Ohio Cichlid Association Winter Auction

Ohio Cichlid Association Winter Auction

The Ohio Cichlid Association Winter Auction. Beat cabin fever and get some incredible deals on cichlids, catfish and dry goods. The auction will be held on February 9, 2013. Registration is between 10am and 12pm. Auction begins at 11am. Holiday Inn – Strongsvile – 15471 Royalton Road. Located at I-71 and Route 82 just 10 minutes south of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. For more information, including auction rules, auction flyer and seller form, visit the OCA Winter Auction page.

The OCA brings together cichlid and catfish enthusiasts to increase the enjoyment of the fish keeping hobby. The OCA meets on the first Friday of every month except July in Cleveland, Ohio. The OCA year is centered around three major events: the OCA Winter Auction in February, the OCA Fishy Swap Meet in Fall, and the OCA Extravaganza. The OCA Extravaganza is the world’s largest cichlid and catfish convention, and is organized by the OCA every year on the weekend before Thanksgiving in Cleveland Ohio.

Out of the Ordinary: Petrochromis sp. “Red” Bulu Point

Petrochromis sp. Red

Petrochromis sp. “Red” Bulu Point. Photo by Sarah Roberts

Petrochromis sp. “Red” Bulu Point is not the type of cichlid most hobbyist are likely to keep. Like other Petrochromis, P. sp. “Red” is a large cichlid with aggression and diet considerations. However, seeing a tank full of them is stunning and not something you will soon forget. I have often run scenarios through my mind of how I could somehow keep a tank of them. Unfortunately my conclusion is always the same: not right now.

Found in deep waters of Lake Tanganyika, P. sp. “Red” is often difficult to find and not collected often. P. sp. “Red” can grow to over 10 inches and have a voracious appetite. Petros are highly aggressive toward other Petros. A tank with a dozen can quickly become a tank with a single male. Despite this, Petros have very little aggression toward other genera. If you are thinking of possible housing some in a large tank with some frontosa, dietary issues would make them unsuitable tank mates. It is recommended Petros be fed a vegetarian diet like spirulina flakes or pellets. For anyone thinking of keeping Petrochromis, make sure you read the Care and Maintenance of Petrochromis article by Leigh Kissane. If you want specific information of P. sp. “Red”, Greg Pierson has written an article titled Petrochromis sp. “Red – Bulu Point”. Both articles are very informative and have some great pictures.

Outdoor cichlid pool in South Texas

Thanks to the relatively mild winter weather in South Texas, it is possible to keep an outdoor cichlid pool year round. Greg Steeves of AfricanCichlids.net has experimented through the years with in-ground ponds, small kiddie pools and most recently a rather large above-ground pool. The article Raising Cichlids Outside was written several years ago and details some of his early outdoor cichlid pool projects. Since then Greg has upgraded to much larger, adult sized pools. Normally the fish would be caught and brought indoors when the temperatures began to drop. Last year it was decided to keep the outdoor cichlid pool running through the winter.

Outdoor cichlid pool

So armed with a pool sand filter, large pump, a very powerful heater and a 16′ above ground pool, the experiment continued. The pool holds around 5500 gallons of water and was stocked with various cichlid species from Lake Malawi and the Lake Victoria Basin. The fish included Pseudotropheus acei, Ps. flavus, Ps. saulosi, Ps. lombardoi, Astatotilapia latisfaciata, Paralabidochromis sauvagei, and Labidochromis caeruleus. After the first cold snap in South Texas, the solar blanket was peeled back and the video below was shot. As you can see, the fish look good and active. The large heater held the water temparature between 67-72 degrees despite the outside temperatures of 20 degrees. Hopefully Greg will write a more detailed follow up Raising Cichlids Outside II.

Lake Victoria species may help cure heart disease

Pundamilia nyererei. Lake Victoria

Pundamilia nyererei, Lake Victoria. Photo by Robert De Leon

Researchers are studying a cichlid species from Lake Victoria in hopes that the fish’s regenerative abilities can be used to cure heart disease in humans. Pundamilia nyererei can regrow damaged heart tissue at the rate of 20% within weeks of being damaged. The British Medical Foundation hopes this ability can lead to new treatments for people who have suffered heart damage. Although it is not thought that P. nyererei repairing ability can prevent heart problems, they do show promise in repairing damage. The article in AllAfrica.com goes on to say that this same fish, also known as a Zebra fish, was responsible for the development of the cholesterol-lowering drug rosuvastatin (Crestor).

