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New to the hobby Haplochromines
by Greg Steeves


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Ironically, the lack of new wild stock into the aquatic hobby has had a positive impact on the haplochromine cichlid fish that are maintained in captivity. Many of us realize that there is no "going back to the well" for more. What we have is what there is. There has been a concretive effort by the hobbyist to learn all that is available, to propagate these fish and establish as many colonies with as many people that is possible. The success of programs such as C.A.R.E.S lies in the recognition that the hobbyist holds the last chance at survival for many species. This is a task that is not taken lightly. There have been many recent success stories showing that the average hobbyist has what it takes to save an entire diverse group of fish from certain extinction.

Vertebrate Water Fin Underwater Fish supply

Mbipia mbipi is a Mwanza Gulf import.

Now that we have an international network in place to exchange information and cichlid species, haplochromines kept on one side of the Atlantic but not available on the other, moving fish is now an inconvenience, not impossibility. Anton Lamboj has been responsible for establishing transportation networks and he himself has introduced many fish species both from the wild and between continents, to respective aquarists. His efforts have been a huge boost to the hobby as well as to saving dwindling wild populationsof cichlid species. We owe the recent establishment of Astatotilapia desfontainii and Astatotilapia flaviijosephi to Anton. He has also mentored people such as Ted Judy and Eric Bodrock in the art of transporting fish internationally. Through these avenues we now have Lipochromis melanopterus, 'Haplochromis' cyaneus, Harpagochromis sp. "orange rock hunter" and 'Haplochromis' thereuterion.

Water Vertebrate Natural environment Fin Organism

Lithochromis rufus from Mwanza is always in high demand within the hobby. Most haplochromine fish are extremely colorful.

Another modern day aquatic explorer is a gentleman named Lawrence Kent. Lawrence has been able to reintroduce Psammochromis riponianus into the hobby. Together with Cory Koch, an incredible cichlid breeder from St. Louis, these two men have been able to establish multiple colonies throughout the US. There will quite possible be more to come from this team in the near future.

Water Organism Fluid Fish Underwater

Pundamilia nyererei from Mwanza gulf was an instant sensation with aquarists when first imported in 2007.

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