About Us...

A Service Company

Don Conkel’s Tropicals is a family owned business dedicated to the husbandry and propagation of North and Central American cichlids. Located on ten acres near Tampa, Florida, the company produces more than 100 species of the “Cichlasoma” complex. These New World cichlids come from Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. They are beautiful tropical fishes which evolved from marine ancestors and have recently become a favorite and a mainstay in the ornamental cichlid market. With compounds located in Mexico and Costa Rica, wild caught imports are seasonally available from the Usumacinta and San Jaun river basins. In thirty years, DCT has grown to be the world’s largest producer, importer and exporter of North and Central American cichlids.

Don Conkel began his business as a small back yard producer of African cichlids in 1975 in Clearwater, Florida. Within two years a small tropical fish farm was established in Odessa, Florida, focusing on Malawi and Tanganyikan fishes. In 1982, an import and quarantine station was added to market these beautiful Old World species. In 1983, the company began the first of many expeditions to Mexico and Central America in search of wild caught brood stock for placement into captive bred programs. In 1985, an additional farm with more than 100 ponds was constructed to encompass these rare and beautiful New World cichlids. In 1991, Don devoted his efforts soley to the husbandry of neo-tropical cichlids in an attempt to satisfy their expanding global demand. He authored the TFH book Cichlids of North and Central America published in 1993. He has written numerous articles in several different ornamental and scientific publications over the last 20 years about African and American cichlids.

The company’s interest has always focused on the conservation of these environmentally sensitive animals. Urban and agricultural run off has decimated the populations of many of these Cichlasoma species throughout Mexico and Central America. Several species reared at the facility are rare in nature and a few are on the en-threatened species list. Maintaining the quality of domesticated gene pools for research programs and hobbyists alike for years to come is one of the company’s foremost concerns. Superior quality, dedication to detail and personal attention attests for DCT’s 30 year success.

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