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GCCA Classic 2014 & Pizza Banquet

gcca classic 2014

The Greater Chicago Cichlid Association is holding their annual GCCA Classic 2014 & Pizza Banquet this Memorial Weekend. Register by tomorrow, May 1st, to take advantage of a discount price. The GCCA’s first meeting was almost 40 years ago and has since grown to be one of the biggest cichlid organizations. This year’s Classic will include the usual events; speakers, auctions, fish show and banquet. Guest speakers include Anton Lamboj, Rusty Wessel, Laif DeMason, Sam Borstein, and Ray “Kingfish” Lucas. For more information on the GCCA Classic 2014, including schedule, location, and registration, visit the Classic Show Overview page. If you live in the Chicago area or plan on being there Memorial Weekend, this is a show you don’t want to miss.

African Diving Ltd videos and magazine

I just happened to stumble onto this video the other day and thought I would share it. I’m a big fan of in the wild videos, and I am especially excited that this could be the first of many videos from African Diving Ltd. Make sure to watch it.

For those of you that don’t know, African Diving Ltd. is a company that catches and exports fish from Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika. Knowing all the great spots to catch fish gives them a unique opportunity to also do some filming. Hopefully many more videos are on the way. The video, aside from providing some background information about Lake Tanganyika, is also advertising a magazine they are publishing. I don’t know how long its been around, but it appears to have many articles and photos. For more information on the video and magazine, make sure to visit the African Diving Ltd. website at africandivingltd.com.

african diving

Screen capture of video.

Labidochromis profiles updated

Labidochromis profiles

The Labidochromis profiles have received a much needed update. Around 30 different species and variants have been added, including all in the wild photos! Most hobbyists know the popular Labidochromis caeruleus. Its striking yellow body contrasted by the black fins make an excellent addition to most Lake Malawi tanks. Not only does this fish look great, but its less aggressive temperament means that it can fit in with a variety of fish.

Ironically, L. caeruleus is only one of many colorful Labidochromis found in Lake Malawi. Although most of the other species and variants in this genus aren’t as common in the hobby, many can still be found. To see the variety of species available, take a look through the Profiles page. If you spot something you might be interested in keeping, keep an eye out at your local auction or with your favorite retailer.

Electric fish discovered in Congo River

electric fish

Petrocephalus boboto. Photo by Lavoué S, Sullivan JP.

Scientist have discovered two electric fish species in the Congo River that have the ability to produce mild currents. These small charges, which are too small to be felt, are believed to help electrolocate in the dark and also serve as a way to communicate with other electric fish. For more information on these two new species, you can read the article on Sci-News.com.

The discovery of two electric fish species helps to highlight the two previous blogs this week. One being the unique species found along the Congo River like Teleogramma brichardi or even the only known blind cichlid, Lamprologus lethops (pictured below). The other blog dealt with the development of fish-friendly dams. As mentioned in the blog, dams can devastate fish populations. In the NBC News article, scientist were working with various countries to develop safer dams. Unfortunately, there was no mention of the Congo River or China. An article in Eurasia Review discusses China’s desire to enter into the dam building business on the Congo River. China’s record on environmental concerns isn’t stellar. Combine that with the unique and yet undiscovered species only found in Congo River and the results can’t be good.

Lamprologus lethops

Lamprologus lethops. Only known blind cichlid species.

Teleogramma brichardi from the Congo River

Teleogramma brichardi

Teleogramma brichardi. Photo by Dave Hansen

Teleogramma brichardi is found in the rapids near Kinsuka in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The fast moving waters of the Congo River lead to some unusual evolutionary traits in fish. T. brichardi, like other rheophilic fish, developed a streamlined body to cope with strong river currents. Their swimbladder is also much smaller than comparably sized fish since they “skip” along the bottom as opposed to swimming.

Teleogramma brichardi

Teleogramma brichardi. Photo by Dave Hansen.

