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Neochromis rufocaudalis of Lake Victoria

Neochromis rufocaudalis

Male Neochromis rufocaudalis. Photo by Dave Hansen

Despite appearances, Neochromis rufocaudalis is not a species of Tropheus. The physical similarities are probably due to the same diet and feeding behavior. As a result, a diet high in spirulina/vegetable matter is recommended. N. rufocaudalis males are very territorial and will exhibit a lot of aggression toward conspecifics. However, they tend to ignore other species. Because of their distinctive appearance, N. rufocaudalis can be kept with other Lake Victoria species with little chance of inter-species aggression and breeding. This makes N. rufocaudalis an excellent ‘other species’ for a Lake Victoria tank. For more information on Neochromis rufocaudalis, make sure to read the species article on AfricanCichlids.net

Blue Planet Aquarium opens in Copenhagen

Europe’s newest and largest aquarium has open its doors this past weekend. The Blue Planet Aquarium, located just outside of Copenhagen, is not only the largest aquarium in Europe but also a work of art.

Blue Planet Aquarium

Blue Planet Aquarium. Photo by Adam Mrk

Blue Planet Aquarium is currently configured with 53 tanks totaling almost 2 million gallons of water. When first approaching the facility, visitors are treated to its unique architecture. For more information on the architecture, visit the Dezeen Magazine website. Once inside, 20,000 species of marine and freshwater fish are on display. The marine fish are also housed in ocean water brought to the aquarium by a 1 mile tube.

Blue Planet Aquarium

Photo by Thomas Olsen

If you live in the Copenhagen area or plan to visit in the future, make sure to visit Blue Planet Aquarium. For more information, visit the Den Bla Planet website.

Youtube page of Lake Tanganyika videos

Here is an interesting Lake Tanganyika Youtube page
. With many videos shot in Lake Tanganyika, where you can see the cichlids in their wild habitat. I’ve included one of the videos on this page, but there are many more at the link.

MiniAtlas Tropheus by Frank Schneidewind

For those of you who are Tropheus fanciers, here is the MiniAtlas Tropheus by Frank Schneidewind. Something worth taking a look at if you are a hardcore Tropheus fan.

Get a close look at some of the pages using Amazon’s Look Inside feature.

Miniatlas Tropheus

Environmental factors determine immigrants

The Princess of Lake Tanganyika (Neolamprologus pulcher), a cichlid fish which is popular in home aquariums, are cooperatively breeding fish with a dominant breeding pair and several ‘helper’ fish that do not normally breed but instead assist with raising offspring. Helpers also play a crucial role in defending the group’s territory against outsiders – although helpers also compete with the breeders for resources and reproductive opportunities. The researchers, led by Dr Markus Zӧttl of the University of Cambridge, wanted to find out how environmental pressures might influence the acceptance of new immigrants. He said: “All animal societies are affected in one or another by immigration and when we seek to understand social organisation we need to understand which environmental factors influence processes like immigration.”

The full story on Neolamprologus pulcher/brichardi breeding habits Environmental factors determine whether immigrants are accepted by cooperatively breeding animals.

Environmental factors

Neolamprologus pulcher. Photo by Guérin Nicolas

Tough New Wildlife Import Regulations Proposed for US – wildcaught cichlids banned?

New wildlife import regulations would severely regulate the import and commerce in “non-native wildlife taxa”. As feared by some in the pet industry, new federal legislation that could halt the importation of many species of livestock and pets, including fish and aquatic organisms bred or collected for the aquarium trade has been introduced in Washington.

H.R. 996: Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act was introduced in the US House of Representatives by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) on March 6, 2013. H.R. 996 is a re-write of H.R. 669 dating back to 2008.

H.R. 996 seeks to set up an “accepted” (white) list of common domesticated pets and livestock (dogs, cats, goldfish, farm animals), and an “unaccepted” (black) list. By default the black list would cover everything not included on the “accepted” list.

Tough New Wildlife Import Regulations Proposed for US

New wildlife import regulations

Risk management in fish: How cichlids prevent their young from being eaten

The scientists present findings that suggest parents of fish exchange young with other parents to reduce the chances that their entire brood will be predated.

To read the full article How cichlids prevent their young from being eaten.

Risk management

Neolamprologus caudopunctatus. Photo by Stefanie Schwamberger

Lamprologus multifasciatus timelapse

Great timelapse video of a group of Lamprologus multifasciatus digging around their shells.

Anyone who has kept a group of Lamprologus multifasciatus knows how quickly these little fish can rearrange carefully planned aquascaping. Leave them alone for a few hours and they completely change everything. The video does not mention how long the timelapse took place in real-time, but I’m guessing a day or two.

L. multifasciatus is a shell dweller from Lake Tanganyika and the smallest known cichlid. Fully grown males reach about 2″ in length and females are about half that size. The species name comes from the multiple verticle stipes on its body. These stripes, along with its blue eyes, make L. multifasciatus a beautiful and unique fish. They make their homes in neothauma snail shells which can be found discarded by the thousands on the sandy bottom of the lake. Unlike other shell dwellers, L. multifasciatus does not bury its shell. Instead they dig under their shells creating a depression in the sand.

For more information on L. multifasciatus and other shell dwellers, visit the Shell Dweller Corner.

Lamprologus multifasciatus

L. multifasciatus male with a couple females in the background. Photo by Diane Tennison.

Fish deaths blamed on algae bloom, low oxygen

Fish deaths

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, Brazil. Photo by Christophe Simon.

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas is a lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It will also be the site of the 2016 Olympic rowing events. City officials are rushing to clean up more than 80 tons of dead fish floating on the surface. The fish deaths were originally reported to be the result of heavy rains which washed plant matter into the lake, causing an algae bloom. It is now believed that a sewage problem was the major contributor to the algae bloom. Although we often associate algae with releasing oxygen, blooms will eventually run out of nutrients. The excess algae quickly dies off causing reduced oxygen levels.

Algae blooms can occur naturally, but their frequency, duration and intensity are increased by nutrient pollution. Industrial and agricultural runoff raise nitrogen and phosphorus levels. Of course, sewage from populated areas can cause algae blooms. Lake Managua is an example of what pollution can do to a lake.

For more information on the fish deaths in Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, check out the Rio Times article.

Oregon Coast Aquarium needs volunteers

Oregon Coast Aquarium

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a world-class marine educational attraction nestled on beautiful Yaquina Bay in Newport, OR. The Aquarium is a living classroom for all learning styles and ages and is currently looking volunteers. Opportunities for volunteers include serving as interpretative guides, greeting, working the grounds, community outreach and helping with special events. Volunteering at the aquarium requires no special education or background, just a willingness to learn and commit to 100 hours per year.

Oregon Coast Aquarium volunteers will receive a variety of benefits including training, college credit, discounts, lectures by staff and guest speakers, and free passes for you and your family. If you live in the Newport area and think you might want to volunteer, visit the Volunteer at the Aquarium page for more information.

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