What is the Chicago Livebearer Association?

The Chicago Livebearer Association (CLA/CLS) is a tropical fish club for hobbyists in and around Chicago to trade fish, learn more about livebearers and help raise funds for conservation.

When does the Chicago Livebearer Association meet?

The Chicago Livebearer Association meets four to six times per year. We generally meet shortly after swap meets of the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association (GCCA).
GCCA Swap meets attract hobbyists from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa, so this is a convenient time to bring livebearer hobbyists together.
In months without a GCCA Swap, we meet after swap meets of Greenwater Aquarist Society (GWAS).

Visit our Upcoming Events page to see all our future meeting dates.

What is a livebearer?

A livebearer is unique category of mostly freshwater fish in the family Poeciliidae that has internal fertilization and gives birth to live young. There are many popular livebearers kept by aquarium hobbyists including the guppy, swordtail, mollies, and gambusias.

Why should I keep livebearers?

There are many reasons. Most livebearers are undemanding and may be kept and bred in small tanks at room temperature. Most livebearers are hardy and easy to keep, too. Some livebearers are beautiful and can be the centerpiece of a show tank. Aquarists concerned with conservation are also interested in keeping livebearing species which are threatened in the wild. By keeping these fish, we can ensure their continued survival.

What is the best way to keep livebearers?

Livebearers vary in their requirements. Many are easy to keep in small tanks (5-10 gallons) at a temperature of 70-78F. Good water quality is important for good health, so regular partial water changes are important. Many livebearer hobbyists like to use plants, either natural or plastic, to provide cover for the fry and to shelter females from the relentless pursuit of males.

What is Chicago Livebearer Society?

CLS was our predecessor which dissolved June 2024.  Chicago Livebearer Association will continue to foster similar goals.