Solicitation: Fish for our April 2,2023 Rare Fish Auction

Each year, the Chicago Livebearer Society (CLS) holds a Rare Livebearer Auction.

This year's event will be held on April 2, 2023.

The purpose of this event is twofold:

  1. Raise money for the American Livebearer Association's North American Goodeid Working Group
    We donated $3500 at our last auction!
  2. Circulate rare livebearers in the hobby to promote keeping and breeding of the fish

We're buying fish for our Rare Fish Auction!
Donation accepted, too!

We curate as many species as possible from breeders all over the world.

If you are willing to sell or donate fish, please click the form link below:

CLS Fish Solicitation ALA 2023

Shipping and Coordination

We generally coordinate shipping to arrive 2-4 days prior to the event.


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Speakers 2020


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Speaker  Mike Hellweg
 Topic Breeding and Raising Livebearers – It’s Not Always Easy!
This talk discusses the often ignored topic of how to breed and raise wild-type
livebearers, with emphasis on ‘how I do it’. I cover breeding methods, breeding
tanks, feeding, and raising the fry. I give several examples in each of 5 different
families of livebearers, and encourage the audience to not be afraid to try new
species and to participate in Species Maintenance
Mike has been fascinated by fishes all his life, and has had various fishes as pets
since he could barely reach the top of the goldfish bowl; he has been
successfully breeding and trading fish with local shops since he was 9 years old.
Over the past four decades plus he has specialized mainly in miniature fishes,
and has had successful spawns from various miniature fishes totaling nearly 450
species from 32 families of fish. He currently owns a small fish hatchery and
maintains about 3000 gallons divided into 100 tanks. He is the top ranked
breeder of all time in the Missouri Aquarium Society, Inc. (MASI) BAP and the top
ranked aquatic horticulturist of all time in MASI’s HAP with over 300 submissions
from 50 families, including more than a dozen by seed. He is an ALA Century
Breeder, with over 100 species of Livebearers spawned. He credits his success
to large regular water changes, keeping live plants in every tank and culturing
and feeding an assortment of live foods daily for feeding his breeding stock and
for growing the fry of these diverse fish.
Over the past three plus decades, Mike has given well over 325 talks to classes,
clubs, groups and conventions all over the USA and Canada, has documented
many of his keeping and spawning successes in over 300 articles published in
hobby publications around the world, and he has had two books on live foods
published by TFH Publications
 Contact Info  
Mike Hellweg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Speaker  Greg Sage

Having Success With Livebearers: Specifics of Livebearer Husbandry
With many photos and short videos, it is discussed why many that have kept some types of fish for many years successfully have trouble with livebearers. Tank set up, Filtration, Plants, Foods, breeding and the 3 periods of acclimation the fish go through are discussed. As well, differences between species are covered, including comparisons of temperature and food requirements.

From information provided at this website, customers have sent beautiful pictures of their tanks to show how these guidelines result in very attractive tanks, and some are included. As well, the most common diseases, treatments and medications to have on hand are also discussed.

 Bio Greg Sage BM., MEd., has written for "Livebearers", the Journal of the American Livebearer Association. He also led the ALA as chairman for 2 terms, from 2000 to 2004.  Since 2008 he has also spent a few days a week as a visiting researcher,

assisting Limia research at the Fish lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in association with Dr. Alex Cruz. He is also the owner of Select Aquatics of Erie, Colorado, a licensed wholesale and retail seller of Tropical Fish.

Speaking to clubs since 2000, he has spoken at conventions and Fish shows throughout the country, particularly since the start of Select Aquatics in 2009.

A fish geek since middle school, a bedroom of 10 tanks of guppies is now a 120 tank fishroom breeding large numbers of many rare and difficult to obtain species of livebearers, as well as some barbs and catfish, so they can be better understood and maintained in the hobby.

 Contact Info  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Speaker   Chuck Bremer
The talk will be a round up of livebearers I have spawned with a bit about their origin and my difficulties and spawning techniques, etc.  It will contain videos of most of them. 
Depending on time there will be some from 4 families: Poecilidae, Goodidae, Anablepidae and Hemiramphidae. (Please check the spelling!  ;)
Current title is "Livebearers I have known" but change to suit your needs.  If you need more info please let me know.
There are so many videos it has frozen PPT in the past but think I have that solved, or at least have a way around it.  I have given this talk twice before to local clubs.
Here is a video tour of part of my fishroom done a few years ago by Dustin of Dustin's Fishtanks.  Things have grown in some since then and some fish have changed, Ha!  But use as you see fit.




 Contact Info  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Speaker  Patrick Miller
 Topic Keeping and Breeding Goodeids
 Contact Info  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Speaker   Ted Coletti
 Topic  Xany for Xiphs
 Contact Info  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Speaker   RARE Livebearer Auction
 Topic  CARES, Splitfins and More
 Contact Info  

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Speaker   Joel Ankowiak
 Topic  CARES, Splitfins and More
 Contact Info

 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Speaker Email Message


I would like to invite you to speak to the Chicago Livebearer Society (CLS).

The Chicago Livebearer Society is one of only a handful of livebearer-specific aquarium clubs in the United States. We care about livebearers and their conservation.

We take very good care of our speakers:

  • CLS will arrange and pay for airfare to/from Chicago and provide airport transfers
  • For speakers traveling by car, CLS will reimburse you $.54 per mile up to $300
  • CLS will pay for one night lodging (two if needed for speakers coming from the west coast or very far away)
  • CLS will offer $50 honorarium
  • CLS will offer $50 to cover meals during travel

CLS meets from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Marriott Hotel in Hoffman Estates, IL outside of Chicago.

Our meetings take place after the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association Swap Meet which is a lot of fun to attend. The GCCA swap meets typically feature 80 to 100 vendor tables and over 700 attendees. It's a fun weekend with fish folks!

Would you please advise your availability for one of the following dates?

  • Sunday, February 23, 2020

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Rick Borstein
Chicago Livebearer Society


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CLS Donates $1000 to North American Goodeid Working Group

The Chicago Livebearer Society it pleased to announce a donation of $1000 to the North American Goodeid Working Group (NAGWG).

The North American Goodeid Working Group (NAGWG) is an organization dedicated to the conservation, study, and propagation of Goodeid fishes. Goodeids are a family of about 45 small freshwater fishes found in the highlands of central Mexico and the deserts of the southwestern United States. Most species are endangered. NAGWG works to protect Goodeids through support of on-the-ground conservation efforts, research, and captive husbandry. NAGWG members include hobbyists, conservationists, and scientists from throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. NAGWG is a standing committee of the American Livebearer Association, a U.S. 501(C)(3) organization, and a component of the international Goodeid Working Group, which includes members from Europe, South America, and Asia. For more information, contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The donation was funded by a recent Rare Livebearer Auction which was held in January 2018. The club sold over 120 bags of rare and hard to find livebearers and a portion of the proceeds helped offset the dontation.

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What is the Chicago Livebearer Society?

The Chicago Livebearer Society (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 Society meet?

The Chicago Livebearer society 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.

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.

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