Changing weather patterns and higher surface temperatures are being blamed for dropping Lake Victoria water levels. These new warnings come on the heals of news about the Aral Sea, which has all but disappeared. For any skeptics who don’t think it could happen to the world’s largest tropical lake and the source of the Nile River, it has happened before. About 17,000 years ago a megadrought left Lake Victoria dry for about 2600 years. Since then Lake Victoria has become the source of food and water for millions of people. Despite the good news of pockets of cichlids once thought extinct surviving in the shallow swamp lands surrounding the lake, a continued drop in the water levels will eliminate their safe haven.
For more information on the threat to the Lake Victoria water level, visit the article on Inter Press Service.
LED light fixtures are becoming more common in the aquarium hobby. Unfortunately LED lighting is more expensive than the traditional fluorescent fixtures. However the benefits of LED over fluorescent are considerable. LED lights consume less energy, produce more light, generate less heat and the bulbs last much longer. Like all lighting, LED light fixtures can fail over time and that meant having to replace the entire fixture. However, Zoo Med has come out with a line of modular LED fixtures that not only offer the ability to replace the specific component that fail, but it is possible to mix and match the type of lighting that the fixture creates. The different LED types include a general light, plant and daylight modules. A demonstration of the AquaSun® LED Aquarium Fixture and Modules can be seen below.
If you have used this type of lighting fixture, make sure to stop by the Reviews Section and leave a review of AquaSun® LED line.
Tanganyika – Shell dweller tank. Tank of Merit May 2014. Photo and tank by rck1984
Some forum topics capture the interest of members more than others. One topic in the Aquarium Setup section was started just over six years ago and is still going strong today. With 2700+ replies and over 750,000 views, rate the the tank above you!!! is a topic to visit and participate in.
The idea is simple enough, rate the tank in the latest post and add a picture of your own tank. Although some of the pictures have been lost through the years, there is still lost of great tank ideas and discussions. If you are looking to see what people think of your tank, leave a comment and the picture of your tank. Hopefully the forum topic will last another 6 years.
Another terrific in the wild video from LightSearch3D showing Callochromis and Aulonocranus interacting in and around their bowers.
In the past, we’ve had a couple blogs about cichlid bowers in Lake Tanganyika. However, this video really shows the interaction of different cichlids in and around bowers. Not only are the Callochromis and Aulonocranus living next to each other and constantly facing off, but you can see a beautiful Ophthalmotilapia and even Oreochromis hanging around. Aulonocranus are one of the species known as featherfins, but there is nothing delicate about this fish when it comes to defending its nest.
You can read more about Callochromis in a Species Article by Brett Harrington. The picture below is a screen capture from the video. It shows an Ophthalmotilapia cruising right in front of the camera.
Ophthalmotilapia species. Screen capture from video.
We are working hard to keep the Reviews section of Cichlid-Forum updated. That includes the latest products and retailers. Reviews are a great way for all hobbyists to find new products and decide which products to purchase. However, without your help the product and retailer reviews won’t be helpful. If you’ve shopped with a new retailer or have tried a new product, stop by and give your review. If you find that what you are looking for isn’t there, submit a request and we will do our best to add it in a timely manner. Recently we’ve added the newest products from New Life Spectrum. Stop by, give your reviews and find out about their new line of medicated and algae pellets and gels.
Lipochromis sp. ‘Mwanza’ about to feed from an Enterochromis sp. ‘blue obliquidens’. Photo by Don Greg Steeves
The cichlids of Africa have evolved many distinct feeding behaviours. Some have specialized mouths and teeth for algae on rocks. Other species sift through the sand for organisms buried within it. Perhaps the most unusual feeding mechanism is employed by several species found in all three of the major African lakes. Paedophage cichlids are those that specialize in eating the young of other fish. They don’t just prey on young fry, they seek out and take fish from mouthbrooding females either by ramming the fry loose or by attaching themselves to the mother’s mouth and extracting the fry. Don Greg Steeves has witnessed both of these behaviours and was able to photograph one of these events. His article titled “Lipochromis sp. ‘Mwanza’ – Caught in the Act” can be found in the Library section and is the latest addition to an already extensive collection of species profiles.
The Texas Cichlid Association is having their annual Fall Show and Auction this September 26-28th. That is just two weeks away and registration is only $10 for the entire weekend. Confirmed speakers include John Nicholson and Greg Steeves. The event will include a fish show and entries will be accepted until Monday the 22nd. For class information, visit the Show Classes page. Sunday will be all about an auction. Expect to see many hard to find fish including C.A.R.E.S. species. If you live in Texas or Oklahoma, this is a show you shouldn’t miss. For more information visit the Texas Cichlid Association website – www.TexasCichlid.org/.
A great new product that offers the best of both worlds when it comes to cleaning your aquarium glass or acrylic. The Flipper aquarium cleaner has a soft cleaning pad on one side and on the other a scrapper for tougher jobs. As you can see from the demonstration on the video below, you can flip the Flipper without even getting your hands wet. The product comes with two different types of replaceable blades. A metal blade for glass aquariums and an ABS blade for acrylic aquariums. The soft cleaning pad can be used on both types of aquariums. For more information about the Flipper aquarium cleaner, visit FlipperCleaner.com.
Cichlid genome sequencing shows mechanism of evolution
The study showed that nature uses a variety of ways for animals to evolve in different environments. The cichlid genome sequencing is of special interest to scientist due to the evolutionary diversity that they have shown in a short period of time. Cichlids from the 3 main African lakes, along with 2 species of river cichlids were used in the sequencing. The research article can be seen on the online edition of Nature in pdf format.
Another book review by Pam Chin has been added to the Cichlid-Forum library. This review is for Featherfins in their Natural Habitat by Ad Konings. Featherfins is a term used to identify several species of fish from Lake Tanganyika. These fish are beautiful and delicate cichlids that are popular with advanced hobbyists. They require large tanks in order to build their nests and do best if other aggressive fish aren’t around. Males will display amazing colors while courting females. If you are a featherfin fan or are interested in learning about these amazing fish, take a look at Pam Chin’s review of Featherfins in their Natural Habitat.
Ophthalmotilapia nasuta Kipili. Photo by Jocke Sternborn CC BY-SA 3.0