Julidochromis dickfeldi “midnight blue”. Photo by Dave Hansen
What appears to be a random mutation led to a uniquely colored Julidochromis dickfeldi. Known in the hobby by a variety of names, but most commonly as “midnight blue”, this strain of J. dickfeldi appeared at least 10 years ago. It is said that the first generation of the fish came from a spawn of normal J. dickfeldi. All subsequent offspring from “midnight blue” pairs yielded the same mutation.
Just added to the library is a short species profile of my own experiences with Julidochromis dickfeldi “midnight blue”. If you’ve ever kept J. dickfeldi or Julidochromis in general, the “midnight blue” strain isn’t any different. A breeding pair forms and together both parents raise repeated generations of offspring. Bonds between Julidochromis are usually lifelong. Check out the species article titled Julidochromis dickfeldi “midnight blue” in the library. Discussion can be done in the Lake Tanganyika forum.
Prognathochromis sp. “silver stiletto”. Photo by Dave Hansen
Prognathochromis sp. “silver stiletto” is a predator from Lake Nawampassa in the Lake Victoria Basin. Using its slender body, the “silver stiletto” will lie in wait among the reeds and quickly ambush unsuspecting fish. In the aquarium, P. sp. “silver stiletto” is undemanding although providing some plant cover will bring out its natural behavior. Like many other predators, this species is relatively docile when not hunting. Care should be taken with tankmates as it can easily be bullied by aggressive fish. Other fish in the tank should also be large enough not to become meals. Foods high in protein are a must for this piscivore.
Hobbyists who want a different look for their aquariums will do well to consider Prognathochromis sp. “silver stiletto”. However, care should be taken to provide them with a proper environment and diet. This fish well not do will with active herbivores like mbuna. To learn more about this predator, read the article titled Prognathochromis (Tridontochromis) sp. “silver stiletto” by Greg Steeves. Discussion can be done in the Lake Victoria Basin forum.
The Ohio Cichlid Association will be holding its 21st Extravaganza in less than a month. The OCA’s Extravaganza is one of the great cichlid events of the year and a must attend for anyone in the Cleveland area. This year’s speakers will include Ad Konings, Ted Judy, Julian Dignall and Heiko Bleher. Aside from the speakers, the Extravaganza will include a swap meet, informal dinner and auction of donated equipment from manufacturers. Of course, no cichlid event will be complete without a huge fish auction on Sunday.
Congochromis sabinae and fry. Photo by Udo Vornhusen. CC BY-SA 3.0
Congochromis sabinae is a small cichlid found in the Congo River system. Originally known as Nanochromis sabinae, this fish was first described by Anton Lamboj and named after his daughter, Sabina. Detailed information on their origin and natural habitat can be found in the Species Article by Randall Kohn.
In the aquarium, Congochromis sabinae should be kept in an aquarium with a sandy substrate and plenty of cover and caves. These fish form monogamous pairs and if conditions are right, they will spawn frequently. Tankmates should be peaceful. Water conditions need to be right, low pH and hardness, if you want lots of offspring. In the wild, C. sabinae feeds mostly on plant matter with the occasional invertebrate so a diet high in spirulina is recommended. Discussion on this species can be done in the Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species forum.
A third release of Pseudotropheus saulosi into the waters around Taiwanee Reef in Lake Malawi. This release was made by Larry Johnson and fellow divers last month.
At one time the waters of Taiwanee Reef were swarming with colorful Pseudotropheus saulosi. However, due to over-fishing, the species could hardly be seen. Fortunately P. saulosi are common in the hobby and young individuals are being returned to the area in hopes of reestablishing their numbers. This species was highly desirable due to their size and vivid colors. Dominant males a blue with black bars while females are bright yellow. This species came make a colorful addition to the appropriate aquarium setup. To learn more, read the Species Article by Paul Barber or visit the Lake Malawi forum.
Crenicichla tuca (top) and Crenicichla tapii (botton). Photo from publication.
