Another great video from African Cichlid Hub. This one is from Ndumbi Rocks in Lake Malawi.
Ndumbi Rocks is a location just north of Likoma Island. If Ndumbi and Likoma sound familiar, it’s because there are several cichlid species that carry one of those names as a variant or collection point. Likoma is the largest island in Lake Malawi and a great source for many cichlid species found in the hobby.
The video is over 50 minutes long and you can see dozens of mbuna, Aulonocara and haps. Sit back and enjoy this great video. You might find something you’d like to have in your tank. For discussion on any Lake Malawi species, visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.
Tropheops sp. “Red Cheek” (Likoma). Photo by Ad Konings.
This uniquely colored cichlid can be found in the rivers and lakes of western Madagascar. Like many species from Madagascar, Paretroplus kieneri has not broken into the mainstream of the cichlid hobby where east African and New World species dominate. Along with being an out of the ordinary species comes the usual lack of information. We are fortunate to have an article by Sonia Guinane detailing her experiences with P. kieneri.
Paretroplus kieneri is endangered in its native waters, mostly due to the introduction of non-native invasive species and habitat destruction. Finding a tank to house this species can go a long way in insuring their survival. It wasn’t too long ago the world was looking for another Madagascar cichlid, Ptychochromis insolitus.
The American Cichlid Association will be holding their annual convention in just 30 days. This year’s event will be hosted by the New England Cichlid Association in Springfield, Massachusetts. The ACA Convention is arguably the nation’s best and largest event for cichlid fans. The 4-day event will feature guest speakers, a fish show, banquet and an auction on the final day. This year’s speakers include Ad Konings, Dr. Paul Loiselle, Laif DeMason and Rusty Wessel to name a few. Expect to see beautiful fish, vendors and lots of fish sales.
Zetlight, the makers of a variety of aquarium lighting products, is coming out with an aquarium Wi-Fi camera. Currently, the Zetlight Cam doesn’t appear to be available for purchase, but it shouldn’t be long before it is. Most of the marketing is geared toward reef aquariums, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work on your cichlid tanks. Another aspect of the marketing is in live streaming. While I admit that looking at my tanks is more enjoyable than many activities I have to do, I think the real strength will come from its ability to record video and pictures. This camera would be great for recording as fry first emerge from their hiding place or capturing elusive spawners in the act when you aren’t there to see it yourself.
According to the promotional materials, the Zetlight Cam will stream video to your wireless device. The camera does have a waterproof rating, but I don’t think it mean to be used underwater. Instead, it will probably save you in case of spills or drops into the tank. The camera is supposed to be designed to compensate for the distortion caused by glass and water and in that respect it probably exceeds standard video mini cameras. For more detains on the Zetlight Cam, visit Zetlight.com
The debate surrounding the origin of cichlids in Lake Malawi continues today. Astatotilapia calliptera and Astatotilapia swynnertoni, both cichlids found outside of the lake, have been linked to all cichlids in Lake Malawi. A recent paper titled ‘Geographical ancestry of Lake Malawi’s cichlid fish diversity’ proposes that the lake’s cichlids are tied to a yet unsubscribed species named Astatotilapia sp. ‘Ruaha’.
Needless to say, the results of the DNA analysis and how the species are related is difficult to understand for the layperson. Hopefully the mystery will be solved soon and most of us can get the condensed version. For those who can understand, the paper can be found at The Royal Society Publishing website. If this link only takes you to the abstract, do a search for the paper’s title and the full paper should be the first result.
Happy Father’s Day Cichlid-Forum fathers. Thought it would be appropriate to highlight male cichlids that take their parental responsibilities seriously. In most mouthbrooding cichlids, holding the young is something that is only done by the female. Cichlids like Eretmodus cyanostictus or some Xenotilapia species from Lake Tanganyika, both male and females take turns holding the eggs until they are ready to be released. Male only mouthbrooding cichlids like Sarotherodon melanotheron do exist, but this West African tilapia is rare in the hobby. On occasion, some male Lake Victoria basin cichlids have been seen holding eggs, but it is rare and not something that is seen with all males of a species. To read more about bi-parental mouthbrooding behavior, check out the Eretmodus cyanostictusSpecies Article by Marc Elieson.
Astronotus ocellatus. Photo by Jón Helgi Jónsson. CC BY-SA 3.0
Most new cichlid hobbyists have probably started on the wrong foot when it came time to stock their first tank. I know, because I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. One of those mistakes was picking up a young Astronotus ocellatus for tank that would be inadequate within a few months. The Oscar, as it is commonly known, is a mainstay of pet store tanks. Their energy, large eyes and fearless attitude toward people make them very attractive to first-time cichlid keepers.
While Astronotus ocellatus can make a great addition to your tank, they aren’t the best fish for beginners who don’t know what they are in for. Oscars get large, and they do it quickly. Most of the time first tanks are on the small side and not suited for a fast growing Oscar. First tanks also tend to go through some water quality issues that are unhealthy and stressful for fish. Stress and poor water quality are a recipe for disaster with Oscars. If you are new to the hobby or Oscars in general, make sure you read up on the library article by Brett Harrington and the Oscars 101 forum post by TheFishGuy.
This West African gem clearly falls into the category of out of the ordinary. Etia nguti was only recently described about 12 years ago after being discovered in Cameroon. Dr. Melanie Stiassny, who coauthored the species’ description, has referred to E. nguti as “an odd little fish” due to having unusual characteristics not found in other West African cichlids.
Etia nguti makes its home in small rivers and streams. Not much is known about their behavior in the wild. E. nguti is a maternal mouthbrooder that first lays all eggs to be fertilized by the males. It is not until after all the eggs are fertilized that the female will pick them up for mouthbrooding. However, males have also been observed holding the developing fry. Hopefully as more hobbyist start keeping Etia nguti, more about this species can be learned. For discussion visit the Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species forum.
A short video of some of the cichlids of Ndole Bay in Lake Tanganyika.
This video of Ndole Bay was captured by LightSearch3D, the same people who put together the Battle of the Shells documentary. According to the video’s description, all the scenes take place just a few yards into the water. A good part of the video is shot with a stationary camera, which allows the fish to behave more naturally. The video shows some great footage of what looks like Variabilichromis moorii in all black dress. Other fish include Tropheus, Ophthalmotilapia, and Telmatochromis. LightSearch3D has also put together other great videos from Lake Tanganyika.
Variabilichromis moorii. Image capture from video.
Metriaclima lanisticola. Photo by Frank Mueller (fmueller)
Metriaclima lanisticola is a species of shell dwelling cichlids that make their home in Lake Malawi, not Lake Tanganyika. The naming of these species has undergone some changes over the years including Pseudotrophues, Maylandia, and livingstonii. There is even some question of whether there are two separate species. Nonetheless, an article written by Frank Mueller (fmueller) has been added to the library. The article discusses breeding of this little known Lake Malawi oddity as well as having some great pictures.
Make sure to check out the new in the article on Metriaclima lanisticola in the library. Discussion on M. lanisticola can be done in the Lake Malawi Species forum.