March 1st, 2018 Speaker Matthew Schauer – Bio
Matt was born and raised in Central Wisconsin. When he was a child his parents owned a small shop in Mequon focusing primarily on freshwater tropical fish and exotic birds. They had 72 tanks in the store and another half-dozen at home. They left the business when he was 8 but some of the knowledge stuck with him. In ’06 he was given his first tank, a 75 gallon, by a friend whose former roommate had left it behind. At the age of 26 his passion began. The intent was a nice looking planted community tank. Within a few months of its setup; the breeding of Badis badis, Corydoras paleatus and Nomorhamphus liemi (Celebese Halfbeak), quickly had it cluttered with fry boxes and breeder baskets. It wasn’t long before a few more tanks were added. He tapered off at 5 tanks until he moved from Wisconsin to Northern Illinois in 2008. In a new town with few friends he had little better to do than sit online shopping for new tanks and fish to play with.
Matt’s love for Silruiforms started early during his fish keeping when he saw his first Royal Whiptail for sale at a local shop. Before that he was not familiar with anything but common plecos and corys with the occasional synodontis or other basic species being offered. This peaked his curiosity and he began scouring the internet astounded at all the species that existed. In 2010, with a catfish collection of less than 10 species, he attended the All Aquarium Catfish Convention. He had loads of fun, learned a lot, and met some great people. Matt then started collecting many species; but due to space constraints, focused on the Callichthyidae and the Loricariidae types that remain small. By 2011 he had acquired quite the collection of species and launched a website. Even then he would have never thought he would be attending subsequent Catcons with a healthy supply of tank raised fish to sell and trade. Matt is currently running near 100 tanks, his main focus being Catfish. He is keeping more than 70 species of catfish and has been successful with more than 35 species of Corydoradinae and near 20 species of Loricariidae.