A monthly radio show, Let’s Talk About Cichlids, hosted by Greg Steeves and Ken McKeighen will make its debut next week on BlogTalk Radio. Greg is best known for his work with Victorian cichlids. You can find many of his species articles in the Lake Victoria Basin Cichlid Profiles section. Ken is a Paleontologist, artist, and accomplished killifish keeper. Together they will discuss cichlid fish, cichlid people, cichlid events and anything else that happens to pop up in a relaxed and humorous atmosphere.
Their first guest will be none other than Pam Chin. Pam writes for the Buntbarsche Bulletin (Ask Pam column), Cichlid News Magazine and various aquarium societies. She is also a founding member of “Babes In The Cichlid Hobby”. Make sure to visit the Let’s Talk About Cichlids radio show page for more information.
The first show will be on January 18th at 7:00 pm CST. Future shows will be on the third Saturday of each month at 7:00 pm CST.
A Cyphotilapia gibberosa Samazi blue spawn by PISCES Farm.
Another terrific video from the folks at PISCES Farm. This time they’ve captured a pair of Cyphotilapia gibberosa in the act. I’ve seen many cichlid videos, but I’ve never seen a Cyphotilapia spawning video capture so much detail. I’m also not too familiar with their spawning process, but I did notice that the female picks up the eggs before the male has had a chance to fertilize them. Normally substrate spawners will do their dance, spinning around in circles. The female drops an egg, the male comes along to fertilize it and then the females circles back around to pick it up. I don’t know if it’s just inexperience on the part of the female or if it’s normal, and the male will fertilize the eggs in her mouth at a later time.
Anyway, if you’d like to read more about Cyphotilapia gibberosa and their reproductive process, make sure to take a look at Razzo’s C. gibberosa Mikula forum topic, Tau’s first spawns. In his topic you’ll find many great photos (like the one pictured below) and even a video documenting fry development.
Test your River Monster identification skills with Animal Planet’s Name that River Monster quiz. A couple weeks ago we blogged about the marathon of shows that were going to be running. If you had the opportunity to watch the shows or you’ve always been a big fan of Jeremy Wade and his monster adventures, then you should have no problem identifying the fish on this quiz. If you’ve never heard about the River Monsters show, then here is a great opportunity to see some of the fish that inhabit the same waters as many of the cichlids we keep in our tanks.
An interesting article with an equally interesting title. The Angelina Jolie Project touches on two evolutionary topics; evolutionary change and parallel evolution. Axel Meyer, professor at the University of Konstanz, has spent a good part of his career studying fish evolution and sequencing DNA in the many lakes of Nicaragua. Affectionally called the Angelina Jolie Project, Meyer and his colleagues have studied how quickly evolutionary change can take place among cichlids. The study also looks into similar characteristics of cichlids thousands of miles away by the process of parallel (convergent) evolution. The unusual project name has to do with the focus on the evolution of thick lips in fish. To read the entire article and find many interesting reference links, visit The Loom on the National Geographic website.
Thick lips are not only found in the Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellum) of Nicaragua, but also in African cichlids including Protomelas sp. “Mbenji Thick Lip”, Placidochromis milomo, and Paralabidochromis chilotes to name a few.
The other day I stumbled on some unique cichlid art and thought I would share it with other cichlid fans. A South African artist by the name of Lucas Grant paints cichlids and other creatures on old dictionary pages creating these out of the ordinary works. Lucas not only does paintings, but is also an excellent wildlife photographer. If you are someone that appreciates art and want to have some unique pieces that also incorporate your hobby, take a look at Lucas Grant’s website. If you are looking for more than just cichlid paintings, make sure to check out his photography and some of his other African wildlife paintings.
Archerfish are a family/genus (Toxotidae/Toxotes) of fish that get their name because of a unique ability to accurately spit water at prey. These little archers can be found in brackish water habitats from Australia to India. As you can see in the video, their shooting skills are quite impressive. Their accuracy improves with practice, and they can hit insects almost 10 feet away. Unfortunately keeping these fish with cichlids can be difficult. The main issue being that Archerfish do best in brackish water while most cichlids do not. There are a few cichlids that also make their home in brackish water, but brackish is a general term, and it is not always the same. Some possible cichlid candidates include the Asian Etroplus species.
The staff at Cichlid-Forum would like to wish everyone happy holidays. Please keep in mind that moderators and administrators will be busy traveling and spending time with their families, so we may not be able to get to things right away. Pictured above are a couple juvenile Tropheus moorii blue rainbow. If you would like to learn more about this species and the incredible variety of Tropheus, make sure to visit the Tropheus Corner. Tropheus can also be discussed in the Lake Tanganyika section of the forum. If Tropheus aren’t something you are interested in, there is plenty more cichlid discussion in the forum.
Seven months ago a worldwide search was on to find a mate for what was believed to be the last two males of an endangered Madagascar cichlid. Ptychochromis insolitus, affectionally called “gorgeously ugly” by zookeepers, was believed extinct in the wild as a result of habitat destruction. There are only a handful of Madagascar cichlids, but P. isolitus is unusual because it has kept many of its ancestral traits.
According to the article on ScienceMag.org, an email arrived at the London Zoo from someone in Madagascar saying they could find the fish.
Zimmerman and his colleagues searched for days near the Mangarahara River with no luck. But when they arrived in a village called Merotandrano, on a small tributary of the river, a fisherman gave him a Mangarahara cichlid that had been dead only a few days. Zimmerman hiked about 2 hours from Merotandrano to a few deep pools where villagers had set out traps. “They went charging into water,” Zimmerman recalls. “They were shouting: Joba mena!” That’s the local name for the fish, which means “red girl,” although in fact it’s the males that have trailing red edges on their fins.
Eighteen specimens of this endangered Madagascar cichlid were collected. Hopes are high that they will be able to breed them, and if successful, there are plans to move some of the offspring into a reserve further upstream.
Payara, Hydrolycus scomberoides, from Uraima Falls in Venezuela
Animal Planet is having a River Monsters marathon all day. Although the fish in the episodes are not cichlids, the show is exciting to watch. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Animal Planet show, River Monsters is hosted by Jeremy Wade and depicts large and dangerous river fish from around the world. Aside from trying to solve various who-done-it attack mysteries, Wade is an accomplished angler who tries to catch these very same fish.
The shows take place in the same waters where many cichlid species also make their homes. River Monsters will travel from South and Central America to Africa and Asia. You can find the show schedules on the Animal Planet website. Make sure to set your DVR.
If you are a fan of Central American cichlids or if you think you might be interested in taking the plunge, take a look at CjCichlid’s 135gal Central American Community tank topic. The topic has been active for two years and was even awarded Tank of Merit in October 2012. Not only is there an informative discussion about the fish, but there are many pictures and videos. The tank’s many inhabitants have at one time included Astatheros robertsoni, Vieja synspilum, and Hypsophrys nicaraguensis to name a few.