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Illegal fishing blamed for extinction of 400 species in Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria fishing boats

Lake Victoria fishing boats

According to Kagera Regional Commissioner, Fabian Massawe, the mass extinctions in Lake Victoria are the results of illegal fishing and habitat distruction. The Kagera region is in Tanzania and borders the southwest part of Lake Victoria. Although habitat destruction has played a role in the loss of 400 species, the commissioner makes no mention of the Nile Perch or Tilapia. The commissioner knows the importance of perch and tilapia to the regions economy, but to completely ignore these fish played is the extinction of cichlids is simply irresponsible and unfortunately the mindset of many people who make decisions about the lake. To see this article for yourself, visit the DailyNews article.

BBC’s The Great Rift: Africa’s Wild Heart

The Great Rift: Africa’s Wild Heart is a BBC documentary series that was released in the U.S. under the name The Great Rift: Africa’s Greatest Story. The video is from the second episode titled Water. Everyone should view the entire series, but if you forward this video to 17:00, the documentary focuses on Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi. Great footage and very informative. Some of the content seems familiar but I’m not surprised since the series was a joint venture between the BBC and Animal Planet.

Lake Tanganyika night life

A video of some night diving in Lake Tanganyika showing some Synodontis, crabs, jellyfish, Tanganyikan eels (Aethiomastacembelus elipsifer) and a cichlid or two. Video is a compilations of some shorter clips taken in the waters near Kigoma.

Two Lake Victoria species newly described

Haplochromis argens and H. goldschmidti. Photo by Dr. Frans Witte

Two species from Lake Victoria have been formally describe. Haplochromis argens and H. goldschmidti are both zooplanktivorous of similar appearance but are indeed difference species. H. argens has been found in a couple of locations while H. goldschmidti only in one. H. argens is extremely rare and probably near extinction. The status of H. goldschmidti is unknown. Also notable is that H. goldschmidti was named after Tijs Goldschmidt, author of “Darwin’s Dreampond: Drama on Lake Victoria”. Darwin’s Dreampond is a scientific book written in a first-person narrative of Goldschmidt’s adventures as a field researcher. The book tells about the evolutionary story of the extraordinary “furu” and the events leading to extinction. For more information on this newly published paper, visit PenSoft.net.

Did you know…

There are OB (Orange Blotched) cichlid species in the three major lakes of Africa. Lake Victoria has Paralabidochromis chromogynos, Lake Tanganyika has Tropheus moorii (Kambwimba) and Lake Malawi has Labeotropheus fuelleborni. However, there are no naturally occurring OB Aulonocara (Peacocks) in Lake Malawi. Although now very common in the hobby, OB Peacocks are a man-created fish and shouldn’t be referred to as an Aulonocara species. OB Peacocks are most likely a cross between an Aulonocara and an OB mbuna. The exact mixture is unknown and there are probably different combinations that make up what is known as OB Peacocks. For more detailed information, check out the latest OB Peacock article.

Unusual relationship between 2 Asian cichlid species

Etroplus maculatus. Photo by Raghu Kuttan

We’ve all heard of animals that have a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship. For two species of Asian cichlids, this relationship is a little twisted. While observing Etroplus maculatus and Etroplus suratensis in the wild, a unusual behavior was observed. E. maculatus was seen cleaning parasites and fungus from E. suratensis. While E. suratensis undoubtedly benefits from having parasites removed from its body, it is not believed that E. maculatus gets much benefit from whatever it manages to consume. It appears the benefits to E. maculatus come from having healthy E. suratensis around. Healthy fish tend to reproduce more often and have more offspring. E. maculatus wants healthy fish because it loves to eat fish eggs and fry. To read more on this observed behavior, see the preliminary findings on Springer Link

Setting up a Central American planted tank

An instructional video detailing the steps to creating a beautiful Central American planted tank. The steps are pretty easy to follow and the end result looks great. A pair of Archocentrus multispinosus are shown in the finished tank.

African cichlid photography

bolly12345 has put together a video displaying some of his cichlid photography. Most of them are mbuna with a few haps and peacocks thrown in. He also has over 100 plus videos covering everything from setting up aquariums, maintenance, breeding and how to take better fish pictures. For more videos, visit the bolly12345′s African Cichlid Hub channel

Zoo and aquarium directory

Association of Zoos and Aquariums

If you want to find a zoo or aquarium in your area, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums provides a searchable directory of accredited facilities. The accreditation is done by the AZA, but it is helpful in finding locations that meet their standards. The AZA standards include professional facilities and a commitment to animal care, conservation and education. Check out accredited facilities on their Find a Zoo or Aquarium page.

Club Profile: Hill Country Cichlid Club

The Hill Country Cichlid Club serves the I-35 corridor including Austin, San Antonio, and the rest of the Texas Hill Country. The HCCC has been around for less than 10 years, but has already made great strides in the cichlid community. The HCCC is the C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program’s U.S. flagship club with many of its members keeping and breeding C.A.R.E.S. species. Club members also enjoy a breeder award program, regular auctions and a rare relationship with local fish stores who not only support the club, but offer discounts to all its members. For more information, visit the Hill Country Cichlid Club website.

If you are involved with a local cichlid organization and would like it to be profiled, please PM Ripple with a paragraph about the club and link so it can be included in an upcoming Club Profile.

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