Kanahooka High School will be the venue for a fish market of a different kind on Saturday when the Illawarra branch of the New South Wales Cichlid Society holds its annual auction.
From 2pm, hundreds of cichlids will go under the hammer as fans look to boost collections.
Branch president Tony Moran said there were several thousand types, mainly from Central and South America and Africa.
"Ninety-nine per cent are tropical," Mr Moran said.
"I got hooked 50 years ago ... there are so many different varieties and ways of breeding and raising them.
"Some of the colours are unbelievable."
Mr Moran said about $10,000 worth of fish will be sold.
"You can pay anything from a dollar a fish to $200 a fish depending on rarity," Mr Moran said.
"The top price paid at one of our auctions was around $400," he said.
"Some larger cichlids live for up to 20 years if looked after."
Mr Moran said people regularly travelled from as far as Newcastle and Wagga Wagga for the auction, with most fish supplied by members of the Illawarra branch and their Sydney counterparts.
The fish go through an "inspection station" to make sure they are what people say they are and to ensure the fish are appropriately bagged.
The 2014 auction will be held on May 10 at Kanahooka High School, Joan Street, Kanahooka.
For more details, visit the branch's Facebook site or phone 0407 494 651.