David P. Soares, born 1952, has been keeping tropical fish for about thirty years now. For the last 12 or so he has been keeping the Dwarfs from South America and Africa exclusively. He is the active have of Soft Water Dwarf Cichlids hatchery in the US. This is the half that does the keeping and breeding. The other half is the “new species collector” and brain.

In the last twelve years David has been keeping these little guys he has managed to spawn about 40 different species of Apistogramma

David always wanted to build a large hatchery and when he moved into his current residence in Sisters, Oregon, he had the chance to realize his dream. So he converted his garage into a 900 sq. foot hatchery. When he hooked up with Uwe he also acquired a purpose for the hatchery, and at that moment Soft Water Dwarf Cichlids was born. Several publications were the product of their cooparation too


PD Dr. Uwe Römer, born in 1959, has been a nature enthusiast since his early childhood. As a youth, he dealt with specific questions concerning the protection and biology of native fishes, amphibians, and reptiles. Later on he specialized in ornithology and made an intensive commitment to nature conservation. Several scientific long-term studies are the result of this phase. His involvement with birds lead to an active travel scedule, with emphasis on the bird islands in the Nort Atlantic, Scandinavia, and North America. At the beginning of his studies at Bielefeld University his interest became focused on Neotropical fishes - particularly Apistogramma species - as well as ecological and ethnological problems of Amazonia. During the 1990´s several trips were undertaken to the Rio Negro region.

His professional specialization brought about extensive consulting for planning agencies and administrative bodies, which he accomplished during his studies. In 1998 he concluded his dissertation which dealt with the biology of dwarf cichlids of the genus Apistogramma. After some years of work as an ichthyologist in a Biological Station, - appart from some some research activities on Neotropical Birds and European fishes - he fokussed on the Neoropical Dwarf Cichlids again. Main research subjects were (and are) aiming on the biodiversity and evolution of cichlids of the genus Apistogramma, ecological functions of their physiological parameters and social system. On the background of research findings on Environmental Sex Determination (ESD) the relevance of effects of climate changes on their life history are also in major focus of his studies. In the year 2006 he was habilitated at the Department of Geosciences at the University of Trier and given his venia legendi for Biogeography.

The main subjects of the enthusiastic nature photographer are birds, cichlids, and ethnological themes. The majority of his numerous publications and presentations in Europe and North America - as well as the first two volumes of his CICHLID ATLAS “Natural Histotry of Neotopical Dwarf Cichlids” - are illustrated with his own photographs from his extensive archives.

Today he is working as a teacher for biology and chemistry at a scool, lecturing at Trier University and working as well as a  writer and photographer. The most actual ichthyological project - appart from some pubished articles - was the only recently published second volume of “Natural History of South American