Haplochromis cyaneus, originally known as Haplochromis sp. “blue rockpicker”, was found in the southeastern part of Lake Victoria. The collection points for this fish was around Makobe Island. Unfortunately, like many species from Lake Tanganyika, H. cyaneus has not been seen in its native waters for a few years. To make matters worse, the species has also been disappearing from the hobby.
It is these situations where organizations like the C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program are so important. When it may already be too lake to preserve the fish in its native habitat, hobbyists can insure the continued survival of the species by housing, breeding and distributing fish. You can read more about the C.A.R.E.S. in the article by Lee Ann Steeves; C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program.
A special thanks to Greg Steeves from AfricanCichlids.net for his wonderful Haplochromis cyaneus photograph.
The Species Profiles section is adding new content! Over that last couple months, many new images have been added to the already great catalog of images. There have also been some corrections to reflect reclassification of species and all new profiles. These changes happen periodically and here at Cichlid-Forum try to keep up. Comments have also been updated on some species.
The Species Profiles section has been here since the site began. You’ll notice the new images reflect improvements in digital photography quality. You may not find new pictures for specific species, but hopefully over time, they will be added to all species. Check out the Profiles, you might just find that the fish you’ve been interested in has a new picture.
Despite all the species lost in Lake Victoria, Lithochromis xanthopteryx is still believed to inhabit Mwanza Gulf in southern Lake Victoria. Unfortunately, decrease water visibility has made it difficult to determine just how well this species is holding up. It is the same water clarity issues, caused by runoff, that pose a danger to the continued survival of L. xanthopteryx.
In the wild, Lithochromis xanthopteryx lives around steep rocky slopes consuming mostly insect larva, small fishes and some cyanobacteria. This species can be aggressive to other species, but more so to other L. xanthopteryx. Four foot tanks with plenty of hiding places are recommended. As this species matures, the body color becomes almost black while the fins become a bright, almost red orange. This species can be discussed in the Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species forum.
Scaleless black fish. Photo by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
This fish is definitely not a cichlid, but its discovery along with other unusual fish found in an extinct undersea volcano are worth noting. The discovery of the fish is only part of the story. An undersea mapping expedition revealed four previously unknown undersea volcanoes just 200 miles off the coast of Sydney. The discovery of the volcanoes and juvenile fish challenges previous notions of where young fish develop. It was previously thought that most young fish developed in coastal estuaries. Undersea volcanoes and other seamounts or oceanic ridges may provide places where young fish can begin their lives.
To read more about the discoveries and see more pictures of these unusual fish, visit DailyMail.com.
Neolamprologus tretocephalus. Photo by Dave Hansen
Neolamprologus tretocephalus is a predatory fish that makes its home along mixed zones of rocks and sand. Its primary food sources are snails and small mollusks, but small fish and fry will not be passed up. N. tretocephalus, trets for short, are highly aggressive fish that rarely play well with others. Tank mates should be carefully chosen, not only for compatibility but also for dietary requirements. Being a predator, trets need foods high in protein. Tank mates should be similarly sized fish that can occupy different zones of the aquarium.
Trets are cave spawners and both parents will aggressively protect their territory and young. Sexing trets is difficult and it is best to obtain a small group and look out for a pair to form. Once paired, others should be removed from tank. Because of their aggressive nature, trets are not always recommended for beginner hobbyists. To discuss Neolamprologus tretocephalus, visit the Lake Tanganyika forum.
The BBC has put out a short video report on the fish export business in Lake Malawi.
Titled Malawi’s fishy export business, the report shows the collection part of the fish trade from the perspective of David Nkwazi, managing director of Stuart M. Grant Limited. Stuart Grant was one of the first fish collectors in Lake Malawi. 40 years later, his collection business is still going strong and also does diving tours in the lake. The Stuart M. Grant Cichlid Conservation Fund strives to preserve the natural resources of Lake Malawi through responsible fish collecting and stopping illegal fishing.
Tilapia (Coptodon) bythobates. Photo by Greg Steeves
Tilapia bythobates is endemic to a tiny volcanic Lake Bermin in Cameroon. Although not officially classified, the species commonly goes by the name Coptodon bythobates. Like other volcanic lake cichlids in the region, T. bythobates lives in low-oxygen waters and is in constant danger of CO2 poisoning from gases released by the volcano. In other crater lakes, volcanic gases have not only killed the lake’s inhabitants, but people and wildlife in the surrounding area. This CO2 releases along with deforestation and agricultural runoff have put this species in the critically endangered category.
Another great video from African Cichlid Hub. This one is from Ndumbi Rocks in Lake Malawi.
Ndumbi Rocks is a location just north of Likoma Island. If Ndumbi and Likoma sound familiar, it’s because there are several cichlid species that carry one of those names as a variant or collection point. Likoma is the largest island in Lake Malawi and a great source for many cichlid species found in the hobby.
The video is over 50 minutes long and you can see dozens of mbuna, Aulonocara and haps. Sit back and enjoy this great video. You might find something you’d like to have in your tank. For discussion on any Lake Malawi species, visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.
Tropheops sp. “Red Cheek” (Likoma). Photo by Ad Konings.
This uniquely colored cichlid can be found in the rivers and lakes of western Madagascar. Like many species from Madagascar, Paretroplus kieneri has not broken into the mainstream of the cichlid hobby where east African and New World species dominate. Along with being an out of the ordinary species comes the usual lack of information. We are fortunate to have an article by Sonia Guinane detailing her experiences with P. kieneri.
Paretroplus kieneri is endangered in its native waters, mostly due to the introduction of non-native invasive species and habitat destruction. Finding a tank to house this species can go a long way in insuring their survival. It wasn’t too long ago the world was looking for another Madagascar cichlid, Ptychochromis insolitus.
The American Cichlid Association will be holding their annual convention in just 30 days. This year’s event will be hosted by the New England Cichlid Association in Springfield, Massachusetts. The ACA Convention is arguably the nation’s best and largest event for cichlid fans. The 4-day event will feature guest speakers, a fish show, banquet and an auction on the final day. This year’s speakers include Ad Konings, Dr. Paul Loiselle, Laif DeMason and Rusty Wessel to name a few. Expect to see beautiful fish, vendors and lots of fish sales.