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Julidochromis transcriptus from Lake Tanganyika

Julidochromis transcriptus

Julidochromis transcriptus (Pemba). Photo by Dave Hansen

Julidochromis transcriptus is one of the rock dwelling species from Lake Tanganyika. The genus Julidochromis is made of only a handful of species which in turn have several variants. Pictured above is the Pemba or Kissi Bemba variant. Although the different species vary in size and coloration, all Julidochromis have an elongated body perfectly suited for living and hunting in caves and crevices.

In the aquarium Julidochromis transcriptus will form a pair for breeding, becoming aggressive toward other Julidochromis. A pair is best kept alone or if kept with other Julidochomis a large tank is a must. To see the different types of Julidochromis check out the genus profiles. A couple articles on other Julidochromis species can be found here and here. Discussion can be done in the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.

Neolamprologus furcifer use snail camouflage

Neolamprologus furcifer

Neolamprologus furcifer fry hiding with snails. Photo by Shun Satoh

Neolamprologus furcifer is a solitary cichlid from Lake Tanganyika. It lives within the cracks and crevices of rocky areas, hiding in the shadows. Its large eyes tell of a preference for darkness. It isn’t often seen in the hobby, but can be found if you are determined to own some.

Researcher Shun Satoh of Osaka City University, Japan discovered that counting Neolamprologus furcifer fry can sometimes be very difficult. Apparently N. furcifer fry look just like Reymondia horei, a Lake Tanganyika snail. Researchers discovered that when the snails were present, the fry had banding that resembled the banded snails. When snails were not found in the tank, the fry did not exhibit the banding. In addition, mother Neolamprologus furcifer had to spend more time chasing away potential predators when the snails were not present. The study is behind a paywall at ScienceDirect.com. However, a summary article can be read at New Scientist. To discuss N. furcifer visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.

Labidochromis sp. “gigas pombo”

Labidochromis sp

Labidochromis sp. “gigas pombo”. Photo by Ad Konings

No widely known or available, Labidochromis sp. “gigas pombo” is a Lake Malawi mbuna that shares similarities with some popular species in the hobby. L. sp. “gigas pombo” is from the same genus as the ever popular Labidochromis caeruleus and can be found on Pombo Rocks, the same collection point as Pseudotropheus demasoni.

In the wild, Labidochromis sp. “gigas pombo” spends its time in rocky areas feeding on algae and invertebrates. L. sp. “gigas pombo” is isolated from other groups Labidochromis. This isolation is what has probably led to the many different variants of Labidochromis, many of which have not been officially described. To see the many different forms of this genus, visit the Species Profiles. To discuss this species and any other Labidochromis visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.

Neolamprologus brichardi from Lake Tanganyika

Neolamprologus brichardi

Neolamprologus brichardi. Photo by Dave Hansen

Neolamprologus brichardi is a beautiful fish from Lake Tanganyika. In the wild, N. brichardi form large schools feeding on plankton found in the water column. What sets them apart from other schooling fish is that they are substrate spawners, laying upwards of a 100 eggs in a single spawn. Once hatched, parents, older siblings and other adults will help take care of the young fry. In the aquarium this behavior is interesting to watch as older siblings look after the new fry.

Neolamprologus brichardi can also be a handful in the aquarium. Parents can become very aggressive toward perceived threats. Add to that their large spawns and a tank can easily become overwhelmed with N. brichardi of all sizes (see video below). Suitable tankmates include Lake Tanganyika rock-dwellers like Altolamprologus and Julidochromis. However, tank size and places to hide should be considered when mixing other species. It is often recommended that N. brichardi be kept in species only tanks. More information can be found in the species article by Brett Harrington. Discussion can be done in the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.

A pair of Neolamprologus brichardi and their fry. Video by Sakis Karamitsos

REEF-Cam aquarium streaming

reef-cam live

Ever wonder what you fish are up to when you aren’t home? A new product should be hitting stores soon that will allow you do know exactly what they are up to. Although setting up a streaming camera isn’t exactly revolutionary, a new product will allow you to record content from inside your aquarium. The REEF-Cam by TMC offers the ability to watch your fish anywhere by streaming video from inside your aquarium.

