Metriaclima fainzilberi OB “Charo”. Photo by Ad Konings
Metriaclima fainzilberi is a Lake Malawi mbuna collected from various locations. Pictured above is an orange-blotched male from Charo on the western side of the lake. While most M. fainzilberi males are blue with black stripes, OB coloration does rarely happen.
Metriaclima fainzilberi is a herbivore and should be fed a diet high in plant matter. Although not especially aggressive toward other species, males can be very aggressive toward other M. fainzilberi. Care should be taken to ensure females and subdominant males have room to run and hide. Tankmates should be chosen to be tolerant of aggression as well as having a compatible diet. To discuss M. fainzilberi visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.
Neolamprologus cylindricus is a rock-dwelling predator found in Lake Tanganyika feeding mostly on small fish and crustaceans. N. cylindricus gets its name from the streamlined, cylinder shape of its body. Its shape resembles that of a closely related species, Neolamprologus leleupi.
In the aquarium Neolamprologus cylindricus can be problematic if its aggressiveness isn’t managed. N. cylindricus is a solitary fish and does not tolerate other N. cylindricus unless it is its breeding partner. Extra males and even females will be harassed to death by the dominant male. When a pair is spawning, other species of fish will be introduced to N. cylindricus sharp teeth. Despite its aggression, N. cylindricus can be successfully kept with other species. In community tanks, separate rock territories need to be provided so a pair of N. cylindricus can defend it while allowing other species the rest of the tank. Suitable species need to be tough and with the same dietary requirements. Similarly shaped Neolamprologus should be avoided. For more information on Neolamprologus cylindricus visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum or read up on the short article by Marc Elieson in the library.
Amatitlania sp. “Honduran Red Point”. Photo by Dave Hansen
Amatitlania sp. “Honduran Red Point” fist appeared in the hobby almost 15 years ago where it went by a variety of names. There has always been speculation that this fish is a variant of Amatitlania nigrofasciata (convict cichlid). However, many hobbyist believe that it is a different species. Despite its attractive coloration, ease of breeding and temperament, this species has not gained much traction in the hobby.
In an aquarium, Amatitlania sp. “Honduran Red Point” males reach about 4 inches while females are about an inch shorter. They readily accept all types of food and are believed to be omnivores. They can be shy and do best when provided caves. Once comfortable, A. sp. “Honduran Red Point” will pair up and stake out some territory. Eggs are laid on a hard surface and spawns yield about 50 fish. The adults will look after the fry until they are old enough to be on their own. To discuss A. sp. “Honduran Red Point” visit the Central American Cichlids forum.
Tropheops is a genus of mbuna found along rocky shores throughout Lake Malawi. They share the same habitats and behaviors as the more commonly known Pseudotropheus. There was a time when Tropheops were classified as Pseudotropheus but some physical difference led to the formation of their own genus. Pictured above is Tropheops sp. “mauve yellow” found along Magunga Reef in the southern part of the lake.
Tropheops sp. “mauve yellow”, like most other Tropheops, can reach about 4 inches in length. Some Tropheops species can be somewhat aggressive, particularly toward their own kind. In the aquarium care should be taken to ensure there are plenty of hiding places and are best kept in groups of a single male to multiple females. Special attention should be taken when keeping multiple species of Tropheops in the same aquarium. Although female coloration can be different between species, some species should not be kept together. To discuss T. sp. “mauve yellow” or any other Tropheops species visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.
Ptyochromis sp. “salmon”. Photo by Patrick Eriksson.
A new article by Greg Steeves has been added to the site’s library. Greg has kept cichlids for many years but is best known for his work with Lake Victoria Basin cichlids. The latest article, Ptyochromis sp. “salmon”, describes the species that gained some popularity in the hobby when it first became available. Since then the popularity of P. sp. “salmon” has diminished, but it is still available on stock lists from time to time.
