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Psammochromis riponianus
by Greg Steeves

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The colony I am working with were caught on hook and line near Entebbe Uganda by Lawrence Kent in 2008. These fish were then given to Cory Koch, who worked with the species successfully breeding them in short order. Cory then presented me with the wild parents as well as a small group of good sized F1 juveniles. As Cory enjoyed second generation success with his P. riponianus, mine, although in fantastic condition, showed no signs of breeding activity. It was when a mutual friend to Cory and myself, Derek Walker, suggested that I increase the protein content of their diet. I began mosquito larvae and brine shrimp infusions. Within two weeks of Derek's suggestion, I have my first brooding P. riponianus. The female held to term releasing a dozen healthy fry that, in themselves, seem quite hardy.

Water Fin Underwater Organism Fish

Many cichlid species from Lake Victoria have locale variants throughout their range. These population pockets comprise a species complex. Perhaps the most well known to aquarists are Pundamilia nyererei and Paralabirochromis sauvagei. P. riponianus displays much variation between regions as well. The Entebbe strain which I maintain is very colorful. The base body hue of the male is lime green. A slight midlateral bar crosses the flanks horizontally as does another bar near the dorsal (on the lateral line). Six to eight vertical bars cross the body. A region of blotched orange tinge can be found on the body behind the pectoral socket. The dorsal fin is bright blue. Blue streaking is also in the caudal fin which is red. The anal fin is white-blue with 4-5 orbited orange ocelli situated between the fin rays. Pelvic fins are black. The female is olive green-grey, a nondescript appearance. Both sexes show the black barring when stressed.

Tank décor is rather basic. This is a tried and true setup I employ with many cichlids from Lake Victoria. I have three large pieces of Texas holey rock resting on a sandy bottom. Tank mates include a Synodontis angelicus and a lone Guarochromis species I have dubbed "black bullet" taken at the time of capture, at the same location near Entebbe. Tank size is a high 65 gallon with a large Aquaclear power filter to move the water. Scattered throughout the aquarium in the substrate and attached to the holey rock are hardy live plants (Anubias and Aponogeton species).

Water Fin Fish Marine biology Underwater

I have found P. riponianus to be well suited for life in an aquarium. I have not lost any fish to aggression nor have I ever had to separate or remove any individuals due to injury. P. riponianus is a C.A.R.E.S registered species and as such should be high on the priority list of cichlid aquarists. With the diligent work by Cory Koch, P. riponianus has every opportunity to become a mainstay in the cichlid hobby.
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