Aquarists • Breeders • Fish Food Chefs • Cichlid Lovers
Native Floridian, Ron Demers is passionate about fish...keeping fish, breeding fish, producing high-quality fish food, as well, he is an avid fisherman and hunter. In 1991, while serving as an Avionics Technician in the US Navy, Ron discovered his passion for fish keeping. Like all enthusiast in the hobby, within a few short years, his apartment had a tank in every room. Ron spent those early years learning all he could and immersing himself in the hobby. In his first fish room, his tanks included South and Central American cichlids, a marine reef tank with saltwater predators, and a 55 gallon tank full of Mbuna cichlids.
In 1995, the Navy moved Ron from Jacksonville, FL to Dallas, TX. So what's a guy suppose to do? Ron ends up selling most of his tanks, except for his reef setup, and moves his new wife, Diane, to Texas. But the fish hobby couldn’t help but call Ron. The reef tank just wasn’t enough. And his fish room started growing again. Ron also took a job at the local PetSmart working part-time. Wellbeing a frequent customer and recognizing his knowledge of the hobby, they realized they needed him in their fish department. During this time Ron credits his good friend and fellow enthusiasts, Sam, for igniting that spark in him again. Ron added, “Sam was a great guy and taught me a lot about fish, but what he really taught me? The incredible blessing it is to have a mentor in the hobby. Everyone should have a mentor.”
the story continues...
After leaving the Navy, Ron headed back to Jacksonville… but this time he packed all his tanks and fish he had amassed and headed back to his home state. Upon returning Ron experienced a complete and devastating catastrophe. Due to the poor water quality in Jacksonville, Ron suffered a 90% loss of all his fish. He was devastated and gave up the hobby after his loss. “I just couldn’t bare going through something like that again.” In 1997 Ron’s son, Ronnie was born. And that ultimate calling, father and family man, became his calling and still is to this day.
Shortly after returning to Jacksonville, Ron started working for Motorola… and he moved his family to Palm Beach, Florida. Again Ron felt the call of the aquarist, he had felt something was missing and he decided he just wanted a small vat on the porch with some koi, which eventually turned into a small collection yellow labs and zebras.. Which low and behold… they started having babies… Ron was back.. Selling to local fish stores and increasing his personal collection of African cichlids species. Ron continued breeding branching out into Lake Malawi Haplochromines and Peacocks as well as Lake Tanganyika species.
By 2010, Ron was selling his fish locally at the LFSs and online through Craigslist… things started growing fast as he began to make a name for himself and the fish he bred and sold.
In 2012, Ron started to develop blends of fish food for his own personal use… creating recipes for African cichlids was his pursuit. He found that using premium ingredients and food specialized for African cichlids would allow his fish to grow and color more quickly than the off the shelf brands. With encouragement from his friends, Ron decided this was the business he wanted to be in and he started his business Ron’s Cichlids. By the end of 2013, his recipe was finalized, and he began making food for his friends and fellow hobbyists.
Ron Demers above all is a family man. “Family is first and I cherish every minute I have with them.” Ron has two sons, Hunter and Ronnie, and his youngest child is his daughter Caitlin. The whole family enjoys spending time together in the great outdoors...hunting, fishing, boating, raising Livestock, and sports shooting.
Ron's Cichlids History
While serving in the US Navy Ron’s passion for fish keeping starts.
Ron started his first experiments breeding African cichlids. Along with his reef tank, his passion was Lake Malawi Mbuna. His first breeders were yellow labs, elongatus, exasperatus, and acei.
Ron packs his tanks and moves to Dallas. Still breeding and selling back to LFSs. His oldest son Ronnie was born soon after. Ronnie serves in the USAF.
Ron’s Cichlids goes online. Ron starts selling his fish to locals on Craigslist.
A close friend of Ron’s encourages Ron to take his fish breeding to the next level and start an “official” business. Ron’s Cichlids is officially born. Ron starts experimenting in finding the right nutrition blend for his fish. Ron the Fish Food chef learns to create that perfect blend for African Cichlids.
2015 – 2018
Ron’s Cichlids goes online. First on Facebook then his business website. Ron’s customer base extends all over the World Including Canada, Iceland as far away as Australia.
2019 – 2020
Ron’s Cichlids moves to an online checkout system, and the first of many Facebook groups is created.
Business at this point grows continually to the point that Ron and his family had to look at the future of this business.
Ron buys a 2nd Home in Varnville, SC with a guest house to accommodate his father. With houses in both South Carolina and Florida, the Demers started frequently traveling between both locations to visit his father.
Along the way, the Demers fell in love with country life and decided that their long-term business goals were to incorporate the new South Carolina residence.
Along this process, Ron’s son Hunter fell in love with fish keeping and became more involved every day. Hunter started working at a local fish farm and was mentored by one of the best African Cichlid farmers in Florida.
Hunter’s dream at the time was to become a veterinarian. Hunter has a HUGE heart and loves all animals and decided to pursue this career path. He graduated high school with an associate degree two years ahead of schedule and was looking at universities to pursue becoming a veterinarian.
Ron remembers what happened next very well… “One day I will never forget is when Hunter asked what I thought about him working with me and pushing this business even further. I had mixed emotions, pride, fear, concern. Wanting only the best for this brilliant young man’s future. I saw his passion for fishkeeping. IT RIVALED MINE. I knew he would be the future of this business and to do what you love every day is truly a dream come true.”
2020 – 2021
The Demers had decided they were going to move the entire operation and the family to their South Carolina home. This was not only for the business, but also to help take care Ron’s father, who was battling Stage 4 Cancer.
In April of 2020 they broke ground on the new facility in South Carolina. They built a 1500 ft² state of the art facility for raising fish.
In less than one year they expanded again, now bringing the facility to 2100 ft² . They currently raise over 100 species of fish in the facility
Hunter has learned every part of the fish business. He deals with customers, catches, bags, ships fish, and is 100% in charge of day-to-day operations involving the fish facility.
Hunter is now co-owner of Ron’s Cichlids and will be the future of this business. You can hear the immense pride and joy in Ron’s voice when he says, “I am so proud and privileged to work with my son every day, doing what we love.”
2021 - Today
Ron’s Cichlids fish food is officially launched on Amazon
Ron’s Cichlids fish food is now being sold in independent fish stores across the United States.