Tropheus moorii Isanga OB
Tropheus moorii Isanga OB. Photo by Ad Konings
Tropheus moorii Isanga is one of the few species of Tropheus from Lake Tanganyika that comes in the orange blotch color pattern. This out of the ordinary OB Tropheus is sought after by enthusiasts, but its availability is limited and often expensive. Like other Tropheus, T. moorii Isanga males and females look alike, with males being generally a little larger. They are best kept in large tanks at least 4 feet long. Because of their aggressive nature, keeping them in groups of at least 12 and providing some rock cover is a must. Diets high in vegetable/plant content will keep them healthy. Choosing tank makes for Tropheus can be difficult due to their dietary requirements and their high energy and aggression. Most of the time, it is best to keep them in species only tanks.
If you would like to discuss Tropheus moorii Isanga or any other of the many Tropheus species, head over to the Lake Tanganyika forum. There are also a series of Tropheus articles in the Tropheus Corner.
Neochromis omnicaeruleus species article
Neochromis omnicaeruleus Makobe Island. Photo by Don Greg Steeves.
Another great Lake Victoria species article courtesy of Don Greg Steeves has been added to the Species Profiles section. Neochromis omnicaeruleus is an interestingly colored cichlid found in several locations in Lake Victoria. Some are pie-bald while others are OB and even all blue. The article goes into detail about the different color patterns and their relation to sex and collection sites.
While this species isn’t particularly common in the hobby, it can be found on some stock lists or at auctions. Sometimes under the name of Haplochromis sp. ‘tricolor fulu’. Like many species from Lake Victoria, Neochromis omnicaeruleus is endangered. If you think you might be interested in keeping N. omnicaeruleus, the article includes a section about properly caring this species. Additional photos and details can be found in the Species Profile. Discussion on this species should be done in the Lake Victoria section of the forum.
Tanganyika Cichlids in their natural habitat 3rd Ed.
Tanganyika Cichlids in their natural habitat 3rd Edtion
The much anticipated third edition of Tanganyika Cichlids in their natural habitat by Ad Konings is finally here. It has been over 15 years since the last edition and there have been many changes. The third edition includes over 1200 images of all know Lake Tanganyika cichlids. Most of the images are of fish in their natural habitat. The book will be available on March 15th.
The 3rd edition includes taxonomic changes to Cyphotilapia, ‘Lamprologus’, Neolamprologus and many other genus as well as any new species discoveries. A must have for all Lake Tanganyika cichlid fans. More information on Tanganyika Cichlids in their natural habitat 3rd Edition can be found at the Cichlid Press website.
Geophagus mirabilis from Brazil
Geophagus mirabilis. Photo from publication by Oliver Lucanus.
A new species of Geophagus has been recently describe. Found in the Aripuanã drainage of northwestern Brazil, Geophagus mirabilis stands out from other fish in the Genus thanks to a series of large black spots found along its side.
The name Geophagus come from two Greek words meaning earth-eater. They get their name because they scoop up substrate into their mouths and sift it small invertebrates and plant matter. Geophagus can get quite large, but despite their size pose little threat to other species. Care should be taken with tank mates that may be too aggressive. To find out more about Geophagus mirabilis visit ufrgs.br for a copy of the publication in PDF.
Hormones and social status in cichlids
It wasn’t long after I started keeping cichlids that I started hearing about hormones and its effects on cichlids. Everything from stimulating breeding to restricting growth. One of the ideas was that a dominant fish could suppress the growth of other males thereby keeping possible contenders at bay. A study published in The Royal Society finds that hormones do play a role in the social and hierarchical structures of Neolamprologus pulcher, a cooperatively breeding cichlid from Lake Tanganyika. The study suggests higher levels of certain hormones found in sub-dominant may keep them submissive and facilitate social interaction between other sub-dominant fish.
To discuss this topic, visit the Lake Tanganyika forum.
Capital Cichlid Association event
The Capital Cichlid Association will be hosting its The Big Fish Deal event two weeks from now in Gaithersburg, MD. Hobbyists in the Washington and Baltimore area should start making preparation to attend the event on the weekend of February 27 – March 1. Speakers include Chuck Davis, Don Danko, Sandy Moore, and Larry Jinks. There will also be a rare fish auction Saturday night. Sunday will include a marketplace event where hobbyists and vendors can buy and sell their fish and fish related items.
For more information on the Capital Cichlid Association and their Big Deal Event, visit CapitalCichlids.org.
Ocean Swipe 360 makes cleaning a breeze
A new product in development promises to make the tedious process of aquarium glass cleaning a thing of the past. Billed as the first automated aquarium cleaner, the Ocean Swipe 360 can clean all 4 sides of your aquarium. It can even go around the corners and avoid obstacles.
While it will probably be expensive to have one of these on all your tanks, the benefits for anyone with a large, hard to clean aquarium are obvious. Especially for aquariums there reaching the sides or back are difficult or aquariums with large, cumbersome hoods. The system works with a rechargeable battery and can clean a 300 gallon aquarium in about 12 minutes. Plastic traces at the top and bottom of an aquarium enable the Ocean Swipe 360 to move around corners. You can get more information and view videos of the product on OceanSwipe360.com.
Golden mussels threaten Amazon River
Golden mussels. Photo by AP/Leo Correa
A tiny, invasive species from China is slowly making its way to the Amazon River threatening its ecosystem. Golden mussels arrived in Argentina in the early 1990s. Since then, they have spread northward toward the Amazon River Basin. Golden mussels (Limnoperna fortunei) reproduce quickly and upset the balance in waters they inhabit. For the local flora and fauna, it can be a disaster as changes in nitrogen and phosphorus levels trigger toxic algae blooms. Not only are fish and other animals threatened, but the mussels clog dams and water treatment plants.
For more information read the article on the U.S. News website.
New PBS series Earth: A New Wild
Examining a shelldweller. Image capture from series.
A new PBS series titled Earth: A New Wild premiered yesterday. The entire 5-part series is about the travels of Dr. M. Sanjayan to various wildernesses around the world. While all episodes will be in stunning HD, the fifth episode should be of special interest to African cichlid fans. It spends some time exploring various cichlid species, the environmental impacts on their habitat and the importance of various species for the health of humans. More information on this new PBS series and scheduled run-times can be found on PBS.org. Check your local listings for a repeat of the first episode.
Fishless Cycle library article
This Fishless Cycle article has been in the library for some time, but it hasn’t gotten much attention. If you don’t know what it means to cycle an aquarium, make sure to read the Nitrogen Cycle article.
The Fishless Cycle article, which can be found HERE, goes into detail explaining how to cycle your aquarium by using clear, additive free ammonia. The idea is that a tank can be prepared to support a large biological load of fish without endangering any fish. If you would like to experiment with this method, make sure you read the instructions carefully and follow all directions. Any questions you may have about fishless cycling should be directed to the Aquarium Setup forum.