Raised in Local Tap Water

No R/O or Buffers

South American Cichlids


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Healthy Aquariums


Specializing in South American Dwarf Cichlids

Thank you for stopping by and visiting our site. We are a family-operated breeder located in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. We specialize in South American Dwarf Cichlids, especially Rams, Discus, Angelfish and Apistogrammas, and as space permits, the occasional “oddball” like Plecos or GloFish. We are not commercial breeders, but as I like to say, we are victims of our own success! Anyone who owns a foam fractionator, ultra-violet sterilizer, or fluidized bed filter, (or even knows what those are), understands what I mean. And yes, this is truly a family affair (even my wife helps when it’s time to make the beefheart).

discusI have raised fish since I was seven years old, but as a family, we began breeding fish seriously in 2007. My “business partners” (daughter (29) and son (22)), and I started out with Bettas, and then moved to Angelfish, Rams, Apistogrammas, and Discus. With each new species of fish, we encountered new challenges, but with each challenge, we learned a tremendous amount about each of the individual species of fish. In addition to showcasing our fish, the purpose of this site will be to pass on some of the knowledge and tips we have learned while breeding our fish. As time permits, we will be adding articles on breeding all of our fish, especially rams and discus, as well as articles and tips on artificially hatching and raising the fry, building fish racks, culturing your own live foods for baby fish, building a fish hatchery, designing and building a central filtration system, and even information on how to package and ship fish.

We did not “reinvent the wheel” with many of these suggestions. We are also not saying that our way of doing things is the only way, or even the best way. The ideas and instructions we provide here are what have worked for us. Many of the ideas that we hope to share are based on the collective work of many breeders and hobbyists. When a specific article/idea is based principally on the work of another hobbyist, we will certainly try to give credit where credit is due. Please be patient with us as this web site is constantly being revised, and we do have “day jobs” and a lot of tanks to clean!!

Stop by for a visit

Most of our sales are via the internet on Aqua-Bid or PlantedTank.net, but walk-ins are always welcome. If you’re in the area, please stop by. All we ask is that you call ahead to make sure we are home.

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FISH UPDATES - 6/26/19

Our On-Line Store Is Now Closed!

Matt & I would like to thank you for your years of support and friendship.  After raising discus for nearly 12 years, Matt and I have made the difficult decision to back out of the fish breeding business.  When we began raising fish 12 years ago, Matt was only 12 years old, and we started this "hobby" merely as a way to spend more time together as the kids were growing up.  I like to say that it was a hobby that went terribly right!  We had no idea we would turn this into such a successful business.    We have sold and shipped fish to 49 out of 50 states, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico.  Our success certainly surprised even us!!  But time marches on, and so does life.  Matt just turned 24 this year, and has a full time job of his own, and is planning on moving out this summer to live in the “Big City.”  I still work full time, and properly talking care of the fish is almost a full time job in itself.  Our reputation and the quality of our fish have always been very important to us.  Rather than jeopardizing either of those, we made the tough decision to withdraw from the business while we still enjoy a great reputation.

Having said that, even though we may be out of the fish business, we will still be producing and selling our beefheart mix.  We are currently producing between 180 and 200 pounds of beefheart mix per month.  That alone is a very time consuming process, but we will continue to produce and sell the beefheart mix as long as there is a demand.

We now sell our frozen Beefheart Mix.  Please contact us at Waterrat980@Yahoo.com for shipping arrangements.