For the fall of 2023, the German livebearer association (VDA-AKLAF) offered to organize the joint meeting of XWG and GWG (Goodeid Working Group, our sister organisation). It meant a complication in the form of having to ensure the translation of all lectures into German, but the presence of completely new faces was a pleasant addition.

The event took place on Saturday 30 September 2023 in Markkleeberg, a suburb of Leipzig. On Sunday, a tour of the aquariums at Zoo Leipzig was planned, including an explanation by the curator and an excursion to the facilities behind the scenes. But unfortunately I could not participate in this part. But I would like to share few sentences about the meeting itself.

Lectures are always the main part. About seventy participants eagerly followed Michael Köck, a well-known goodeid “promoter” and founder of GWG. He moved from the House des Meeres in Vienna to Mexico in May 2023 to devote himself fully to the conservation of goodeids. Together with his colleagues from the University of Morelia, he visited countless locations in those few months and shared with us extremely interesting facts, photos, observations and ideas. Mike is full of energy and his talks are always informative and entertaining.

Next in line was the presentation of a school project in Germany, where the children showed us in a pre-recorded video how they are engaged in breeding endangered fish, among other animals.

Then it was the turn of the xiphos. I started this block with introductory information about the project that started this year in Mexico (read the full article here). Andreas Tveteraas then shared completely unique materials from the locations of northern platyfish from the 1990s (and you can find the article prepared by Andreas for the XWG website here), followed by pre-recorded presentations by two Mexican students. Diana Juárez presented the university of Monterrey (UANL) and plans for further conservation of Xiphophorus from northeastern Mexico, Diana Gabriela Díaz García showed the current status of all northern platyfish habitats. The contrast with Andreas’s 1990s material was evident, sparking lively debate.

The last item on Saturday’s program was the auction of fish and plants. It wasn’t just about livebearers, the offer was wide. The auction lasted about three hours, I have never experienced anything like it before. In addition, numerous free bags negotiated before the meeting were handed out at the tables…

Where else can I personally chat with colleagues and friends who have come from the European triangle between Portugal, Hungary and Norway? It was very nice… see you next time😊?