A recent published paper has described two new Crenicichla species from the Iguazu River in South America. Crenicichla are commonly known as pike cichlids and depending on the species, can range in size from a few inches to almost two feet.
The two new Crenicichla species have been named Crenicichla tuca and Crenicichla tapii. As seen in the pictures above, C. tuca has an unusual mouth which sets it apart from other Crenicichla. While C. tuca appear to be solitary, C. tapii was usually observed in schools with other tapii. The article also revisits three other species of Crenicichla found in the same waters; C. iguassuensis, C. tesay and C. yaha.
The article, originally published in the Argentinian magazine Historia Natural, can be downloaded in PDF format from HERE. Two discuss the two new Crenicichla species or the three other species discussed in the article, visit the South American Cichlid forum.
A great in the wild Callochromis macrops courtship video.
Callochromis macrops makes its home along the shallow sandy bottoms of southern Lake Tanganyika. As seen in the video above, C. macrops will dig small depressions in the sand for spawning. If given enough space and the right conditions, they will repeat this behavior in an aquarium.
One of the great characteristics of videos by LightSearch is their fixed camera positions which allows fish to become comfortable and demonstrate their natural behaviours. When spawning, Callochromis macrops females will deposit their eggs and quickly pick them up. At some point, the male will display its eggspot and when the female attempts to pick up the fake egg, the male fertilizes the eggs in her buccal cavity. To discuss Callochromis macrops, visit the Lake Tanganyika forum.
Callochromis macrops. Screen capture from LgihtSearch video.
Astatotilapia calliptera looks like a cichlid that belongs in the Lake Victoria Basin, but it makes its home in Lake Malawi and surrounding rivers. Because A. calliptera lives in various rivers around Lake Malawi, there are different variants displaying a variety of subtle color differences. The A. calliptera pictured above appears to be of the variant collected from Thumbi East Island in Lake Malawi.
Spawning of this species is typical of Lake Victoria Haplochromines. Males are aggressive and need multiple females in order to spread out aggression. They are prolific spawners. Astatotilapia calliptera should be feed a balanced diet of protein and vegetable matter. In the wild, A. calliptera eats a varied diet of invertebrates, plants, algae and small fish. To read more about this beautiful, out-of-the-ordinary cichlid, visit the Species Article by Greg Steeves. Discussion can be done in the Lake Malawi Species forum.
A recent study in crater lakes of Nicaragua revealed details of how different cichlid colors play a role in aggression levels and why some colors may be rarer than others. The focus of the study revolved around Hypsophrys nicaraguensis and species from the the Amphilophus genus. It is understood that color plays a role in breeding and dominance within a species. This study tries to understand the role color may play between different species.
Amphilophus, including A. sagittae and A. xiloaensis, have different color morphs. There is the typical dark color and a rarer gold morph. It turns out that Hypsophrys nicaraguensis was more aggressive toward the rarer gold morph than the typical dark morph of the species. This results in a distinctive cost to an individual of the gold color morph. A. sagittae, which lives in close proximity to H. nicaraguensis has a lower gold morph rate than A. xiloaensis. A. xiloaensis inhabits deeper waters than H. nicaraguensis. To read more about this study and its conclusions about cichlid colors and their role visit The Royal Society Publishing to view the article.
Parachromis managuensis is certainly an impressive fish. Commonly referred to as the Jaguar cichlid for its color pattern. Growing to over a foot in an aquarium, this Central American predator isn’t just large, but also extremely aggressive. Even with a breeding pair, care must be taken to protect the female from the male’s aggression. Large tanks are a must for this species. Large, aggressive cichlids are always a favorite of new hobbyists. Unfortunately, inexperience usually leads to problems. Not only does P. managuensis’ aggression cause issues, but often these fish are housed in tanks that are too small with inadequate filtration.
Parachromis managuensis can be a prolific spawner. Females will lay eggs on a flat surface and will be protected by the parents. They will be cared for by the parents until it is time to breed again. At this time the juvenile fish will be seen as a threat to the new batch so they must be removed. To learn more about Parachromis managuensis, visit the Central American Cichlids forum.