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.
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.
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.
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.
GCCA's website is maintained by Rick Borstein, GCCA's Webmaster.
This site is designed for modern browsers. Internet Explorer 6 will not display this site correctly.
GCCA's site will display well on most mobile phones and tablets.
This site is built on the Joomla Framework.
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.