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.
us for more info