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Dam threatens to destroy largest desert lake

Lake Turkana

Lake Turkana

Lake Turkana, located in northern Kenya, is the worlds largest permanent desert lake. It also has an active volcanic island within its shores. The lake is home to 11 endemic fish species including Haplochromis macconneli, H. rudolfianus and H. turkanae. Your won’t find these fish on any price lists. You’d be hard-pressed to even find a picture. So when Ethiopia decided to dam the Omo River, chances of seeing these fish just got even harder. The Omo River feeds into Lake Turkana and the dam is expected to have a devastating impact on the lake’s ecology. There are plans to release water from the dam periodically to imitate natural flood cycles, but an independent commission wasn’t convinced that it would be enough to save the lake. For more on this story, visit indepthAfrica.com.

Malawi and Tanzania seek mediation over lake ownership

Lake Malawi.  Photo by JackyR

Lake Malawi. Photo by JackyR

After months of bitter arguing, walking away from talks and accusations, Malawi and Tanzania have agreed to seek mediation over their border dispute. The disagreement is which country owns Lake Malawi. Malawi claims the entire lake while Tanzania wants half. At stake are the rich oil and gas reserves recently found in the lake. An African Forum of Former Presidents will be doing the mediating. For more information on the issue, visit NBCNews.com.

New video series on Lake Malawi

A 4 minute clip on what appears to be an upcoming series on Lake Malawi. Looks like it will have some great new in the wild video.

Another African lake experiencing a water hyacinth infestation

Lake Tana, Ethiopia. Photo by Giustino

Lake Tana, Ethiopia. Photo by Giustino

It seems that Lake Victoria isn’t the only lake in Eastern Africa that is being infested by water hyacinth. Water hyacinth is the common name for plants of the genus Eichhornia. Like Lake Victoria, Lake Lana is being affected by this plant. Lake Tana is Ethiopia’s largest lake and a source of food, water and revenue for 3 million people. Water hyacinth is an invasive plant grows on the surface of the water, drastically affecting the river or lake’s ecosystem. Although there are no noteworthy cichlids, Lake Tana does has a very unique collection of native cyprinids. A concern is whether this is the beginning of a larger spread of water hyacinth in Africa, including the Rift Lakes. For more information on Lake Tana, visit Africa Science News.

Did you know…

Paratilapia polleni. Photo by MidgleyDJ

Paratilapia polleni. Photo by MidgleyDJ

Paratilapia polleni is one of the cichlid species from Madagascar. Like other cichlids, P. polleni will excavate a pit in order to spawn. Here is where P. polleni differentiates itself from other egg layers. Its eggs aren’t sticky so they wont adhere to a particular surface. Instead, the eggs have a long fibrous filament with attaches itself to other eggs resulting in a long strand. The female then fans the strand onto itself repeatedly creating a large mass of up to one thousand eggs. This mass can be moved by the female as long as it doesn’t get tangled in roots or other underwater obstacles.

Pterophyllum altum (Altum Angelfish)

Hailing from the Orinoco River Basin and the Upper Rio Negro, Pterophyllum altum is a beautiful fish that needs plenty of room in an aquarium as they can get quite large. P. altum isn’t as common in the hobby as P. scalare; arguably the most identifiable of all cichlids. P. altum can be difficult to breed in captivity and they are also sensitive to water conditions.

Future underwater resort?


For those looking for an out of the ordinary vacation, this is your future destination. Spend a couple nights 40 feet under the ocean with a breathtaking view. The Poseidon Undersea Resort in Fiji will be something unique if it ever gets completed. Originally scheduled to open years ago, it is not yet completed. Prices are listed at $30,000 USD per couple for a one week stay. If you think that’s a little steep, keep in mind that it is all inclusive.

Study: BPA blurs distinction between fish species

Click title to be taken to the full article.

While the destinctive red fins and tail differentiate this red shiner from the similar blacktail shiner, which has silver fins and a black spot on its tail, BPA makes it more difficult for fish to detect the difference.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals released into rivers affect the mating choices of fish, altering the courtship behavior of males and the mate preferences of both sexes. A new study published online this month in the journal Evolutionary Applications demonstrates how these changes lead to inter-species breeding and threaten biodiversity.

Diving in Lake Malawi

A recent diving video in Lake Malawi. There is no mention of the location within the lake. Wherever it is, it’s rocky with tons of mbuna.

Out of the Ordinary: Pseudosimochromis curvifrons

The video shows a spawning pair of Pseudosimochromis curvifrons. This species isn’t exactly rare in Lake Tanganyika, there just isn’t much demand in the hobby so they aren’t collected. They are rumored to be very aggressive but without more hobbyists keeping them, its hard to say if they are any more aggressive that Simochromis, Tropheus or Petrochromis. There are some colonies in the U.S. and occasionally they appear for sale, but they are few and far between. From what I’ve seen, they are often kept with Tropheus and share the same diet.

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