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Aulonocara ethelwynnae from Lake Malawi

Aulonocara ethelwynnae

Aulonocara ethelwynnae. Photo by Ad Konings

Found only around Chitende Island in northern Lake Malawi, Aulonocara ethelwynnae has been in the hobby for some time. Most often found under the common names that describe its collection point: Chitande Aulonocara and Northern Aulonocara. A. ethelwynnae inhabits the intermediate zone between rocky shores and sandy bottoms where it feeds on small crustaceans and insects. Usually not much large than 4 inches, this species isn’t as big as other Aulonocara.

Keeping Aulonocara ethelwynnae shouldn’t be much different than other Aulonocara species. A good size tank with a sandy bottom is recommended. Tankmates shouldn’t be too aggressive or nippy and a diet high in protein is best. One male to multiple females is the best ratio. To discuss A. ethelwynnae visit the Lake Malawi Species forum. Information on Aulonocara can be found in the library’s Peacock Corner.


Limnotilapia dardennii from Lake Tanganyika

Limnotilapia dardennii

Limnotilapia dardennii. Photo by Ad Konings

Found in the shallow waters of Lake Tanganyika, Limnotilapia dardennii feeds mostly on plants and algae although small invertebrates are also on the menu. Females and juveniles are mostly silver with black bars, however dominant males develop a striking orange and yellow on their bellies. Adult males can reach 10″ in length while females are a couple inches shorter. When spawning, males will construct large craters in order to attract females. L. dardennii is the only member of the genus.

In the aquarium Limnotilapia dardennii needs a diet high in vegetable content and preferably a soft, sandy substrate. This species can be territorial and aggressive toward their own species, so it is best to keep one male to multiple females. Reaching 10 inches in length means tanks need to be a good size. Because of their temperament and dietary requirements, L. dardennii does well with Tropheus and Petrochromis. Although L. dardennii is more popular in Europe, it can still be found in the U.S. for those willing and able to keep this species. For discussion visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.


Big Fish Deal March 2-4

big fish deal

The Big fish Deal hosted by the Capital Cichlid Association is less than two weeks away. Starting March 2nd, the CCA will bring together speakers, vendors and lots of cichlids. Speakers schedule to appear include Rachel O’Leary, Joey Mullen, Jools Dignall and C-F’s very own Jim Cumming (notho2000) giving two presentations. Events will include the Aquarium Beautiful contest, rare fish auction and vendor marketplace.

The Big fish Deal will be held at the Rockville Hilton in Rockville, MD. This will be the 6th time the Capital Cichlid Association has held this event. The CCA is located in Maryland and was organized to promote cichlids in the aquarium hobby. The club’s website can be found at www.capitalcichlids.org. For more information and registration for The Big Fish Deal visit www.thebigfishdeal.com. If you live in the Maryland area or can make it out there for the first weekend in March, this event will be worth it.


Satanoperca curupira – New species from Brazil

Satanoperca curupira

Satanoperca curupira. Photo by U. Werner

A new species from the Madeira River basin in Brazil has been described. Satanoperca curupira belongs to a genus of fish known for their feeding behavior as eartheaters. They feed by picking up mouthfuls of sand and sifting through it to find small invertebrates and plant matter. The description can be found at Mapress, but it’s behind a paywall.

Satanoperca curupira is named after a Brazilian mythical creature that protects the forest and its creatures from hunters who kill for pleasure or target breeding females and juveniles. A little more about S. curupira can be found at Novataza, unfortunately it is only a couple paragraphs more than the abstract. To discuss this new species visit the South American Cichlids forum.


Chalinochromis sp. “Ndobhoi” from Lake Tanganyika


Chalinochromis sp. “Ndobhoi”. Photo by Ad Konings

Chalinochromis sp. “Ndobhoi” is a yet to be defined species from Lake Tanganyika. Originally collected close to Karilani Island in the eastern part of Lake Tanganyika, C. sp. “Ndobhoi” shares many of the same characteristics as Julidochromis. They are a pair-bonding egg layer that make their home among the rocks and small caves, feeding on small insects and crustaceans in the algae. Once eggs are laid in a cave, both parents will protect their spawn for weeks until they the adults are ready to spawn again.

In the aqaurium Chalinochromis sp. “Ndobhoi” can be aggressive toward each other, especially the males. Once a pair forms it is best to remove all other C. sp. “Ndobhoi” from the tank. When breeding starts, other species in the aquarium will be harassed. After several weeks, offspring should be separated from the parents so they can begin the process again. A food high in protein with some plant matter is recommended. To discuss C. sp. “Ndobhoi” visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.


