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.
New species of catfish named after Star Wars character
A new species of South American catfish was discovered during a visit to a Brazilian museum over 10 years ago. The discovery was just recently published in a research article. The article included 3 new catfish species, but most notable was one named after a Star Wars character. Pictured above is Peckoltia greedoi and Rodian bounty hunter Greedo. Yes, someone thought the new species of catfish looked like the character Greedo and that is how the fish got it name. Details on Peckoltia greedoi and the 2 other species can be found on the Peckoltia greedoi.
Exochochromis anagenys is a predatory cichlid from Lake Malawi. The nickname “Three Spot Torpedo” accurately describes its shape and markings. Its genus name is widely misspelled as Exochromis.
Exochochromis anagenys‘ shape and mouth scream predator. It will swallow anything it can fit in its mouth. Reaching a foot in length, E. anagenys needs a large tank. Despite eating anything small enough to fit in its mouth, this fish has a mild temperament and may not do well with overly aggressive fish. Seeing a mature adult in a tank is an impressive sight. Its streamlined shape and yellow coloration can be the highlight of any tank.
It is reported that this mouthbrooder is difficult to spawn. Most likely a combination of needing a lot of room and that it simply does not spawn very often. If you would like to learn more about this species, read the Species Article in the library by Sam Miller.
Taeniolethrinops laticeps builds pit shaped bowers. Photo by Ad Konings.
Another study was recently published about cichlid bowers. This study, titled “Evolution of bower building in Lake Malawi cichlid fish: phylogeny, morphology, and behavior”, tries to determine why some cichlids from Lake Malawi evolved as bower builders. Researchers not only came up with with various reasons why bowers are built, but they also tried to understand why species build them so differently from one another. For instance, Taeniolethrinops laticeps pictured above builds a pit while Taeniolethrinops furcicauda builds a tall castle. Anyway, a simple synopsis of the study can be found on Newsweek.com. If you would like to get a more detailed look at the study, visit Frontiers.
Skip to the 2:00 mark to see some of the amazing cichlid bowers. The video gives some perspective on their size and shapes.
Altolamprologus compressiceps pair. Photo by Russ Fairburn.
Altolamprologus is a Genus of cichlids from Lake Tanganyika comprised of two species; calvus and compressiceps. Their appearance is rather unique among cichlids with their laterally compressed body and upturned snout. Make no mistake, these fish are predators and they look the part. In recent years, finding adult specimens has become difficult as imports have dwindled.
For those that do have adult specimens, breeding and raising Altolamprologus can be a challenge. The species is known for exceptionally high mortality rates. Fortunately Russ Fairburn, who has been breeding them for 10 years, has put together an article to help increase survival rates. The article contains detailed information of sex ratios, water quality and foods, along with many great pictures. If breeding these species is something your are interested in or would like to just read about Russ’ experiences, check out the new article in the Breeding section of the library. For discussion on Altolamps, visit the Lake Tanganyika section of the forum.