If you've never attended a fish auction before, we've prepared this helpful guide. Enjoy yourself at the auction!
An auction is different that a swap meet. Each bag of fish is sold individually, in order, by our auctioneer.
You will need to register to buy fish. On our calendar, the link to the Auction page contains instructions so you can register as a buyer, seller or both.
You may also register the day of the auction in person.
When you arrive at the auction, check-in as a buyer. You will need to leave a major credit card or drivers license as collateral.
Bags of fish are placed on tables in the rear of the room. Take this opportunity to see what is available for sale.
Viewing is allowed during check-in. However, viewing will be closed for approximately 15 minutes prior to the auction to allow the bags to be moved to the auctioneer. Viewing will then be open during the entire auction.
Have a seat and listen to the auctioneer. The auction starts at 10AM and goes until the last bag of fish is sold.
A screen at the front of the room will list the item for sale. In some cases, a picture may also be available.
Our auctioneer or auction expediter will describe the bag of fish by the latin and and common name (if applicable).
Example 1: Here's an adult trio of the Lemon Yellow Cichlid, Labidochromis caereuleus, each about 3" long.
Example 2: This is a bag of six, 1-1/2 inch juvenile Parachromis dovii, the Wolf Cichlid.
Note that sometimes the number of fish in the bag might vary
Next, the auctioneer will ask for a starting bid. "Who will start me off at ten bucks for this bag of fish?"
To bid, raise your buyer number in the air. The auctioneer will recognize your bid. Keep bidding up until you've made your purchase. Bids must be proceed at minimum increments of $1.
If you win, keep your buyer card up and the auctioneer will recognize you. Your buyer number will be recorded. A runner will bring your fish to you and ask you to sign a buyer slip.
Did you find a bag of fish in the viewing area you really want to buy, but don't know when it will come up for sale? You can purchase ($3) a Priority Sticker for the bag you want. Our auction staff will bring up the priority bag for auction immediately. You will still need to bid against others to secure your purchase.
You can bid more if you really want the bag of fish. For example, if the current bid is $5, you could raise your bid card in the air and yell $10. This strategy may deter others from bidding against you.
You do not need to accept the auctioneers starting price. For example, let's say a group of adult discus comes up for sale. The auctioneer might ask for a starting bid of $50. You could raise your buyer card and shout "Twenty Dollars". The auctioneer will likely accept your bid and bidding will progress from that amount.
Checking out the Fish
If you're not sure about the fish that is up for bid, you can walk up to the front of the room to take a look. Move fast, though. We usually move through 100 bags of fish per hour.
If you are the high bidder, an auction runner will bring the fish to you.
Carefully inspect the fish before signing the Buyer Slip.
Hold onto your buyer slips which are a record of your purchases.
You may check-out any time during the auction. If you decide not to purchase any items, you will still need to return your buyer card and number to the cashier to receive your collateral.
If you have purchase fish, bring your buyer slips with you.The cashier will ask and collect your buyer number, and confirm the amount owed with you.
After payment, your collateral (Drivers License) will be returned.
GCCA accepts cash (preferred) and major credit cards/Paypal.
GCCA does not accept checks.
Please remember all of the staff at the auction are volunteers. We want to make your auction experience a good one.
Please treat everyone you meet with respect. Any conflicts will be handled by the Auction Chairman.
We answer the most common questions we receive here. Please give this a read before panicking.
Do I have to register to post an ad?
Do I need to register to respond to an ad?
Yes. You will need to register before posting an ad or responding to one. Every person who registers on our site is manually verified to prevent spammers, so it can take 24-48 hours until your new account is set up. Generally, we get to it a lot faster.
Registration is simple. You'll be asked for your email, a password and username. Use a good password containing upper and lower case letters and numbers that would be really hard to guess.
After registration, you will receive a confirmation email from us with a link. You must click the link to verify your account with us.
Check your junk mail folder! Make sure you don't block email from GCCA or you won't be able to register!
When will my ads be posted?
We manually approve every ad which can take 24-48 hours. We depend on volunteers for this, so your patience is appreciated.
How do buyers respond to an ad?
