Turquoise and Gold: Mike Drawdy of Imperial Tropicals Discusses Some Present and Future Aquarium Fish Gems

Dr. Roy Yanong on Pet Life Radio

Florida’s aquarium fish producers comprise much of the heart and soul of U.S. production.  They are a colorful, hard-working, and dedicated group, and many come from families who have been farming for generations.

My guest today is Mike Drawdy, owner of Imperial Tropicals in Lakeland, FL.  Mike, a third generation fish farmer, raises a variety of colorful species, including fancy swordtails, guppies, tetras, catfishes, and cichlids, and is always searching for the next big fish.  Join us, as Mike discusses his path to the aquarium industry, life on the farm, and some of his favorite fish!


Mike Drawdy, owner of Imperial Tropicals in Lakeland, Florida, is a third generation Florida fish farmer. Because his family had been breeding and raising fish since 1970, Mike literally grew up on the farm.  After spending 4 years serving our country in the United States Marine Corps, he started working at Imperial and has not looked back.  Mike keeps and breeds many different types of fish on their farm, including livebearers, tetras, catfishes and cichlids, and is always working to introduce new species that would be good for the fish-keeping hobby. He also loves to share his aquarium fish passion with hobbyists by aquarium society lecturing and posting entertaining fish farming videos on youtube and the latest fish pictures on facebook.  Mike served on the board for Florida Farm Bureau, and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Florida Tropical Fish Farms Association.