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King George couple is hooked on fish page 2
A King George County couple that raised tropical fish as a hobby have opened KGTropicals.

 John Hudson and Lisa Conroy breed and sell African cichlids (above) and other tropical fish at their King George store.
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Date published: 1/18/2013

By Cathy Jett

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The couple started to fall in love with the peacocks, whose brilliant blues, reds and yellows make them among the most beautiful of the species. Then he discovered about 40 peacock cichlid fry hiding behind a rock during a routine cleaning of the tank.

"We just fell in love with them," Conroy said. "There's nothing like baby fish. They're so adorable and cute. But if you don't catch them in time, the other fish will catch them and eat them."

The couple's focus shifted from collecting large fish to breeding cichlids. They began selling their fish out of their garage and online at kgtropicals.com. They were considering opening a store when Conroy spotted a "for rent" sign on the window of Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts, which was next to Green Acres Nursery.

"We didn't plan on doing a store this soon, but it was a good opportunity," she said.

Currently, KGTropicals is a part-time business for the couple, who are in their 30s. Hudson is a contractor for Guardsman, a furniture insurance company, and Conroy schedules his appointments. Their five children help out with feeding the fish and cleaning the tanks.

KGTropicals sells fish, some fish food and some chemicals for fish tanks. It is open only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays right now, but will likely be open six days a week beginning this summer. Hudson already has created an African Cichlid breeder channel on YouTube that covers the basics of caring for the fish.

"We're starting from scratch and using our own money," he said. "In time, we plan on selling tanks, lights and all the things you need. We're starting small, but we plan to expand."

Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407
Email: cjett@freelancestar.com


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