Barber, Michael

His parents gave him a five gallon metal frame, slate bottom tank when he was a youngster. Despite the resulting memories of stainless steel, incandescent light hoods tingling him, he was set in the hobby when allowed to be late to school to watch his guppy have babies. Fifty plus years later, he has a dedicated fish room. Favorites are Calichthydae and Apistogrammas (and Apistogrammoides pucallpaensis). At one time he had over fifty species of Corydoras, Brochis, and Aspidoras in the fish room with successful breeding of nearly all. The fish room includes a few other choice species from collecting trips in the Amazon. Just a few of note are Rio Nanay Angels (called the Peruvian Altum as a marketing gimmick), Mesonauta festivus, Otos, Ancistrus and many characins. About ten years ago, his hobby expanded beyond the fish room and local club meetings to the Amazon. He states he is blessed to venture to the Amazon basin to collect most of the fish he keeps and thoroughly enjoys introducing others to the collecting experience – mentoring them while they prepare for their first Amazon expedition. He is a co-leader, with Devon Graham, of MT Amazon Expeditions. In 2014, with the collaboration of a few friends in the DC area, he began facilitating the trans-shipping of fish caught on these trips. In 2015, in partnership with Ian Fuller, they established a new fish collecting venture, GoWildPeru, in Puerto Maldonado, Madre de Dios, Peru. Michael is an active member of many fish organisations including: Potomac Valley Aquarium Society (PVAS – current treasurer and past president), Greater Washington Aquatic Plant Association (GWAPA), the Capital Cichlid Association (CCA), James River Aquarium Society (JRAS) and the Catfish Study Group. He is past Co-Chair of the All-Aquarium Catfish Convention. Another membership of note is The American Begonia Society, Potomac Branch. Programs: Tropical Fish Collecting and Wildlife Expeditions The Perfect Fishroom The Fish of the Madre de Dios Drainage Amazon Expedition