Amazon deforestation declined in last year

amazon deforestation

Amazon deforestation. Photo courtesy of NASA.

Amazon deforestation has declined by 18% over the last year. An estimated 1,870 square miles of rain forest were destroyed between August 2013 and July 2014, down from 2,275 sq. miles over the same period the year before. A new conservation bill is credited with helping to reduce deforestation. Despite the apparent gains in the reduction of rain forest loss, environmentalist are sounding the alarm that deforestation may be on an upswing. Conservation of the rain forest directly affects the native habitats of many cichlid species popular in the hobby. Runoff from deforestation and chemicals used in the subsequent farming surrounding the river have resulted in drops of native species. For more information on declines in the Amazon rain forest, visit the articles on and

Petco to purchase Drs. Foster and Smith


The largest online retailer of pet products is being purchased by one of the largest pet supply retailers. Most of us have at the very least browsed Drs. Foster and Smith’s website for the latest products and pricing. What this buy-out holds for the future of Drs. Foster and Smith is uncertain. Will they shift their products and pricing to match the availability of what is found at most Petco stores or will they maintain their own product lines and pricing? A real bonus for hobbyists will be if the Petco pricing will be comparable or matching online prices. Only time will tell. For information of the upcoming deal, visit PR Newswire.

2000 Gallon Tanganyikan Project

2000 gallon

2000 Gallon Tanganyikan Project. Photo by h0nkzz

An excellent topic for anyone who likes big tanks or is thinking of building their own large tank. The 2000 Gallon Tanganyikan Project topic documents the construction each step of the way, from bare concrete walls to finished product. The topic creator, h0nkzz, answers questions and addresses concerns from other forum members. Stop by to check out the project and give your input. Hopefully it will be fully stocked and submitted into the Aquarium Gallery. The 2000 Gallon Tanganyikan Project thread can be found in the Lake Tanganyika species forum. A special thanks to h0nkzz for taking the time to document the entire project and sharing it on the forum.

Labidochromis sp. “gigas mara”

Labidochromis sp.

Labidochromis sp. “gigas mara”. Photo by Ad Konings

It’s probably safe to say that anyone who has ever had a Lake Malawi mbuna tank has at one point or another kept at least one Labidochromis caeruleus. Commonly known as a yellow lab, the L. caeruleus with its bright yellow color and mild temperament is a mainstay of many hobbyist’s aquariums. Aside from the yellow lab and maybe a Labidochromis sp. “Hongi”, most hobbyists have little experience with other Labidochromis species. However, the variety of colors and sizes of other Labidochromis species should not be overlooked. For instance, the Labidochromis sp. “gigas mara” pictured above is a perfect example of the different varieties of Labidochromis available. Granted, most stock lists won’t include much more than the yellow labs or Hongi, but some importers and breeders do have them available. They add wonderful colors and make for interesting discussion. As an added bonus, they are less likely to cross-breed with your Pseudotropheus.

To see some pictures of the other Labidochromis species from Lake Malawi, visit the Labidochromis Profiles page.

Aquatic Experience in Chicago

aquatic experience

Following their debut event last year which drew thousands of attendees, Aquatic Experience is hosting their second show in Chicago on November 7-9. The event will bring together many of the largest aquarium product manufacturers under one roof. Expect to see products and exhibits for all types of aquarium fish, not just cichlids. Tickets for the event start at $10 per day to get you in the door, with additional packages that include access to all seminars. This is a must-see event if you are or will be in the Chicago area the weekend of the show. For more information on Aquatic Experience, visit their website

Pelvicachromis taeniatus group gets revision

Pelvicachromis taeniatus

Pelvicachromis drachenfelsi sp. Photos from journal publication.

A recent publication might be shaking up the naming of the Pelvicachromis taeniatus group. Pelvicachromis is a genus of colorful, small cichlids found mostly in the streams of West Africa. A resent study by Anton Lamboj, Daniela Bartel & Emiliano Dell’Ampio using coloration and DNA comparisons proposes that all the variants of Pelvicachromis taeniatus are in fact two different species. According to the study, the Pelvicachromis found in Cameroon should be classified as Pelvicachromis taeniatus.

The study can be found HERE. If you would like to see more pictures of Pelvicachromis, make sure the visit the Species Profiles.

New article highlights Haplochromines

new article

Lithochromis rufus from Mwanza. Photo by Don Greg Steeves

A new article has been added to the Library highlighting some of the “Haplochromines” that have become available in the hobby. Despite most of the attention on Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika cichlids, Lake Victoria Basin cichlids have been in the hobby for over 50 years. Since then many species have been collected and introduced into North America and Europe. Some of which are believed to be extinct in their native waters. If you’d like to learn more the history of “Haplochromines” in the hobby and see some great photos of some rare specimens, check out the New to the hobby Haplochromines article by Don Greg Steeves.

Oil exploration set to begin in Lake Malawi

oil exploration

Nkhata Bay, Lake Malawi. Photo by JackyR. CC BY-SA 3.0

Shortly after a call for referendum on oil exploration in Lake Malawi, a UAE oil company was given the go-ahead to begin looking for oil. Hamra Oil Holdings Limited, based in the United Arab Emirates, will begin exploration in various districts along Lake Malawi. Most notably is Nkhata Bay, where many cichlids popular in the hobby can only be found. They include Cynotilapia zebroides Nkhata Bay, Labidochromis caeruleus Nkhata Bay and Aulonocara sp. “Chitande Type North”. Oil exploration poses an additional threat to these and many other species of cichlids in Lake Malawi. To read about this developing story, visit the article on the Nyasa Times website.

Tropheus moorii “Murago Tanzania” video

A new video from African Diving Ltd in their Lake Tanganyika Cichlids in the Wild series. This video focuses mostly on the Tropheus moorii “Murago Tanzania” variant.

This stunning in the wild video not only talks about Tropheus in general, but also tells a story of a particular variant of Tropheus moorii. T. moorii “Murago” is a variant with unusual bright spots on its head. Its collection location was a closely guarded secret. Then one day a similar looking variant was found on the opposite side of the lake and named Tropheus moorii “Murago Tanzania”. Whether you are a fan of Tropheus or not, this video has some great footage and is a must-see for all cichlid fans. To find out more about Tropheus, visit the Tropheus Corner in the Library.

Tropheus moorii

Tropheus moorii “Murago Tanzania”. Screen capture from African Diving Ltd video.

Apistogramma ortegai described

Apistogramma ortegai

Apistogramma ortegai. Male (top) and female (bottom). Photos from publication.

A new species of Apistogramma has been described in a publication by Ricardo Britzke, Claudio Oliveira & Sven O. Kullander. Titled Apistogramma ortegai (Teleostei: Cichlidae), a new species of cichlid fish from the Ampyiacu River in the Peruvian Amazon basin, this species brings together what was thought to be two separate species; Apistogramma sp. “Pebas” and “Papagei”. The differences between the two weren’t significant enough for them to be considered two separate species.

Apistogramma is a genus consisting of about 100 separate species found in the rivers and streams of South America. They are very colorful and can be housed in smaller tanks. For more information on Apistogramma, take a look at all the South American Dwarf articles in the Library.