Kirkaldy Aquarist Society Open Show 2014

Sunday the 13th of April saw the commencement of the first show on the Scottish fish keeping scene this year, The Kirkcaldy Aquarist Society open show. The club is part of the Union of Scottish Aquarists and the show was eagerly anticipated by many. C.E. Fish Essentials ambassador Alex Carslaw gives his account of the day.

I look forward to this event more than others every year. I first started attending this show around 24 years ago and still have the old rosettes and certificates for my showing wins tucked up in my drawer at home. This years preparation began the night before and carried on till 1am, catching fish in a space heated fish house environment is not the easiest thing to do. After a few hours sleep it was back to fish catching duties at 6am but not till I had sank a litre of coffee, this was going to be hard. I planned to leave my home town of Cumbernauld around 9.30am to ensure the boxes of fish I had for the auction got an early placed lot. After all the auction fish were sorted a quick check of the watch revealed the unwelcome time of 10.15 ! ARRGGHHH !!
 
Chilatherina sentaniensis   |  Pseudomugil gertrudae ‘aru II’
I quickly prepared a few entries for the show, One breeders group of 4 Sentani Rainbowfish (Chilatherina sentaniensis), One breeders group of 4 Spotted Blue-eyes (Pseudomugil gertrudae “Aru II”) and an adult male Pseudomugil gertrudae “Aru II”. This was a bit disappointing as I had spent too much time on auction fish and neglected my plans and entries for the actual show, oh well, I packed up and headed for the Kingdom of Fife at a very late 11.00am.
 
The efficient admin team   |  Kirkaldy Aquarist Society meetings
Arriving in Kirkcaldy at 11.55am I just managed to get my entries in the show and was aided at registration by a extremely helpful admin team. At registration I was pulled aside by club president Colin Beavis who presented me with a copy of the new show standards for being a friend of the club due to my talks I have given them on Rainbowfish, It was much appreciated and is an example of the warm welcome this club gives its visitors. Unfortunately my lateness was to affect my chances of fish sales as I was entered at lot 23 of 25 for the auction and some of the lots were BIG! 
 
Last minute preparations | The Bargain Hunters at the auction
After a few coffees and a chat to my friends it was time for the auction to begin. The auction was well attended with over 250 bargain hunters all crammed in looking for bargains and as usual the auction did not let them down. Being one for a bargain myself its always hard for me to refrain buying anything and everything but I had my eye on a few that I seen on the notice board. First was a cracking Barb I have been after a while now Dawkinsia rohani and after seeing them at Colin Dunlop’s place on my visit there last week I decided I must have them.
 
Dawkinsia rohani   |   Pseudomugil cyanodorsalis
I bought two bags totalling nine fish for the bargain price of £15 and are currently settling into a nice spare 48” tank in the fish hut. I plan to house them with my trio of yo-yo loaches (Botia almorhae) to create a river type fast flowing Asian themed tank. Next up on my want list was a lovely wee blue-eye I have never kept before the Blue back Blue-eye (Pseudomugil cyanodorsalis). As the bidding started I realised I was not going to win these. I don’t mind paying a fair price for my fish but I always draw the line at getting into bidding wars and in any case I had a plan B. Hopefully the folks that bought these knew they needed a brackish to near full sea water environment and were not just buying blind. After around five hours,two tonnes of bogwood , four thousand cherry shrimps and a skip full of bristle nose plecs the auction finally finished and we could now get to see the open show entries. I was keen to see how my breeding group of Sentani Rainbowfish (Chilatherina sentaniensis) had got on.
 
Neolamprologus pulcher  | A wonderful Poecilia variant

 
Thorichthys ellioti       |      Microglanis iheringi

 
Apistogramma. sp    |    Barilius bakeri (Best in Show)

Before the show I had entered these as a first time bred and hopefully I will receive the certificate for this most likely extinct in the wild species. From my three entries I received a first and second for both my breeding groups and a first in the Rainbowfish section for my adult fish. When entering my fish I had noticed another entry of young Blue-eyes, a group of Pseudomugil cyanodorsalis and that was the plan B. Before long I met the breeder, a nice chap from the north east of England, Robbie Kirkup and we soon agreed to trade our breeding groups. Four of my spottys for four of his Blue backs. Plan B was successful and it did not cost me a penny, happy days. On browsing the tables I noticed some cracking fish, a credit to the owners and a delight to see such healthy, colourful fish on display. Soon after it was time for the awards and finally home time, well not before my usual visit to Kinghorn beach with a fish supper first!

