Another in the wild video from LightSearch showing cichlids in the muddy shallows of Lake Tanganyika.
This video shows many of the inhabitants of the muddy shallows in Lake Tanganyika. Featherfins and other cichlids can be seen over their nests and bowers. Lots of territorial aggression and displaying can clearly be seen even among different species. At one point what appears to be a Petrochromis gets in on the action. Bowers are constructed by some species of cichlids in order to attract mates. Different species construct bowers in different shapes. The shapes of the bowers can sometimes be used identify relationships between species of cichlids. To discuss the various cichlids and behavior in this video visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.
Ophthalmotilapia species. Image capture from LightSearch video.
Pundamilia pundamilia are found in Mwanza Gulf at the southern part of Lake Victoria. Within the gulf there are various locations where this species is found. The male pictured above comes from the waters around Hippo Point. In the aquarium P. pundamilia can be very aggressive toward members of its own species. This is a trait found in most species from the genus. Different Pundamilia species and variants, like P. nyererei or P. igneopinnis, should never be kept together due to the risk of hybridization. Ratios should be of one male to multiple females. More than one male can be kept in a tank if it is long enough and with adequate territories.
Benitochromis ufermanni can be found in various rivers and streams around Korup National Park in Cameroon. B. ufermanni is a small cichlid. The largest males rarely reach 4 inches in length. In the wild B. ufermanni feeds on both plant matter, insects and young fry. The species is said to be a bi-parental mouthbrooder, with both parents taking turns with the eggs until they are released.
Not overly aggressive, Benitochromis ufermanni does best with other fish that aren’t too aggressive. A group of a couple males and multiple females can be kept in a 4-foot tank. A sandy bottom and plenty of cover is recommended. Although other species of fish from Cameroon are at risk due to deforestation and pollution, B. ufermanni benefits from being in the protected Korup National Park. To discuss Benitochromis ufermanni visit the West African forum.
Xyliphius sofiae. Credit: Mark Sabaj/Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.
A new species of catfish from the dark, murky waters of the Amazon River has been named after the discoverer’s daughter. Xyliphius sofiae was first discovered years ago but not until recently given a species name. X. sofiae is a small catfish with some unique characteristics. Living in the sediment rich deep waters of the Amazon River where light rarely reaches, X. sofiae had no eyes and its skin lacks pigmentation giving it a translucent quality.
Little is known about Xyliphius sofiae. It is believed that it uses its long barbels to feel its way through the dark and that its diet is probably small invertebrates. A similarly small and blind catfish, Micromyzon orinoco, from the Orinoco River was also recently named after its discovery in the late 70′s. The dark waters of the Amazon River have rarely been studies and may hold other unusual fish species. To discuss X. sofiae or M. orinoco visit the General Aquaria Discussion forum.
A short video by nijlpaard63 showing a pair of Lepidiolamprologus attenuatus spawning in a shell.
Lepidiolamprologus attenuatus can be found throughout Lake Tanganyika. L. attenuatus is a predatory fish feeding on small fish, insects and crustaceans. They are usually found in deeper waters around 75 feet where they build small nests in the sandy bottom. The species, although common in the lake, has not gained much popularity in the hobby.
As shown in the video above, captive Lepidiolamprologus attenuatus tend to spawn in shells or rock formations although they don’t do that in the wild. Spawns are usually large with both parents raising and protecting the fry. Although usually peaceful, breeding does make them aggressive toward any threat. More information on this species can be found in the species article by Brett Harrington. Discussion can be done in the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.
Lepidiolamprologus attenuatus. Screen capture from video
Pseudocrenilabrus pyrrhocaudalis. Photo from article – A new species of Pseudocrenilabrus (Perciformes: Cichlidae) from Lake Mweru in the Upper Congo River System
A new species found in Lake Mweru has been described. Lake Mweru is southwest of Lake Tanganyika and forms part of the upper Congo River drainage. The described species has been named Pseudocrenilabrus pyrrhocaudalis, formerly known as Pseudocrenilabrus sp. “orange”. The article describing P. pyrrhocaudalis can be found on the Mapress website behind a paywall.
