Fish in tank

The Cichlid Source

Fish Enthusiast Dives into Business

This was a lifelong dream,” says Danny Hackett, the owner of the Cichlid Source off S. Cedar Street and E. Willoughby. “I had most of this stuff in my basement already, and there was no one there to tell me not to!” Although Hackett is still employed at his day job, his adult children have moved up from Kansas to help him with the store. His daughter Brandi Mead said she’s adjusting to Michigan, despite the weather. This father-daughter duo is very knowledgeable about the specialty fish they carry in the shop. Cichlids (pronounced “Sic-lids”) are “exotic, freshwater species,” says Brandi, “they come from lakes in Africa and South America.”

Hackett has kept an aquarium since he was sixteen years old and he has been breeding Cichlids for about three years. He started going to area ‘fish swaps’ to connect with other enthusiasts both in West Michigan and the Detroit area. “I was selling them faster than I could raise them,” he said, which led to his inspiration to open the storefront. He also carries betta fish. “They’re not actually aggressive unless you put two males together,” he says. His daughter chimes in, “And a group of girls is called a ‘sorority.’”

The Cichlid Source offers a membership deal: $100/year for 25% off all year long. Hackett wants the Holt community to know that he sources fish from reputable breeders, and supports local breeders whenever he can. He’s even partnered with a nearby school teacher to raise fish in a classroom. “He raises them with the kids. After a year we’ll sell them, then he’ll get new fish to raise.” Hackett is tapped into the “small, but passionate community of Cichlid owners and breeders in this area,” and he’s living his dream as a small business owner in Delhi Township.

The Cichlid Source is located at 2495 Cedar St. Suite 10-B Holt, MI 48842. Call (517) 709-3475 or visit for more information.