Ptyochromis sp. “salmon”. Photo by Patrick Eriksson.
A new article by Greg Steeves has been added to the site’s library. Greg has kept cichlids for many years but is best known for his work with Lake Victoria Basin cichlids. The latest article, Ptyochromis sp. “salmon”, describes the species that gained some popularity in the hobby when it first became available. Since then the popularity of P. sp. “salmon” has diminished, but it is still available on stock lists from time to time.
Ptyochromis sp. “salmon”, also known in the hobby as Hippo Point salmon from its collection point, has an coloration not found in many species. The male’s pink or salmon colored body are an attractive standout in any tank. P. sp. “salmon” can be kept with a variety of species provided they aren’t too aggressive, especially if you want the males to display their trademark coloration. For more information on about P. sp. “salmon”, diet, breeding and suitable tankmates, check out the newest library article. For discussion visit the Lake Victoria Basin forum.
A short video showing Nimbochromis linni by PISCES.
Nimbochromis linni is a predator found throughout Lake Malawi. This species inhabits rocky areas near the shore where it hunts smaller fish. N. linni will remain motionless waiting for an opportunity to catch its prey. Using its protractile mouth which expands and can suck fish out of their rocky hiding places.
In the aquarium, Nimbochromis linni can reach 10+ inches. Since they normally live a solitary life, N. linni can be aggressive toward its own species. Due to their size and possible aggression issues, these fish need very large aquariums when fully grown. To discuss N. linni visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.
Male Tramitichromis brevis at Mara Point. Photo by Ad Konings
Widespread throughout Lake Malawi, Tramitichromis brevis spend their time over the muddy or sandy bottom at a depth of about 50 feet. Their food source of small invertebrates is caught by scooping up mouthfuls of sand and sifting it out their gills as seen in the picture above. In the wild, males will build crater nest in the sand in order to attract females.
Tramitichromis brevis is found in the hobby usually going by the names “Lethrinops variabilis” and “Lethrinops chizumulu”. Males grow over 6″ in length and can be a little territorial when breeding. A large tank with a sandy bottom is best, especially to encourage their natural feeding and spawning behavior. Best kept in groups of many females to each male. To discuss T. brevis visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.
Pundamilia sp. “black widow”. Photo by Greg Steeves
A strikingly colored Lake Victoria cichlid that has worked itself into the hobby over the last couple years. Little is known about the true origins of Pundamilia sp. “black widow” or if it has already made the rounds under a different name. Regardless, P. sp. “black widow” is an attractive fish. Its black body and multi-color fins make the males stand out from other fish. Females of the species can at times display a dark body but usually lack the fin coloration.
For those who can manage to get their hands on Pundamilia sp. “black widow” some warnings are in order. Males can be quite aggressive and are best kept in groups of a single male with multiple females. Because their origins are unknown and the species name is not official, extra care should be taken when selecting tankmates. Avoid anything that might even remotely resemble this species not only in color but also body shape. All Pundamilia species should be avoided and many other Lake Victoria Basin species. To discuss P. sp. “black widow” visit the Lake Victoria Basin forum.
Tyrannochromis macrostoma in the wild. Photo by Ad Konings
Commonly known as the big-mouth hap, Tyrannochromis macrostoma is widespread throughout Lake Malawi. Adults can be found in deeper shores along rocky areas. T. macrostoma is a piscivore and mbuna are what is usually on the menu.
Tyrannochromis macrostoma isn’t seen much in the hobby although it is available. These fish can get quite large, 12+ inches, so large tanks are a must. T. macrostoma usually isn’t very aggressive, but with their large mouth anything that will fit into it is fair game. For breeding, they are best kept in groups of one male to multiple females. Females will hold the developing fry for quite a long time before releasing them. Males can be intolerant and aggressive toward holding females, so other fish (more females or dithers) are needed in order to distract him. To discuss Tyrannochromis macrostoma, visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.
The Greater Seattle Aquarium Society will be holding their massive yearly April auction in less than 3 weeks. If you live in the Seattle area make sure to reserve April 23rd to attend. Although the GSAS holds small auctions at every meeting, this month’s auction will be large and serves as the organization’s main fundraiser.
The Greater Seattle Aquarium Society has over 300 members who live mostly in Seattle and surrounding areas. It offers monthly meetings, auctions, parties and special events. Members can take advantage of a book and video library as well as recordings from previous meeting presentations. For more information on the auction or becoming a member, visit the club’s website at www.gsas.org.
Endemic to the Nosivolo River in Eastern Madagascar, Katria katria is a species not often seen in the hobby. Originally classified as Ptychochromoides katria, K. katria was given its own genus in 2006. Males can grow up to 6 inches and will develop a nuchal hump as they mature. They can be aggressive so a large tank with plenty of cover is a must. Tankmates should be hardy by not overly aggressive.
In the wild, Katria katria live in fast moving rivers with a high oxygen content. Although strong currents aren’t needed in a tank, well oxygenated water is a must. Breeding takes place in typical egg-layer fashion, usually on the side of rocks or small caves. However, successfully breeding K. katria can be elusive. To discuss K. katria visit the Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species forum.
A short video from LightSearch showing the boulder-filled waters of southern Lake Tanganyika.
The vast differences of habitats in Lake Tanganyika almost make it seem as if they couldn’t belong in the same lake. This lake has everything from endless sandy terrains to rocky cliffs, or in the case of Katete, boulders all over the bottom. The different biotopes drive the nature of the fish that live within them. The video above shows several species that thrive among the rocks for protection or a food source. Lots of juvenile fish can be seen hugging the rocks along with mature herbivores grazing on algae. Discussion on Lake Tanganyika species can be done in the lake’s forum.
Tropheus sp. “Red” Nkamba Bay Chilanga, close to Katete. Photo by Dave Hansen.
Pundamilia x Neochromis hybrid cichlid. Photo from publication
A recent publication details how a female hybrid cichlid, in this case a cross between a female Pundamilia pundamilia and a male Neochromis omnicaeruleus, developed male reproductive organs and self-fertilized. While very rare, self-fertilization does happen among vertebrate species. The hybrid cichlid was the offspring of two somewhat closely related Lake Victoria Basin species. This female went on to have a total of 14 different broods while isolated. Of all those broods only 17 offspring reached maturity, 2 males and 15 females. The results of testing on all the fish in this study are found on the Royal Society Publishing website.
Haplochromis sp. “KK Beach”. Photo by Greg Steeves
The Hill Country Cichlid Club will be hosing a very special meeting on April 23rd. Guest speaker will be Jose Gonzales and will probably involve Madagascar cichlids and/or endangered species. That is not all, the HCCC meeting will also include a rare fish auction and a tour of the Water Garden Gems in Marion, TX. The rare fish auction will include Haplochromis sp. “KK Beach” (pictured above), Thoracochromis sp. “flavententis”, Mbipia lutea, and many other out of the ordinary species. For more information on this upcoming HCCC event visit their Facebook Event Page.
If you live in South Texas or can find a way to make it to Marion, TX area (about 30 miles from downtown San Antonio), this Hill Country Cichlid Club event will be well worth it.