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American Cichlid Association Convention 2015
  American Cichlid Association
  July 30th - Aug. 2nd, 2015  
  Springfield, Massachusetts  

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Rosario LaCorte

The Golden Age of the Aquarium Hobby

Rosario LaCorte Bio PhotoGrowing up in Elizabeth, NJ, Rosario LaCorte recalls as a young boy collecting tadpoles and watching them grow into frogs, and collecting killifish in the nearby Kill Van Kull. The venerable guppy was the first tropical fish that Rosario kept, leading him to save his pennies to buy other livebearers at the local five and dime. Rosario had no tanks or equipment, and often lost these tropicals to the cold New Jersey winters.

During his four years in the U.S. Army Air Corps, Rosario met his lovely wife, Jeannie. Upon his honorable discharge in 1951, the couple was wed and went on to have three sons and two daughters, and the two are now proud grandparents many times over.

For Christmas in 1951, one of Rosario’s brothers gave him a fish tank, which led to a collection of about a dozen tanks and his first fishroom. Rosario specialized early on in breeding tetras, and gained a respected reputation, with one of his earliest coups being the fabled neon tetra, followed by many others, such as the serpae and glowlight, the offspring of which he sold to local pet shops to pay for additional tanks. By 1960, Rosario had some 200 tanks(!) and had taken over the entire three car garage behind his house.

Rosario made many friends in the aquarium hobby, and at one point was President of the New Jersey Aquarium Society, one of the largest of its day. Through his friend, and Editor of Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine, Bill Vonderwinkler, Rosario met Herbert Axelrod, the founder and publisher of TFH. Rosario brought Dr. Axelrod unusual or new fish for photographic preservation, most of which Rosario went on to breed. He was also fortunate to have a friend, Ross Socolof, who supplied him with new and rare fish to breed through his wholesale business, General Aquatics. Rosario’s successes in breeding cemented his growing reputation in the hobby.

Rosario remembers his own chance to collect in the tropics extended by Herbert Axelrod in 1958 as a significant event in his aquarist career, and feels gratitude to Dr. Axelrod for the resulting opportunities. Through this trip, Rosario made contacts with Harald Schultz and Alan Fletcher, and brought back some wonderful fish such as Cynolebias whitei and the black phantom tetra. These current day aquarium standards were new and exotic at the time. From 1977 to 1988, Rosario returned to South America five times, once with Dr. Stanley Weitzman, and collected many new and beautiful fish, two of which were named after him, LaCorte’s emperor tetra, Nematobrycon lacortei, and LaCorte’s killifish, Maratecoara lacortei.

In 1969, upon a visit to Rosario’s fishroom with a group of friends, Dan Carson, Editor of Modern Aquarium, the publication of the Greater City Aquarium Society, wrote, “the widest variety of spawns that any of us had ever seen in a hobbyist’s hatchery.” Rosario is one of the world’s leading authorities on breeding fish and he has written numerous articles and books, contributing greatly to our understanding of fish and their habits.

To Rosario, the most important aspect of his contribution to the hobby has been integrity, always openly sharing his insights with others. Rosario and Jeannie’s home, where they keep a special guest book, and are gracious hosts, has been visited by many aquarists from all over the word. He continues to be active in local clubs, lecturing, judging, and breeding fish. It was a special moment for all when, in 2007, Aquarium Federation if Independent Societies and Hobbyists proudly honored Rosario as a legend of the hobby with the first AFISH Award of Special Recognition. If they ever erect an American Aquarium Hall of Fame, I am certain that Rosario LaCorte would be elected to its gallery.


It brings us great pride and joy to have Rosario as a part of the CARES Team!


Authored by Joseph Ferdenzi

The CARES Preservation Program is about our fish,
and it is about people.
We are one team, working together. Please, clear a tank ~ save a fish!
Because of you, we are making a difference!


Special CARES Friends
Together, we are making a Difference!
    Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine    
    Absolutely Fish    
    American Livebearer Association   American Killifish Association Swiss Tropicals   American Cichlid Association    
    The Cichlid Room Companion   The Babes In The Cichlid Hobby     Wildlife Conservation Society    
    MCH Portal    
    Federation of Texas Aquarium Societies   Kingfish Services ATI Hydro-Sponge   Aquarium Technology Inc.    
    Python Products     Jehmco Fishroom Supply House    
    Amazonas Magazine   Under The Sea Radio Show    
    Coral Magazine    

CARES Member Clubs
Together, we are making a Difference!
    Hill Country Cichlid Club CARES   Brooklyn Aquarium Society CARES   Asociación de Acuaristas de Aguadilla CARES   Durham Regional Aquarium Society CARES     Missouri Aquarium Society Inc. CARES    
    St. Catherines & Area Aquarium Society (CAAS) CARES   North Jersey Aquarium Society CARES   Brant Aquarium Society CARES   Aquarium Club of Lancaster County CARES   Danbury Area Aquarium Society CARES    
    Kitchener Waterloo Aquarium Society CARES   London Aquaria Society CARES   Greater City Aquarium Society CARES    
    Jersey Shore Aquarium Society CARES   Sacramento Aquarium Society CARES    
    Cichlid Club of York CARES   Iowa Aquatic Hobbyist Fish Forum CARES   Hamilton and District Aquarium Society CARES    
    Rocky Mountain Cichlid Association CARES   Pioneer Valley Aquarium Society CARES    
    Greater Cincinnati Aquarium Society CARES   Greater Seattle Aquarium Society CARES Grand Valley Aquarium Club CARES     Milwaukee Aquarium Society CARES