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Omega One 6th Annual Photo Contest

omega one

Omega One is accepting entries for their 6th Annual Photo Contest. Winners will receive a year’s worth of fish food and have their photo featured in an upcoming calendar. 2015 winning images can be seen on their 2015 winners page HERE. All kinds of fish can make the cut. Entries must be received by October 1, 2016. Break out your camera or start looking through your past photos because one could be the winner. They may ask you for higher resolution versions of your entry and minor editing is allowed as long as their is no significant modification of the original image. For more information, where to submit your photo, and a complete list of rules visit the Omega One Photo Contest page.

For some photography tips visit the General Aquaria Discussion forum or the library’s Photography section. Good luck!

Astatotilapia sp. “Chizumulu” from Lake Malawi

Astatotilapia sp

Astatotilapia sp. “Chizumulu”. Photo by Greg Steeves

A recent find, Astatotilapia sp. “Chizumulu” has been making its way into a few select hobbyist’s aquariums. As of now, this is not believed to be the same species as Astatotilapia calliptera Chizumulu. Whether this is a distinct species or simply a variant has yet to be determined. The library has an article on Astatotilapia calliptera.

Although information on Astatotilapia sp. “Chizumulu” is vague and often confused with A. calliptera, A. sp. “Chizumulu” is a beautiful fish. The body has some blue color, but the fins really shine with red trim around fluorescent power blue. To discuss A. sp. “Chizumulu” visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.

OB Peacocks in the hobby

ob peacocks

OB Peacock. Photo by Dave Hansen

OB Peacocks have been in the hobby for some time. Their orange-blotched pattern and peacock-like displays make them an attractive fish. However, despite their body shape and common association with Aulonocara species from Lake Malawi, these fish are not native to the lake. OB Peacocks are a crossbred species. The original species used to create OBs is unknown, but at least one species of Aulonocara and probably an OB Lake Malawi mbuna are in the mix.

The article titled OB Peacocks by Brett Harrington goes into more detail on these fish. Including their possible origin, care and breeding. For more information on a variety of Aulonocara species check out the Peacock Corner library section. To discuss these fish visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.

Yssichromis sp. “blue tipped”

Yssichromis sp

Yssichromis sp. “blue tipped”. Photo by Greg Steeves

A strikingly colored cichlid first discovered in Lake Victoria, Yssichromis sp. “blue tipped” isn’t often found in the hobby. It’s dark blue, almost black body contrasts with the yellow or sometimes red tips of the fins. Like many cichlids from Lake Victoria, Y. sp. “blue tipped” is hardy and does well in the aquarium. Spawning is easy and once it begins, it can be regular. Males reach about 4 inches and females are slightly smaller.

Perhaps on the of the reasons Yssichromis sp. “blue tipped” hasn’t gained much popularity in the hobby is that for every well colored male there are a multiple dull colored females and sub-dominant males. When seen as juveniles or in stressed conditions Y. sp. “blue tipped” is usually a dull silver with dark splotches. It is when a dominant male is in full display that the great colors this species is known for can be seen and admired. If this rare and wonderful fish is something you would be interested in check out the Yssichromis sp. “blue tipped” article by Greg Steeves or visit the Lake Victoria Species forum to learn more about them.

New Labeotropheus species described

new Labeotropheus

2 new Labeotropheus species. Photo from publication

A recent publication in BioOne proposes two new Labeotropheus species. Currently there are only two species in the genus, Labeotropheus fuelleborni and L. trewavasae. The new proposed species are L. chlorosiglos and L. simoneae. The proposed species are isolated groups of Labeotropheus from around Katale Island in northwestern Lake Malawi.

Unfortunately, the paper describing these two species is behind a paywall. Hopefully more information and images will become available if these two new Labeotropheus species are recognized. There are other populations of Labeotropheus that are isolated and have potentially diverged enough to be considered new species opening the door for even more new Labeotropheus species. To discuss Labeotropheus visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.

Myaka myaka library article

Myaka myaka

Myaka myaka. Photo by Dave Hansen

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.

Low Boy aquarium from Zoo Med

low boy aquarium

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 from Lake Tanganyika


‘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.

Lake Tanganyika rising water temperatures

Fishermen on Lake Tanganyika.  Photo by

Fishermen on Lake Tanganyika. Photo by JBenoit CC-BY-SA-3.0

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describes how rising water temperatures are causing a decline in Lake Tanganyika’s fish populations. Unfortunately, the full text of the study is behind a paywall. A synopsis of the study can be found on Voice of America and BBC News.

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.

Anomalochromis thomasi from West Africa

Anomalochromis thomasi

Anomalochromis thomasi. Photo by Dave Hansen

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.

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