Marañón River. Photo by David Hill from the article on Mongabay.com (CC BY-ND 4.0)
The source of the Amazon River, the Marañón River, is being threatened by a proposed 20 dam project. The Peru government wants to build the 20 dams along the main trunk of the Marañón River in order to meet demands for more energy. Environmentalists have claimed that the dams pose a threat to the entire Amazon River Basin. Dams can have a significant negative impact on native fish populations. Cichlid species native to the Marañón River include Crenicara punctulatum (checkeredboard cichlid) and Symphysodon (discus). To read more about the dam project and its impact on the Amazon River, check out the article on Mongabay.com.
Despite the similarity in name and shape, Paracyprichromis nigripinnis is quite different from the more common Cyprichromis. Paracyprichromis are not open water swimmers like Cyprichromis. Instead, Paracyprichromis prefer to stay close rock walls and along rocky bottoms. Both males and females display the neon blue striping, although the male’s tends to be more prominent. They are best kept in groups with fish that aren’t too aggressive and make great additions to Tanganyikan community tanks.
If you think you might want to keep a group of Paracyprichromis nigripinnis, head over to the Lake Tanganyika forum for advice on good tank mates and group sizes.
A new article has been added to the cichlid conservation section of the library. The article titled C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program, highlights a program which all cichlid hobbyists should be involved. The best part of the program is that you can participate by keeping fish in your tanks.
The C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program is about ensuring that endangered species a cichlids survive. The C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program lists its 4 major objectives:
1. to bring AWARENESS to the critical situation of fish in nature, while EDUCATING the public and stressing the importance of our roles as RESPONSIBLE aquarists;
2. to RECOGNIZE, ENCOURAGE, and offer SUPPORT to hobbyists who maintain species at risk;
3. to SHARE fish as well as data and experiences through notes and manuscripts so that others may learn to maintain those identical and similar species; and
4. to PRESERVE species at risk for future generations.
It is easy to participate. All you have to do is keep an endangered species in your tank. Check out Lee Ann Steeves’ article in the library and then visit the C.A.R.E.S. website to see how you can participate.
An improperly labeled container thought to contain a parasite treatment led to the deaths of almost all fish in three exhibits at the Texas State Aquarium. Islands of Steel (pictured above), a 125,000 gallon aquarium representing a Gulf of Mexico oil platform habitat, was one of the affected exhibits.
Workers at the Texas State Aquarium treated a smaller aquarium with a parasite treatment and everything went well. They proceeded to treat other tanks with the same chemical from a different container. Unfortunately the second container was mislabeled. Instead of a common parasite treatment, the aquariums were dosed with a chemical used in film processing. It is unclear where the mix up occurred. For more information, visit the Dallas Morning News website.
The Greater Chicago Cichlid Association is holding their annual convention in just over a month. The GCCA Cichlid Classic will take place Memorial Day weekend, May 22nd to May 24th at the Best Western Plus in Hillside, IL. Speakers include Rusty Wessel, Don Greg Steeves, Chuck Davis, Sandy Moore, and Steve Lunblad. Activities include a fish show, dinner banquet, auction, vendor booths, and lots of fish for sale.
In its 40 years, the GCCA has been in mainstay of cichlid hobbyists in the greater Chicago area. If you live in the Chicago area would like to do something for Memorial Day weekend, consider the 2015 GCCA Cichlid Classic. For more information including registration, hotel and schedule, visit the Classic Show Overview pages.
Telmatochromis brachygnathus is a shell dweller from central and southern Lake Tanganyika. While closely related to T. temporalis, T. brachygnathus differs with a more slender body and a concave face. These fish make their homes in neothauma shells or along rocks.
This species isn’t common in the U.S., but they do become available from time to time. If you do manage to get some, make sure you provide shells or lots of rocks from cover. They can be quite shy and rely also rely on the safety for shells and crevices for their young. To discuss Telmatochromis brachygnathus visit the Lake Tanganyika forum.
Callochromis stappersii is a small cichlid that can be found throughout Lake Tanganyika’s sandy bottoms. Their silver color shimmers and is highlighted with bright reds on the fins. They are carnivorous, feeding on insect larvae and small crustaceans filtered from the sand. Don’t be fooled by this sand-dwellers’ size and delicate appearance. C. stappersii can be very aggressive, especially to members of its own species. If you plan on keeping them, make sure you keep only one male and multiple females in a large tank. Callochromis stappersii isn’t for everyone and really requires a large, sandy-bottom tank to really display their colors and behavior, especially when breeding.
If this is a species you might want to consider, visit the Lake Tanganyika forum to discuss proper tank setups and possible tankmates.
A great video showing a pair of Paretroplus menarambo spawning. This video was taken by one of our very own moderators.
Paretroplus menarambo is a species from Madagascar. This species was considered extinct in the wild with specimens only existing in zoos and hobbyists’ tanks. While the species is no longer found in its original home, Lake Sarodrano, a population has been located in the small Lake Tseny. Conservation efforts are underway to ensure that P. menarambo along with a couple other endangered species of Paretroplus are kept safe from habitat destruction and fishing in Lake Tseny.
The video above shows a rare glimpse of a pair of P. menarambo spawning. While spawns appear to be large in offspring, this species isn’t very popular in the hobby and specimens are hard to come by for those looking to keep them. Sometimes they are available on stock lists or through other hobbyists. Discussion on Paretroplus can be done in the Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species forum.
Paretroplus menarambo. Photo by Robert De Leon at Dave’s Rare Aquarium Fish.
Interochromis loocki is one of those species found throughout Lake Tanganyika, yet relatively rare. Its rarity carries over into the hobby as well. When this species does become available, it is often misnamed under some type of young Petrochromis. This is quite possibly due to the similar appearance between young I. loocki and various young Petrochromis species. I. loocki is also found feeding in the same areas and among Tropehus and Petrochromis.
From the limited information available on this species, they don’t get as large as Petrochromis although some people have reported them up to 6 inches. Interochromis loocki is a maternal mouthbrooder that spends its days scraping algae and small organism from rocks. A diet high in vegetable matter is recommended with some protein mixed in. Below is a video showing I. loocki housed with some Tropheus. If you would like to discuss this I. loocki, it can be done in the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.
Female Cynotilapia sp. “hara” holding her fry. Photo by T. Montgomery (GTZ)
Some great photography can be found in the forum. A great example is a topic by our own GTZ showing some closeups of mbuna and Tropheus. The topic titled “Some Pics” not only has many detailed photos, but as the topic progresses there is some discussions about camera settings. For those of use that always struggle trying to get good photos, knowing what settings other people use really helps.
Stop by, check out the many great mbuna and Tropheus pictures and maybe join the discusion in the “Some Pics” topic.