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Ptychochromis insolitus needs mate

Ptychochromis insolitus

Ptychochromis insolitus (London Zoo)

Ptychochromis insolitus, aka Mangarahara cichlid, is thought to be extinct in the wild. Officially described less than 10 years ago, its habitat along the Amboaboa and Mangarahara Rivers has been destroyed. The London Zoo, which has two male specimens, has launched a worldwide appeal for anyone with a female P. insolitus in an effort to save the species. According to the London Zoo, there are only 3 know specimens of this species, all males. The last known female was housed at a zoo in Berlin but died before she was able to spawn. The zoo is hoping that anyone in the hobby who has a female to please contact them at fishappeal@zsl.org.

While looking into information for this blog I came across an article on Malawi Cichlid Homepage about spawning the Ptychochromis mangarahara. Unfortunately since P. insolitus was only officially described in 2006, it is difficult to know for sure if these two species are the same fish.

For more information on Ptychochromis insolitus and the appeal for a female, visit BBC News.

Petenia splendida: Red Bay Snook

Petenia splendida is a large, predatory cichlid inhabiting rivers and lakes in Southern Mexico and Central America.

P. splendida is currently the only species in the genus Petenia. Reaching as much as 20 inches in length, this ambush predator will consume anything it can fit in its extendable mouth. Like some other predatory cichlids, P. splendida is not overly aggressive and does well with other large, moderately aggressive fish. Keep in mind that tank mates should be large or they will be eaten. P. splendida readily adapts to pelleted foods. Adequate filtration is a must since it is a hardy eater.

An interesting characteristic of Petenia splendida is that it appears in two color forms. As seen in the video above, the coloration can be silver/green with black spots or a solid orange/red color. The color variations occur naturally in the wild. The orange/red coloration is more common in the hobby, but in the wild the silver/black morph is more abundant. Sexing can be difficult and it is recommended to raise a group of 6-8 together until a pair forms. Once the pair has formed, the others should be removed.

For more information on P. splendida, read the In Search of the Red Bay Snook article by Rusty Wessel.

Petenia splendida

Petenia splendida. Photo by Citron

Pacific Coast Cichlid Association

Pacific Coast Cichlid Association

Founded in August of 1980, the Pacific Coast Cichlid Association exists to meet the needs of the west coast cichlid hobbyist. Since inception, the PCCA has grown rapidly from a local society of 20 members to one of national scope, with members all over the world. The PCCA meets every second Saturday of the month. Meetings are held a the Harry’s Hoffbrau in San Jose, CA. Meetings will feature a presentation from an expert in the hobby and an auction. Auctions items are provided by attendees, donations from local fish dealers, and from the PCCA itself which brings in rarer species to introduce them to association members.

If you would like more information about the Pacific Coast Cichlid Association, visit their website at CichlidWorld.com.

Omega One Photo Contest

omega one

Clean your glass, charge your batteries and start clicking. Omega One, makers of a variety of fish food products, is having their 3rd annual photo contest. For a chance to win, submit your 3 best fish photos in high resolution JPG format to customercare@omegasea.net. Finalists will receive a $250 credit toward a year’s worth of fish food and their photographs will be featured in the 2014 Omega One Calendar. All finalists will also receive a copy of the Omega One Calendar. Entries will be accepted until September 1st, 2013. Make sure to include your name, address, phone number, email address and species/common name of the fish with your entry.

For more information, including the complete contest rules and entry requirements, visit the Photo Contest Page.

Stomatepia pindu of Barombi Mbo, Cameroon

Stomatepia pindu

Stomatepia pindu. Photo by Dave Hansen

Stomatepia pindu is one of the 11 endemic cichlids of the crater lake Barombi Mbo in West Cameroon. Lake Barombi Mbo is not only the largest crater lake in the region, it is believed to also be the oldest crater lake in Africa. S. pindu, like so many other African cichlids species, are endangered due to pollution. Volcanic activity also poses a unique threat to the lakes in the region. S. pindu males and females are normally solid black in color. Their elongated shape makes this species look large when in reality adults max out around 3.5″. They can be somewhat difficult to spawn, but not impossible.

For more first-hand information and pictures of this unique, crater lake cichlid, check out the Stomatepia pindu Species Article by Jim Beck.

Cichlids of Africa Volume 1: Haplochromines

Cichlids of africa

Originally published in 2010, copies of Cichlids of Africa Volume 1: Haplochromines are still available for anyone who is interested in Lake Victoria Basin cichlids. The book is 141 pages long and packed with 165 color photos. Hobbyists who already keep Victorian cichlids will appreciate the extensive collections of photos and information. If you’re looking for your first Victorian cichlid, this book will help you see what is available in the hobby. Although not a definitive list of cichlids from the region, Cichlids of Africa Volume 1: Haplochromines is a guide to maintaining some of the species one is likely to keep. Authors Greg Steeves, Dave Hansen and Anton Lamboj.

For a more complete review and listing of the book’s contents, take a look at Ken Boorman’s review.

To pick up your own copy visit AfricanCichlids.net and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Many Discus varieties video

A nice video from Europa Discus Center showing many discus varieties available in the hobby.

For more information on keeping discus, read Breeding Discus From a Beginner’s Perspective or My Experience Raising And Keeping Discus by Ryan Willimas.

many discus varieties

Discus (Symphysodon aequifasciata) by Patrick Farrelly

Great Rift Valley Adventures

great rift valley

Kaya Mawa resort on Likoma Island, Malawi.

Anyone thinking of visiting one of the rift lakes or is in need of help convincing a significant other, here are some ideas of what there is to do. The Great Rift Valley is a geographic trench running from Syria to Mozambique. Created by plate tectonics and dotted with active and dormant volcanoes, this geological region helped create Africa’s Rift Lakes. While Lake Malawi or Lake Tanganyika would be enough for a great vacation, other sites like the Jade Sea Lake Turkana in Kenya or Nyungwe National Park would add to the experience. Everything from wildlife, whitewater rafting and mountain climbing to make your trip more exciting. For more information on some Great Rift Valley adventures, visit theguardian.co.uk.

great rift valley

Navbiotum Volcano, Lake Turkana, Kenya. Photo: Richard Du Toit/Minden Picture

New Cobalt Discus Flakes

Cobalt discus flakes

Cobalt Aquatics has recently introduced new lines of flake food flavors. Cobalt Discus Flakes, co-developed with the renowned discus expert Discus Hans, is just one of the new offerings. Cobalt Discus Flakes is a powerful new food with a mix of beef heart, krill, spirulina, earthworm, garlic and high quality salmon meal. Designed to keep discus in top condition and color. All Cobalt Flake foods feature Cobalt’s BLUE flake, which has triple concentration of vitamins that help support a healthy immune system. In addition, Cobalt flakes are packed with Probiotics that support a healthy digestive system.

For more information of Cobalt Discus Flakes and other new and innovative products, visit the Cobalt Aquatics website.

Fish pond do-it-yourself video

For anyone considering a fish pond in their backyard, this video will give you an idea of what is required.

A cichlid pond can be a great way to not only keep more fish, but add a nice feature to your backyard. Aside from building and filtering your pond, there are a few considerations in having it stocked with cichlids. For instance, while some fish can tolerate cold temperatures, cichlids may not survive the winter. You need to have a plan for what you will do with the fish during the cold months. If you plan to periodically share your pond-grown cichlids with others, pay close attention to what you stock in your pond. Species that are likely to hybridize with each other should not be put together.

For some articles on keeping cichlids outdoors, take a look at Raising Cichlids Outside by Greg Steeves and My Frontosa Pond by Lee McLeod.

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