When I first read about this product I thought it was a gimmicky adaptation of existing technologies, great for helicopter-hobbyists who have to constantly know what is going on with their fish. The more I thought about it, I realized REEF-Cam may be great for capturing elusive behavior or secretive spawners since it can also be set to record. The camera can be placed inside the tank where external cameras wouldn’t be able to see that spawn deep in a cave or behind the rocks. With this product we may start to see videos of never before captured spawns.

For more information on REEF-Cam visit the Reef Advanced website.

Happy New Year 2017

happy new year

Gobiocichla wonderi. Photo by Dave Hansen

The Cichlid-Forum staff would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year 2017. This year will mark the 15th year Cichlid-Forum has been online. Of course, C-F would be nothing if not for the dedication of the staff and the daily contributions from hobbyists both seeking help and giving it. This coming year we hope to continue to provide information on everything cichlid related. Updates on the site happen regularly including the library and profile sections.

Pictured above is a pair of Gobiocichla wonderi. G. wonderi can be found in the Niger River of West Africa. Its streamlined body make it well suited for the river’s fast moving waters. More information and photos on this species can be found in the article titled A West African sleeper: Gobiocichla wonderi by Dave Hansen. To discuss this species visit the West African Species forum.

Happy New Year 2017 to everyone!

Otopharynx heterodon from Lake Malawi

Otopharynx heterodon

Otopharynx heterodon. Photo by Ad Konings

Known commonly as the royal blue hap, Otopharynx heterodon can be found throughout Lake Malawi. Color patterns vary somewhat depending on their location, but a blue body with a yellow chest are most common. In the wild they live in the intermediate zones between sand and rocky areas. O. heterodon, along with O. lithobates, have cyclical popularity in the hobby. Every few years gaining popularity before losing it again.

Growing to about 5 inches Otopharynx heterodon does well in an aquarium with other malawi haplochromines or peacocks. O. heterodon are very mind mannered and don’t do well with overly active or aggressive fish. Males will display their colors when not stressed and if a sand bottom is provided, O. heterodon will spend its time looking for food like they do in the wild. For more information or to discuss O. heterodon visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.

Rift Valley geological study

rift valley

Lake Malawi. Photo by Paul Venter

A new study has been published on the formation of the East African Rift Valley. The findings, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, confirm that the East African Rift Lakes were formed when tectonic plates moved apart. Lake Malawi, pictured above, was created as a result of the rift between the tectonic plates in a relatively short period of time. These rapid and constant changes, both in the geology and environment have led to the incredible diversity of life in Lake Malawi.

The Rift Valley study published in the Journal of Structural Geology is behind a paywall. However, write-up can be found on PHYS.ORG.

Happy Holidays 2016 from the C-F staff

happy holidays

On behalf of the entire Cichlid-Forum staff we would like to wish every member and site supporter Happy Holidays! Its been another terrific year and we are looking forward to 2017.

A special thanks from me to all the Cichlid-Forum moderators and support staff. Without your daily contributions this site would not exist.

Pictured above is a pair of ‘Lamprologus’ brevis, formally Neolamprologus brevis. The male is Santa and the female is the elf. Original photo by Dave Hansen, sans the hats. To learn more about these delightful shelldwellers read the Species article by Eric Ryan. To discuss this species or any other shelldweller species visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum. Happy Holidays to everyone!

Pundamilia nyererei from Lake Victoria

Pundamilia nyererei

Pundamilia nyererei Mwanza Gulf. Photo by Greg Steeves.

When I think of Lake Victoria cichlids the species that usually comes to mind is Pundamilia nyererei. Their bright colors they so eagerly display make them a treat to watch. P. nyererei are hardy fish that adapt well to a variety of water conditions and foods. They can be aggressive, but usually only toward their own species making them well suited for tankmates with a variety of temperaments. They also reach sexual maturity fairly quickly and breed often.

Pundamilia nyererei males have great coloration but depending on the variant, the color patterns do change. Red is found in most of the variants, but yellows, blues, blacks and greens vary depending on the collection point. A quick look at the Pundamilia genus gallery will give you an idea of the variety of colors available with this species. Before you go out and fill your tank with these Victoria beauties their are a few things to keep in mind. Male P. nyererei can be very aggressive toward other P. nyererei males and the females also take a lot of abuse. A single male with multiple females is recommended for anything smaller than a 4 foot tank. Different variants of P. nyererei should never be housed together as the dominant male will spawn with any P. nyererei female, regardless of where they are from. To discuss Pundamilia nyererei visit the Lake Victoria Basin forum.


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