T. brichardi has been in the hobby for many years. However, a combination of few exports for the region and the difficulty of breeding them in captivity still makes them a rare sight. If you have the opportunity to obtain a group of these unusual cichlids, definitely consider giving them their own tank. Requirements for keeping Teleogramma brichardi are different than other cichlids. Make sure you read Dave Hansen’s Setting up a Rheophilic Tank article. For more information on the origins and spawning of T. brichardi, take a look at Mary Bailey’s article on the species at Cichlid Room Companion

Fish-friendly dams being developed

fish-friendly dams

The world-wide push to develop alternative forms of energy has increased to construction of dams. With so many hydroelectric projects under construction, scientists are working hard to them fish-friendly dams. In the past, dams have had a devastating impact on fish populations. A dam changes the local environment for fish or it can disrupt migration, as is the case with salmon in the Pacific Northwest. The dam’s turbines can also kill or injure fish as they pass through them.

fish-friendly dams

Changes in water pressure cause bubbles to form.

Researchers from the Pacific Northwest are using what they’ve learned to help countries like Laos, Brazil and Australia build fish-friendly dams. Dam construction in Brazil has been mentioned in this blog in the past. For more information on the efforts being made in fish-friendly dams, read the NBC News article.

Largest aquarium opens in China

largest aquarium

World’s largest underwater viewing dome

The Guinness Book of World Records has confirmed that the newly opened Chimelong Ocean Kingdom Aquarium is the world’s largest. The aquarium is part of a larger theme park on Hengqin Island in China. A total of five world records were awarded to the aquarium by Guinness including largest aquarium, largest acrylic panel, largest aquarium window (below), and largest underwater viewing dome (above). The record-breaking marine aquarium holds almost 6 million gallons and houses a whale shark exhibit. Information on all the exhibits and what they contain is hard to find. At least it is for anything in english. More pictures, information and links can be found on the Huffington Post website.

largest aquarium

World’s largest acrylic panel and aquarium window

Man-eating crocodile captured in Lake Victoria

Man-eating crocodile

Fisherman, visitors and anyone who might spend time along the Lake Victoria coast can rest a little easier after a massive man-eating crocodile was finally captured. Following a 4-day search, the 18 foot long crocodile was captured by game wardens of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The crocodile is believed to be responsible for the deaths of 6 people in the Jinja and Mayuge districts of eastern Uganda. Weighing in at an over one ton, the crocodile is estimated to be 80 years old. The crocodile has been moved to a new home 200 miles away in the Murchison Falls National Park.

Information and pictures of the man-eating crocodile story are limited, but more can be found at MailOnline and NY Daily News.

North American Discus Association

North american discus association

Periodically we use the blog to promote a local cichlid club or association. The scope of the club being bolstered is generally limited to a city, state or region. This time we are taking the opportunity to promote a club whose members are from a large area, but the focus very specific. The North American Discus Association was formed 10 years ago to promote the advancement and education of everything discus.

All discus belong to the small Genus Symphysodon originally found in the Amazon Basin. From a handful of wild discus species, the hobby has created a massive variety of colorful discus with many classes constantly evolving. Discus also have a reputation of being difficult to keep. They aren’t generally recommended for the inexperienced hobbyist, at least not without taking time to understand the requirements needed to successfully keep then. For anyone considering keeping discus or someone who already does, the North American Discus Association is a great place to find information and interact with other discus hobbyists. For more information on the NADA, visit their website at www.discusnada.org.

Four-eyed fish with 360° view

four-eyed fish

Rhynchohyalus natalensis has two sets of eyes.

What is believed to be a new species of fish has been discovered deep in the Tasman Sea. What makes the new fish unique is that it has two sets of eyes. Rhynchohyalus natalensis, aka glasshead barreleye, uses one set of eyes to watch for predators while the other set looks for prey. R. natalensis is a true four-eyed fish and is different from fish of the genus Anableps. While Anableps genus fish, pictured below, are often referred to as having four eyes, they only have two eyes that are each divided into two parts giving them a simultaneous above and below the water view.

Anableps sp.

Anableps sp.

Rhynchohyalus natalensis has two individual sets of eyes. The top set is used to see other animals silhouetted against the dimly lit waters. The bottom set of eyes detects bioluminescent flashes created by deep-sea creatures. To read more about this new discovery and see more pictures of the unusual four-eyed fish visit dailymail.co.uk’s Science and Tech webpage.

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