There are a series of volcanic crater lakes in the West African country of Cameroon. One of the largest, Lake Barombi Mbo, is home to a variety of cichlids unique to its waters. An article by Greg Steeves titled Insight on Barombi Mbo, Cameroon gives a synopsis of the unusual cichlids found in this deadly lake. One of these species is Myaka myaka, and a profile have been added to the library.
The plan was to have an article describing the Myaka myaka and detailing the best method to spawn this species. Unfortunately, like many others who have kept M. myaka, spawning these fish has proven elusive. Despite the setback, the article gives a short description on keeping M. myaka. These fish are unique, aggressive and a joy to watch. For more information check out the new Myaka myaka library article. To discuss this species visit the West African species forum.
An unusual aquarium design by Zoo Med may open up new possibilities for breeders or those looking to maximize their tank’s footprint. At only 10 inches tall, Zoo Med’s Low Boy Aquarium is billed as a breeder tank (50 gallons – 48″ x 24″ x 10″). Its low height will make it easy to stack multiple tanks and the large footprint will work well for larger fish that need space.
The Low Boy aquarium’s large footprint relative to its height works well for several cichlid species. Lake Tanganyika shelldweller and rockdweller species instantly come to mind. Many species hug the ground and don’t need to dwell more than a few inches off of the ground. It would be great if new models of the tank would be produced, especially something that isn’t so deep front to back. Maybe a 48x12x10 size? For more information on the Low Boy visit the Zoo Med website.
‘Lamprologus’ brevis male and female. Photo by Dave Hansen
Another interesting shelldweller species from Lake Tanganyika is the ‘Lamprologus’ brevis. What these little fish lack in size they make up for in behavior and attitude. In the wild, ‘L’ brevis is widely distributed throughout the lake forming colonies among discarded snail shells. Color variants of the species have developed in different parts of the lake.
In the aquarium, ‘Lamprologus’ brevis provide endless hours of entertainment as they bury their shells and rearrange their aquascape. A single pair can be kept in a tank as small as 10 gallons, but a larger aquarium with a group or other species is more entertaining. These little fish can be quite aggressive in defending their territory and will not hesitate to bite your hand if it gets too close. Females are smaller then males and will bury a shell in the sand. Once a male is attracted, the female will lay her eggs and the male will fertilize them. After that, the male moves on while the female will protect the brood until they are old enough to take care of themselves. For more information on ‘Lamprologus’ brevis check out the Species Article by Eric Ryan or visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.
Sediment core samples have shown that in the last 150 years Lake Tanganyika’s water temperatures have been rising. This steady increase in water temperatures, not commercial fishing, has had the largest impact on fish populations in the lake. Rising water temperatures, particularly at the surface, have led to a drop in oxygen levels at all depths of the lake. For more information on the study check out the links above. To discuss fish from Lake Tanganyika, visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.
Commonly known as the African butterfly cichlid, Anomalochromis thomasi is found in small streams of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. Males can reach sizes of about 3 inches while females are slightly smaller. Their size makes them a great choice for anyone looking for a dwarf species or with limited tank space. A minimum of 20 gallons is recommended for a single pair. They are colorful, peaceful and fun to watch.
In the aquarium Anomalochromis thomasi are easy to maintain. Water requirements aren’t too strict and they aren’t fuzzy eaters. Once a pair forms, the female will lay eggs on a flat surface for the male to fertilize. The pair will then defend the area from other fish. Food high in protein is recommended to encourage spawning. For more information on this wonderful little cichlid visit the West African Species forum.
A short video in the waters around Nakantenga Island in Lake Malawi.
The video was taken just this year by Pam Chin. Pam is well known around the hobby. She is an Honorary Life Member of the Pacific Coast Cichlid Association and has served on the American Cichlid Association’s board. Pam was also one of the founding members of Babes in the Cichlid Hobby which raises money for cichlid conservation and research.
