The Greater Seattle Aquarium Society will be holding their massive yearly April auction in less than 3 weeks. If you live in the Seattle area make sure to reserve April 23rd to attend. Although the GSAS holds small auctions at every meeting, this month’s auction will be large and serves as the organization’s main fundraiser.
The Greater Seattle Aquarium Society has over 300 members who live mostly in Seattle and surrounding areas. It offers monthly meetings, auctions, parties and special events. Members can take advantage of a book and video library as well as recordings from previous meeting presentations. For more information on the auction or becoming a member, visit the club’s website at www.gsas.org.
Endemic to the Nosivolo River in Eastern Madagascar, Katria katria is a species not often seen in the hobby. Originally classified as Ptychochromoides katria, K. katria was given its own genus in 2006. Males can grow up to 6 inches and will develop a nuchal hump as they mature. They can be aggressive so a large tank with plenty of cover is a must. Tankmates should be hardy by not overly aggressive.
In the wild, Katria katria live in fast moving rivers with a high oxygen content. Although strong currents aren’t needed in a tank, well oxygenated water is a must. Breeding takes place in typical egg-layer fashion, usually on the side of rocks or small caves. However, successfully breeding K. katria can be elusive. To discuss K. katria visit the Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species forum.
A short video from LightSearch showing the boulder-filled waters of southern Lake Tanganyika.
The vast differences of habitats in Lake Tanganyika almost make it seem as if they couldn’t belong in the same lake. This lake has everything from endless sandy terrains to rocky cliffs, or in the case of Katete, boulders all over the bottom. The different biotopes drive the nature of the fish that live within them. The video above shows several species that thrive among the rocks for protection or a food source. Lots of juvenile fish can be seen hugging the rocks along with mature herbivores grazing on algae. Discussion on Lake Tanganyika species can be done in the lake’s forum.
Tropheus sp. “Red” Nkamba Bay Chilanga, close to Katete. Photo by Dave Hansen.
Pundamilia x Neochromis hybrid cichlid. Photo from publication
A recent publication details how a female hybrid cichlid, in this case a cross between a female Pundamilia pundamilia and a male Neochromis omnicaeruleus, developed male reproductive organs and self-fertilized. While very rare, self-fertilization does happen among vertebrate species. The hybrid cichlid was the offspring of two somewhat closely related Lake Victoria Basin species. This female went on to have a total of 14 different broods while isolated. Of all those broods only 17 offspring reached maturity, 2 males and 15 females. The results of testing on all the fish in this study are found on the Royal Society Publishing website.
Haplochromis sp. “KK Beach”. Photo by Greg Steeves
The Hill Country Cichlid Club will be hosing a very special meeting on April 23rd. Guest speaker will be Jose Gonzales and will probably involve Madagascar cichlids and/or endangered species. That is not all, the HCCC meeting will also include a rare fish auction and a tour of the Water Garden Gems in Marion, TX. The rare fish auction will include Haplochromis sp. “KK Beach” (pictured above), Thoracochromis sp. “flavententis”, Mbipia lutea, and many other out of the ordinary species. For more information on this upcoming HCCC event visit their Facebook Event Page.
If you live in South Texas or can find a way to make it to Marion, TX area (about 30 miles from downtown San Antonio), this Hill Country Cichlid Club event will be well worth it.
Astatotilapia burtoni is a mouthbrooding cichlid from Lake Tanganyika that can also be found in surrounding rivers and bodies of water. Despite its wide distribution, A. burtoni isn’t often seen in the hobby.
Astatotilapia burtoni has also been the subject of several scientific studies including the role of hormones in social status and sound in reproduction. Recently a study at Stanford University found that a single brain receptor is crucial for successful reproduction. This same type of receptor is found in other animals, including humans. The original study is behind a paywall, but a summary and link to the study can be found at the Stanford News website. To discuss A. burtoni visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.
An informative, yet underutilized, feature of this site is the Cichlid Clubs event page. In it, individuals can update upcoming events for their local clubs. The events page can then be sorted by state to find local organizations and their events. If you haven’t used the Cichlid Clubs event page or have forgotten about it, make sure to stop by and update your local club.
Here is an incomplete list of events taking place in the next couple months:
Greater Detroit Aquarium Society Spring Auction – 3/19/16
A depressing article by New Scientist magazine tells the story of vanishing lakes around the world. Pictured above was Bolivia’s second largest lake that has recently dried up. Granted Lake Poopó was very shallow and it has dried up before, but this time it is unlikely to fill again. Its source of water, Lake Titicaca, and the river that feeds it have their own troubles.
Lakes in Europe, Australia and Africa aren’t doing much better. The general consensus as to why lakes are in trouble is due to various factors including climate change, increased use of water for irrigation and silt buildup in rivers that feed into lakes. It is believed that Lake Tanganyika’s reduced fish yields are due to warming water temperatures. For more in-depth information on the vanishing lakes check out the article on New Scientist.
This attractive Lake Malawi mbuna has gone through a series of names (Cynotilapia pulpican. Pseudotropheus sp. “Kingsizei”), but is currently classified as Metriaclima pulpican. Like other mbuna, M. pulpican is a herbivore and should be fed a diet high in vegetable matter. This species is aggressive and it’s recommended to be housed with other fish that can take care of themselves. While females are somewhat drab, males take on nice black stripes on a powder blue body. Similarly colored mbuna like Pseudotropheus demasoni or Ps. saulosi should not be housed with Metriaclima pulpican. For more information, visit the Species Article or the Lake Malawi Species forum.
Thoracochromis sp. “Lake Albert” dark morph. Photo by Greg Steeves
Lake Albert, like most lakes in Africa other than the “big three”, doesn’t get much recognition. In reality, Lakes Victoria, Tanganyika and Malawi are the largest of 10 lakes that make up the African Great Lakes. In Lake Albert we find can Thoracochromis sp. “Lake Albert” among other cichlid species. Pictured above is the common dark morph of the species. Other males of the T. sp. “Lake Albert” species are light in color with a yellowish body and red head.
There isn’t much information about Thoracochromis sp. “Lake Albert” and it has only recently started appearing in the hobby. Most likely its behavior is similar to other Thoracochromis like Thoracochromis brauschi. Hopefully we will start seeing more T. sp. “Lake Albert”. To discuss this species and other species from the Lake Victoria Basin visit the Lake Victoria Basin forum.