meeting of the GCCA was held, with a large turn out of prospective members. The soon-to-be leading Cichlid group in the Great Lakes area was launched.

Club Facts

In 1989, club member Ed Higgins (representing the Montgomery Ward Foundation) presented a $150,000 grant to help fund the Shedd Aquarium's new Oceanarium expansion.

The Greater Chicago Cichlid Association has met at six different locations since the club’s conception.

Master breeder Milo Manden served as GCCA president for 12 years, from 1987-1998. This is the perfect example of someone who is truly dedicated to the hobby.

The GCCA is a member of the Federation of American Aquarium Societies.

Former club president Bob Matthews and his wife, club photographer extraordinaire Laura Matthews, have collected wild fish in Brazil. Many other members have collected fish around the world.

In 2006, GCCA hosted the American Cichlid Association convention. Over 600 cichlid keepers from around the world joined us.

Come to a Meeting

The Greater Chicago Cichlid Association (GCCA) is a place for cichlid hobbyists.

Guests are always welcome at our meetings.

Meetings generally are at 6PM on the second Sunday of the month, but there are exceptions, so please check our Events Calendar.

Each meeting is attended by 25-50 people typically. The meeting starts with a welcome from our President and some business affairs may be discussed. We usually ask if there are guests present. Raise your hand and tell us what kind of fish you keep!

Following business, there is a short break when you can meet other attendees, take a look at the fish that are available for sales, buy raffle tickets for aquarium goods and see the fish in our Bowl Show.

After the break, a speaker or other program is presented. We bring in speakers from all over the US and other countries. These speakers are usually an expert in cichlids or an aquarium-related topic. The talk usually lasts about an hour.

Following the talk, we announce the raffle winner and begin the auction of fish.

If you like cichlids, you should join the GCCA today.

Member Benefits

  • GCCA is the top cichlid club in the midwest.
  • We have over 200 members that range in age from 8 to 80!
  • We have top speakers at our monthly meetings.
  • The club sponsors many special events which you can find on our Calendar page:
    • Cichlid Auctions
    • Cichlid swap meets
    • Members-only field trips
    • Fishroom tours
  • Lending library of top cichlid books
  • Breeders Award Program: Earn points and plaques as you breed cichlids
  • Raffle at every meetings
  • A cichlid auction at every meeting. A great way to get rare and hard to find fish.

About this site

Fundamentals

This is the web site of the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association (GCCA). This site is a place where "cichlidiots" all around the world can obtain information and share information about cichlids.

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use.

GCCA's website is maintained by Rick Borstein, GCCA's Webmaster.

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