Ptyochromis sp. “salmon”, also known in the hobby as Hippo Point salmon from its collection point, has an coloration not found in many species. The male’s pink or salmon colored body are an attractive standout in any tank. P. sp. “salmon” can be kept with a variety of species provided they aren’t too aggressive, especially if you want the males to display their trademark coloration. For more information on about P. sp. “salmon”, diet, breeding and suitable tankmates, check out the newest library article. For discussion visit the Lake Victoria Basin forum.
A short video showing Nimbochromis linni by PISCES.
Nimbochromis linni is a predator found throughout Lake Malawi. This species inhabits rocky areas near the shore where it hunts smaller fish. N. linni will remain motionless waiting for an opportunity to catch its prey. Using its protractile mouth which expands and can suck fish out of their rocky hiding places.
In the aquarium, Nimbochromis linni can reach 10+ inches. Since they normally live a solitary life, N. linni can be aggressive toward its own species. Due to their size and possible aggression issues, these fish need very large aquariums when fully grown. To discuss N. linni visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.
Male Tramitichromis brevis at Mara Point. Photo by Ad Konings
Widespread throughout Lake Malawi, Tramitichromis brevis spend their time over the muddy or sandy bottom at a depth of about 50 feet. Their food source of small invertebrates is caught by scooping up mouthfuls of sand and sifting it out their gills as seen in the picture above. In the wild, males will build crater nest in the sand in order to attract females.
Tramitichromis brevis is found in the hobby usually going by the names “Lethrinops variabilis” and “Lethrinops chizumulu”. Males grow over 6″ in length and can be a little territorial when breeding. A large tank with a sandy bottom is best, especially to encourage their natural feeding and spawning behavior. Best kept in groups of many females to each male. To discuss T. brevis visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.
Pundamilia sp. “black widow”. Photo by Greg Steeves
A strikingly colored Lake Victoria cichlid that has worked itself into the hobby over the last couple years. Little is known about the true origins of Pundamilia sp. “black widow” or if it has already made the rounds under a different name. Regardless, P. sp. “black widow” is an attractive fish. Its black body and multi-color fins make the males stand out from other fish. Females of the species can at times display a dark body but usually lack the fin coloration.
For those who can manage to get their hands on Pundamilia sp. “black widow” some warnings are in order. Males can be quite aggressive and are best kept in groups of a single male with multiple females. Because their origins are unknown and the species name is not official, extra care should be taken when selecting tankmates. Avoid anything that might even remotely resemble this species not only in color but also body shape. All Pundamilia species should be avoided and many other Lake Victoria Basin species. To discuss P. sp. “black widow” visit the Lake Victoria Basin forum.
Tyrannochromis macrostoma in the wild. Photo by Ad Konings
Commonly known as the big-mouth hap, Tyrannochromis macrostoma is widespread throughout Lake Malawi. Adults can be found in deeper shores along rocky areas. T. macrostoma is a piscivore and mbuna are what is usually on the menu.
Tyrannochromis macrostoma isn’t seen much in the hobby although it is available. These fish can get quite large, 12+ inches, so large tanks are a must. T. macrostoma usually isn’t very aggressive, but with their large mouth anything that will fit into it is fair game. For breeding, they are best kept in groups of one male to multiple females. Females will hold the developing fry for quite a long time before releasing them. Males can be intolerant and aggressive toward holding females, so other fish (more females or dithers) are needed in order to distract him. To discuss Tyrannochromis macrostoma, visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.
The Greater Seattle Aquarium Society will be holding their massive yearly April auction in less than 3 weeks. If you live in the Seattle area make sure to reserve April 23rd to attend. Although the GSAS holds small auctions at every meeting, this month’s auction will be large and serves as the organization’s main fundraiser.
The Greater Seattle Aquarium Society has over 300 members who live mostly in Seattle and surrounding areas. It offers monthly meetings, auctions, parties and special events. Members can take advantage of a book and video library as well as recordings from previous meeting presentations. For more information on the auction or becoming a member, visit the club’s website at www.gsas.org.