A great video showing an Aulonocranus trying to fend off an Oreochromis that has taken an interest in his pit.
Male Aulonocranus will build pits in order to attract potential spawning females. In this video, a young Oreochromis seems to have decided he likes the pit as well. Oreochromis are a type of Tilapia and can grow quite large. Despite the larger size of the Oreochromis, the Aulonocranus seems to keep his pit when it’s all over. Several other species of pit and bower builders can be seen swimming around the sandy bottom. To discuss these and other Lake Tanganyika cichlids, visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.
Oreochromis tanganicae. Photo by Michael K. Oliver, Ph.D. at Berlin Aqaurium
Also know as the Stripeback Hap for a single dark stripe running along the back of females and young males. Buccochromis nototaenia is not as popular in the hobby as some of the other large predatory cichlids from Lake Malawi. Males can reach the length of a foot or more making large aquariums a must if you plan on keeping them. In the wild, B. nototaenia preys on juvenile cichlids along the sandy bottom shores of the lake. While you may not find them at every fish store, Buccochromis nototaenia is available from time to time. What is hard to find is much information about this species. Some forum members have discussed this species in the past, so your best bet is the check the Lake Malawi forum if you are planning on adding them to your large show tank.
Neolamprologus pulcher. Photo courtesy of Dave’s Fish.
Neolamprologus pulcher is at the center of another study. This study involves social interactions and the effects they has on brain develop. N. pulcher is a cooperative breeding cichlid where a pair will raise its offspring with the help of other younger adults, usually in large groups. Fish raised in large groups developed better social skills than fish raised in small groups. Not only were the offspring from larger groups better socially, but their brain structure was also different from those of smaller groups. Several conclusions were drawn from the study, including that the safety of larger groups allowed Neolamprologus pulcher to develop better social skills and that these social skills would have benefits later in life.
Unfortunately the study is behind a pay wall. A quick summary of the study can be found on the PHSY.ORG website.
A newly described species of riverine cichlid from the Congo River has been named in honor of President Obama. Melanie Stiassny, research curator at the American Museum of Natural History and Elizabeth Alter, Assistant Professor of Biology at City University of New York, have named the new species Teleogramma obamaorum. This species of Teleogramma differentiates itself from other species through various physical characteristics. The publication also goes into detail about the genetic differences between this species and other Teleogramma and how they are related.
Unfortunately I was unable to find a photograph of a live specimen. Hopefully some will surface soon. If you are into riverine cichlids, Teleogramma obamaorum’sdescription can be found at the American Museum of Natural History website.
Just this week we did an out-of-the-ordinary profile on Paracyprichromis nigripinnis. While doing the blog, I noticed that there wasn’t much information about this species. Most web searches turned up very basic info without first-hand experience. Fortunately, Marquise Diane Tennison has had experience keeping and breeding P. nigripinnis and has allowed us to use her article. The article was part of a spawn profile for her local club, so it does have some obscure references. Nonetheless, the information about housing and breeding the species is all there.
The new Paracyprichromis nigripinnis article can be found in the Library. For discussion on P. nigripinnis, head over to the Lake Tanganyika forum.
Marañón River. Photo by David Hill from the article on Mongabay.com (CC BY-ND 4.0)
The source of the Amazon River, the Marañón River, is being threatened by a proposed 20 dam project. The Peru government wants to build the 20 dams along the main trunk of the Marañón River in order to meet demands for more energy. Environmentalists have claimed that the dams pose a threat to the entire Amazon River Basin. Dams can have a significant negative impact on native fish populations. Cichlid species native to the Marañón River include Crenicara punctulatum (checkeredboard cichlid) and Symphysodon (discus). To read more about the dam project and its impact on the Amazon River, check out the article on Mongabay.com.
Despite the similarity in name and shape, Paracyprichromis nigripinnis is quite different from the more common Cyprichromis. Paracyprichromis are not open water swimmers like Cyprichromis. Instead, Paracyprichromis prefer to stay close rock walls and along rocky bottoms. Both males and females display the neon blue striping, although the male’s tends to be more prominent. They are best kept in groups with fish that aren’t too aggressive and make great additions to Tanganyikan community tanks.
If you think you might want to keep a group of Paracyprichromis nigripinnis, head over to the Lake Tanganyika forum for advice on good tank mates and group sizes.
A new article has been added to the cichlid conservation section of the library. The article titled C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program, highlights a program which all cichlid hobbyists should be involved. The best part of the program is that you can participate by keeping fish in your tanks.
The C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program is about ensuring that endangered species a cichlids survive. The C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program lists its 4 major objectives:
1. to bring AWARENESS to the critical situation of fish in nature, while EDUCATING the public and stressing the importance of our roles as RESPONSIBLE aquarists;
2. to RECOGNIZE, ENCOURAGE, and offer SUPPORT to hobbyists who maintain species at risk;
3. to SHARE fish as well as data and experiences through notes and manuscripts so that others may learn to maintain those identical and similar species; and
4. to PRESERVE species at risk for future generations.
It is easy to participate. All you have to do is keep an endangered species in your tank. Check out Lee Ann Steeves’ article in the library and then visit the C.A.R.E.S. website to see how you can participate.
An improperly labeled container thought to contain a parasite treatment led to the deaths of almost all fish in three exhibits at the Texas State Aquarium. Islands of Steel (pictured above), a 125,000 gallon aquarium representing a Gulf of Mexico oil platform habitat, was one of the affected exhibits.
Workers at the Texas State Aquarium treated a smaller aquarium with a parasite treatment and everything went well. They proceeded to treat other tanks with the same chemical from a different container. Unfortunately the second container was mislabeled. Instead of a common parasite treatment, the aquariums were dosed with a chemical used in film processing. It is unclear where the mix up occurred. For more information, visit the Dallas Morning News website.
The Greater Chicago Cichlid Association is holding their annual convention in just over a month. The GCCA Cichlid Classic will take place Memorial Day weekend, May 22nd to May 24th at the Best Western Plus in Hillside, IL. Speakers include Rusty Wessel, Don Greg Steeves, Chuck Davis, Sandy Moore, and Steve Lunblad. Activities include a fish show, dinner banquet, auction, vendor booths, and lots of fish for sale.
In its 40 years, the GCCA has been in mainstay of cichlid hobbyists in the greater Chicago area. If you live in the Chicago area would like to do something for Memorial Day weekend, consider the 2015 GCCA Cichlid Classic. For more information including registration, hotel and schedule, visit the Classic Show Overview pages.