Crenicichla ploegi – New species from Brazil

Crenicichla ploegi

Crenicichla ploegi. Male (left) and female (right). Photo by Marcelo Krause

A new species of pike cichlid, Crenicichla ploegi, has been recently described. This species can be found in streams and rivers of the Mato Grosso State in central Brazil. C. ploegi is part of the Crenicichla saxatilis group, but distinguishes itself from the other members of the group by having dark spots and irregular lines on the face area and distinctive lateral banding.

Crenicichla ploegi is named after Dutch ichthyologist Alex Ploeg who worked extensively on the Crenicichla genus. Dr. Ploeg, along with his wife and son, perished on Malaysia Airlines 17 over Ukraine in 2014. The publication describing C. ploegi can be found on Mapress, but behind a paywall. A short description of the new species is available on Novataxa. To discuss C. ploegi visit the South American Cichlids forum.


Petrotilapia genalutea from Lake Malawi

Petrotilapia genalutea

Petrotilapia genalutea. Photo by Ad Konings

Found in shallow waters where rocks are abundant, Petrotilapia genalutea feeds on algae and small organisms it finds living within the algae. Males can be very territorial, claiming an area to themselves and keeping other males and females out. Females and males without a territory of their own sometimes congregate in large groups.

In an aquarium Petrotilapia genalutea should be treated like other mbuna. Males are very aggressive toward other males. Single males with multiple females is the best combination, but more than one male is doable in a large aquarium. Plenty of rock cover is recommended and a diet high in plant material is a must. Petrotilapia are not as available as other more popular mbuna, but they can be found for anyone looking for them. To discuss this species visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.


Male cichlids delay coloring when threatened

male cichlids

Pelvicachromis taeniatus as they mature. Image by Dr. Denis Meuthen – University of Bonn

It is common for subdominant males to not display their brightest coloration in the presence of a dominant male. Some species’ males, like Chindongo (Pseudotropheus) saulosi, even take on the coloration of females in order to not draw the attention of dominant males. A new study at the University of Bonn reveals that male cichlids of the Pelvicachromis taeniatus species can delay mature coloration in order hide from potential predators. In addition, males who are threatened by predators also grow faster, develop larger eyes, and have larger spines on their dorsal fins.

Instead of slowly developing their coloration, male cichlids delayed their bright coloration until they were fully mature, but females did not. Researchers believe that this may be due to female P. taeniatus nesting in caves while males stayed outside, exposed to predators. Unfortunately, the paper is behind a paywall. A summary can be found on the ScienceDaily.com website. Discussion can be done in the South American Cichlids forum. Fear of predators may explain why some males never show their full colors in the aquarium.


Product Reviews getting updated

product reviews

The site’s Product Reviews section is constantly being updated. New aquarium related products are added regularly and existing product images and descriptions are updated. The process is slow but we’ve been working hard to ensure that many of the most popular and useful items are listed for reviews. The Product Reviews section is a great resource for both novice and advanced hobbyists.

Many online retailers also include reviews of the products they offer. Unfortunately, their reviews aren’t from other cichlid-keepers and may not accurately reflect how good an item is when used in a cichlid tank. Also, we don’t remove negative reviews because they may hurt our sales. However, the reviews section needs your input in order for it to be an effective guide for other hobbyists. Please take a few minutes to review your best and worst equipment or foods. If you don’t find a certain product, please came back soon and hopefully we’ve added it. You can begin reading and commenting on products HERE.


Amphilophus citrinellus from Central America

Amphilophus citrinellus

Amphilophus citrinellus. Photo by George Chernilevsky (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Amphilophus citrinellus, popularly known as the Midas cichlid, can be found in ponds and lakes throughout Costa Rica and Nicaragua. An opportunistic predator, A. citrinellus eats pretty much anything it can find in the rocks and crevices. Feeding mostly on smaller fish and invertebrates, it will also consume plant matter. Color variations are common depending on location. A. citrinellus is also an invasive species that can survive in warm waters throughout the world including Florida, Puerto Rico and Singapore.

In the aquarium Amphilophus citrinellus can be a handful. Not only does A. citrinellus reach over 12 inches in length, it is also incredibly aggressive. A huge tank is a must and tankmate selection should be done with care. Despite the difficulties, A. citrinellus is a popular and easily available cichlid in the hobby. For more information visit the Central American Cichlids forum.


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