Receiving one of my awards | J. Symington (Best Betta)

Full list of winners are as follows :

POECILIA-LIMA- MALE – Rob and Karen Kirkup
POECILIA – LIMIA – FEMALE – Rob and Karen Kirkup
XIPHOPHORUS – MALE – Sandy Murphy
A O V LIVEBEARER – FEMALE – Sandy Murphy
A O V -LIVEBEARER – MALE – Rob and Karen Kirkup
PENCIL FISH-NANNOSTOMUS ONLY – Gordon McLeod
ANY OTHER CHARACIN – Gordon McLeod
BARBS – Graham Geddes
CICHLIDS-AOV.DWARF & LARGE – Gordon McLeod
CICHLIDS – AFRICAN DWARF & LARGE – Rob and Karen Kirkup
BETTAS – Jean Symington
A O V ANABANTOID – Rob and Karen Kirkup
CATFISH – CORYDORAS, SCLEROMYSTAX & BROCHIS – Gordon McLeod
A O V CATFISH – Dave Smart
SHARKS & LOACHES & FOXES – Gordon McLeod
RAINBOWFISH – Alex Carslaw
TROPICAL MINNOWS & DANIOS – Colin and Susan Beavis
RASBORAS – Dave Smart
AOV – EGGLAYER – Gavin and AJ Cowan
AOV – COLDWATER – Gavin and AJ Cowan
PAIRS EGGLAYERS – Gordon McLeod
PAIRS LIVEBEARERS – Sandy Murphy
MATCHED TRIOS – MALE – Gordon McLeod
MATCHED TRIOS – FEMALE – Gordon McLeod
BREEDERS CLASS OF TEN FISH – Rob and Karen Kirkup
BREEDERS CATEGORY – D – Gordon McLeod
BREEDERS CATEGORY – C – Mandy Hutchison
BREEDERS CATEGORY – B – Alex Carslaw
BREEDERS CATEGORY – A – Eddie Morcambe
JUNIORS – ANY LIVEBEARER – Jack Young
JUNIORS – ANY EGGLAYER – Jack young
JUNIORS – COLDWATER – Jack young
BEST BARB – Graham Geddes
BEST CHARACIN – Gordon McLeod
BEST PAIR – Gordon McLeod
BEST TRIO – Gordon McLeod
BEST CICHLID – Rob and Karen Kirkup
BEST ANABANTOID – Jean Symington
BEST JUNIOR – Jack Young
BEST BREEDER – Eddie Morcambe
BEST LIVEBEARER – Rob and Karen Kirkup
BEST COLDWATER – Gavin and AJ Cowan
BEST EGGLAYER – Gavin and AJ Cowan
BEST CATFISH – Dave Smart
BEST KAS MEMBER – Gordon McLeod
BEST EXHIBITOR – Rob and Karen Kirkup
3RD BEST IN SHOW – Rob and Karen Kirkup
2ND BEST IN SHOW – Gordon McLeod
BEST IN SHOW – Gavin and AJ Cowan

A massive well done must be said to Kirkcaldy AS and in particular Brian and Abby who made things run smoothly even though this was there first year as show managers !

Written by: Alex Carslaw
Photography: Alex Carslaw
Editor: Chris Englezou

 

Alex Carslaw is without doubt the U.K’s most dedicated Rainbowfish enthusiast – award-winning in fact and he has made it his passion to become a significant contributor to the field in hope of preserving both their keeping in the aquarium hobby and in many cases stabilizing a future for several species of these graceful, diverse and unbelievably underappreciated fish. Alex has been keeping and breeding fish for just over 30 years and his passion for Rainbowfish began with a consigment of the stunning Melanotaenia boesemani which he encountered when working for a Glasgow importer of tropical fish. Alex is a great believer in the power of social media and has used this platform to create a worldwide network of Rainbowfish enthusiasts through his Facebook group and personal website. Alex’s work, whether his hours upon hours investing time & money into his fish, or researching, learning and teaching others about the wonderful Rainbowfish of the world, helps to keep raising awareness for many Rainbowfish which are in urgent need of protection. Some of these species originate from single lakes in what are now ‘developing areas’ and hence being destroyed, polluted or filled with invasive species which are outcompeting or even predating upon these pressurized populations. For some of these fish, their propagation within the aquarium hobby is their only chance to remain on earth.

Alex Carslaw

Alex Carslaw is without doubt the U.K's most dedicated Rainbowfish enthusiast - award-winning in fact and he has made it his passion to become a significant contributor to the field in hope of preserving both their keeping in the aquarium hobby and in many cases stabilizing a future for several species of these graceful, diverse and unbelievably underappreciated fish. Alex has been keeping and breeding fish for just over 30 years and his passion for Rainbowfish began with a consigment of the stunning Melanotaenia boesemani which he encountered when working for a Glasgow importer of tropical fish. Alex is a great believer in the power of social media and has used this platform to create a worldwide network of Rainbowfish enthusiasts through his Facebook group and personal website. Alex's work, whether his hours upon hours investing time & money into his fish, or researching, learning and teaching others about the wonderful Rainbowfish of the world, helps to keep raising awareness for many Rainbowfish which are in urgent need of protection. Some of these species originate from single lakes in what are now 'developing areas' and hence being destroyed, polluted or filled with invasive species which are outcompeting or even predating upon these pressurized populations. For some of these fish, their propagation within the aquarium hobby is their only chance to remain on earth.

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