Back in 2015, during the L-Number-Days we started doing some detailed plans for the first meeting of our club in the Netherlands and high expectations were linked to it. The idea itself was born during the summerparty of the regional group “Nord”, but now it was about choosing a date – the 18th of june.
Jacqueline Heijmen Bennett-Leaver and Jeroen van Bemmelen agreed to do the main part of the organisation. Julien Preuß and Sebastian Kuikstra from biotopaquaristik.de were pledged for a talk about biotope tanks right away, and hopefully many would show up to learn about the basics of biotoping. Since catfishes are very popular in the Netherlands as well, the first meeting was supposed to deal with that exact topic. A talk about Loricariids from Xingu River and their natural biotopes, as well as the anthropogenic influenced development of the river was chosen, and given by myself.
As location for the meeting, Jac and Jeroen were able to win the well known shop UTAKA, a shop that is specialized on tropical fish from all continents – clearly the best choice ever. Around 20 people could sit and stand in the middle of wonderfully decorated tanks, and listen to three talks. Only two were planned, but so many questions about Hypancistrus arose during the conversations, that a spontaneous short talk was held after a short improvsation break. From 11am till 4pm everything was about catfishes, what else can you want?
The feedback was very positive and all participants liked the idea to meet up again. So people decided right away to meet soon with another, exciting topic. Many of the attendees said this would have been their first personal meeting, apparently the times for fish clubs are at least as hard as over here. But its worth the try and we are looking forward to the next meeting.
UTAKA is definetely worth a visit, even without a meeting. Especially some of the characid species in stock are rare in the hobby and great to look at in real life.
Thanks to Jac, Jeroen, Michael (UTAKA) and all the others who showed up. See you next time!