The video shows the abundance of cichlids that can be seen while out for a swim around Nakantenga Island in the southern part of Lake Malawi. Nakantenga is right next to another location known for a variety of cichlids in the hobby, Maleri Island. For more videos from Pam’s trip to Lake Malawi visit her YouTube Channel. To discuss Lake Malawi cichlids visit the Lake Malawi Cichlids forum.
The rumors and speculation can finally be put to rest. Cichlids of Africa Volume II is finally out and a limited amount copies are available before full distribution is set up in the U.S. The book is available in Europe directly from one of the authors, Anton Lamboj. In the U.S., the book is available through another of the authors, Greg Steeves.
The original, Cichlids of Africa Volume I, covered many species that normally aren’t seen in cichlid publications. Specifically, Volume I was about cichlids from Lake Victoria and surrounding lakes. A review can be found HERE by Ken Boorman.
Cichlids of Africa Volume II also covers Lake Victoria region cichlids but also includes West African riverine cichlids. Both areas have beautiful, unique and out of the ordinary cichlids, but are underrepresented in print work. The authors, Greg Steeves, Anton Lamboj and Hans van Heusden have put together amazing information and photographs in this book. Hopefully we will have a full review posted in the library soon.
The Product Reviews section on Cichlid-Forum.com has always been a great resource for new and advanced hobbyists. Over the last few years activity on this section has dropped off. However, here at Cichlid-Forum.com we continue to update it with the latest products from the biggest manufacturers in the business. Whether the updates are in existing product details or the addition of a new line, we are working hard to make sure changes appear on the Product Review section.
Although you can find reviews to product on many online retailer’s websites, the reviews posted on our reviews are from other cichlid hobbyists. The opinions of other hobbyists who share the same interests, experiences and issues as you do can have an impact on how a product rates in their minds. However, in order for the section to be effective it also needs your contribution. If you have used and have an opinion on a product, make sure to add your review. To check out reviews or add your own visit the Product Reviews section.
A great video showing a pair of Red Spotted Severum spawning. Video courtesy of Jim Cumming
The Red Spotted Severum is variant of Heros efasciatus, not a Heros severus. More specifically, the Red Spotted variant is a line bred Gold Severum for the red coloration. The different color variants differ from the wild-caught H. efasciatus, but are still the same species. The striking differences in color is very similar to what has been done with discus cichlids, where the wild species looks considerable different than the line-bred variants.
In the wild, Heros efasciatus can reach 12 inches in size. However, in an aquarium they don’t get that large (8″-10″). That being said, these fish can still get quite large and a pair is best kept in at least a 75 gallon tank. For breeding, it is recommended to get a group of these fish. As they mature, a pair will form. Breeding usually takes place on a flat surface. As seen in the video, the female will lay the eggs and the male then fertilizes them. Once the eggs hatch after a few days, the fry are usually moved to a small depression where both parents will guard them. For more information on Red Spotted Severum or any of the other variants, visit the South American Cichlids forum. Make sure to visit Jim Cumming’s Youtube channel for other great videos.
One of the larger species of Julidochromis from Lake Tanganyika is the Julidochromis regani. Although they are said to grow quite large in the wild, their maximum size is the aquarium is around 6 inches. The other Julidochromis species tend to spend all their time in and around rocks and caves, but J. regani is comfortable over sandy shallows in search of crustaceans and mollusks.
In the aquarium Julidochromis regani’s behavior is similar to the other species in the genus. Julidochromis will pair up as they mature and the bond usually lasts a lifetime. If one fish in the pair dies, it isn’t uncommon for the other fish to die shortly after. Despite the strong bond, stress and sudden changes in the tank environment can break up a pair. To form a pair it is best to introduce a group of juvenile fish into an aquarium. Once a pair forms, other fish should be removed as the pair will not tolerate other J. regani in the tank. To learn more about Julidochromis regani or Julidochromis in general visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.