The AllAfrica.com article states that a study published in the Journal of European Urology credits Zebra fish embryos for the development of rosuvastatin. However, no scientific name is given for the Zebra fish in the abstract I read (unfortunately this study isn’t available for free). The abstract can be found here. It is important to note that Zebra fish could be a common name for multiple different species. This is the problem with using common names, but that is for another blog. P. nyererei, like many of the native cichlid species of Lake Victoria have been devastated by the introduction of non-native commercial fish, pollution and now the spread of water hyacinth in many parts of the lake. If it turns our that P. nyererei and other species from Lake Victoria hold benefits in medical research, perhaps a bigger effort can be mounted to protect what is left of native cichlids from the lake. Lake Victoria is often used as an example of what evolution can create in a short period of time, it is not surprising that species from the lake can provide medical breakthroughs not found elsewhere.

**UPDATE: Just heard from a forum member. Turns out the Zebra fish used in the development of rosuvastatin was a danio rerio.

Out of the Ordinary: Julidochromis dickfeldi “midnight blue”

Julidochromis dickfeldi "midnight blue". Photo by Dave Hansen

Julidochromis dickfeldi “midnight blue”. Photo by Dave Hansen

Not much is known about the origins of Julidochromis dickfeldi “midnight blue”. If they exist in the wild, its location has never been made available. The story I heard about 10 years ago was that a regular pair of J. dickfeldi spawned and some or all of the offspring had the “midnight blue” color. Once two of the new color variant spawn, all their offspring also have the same color. Other than the difference in color, J. dickfeldi “midnight blue” act just like normal J. dickfeldi. They appear occasionally on retailer price lists and would make a great addition to a community tank or a small tank with just the pair.

Discus in 100+ gallon tank

Here’s a quality video of some beautiful discus (Symphysodon aequifasciatus). At about 1:40 you’ll see feeding followed with brood care just past the 3:00 mark. For more information of keeping Discus, visit the Library’s Breeding Discus From a Beginner’s Perspective and My Experience Raising And Keeping Discus articles.

Lake Victoria, world’s most dangerous lake

Lake Victoria. Photo by Achim Mittler

Lake Victoria. Photo by Achim Mittler

Covering 27,000 square miles, Lake Victoria is the world’s second largest lake in terms area. Due to its size, Lake Victoria’s weather conditions can change rapidly creating sudden thunderstorms with six-foot waves. The severe weather together with small crafts and no life jackets contribute to an estimated 5000 deaths each year. Most of the fatalities are fisherman in small boats. In order to save lives, the World Health Organization led a project to bring cell phone text warning system for local fisherman. Read more about the dangers on Lake Victoria and the efforts to save lives at CNN.com and AlertNet.

Did you know…

Aulonocara sp. "tangerine". Photo by Dave Hansen

Aulonocara sp. “tangerine”. Photo by Dave Hansen

Fish have a system of sense organs used to detect motion and vibrations in the water. This sensory system is known as lateral lines and can be seen as a faint lines running lengthwise along the side of fish. These receptors can also be found around the eyes and lower jaw. Lateral lines help fish detect nearby predators and aid in navigation. Jacqueline Webb, a University of Rhode Island professor of biology, has demonstrated that cichlids in the genus Aulonocara, have widened lateral line canals that are highly sensitive to vibrations and water flows. Aulonocara don’t just use their sensory abilities to detect general water movement around them, but also use it for find prey under sediment by picking up tiny vibrations caused by the prey’s movement. For more on this study, visit Science Daily. You can also find more information on Aulonacara in our Peacock Corner.

Antibiotics becoming less effective in fish

Symphysodon aequifasciatus (Discus). Credit: Oregon State University

Symphysodon aequifasciatus (Discus). Credit: Oregon State University

It appears that the over use of antibiotics in the ornamental fish industry (cichlids included) has created drug resistant bacteria. Antibiotics are frequently used on healthy fish during shipping and captivity as a preventative measure. A study found some level of resistance to 9 different antibiotics used in the hobby. Resistance to tetracycline was found 77% of the time. As the drug resistance gets stronger, medications will no longer be effective. What once was easily treatable could become a death sentence. Another consequence of stronger, untreatable bacteria is an increase risk to people. Although transmission to humans is uncommon, it can become more frequent. For more information on this study visit Phys.org.

How to post pictures in the forum

How to post

Today it was brought to our attention that the instructions on how to post pictures to the forum were outdated and not working (thanks Chuck). Turns out most of the image hosting websites like Photobucket and Flickr have changed the way pictures are shared. So, we’ve done some updating of our own. Not only do we have instructions for 3 image hosting websites, but it only seemed appropriate that we include some pictures. If the image hosting website you use isn’t listed, it shouldn’t be much different from the instructions we put up. There may be some slight variations, but the concept is the same. There are also instructions for posting images the “old fashion” way and for embedding YouTube videos. If you are having problems posting pictures or have been reluctant to do it, take a look at the How To Post Pictures and Embed Youtube Videos topic.