Defining what makes up the category of dwarf cichlids isn’t an exact science, but the species generally recognized as dwarfs can bring hobbyists many years of joy. For the most part, South American dwarfs are small (less than 5″) and prefer soft, acidic water. Species recognized as dwarfs fall into the genera Apistogramma, Apistogrammoides, Biotecus, Crenicara, Dicrossus, Microgeophagus, Nannacara, and Taeniacara. Depending on the species, a pair can be kept in a tank as small as 10 gallons, but larger tanks are advisable. If you are looking to squeeze in one more tank or only have room for a smaller tank, dwarfs might be exactly what you are looking for. In a community tank they do better with non-aggressive tankmakes and aside from spawning, they tend to not be very aggressive. They can be shy, but dither fish will help bring them out. Dwarf cichlids are also great for planted tanks.
If you’d like to try your hand at some South America dwarf cichlids, make sure to visit South American Dwarfs section of the New World Cichlids page.
Scuba diving at the Ndole Bay Lodge, Lake Tanganyika.
The blog is back and what better way to kick things off than a video of the wildlife in Lake Tanganyika. This video comes from the waters of Ndole Bay on the southwestern part of Lake Tanganyika. This part of the lake is know for many beautiful cichlids species including Cyphotilapia, Cyprichromis and featherfins. These fish and many more can be seen in this video, including some that have made their home in a wreck. According to the video’s author, the tremendous variety of fish and their habitats are all around the Ndole Bay Lodge.
An article submitted by forum member Chuck Greene (forest109) details the customization and installation of a 3D background. The article takes an in-depth look at the selection process of a background including some of the issues and decisions you will have to make. As stated in the article, 3D backgrounds are popular in Europe but haven’t caught on in the U.S., limiting their availability and size options. Once you’ve selected your background, Chuck covers topics such as painting and making modifications for filtration and water movement.
The Rocky Mountain Cichlid Association welcomes back the American Cichlid Association National Convention. There is still time to register for the ACA 2013 convention being held in Denver, CO. on July 18-21. Guest speakers will include Ad Konings, Alan Rollings, Felipe Cantera, Greg Steeves and many more. The schedule includes the various guest speakers, conservation updates, microbrewery tours, midnight B.A.B.E.S. auction, kids’ decorating contest and the final Sunday auction. The ACA 2013 Convention will be the biggest cichlid event of the year, don’t miss out! For all the latest information and to register for American Cichlid Association 2013 Convention, visit 2013aca.com
While cruising the interwebs looking for some Lake Victoria fish pictures I came across this image. Could this be the cover of the followup to Cichlids of Africa Volume I: Haplochromines? The original book was reviewed by Ken Boorman and his entire review can be found HERE. According to Ken’s review:
This book brings together a collection of articles and beautiful photographs, providing the reader with a valuable reference and insight into the captive care and breeding of these vanishing jewels.
Volume II should be more of the same great content. The authors listed on the cover of “Cichlids of Africa Volume II” are Greg Steeves, Anton Lamboj and Hans Van Heusden. The first two being authors of the original book. There isn’t any other information of where and when the book will be available, but with an image of the cover out there, it shouldn’t be very long. If you are a fan of Lake Victoria Basin cichlids, you should certainly keep an eye on the AfricanCichlids.net storefront where the original book is sold. I can’t wait!
Started over a year ago, the Cichlid Guessing Game topic is still going strong. If you think you have what it takes to identify cichlids, stump the rest of us or just want to see what unusual cichlids other members keep, stop by and check it out. The topic creator, bernie comeau, kicked off things with an exCichlasoma festae and since them we’ve seen pictures of Mbipia lutea, Guianacara owroewefi and Simochromis babualti. No fair using Google Images to identify.
The latest images of the Cichlid Guessing Game topic can be found HERE. Make sure you read the rules on the first page of the topic before jumping in.
Terrific video with a dramatic score of a pair of Paretroplus menarambo spawning. The video goes into great detail showing the actual egg laying and eventually the free swimming fry. Make sure to watch it all. You won’t be disappointed.
Paretroplus menarambo is an endangered cichlid from the flood plain lakes of the Bemarivo River of northern Madagascar. At one time this species was considered extinct in the wild. Recently a surviving group was found in a single lake of the flood plain. P. menarombo is still considered critically endangered due habitat destruction, invasive non-native species and over-fishing. Fortunately captive breeding groups exist in Europe and North America.
A special thanks goes out to Dave from Dave’s Rare Aquarium Fish for allowing me to take many pictures of fish in his shop, including the one below. If this rare and unusual cichlid is something you would like to have and breed, make sure you read the article on Malawi Cichlid Homepage.
Found in the Congo River system, Orthochromis stormsi is a goby type cichlid from West Africa. It has a small swim bladder and spends most of its life along the bottom of shallow, slow moving waters near the shore. O. stormsi males can reach almost 5″ with females being about an inch shorter. Believed to be a herbivore in the wild, they do well with a spirulina based food in captivity. There can be some aggression between males, but for the most part O. stormsi isn’t known as an aggressive fish.
If you would like to read more about Orthochromis stormsi, including how to keep them successfully in your aquarium, make sure to read the Species Article by Greg Steeves.
Altolamprologus compressiceps Muzi gold head. Photo by Razzo
Altolamprologus compressiceps Muzi gold head is one of the many variants of A. compressiceps from Lake Tanganyika. This predator has an easily identifiable laterally compressed body and sloping forehead. Although similar in appearance to Altolamprologus calvus, the two species differ most notably in the shape of the snout. Fully grown A. compressiceps are impressive to watch, especially then they spot and attempt to catch prey. Several years back is was common to see fully grown wild-caught specimens on stock lists, but in recent years they are becoming harder to find. For anyone thinking of growing some juveniles, keep in mind that the are extremely slow growing.
There is a great topic in the forum about Altolamprologus compressiceps Muzi gold head by Razzo. He has successfully spawned A. compressiceps and has many beautiful pictures of adult fish and fry. Make sure to check out his Muzi gold head topic in the Tanganyikan section.
This Father’s Day why not take dad (or make your kids take you) to your local aquarium. Aquarium discounts are being offered this weekend in many cities in celebration of Father’s Day. This is a great way to spend some time with your father or your kids and save some money too! Most discounts are buy one ticket and dad gets in free but they do vary. Check with your local aquarium to see what is being offered and what days are available. Although Father’s Day is this Sunday, some aquariums are extending the discount for the entire weekend. Even if your local aquarium isn’t offering a discount, Father’s Day is a great excuse to visit.