Pseudocrenilabrus is a small genus made up of fish from different areas of Africa. For instance, P. multicolor victoriae can be found in Lake Victoria and the upper Nile River while P. nicholsi and P. philander are from central and southern African waters. Most Pseudocrenilabrus species are beautifully colored, but that haven’t had much attention in the hobby. An article on P. nicholsi by Dave Hansen can be found in the library. There is no telling when Pseudocrenilabrus pyrrhocaudalis, with its brightly colored tail will be available for fans of uncommon African species. Discussion can be done in the West African Species forum.
Aulonocara sp. “Stuartgranti Maleri” from Lake Malawi
Aulonocara sp. “Stuartgranti Maleri”. Photo by Dave Hansen
Aulonocara sp. “Stuartgranti Maleri” with its bright yellow body and blue face is a favorite of hobbyists looking to add color to their tanks. Cichlids from the Aulonocara genus have the nickname of peacocks. Like the bird, males are colorful and always ready to display while the females are drab.
Aulonocara are generally docile. Only displaying aggression to other males for dominance and while spawning. Aulonocara sp. “Stuartgranti Maleri” aren’t much different but tend to extend their aggression to any similarly colored fish. Best kept in groups of one male to multiple females. This helps spread the male’s attention among many females. In the wild A. sp. “Stuartgranti Maleri” sifts through the sand looking for insects and small crustaceans. This behavior can sometimes be seen in the aquarium if a sandy substrate is used. Quality food high in protein is recommended. For more information visit the on Aulonocara genus visit the Peacock Corner library section or the Lake Malawi Species forum.
Tropheops sp. “Boadzulu” Makokola Reef. Photo by Ad Konings
Tropheops sp. “Boadzulu” Makokola Reef is another example of the colorful and varied Lake Malawi mbuna. T. sp “Boadzulu” isn’t a recognized species and as such there is some confusion in hobby. The image above is sometimes used when referring to T. sp. “Elongatus Boadzulu”. The Tropheops genus is made up of many fish that have not been formally recognized and some species in the genus have even been reclassified to the new genus Chindongo.
If you do find obtain some Tropheops sp. “Boadzulu” Makokola Reef, or other species from this genus, the usual care for mbuna should be taken. Most species are herbivores with some omnivores. Unless you know for certain that the species is an omnivore, mbuna should be fed a diet high in plant matter. A quality spirulina flake is your best bet. Cross-species breeding is also a possibility of many mbuna species since the females can look very similar. Closely related species from the same genus should hot be kept together, especially variants of the same species. For more information on the mbuna diet see the article by Feeding Mbuna by Marc Elieson. To discuss Tropheops. sp “Boadzulu” or other Tropheops species visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.
A short video from PISCES showing a pair of Tropheus brichardi Kipili spawning. The female can clearly be seen depositing and picking up her eggs.
As the name suggest, Tropheus brichardi Kipili are found in the southwestern shores of Lake Tanganyika around Kipili. The brichardi species of Tropheus are commonly known as blue-eyed cichlid for the color of their eyes. Like other Tropheus, T. brichardi can be highly aggressive toward their own species. Some say that T. brichardi are more aggressive than other Tropheus species.
Large groups are always recommended when it comes to Tropheus. This allows aggressive to be spread out and no individual is singled out. Once a pecking order is established, a large group can live relatively peacefully. Care should be taken when choosing tanksmates. Dietary requirements should be considered to ensure all species eat properly. In the case of Tropheus a diet high is vegetable matter is a must. Tankmates should also be able to tolerate the high level of activity of a Tropheus tank. Shy and easily stressed fish will not do well.
Found in shallow waters with sandy bottoms, Dimidiochromis dimidiatus is a predatory fish widely distributed throughout Lake Malawi. It has the typical elongated shape of other piscivores, but also feeds on invertebrates. Males can reach 7″ in length while females are a little shorter. D. dimidiatus is the smallest member of the genus which includes D. compressiceps, the Malawi Eye Biter.
In the aquarium Dimidiochromis dimidiatus is an active fish that requires lots of room. Care should be taken to ensure that tank decorations don’t cause scratches or other injuries. D. dimidiatus is peaceful, but will eat anything that it can fit into its mouth. Tank members should not be too aggressive and care should be taken to ensure that a protein based diet is given. To discuss this species visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.