To contact a seller, go to any ad, then click the Send an Email link. This will open up a form where you can enter your name, contact info and add a message to the seller. Remember, you must be logged into our website to contact a seller.
I registered, but I still can't log in. What do I do?
Check your junk mail or spam folder.
I forgot my password! I forgot my username! What do I do?
From any page in our website, you can retrieve your username or password.
Go the Account & Login> Username Reminder to get your username
Go the Account & Login> Reset Password to reset your password
In either case, you will need to provide the email address associated with your account.
I posted an ad, but I don't see it!
We manually approve all ads, so it can take 24-48 hours before your ad will appear. If it has been that long, you might check to see if you accidentally posted it in the wrong category.
I have a complaint about a seller. Who do I contact?
Send a message to our webmaster. Note that we can''t compel a seller to return your phone calls or emails. We will remove dishonest or unethical ads, but the system is essentially "buyer beware".
I uploaded an image, but I don't see it!
Most if not all issues with images not being uploaded are due to the image being to large. We limit all images to 500k and a size of 500 x 500 this way you only need to remember one number 500.
There are many tools, software, websites that you can use to resize images.
Here is a link to one image resizing website along with a screenshot of it being used -
Tropheus and mbuna are prone to bloating. Providing lots of fiber and vegetable matter in the diet is one of the best ways to maintain good health. Commercial, prepared foods are often lacking in fiber and vitamins.
This food is rich in fiber (shrimp shells, veggies), vitamins and includes garlic to help guard against intestinal parasites.
a. Food Processor
b. Paring knife and garlic press
c. 8 Zip-loc sandwich bags
|a. b. c.|
a. 12 oz. package of med-large frozen raw shrimp with shell, thawed
b. Liquid Aquarium Vitamins (HW Multi-vit shown)
c. 8 oz. (1/2 pkg) frozen peas
d. 3 broccolli stumps
e. 2 medium carrots, scrubbed
f. 6 leaves Romaine lettuce, washed and trimmed
g. 2 packets of Knox gelatin
h. 1 clove fresh garlic, peeled
|a. b. c.
d./e./f. g. h.
Measure 1/4 cup of very cold water in a measuring cup.
Sprinkle the two packages over the surface.
Mix with a spoon to a slurry consistency.
Add 3/4 cup of boiling water to the gelatin mixture.
Mix thoroughly and set aside.
Place the frozen peas in a heat-proof bowl.
Add boiling water to cover.
Make sure the shrimp are thawed out.
Rinse and add to the food processor.
Process the shrimp to a paste-like consistency.
Some small pieces are OK.
Drain the peas.
Add the peas to the food bowl and process until smooth.
Peel the rough outer layer from the broccolli stumps.
Cut the carrots and broccolli stumps into 1/4 inch pieces.
Note— if you do not have a very powerful food processor, you may wish to process these first with a little water and set them aside.
Tear the Romaine lettuce into small pieces.
Add the broccolli, carrots and lettuce to the food processor bowl.
Process to small chunks. You may need to stop periodically and scrape down the sides.
Add the gelatin mixture and process until smooth.
Force the peeled garlic clove through the garlic press into the bowl.
Add 1 TBS (tablespoon) of the liquid vitamins.
Process until thoroughly mixed.
Spoon some of the food mixture into a ziploc bag until it is one-quarter full.
Lay the filled bag on a flat surface and carefully squeeze out any air.
Seal the bag.
You should have 6–8 sandwich bags of food.
Lay them flat on a piece of cardboard or a cookie sheet.
Refrigerate for 3–4 hours.
The food mix should have firmed up to a jelly-like consistency.
Transfer to the freezer.
Do not thaw the food.
Break off small piece of the frozen food and feed your fish.
Always take care when introducing new foods.
Some fish, especially those used to flake foods, take a while to take interest in this food.
The latest list of GCCA Meetings, Swaps, Picnics, Auctions and Classic.
The Greater Chicago Cichlid Association — GCCA — is a not-for-profit, educational organization, chartered in the state of Illinois, dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of information relating to the biology of the fishes in the family Cichlidae, with particular emphasis on maintenance and breeding in captivity. We are simply cichlid hobbyists who love cichlids.