Butch Livingston, of St. Marys, GA, who currently resides in Athens, GA. is no stranger to the fish community. In fact, Butch was five years old when he had his very first tank. He attended Valdosta State University and majored in Communications/Public Relations. It was in college, when Butch first got into cichlids. His college roommate brought home a 55 gallon aquarium and naturally, they went to their local Walmart and bought every kind of “cool” fish you could think of. You name it, he had it. Inevitably, he discovered African cichlids from Lake Malawi and has been addicted ever since.
With his new found love for African cichlids, Butch created Aquarium Maintenance Specialists (AMS) in 2005. AMS held numerous maintenance accounts and decided to venture out by adding on to his garage and setting up a breeding operation. It was then when Butch found his niche; over the next few years AMS was restructured to fit the needs of the clients, as well as challenge Butch on another level. AMS became known as Southeast Cichlids (SEC). SEC started importing directly from Africa and currently imports from Germany. Butch moved from a 300 sq. ft. garage to a 1500 sq. ft. space with over 140 tanks!
What you may not know about SEC is that, they not just a breeding business. SEC is more of an importer, but has a network of breeders across the United States who breed for SEC. With that being said, quality and rarity is what sets SEC apart from everyone else.
If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Butch, you’ll instantly know his passion is for fish keeping. He loves being able to see all the different types of fish at first hand. The hardest part of the fish keeping hobby for him was turning his hobby into a business. Like most of us, he’d much rather be spending time with the fish, than the business aspect of it all; but he also believes in providing excellent service to his clients and that keeps him thriving.
Butch’s knowledge and expertise has grown tremendously over the last 10 years and is continuously challenged by the fish community. He is constantly working to better inform the community and has become a valuable resource. He’s won numerous awards at the ACA in 2008 and 2016, he supplies the Georgia Aquarium with fish for their Lake Tanganyika display and he’s imported several species of cichlids that have never been in U.S. before, including the importation of rare Victorian cichlids from Germany.
Currently, Butch is working on building a Co-Op of breeders in the United States, who he knows will take pride in producing quality fish. Butch does not plan on going anywhere anytime soon, he is actively working in the fish community and has been very impactful.
Bodie & Macie B
Security & Quality Control
There are few people behind the scenes that make us GREAT!