A popular and easily recognizable Pseudotropheus demasoni is a favorite of Lake Malawi mbuna aficionados. The well defined black and blue bars of both males and females make them an attractive fish. Originally described by Ad Konings in 1994 and named after Laif DeMason.
Don’t let the small size of Pseudotropheus demasoni fool you. While the largest males only reach about 4 inches, these dwarf mbuna are very aggressive and won’t hesitate to tangle with larger fish. Care should be taken to ensure that tankmates are not only compatible in aggression levels, but also in dietary requirements. P. demasoni is a herbivore and feeding them an unsuitable diet could result result in bloat. P. demasoni is best kept in large groups so that aggression can be spread out and no individual will be singled out. Groups on one male to 3 or 4 females are recommended. To read more about this species visit the Pseudotropheus demasoni by Marc Elieson. This species can also be discussed in the Lake Malawi Species forum.
International Aquarium Congress meeting in Vancouver
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is hosting this year’s International Aquarium Congress. The IAC meets every four years in different locations around the world to provide “the scientific community with the latest on marine life research, extending the opportunity to discuss global and local issues and sharing successful initiatives.” Although the IAC is geared toward marine life, many of the issues discussed have an impact on freshwater fish as well. Speakers will discuss climate change, conservation and sustainability. Noted conservationist, Dr. Paul Loiselle will be giving a presentation on the state of freshwater fish populations.
If you are going to be in Vancouver, Canada between September 25 – 30 and think you might be interested in attending the International Aquarium Congress visit their website at http://iac2016.venuewest.com.
Young Lamprologus congoensis. Photo by Dave Hansen
Lamprologus congoensis is a rheophile (likes fast moving waters) found in various locations of the Congo River in both the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It thrives in the fast-moving, highly-oxygenated parts of rivers. L. congoensis’ body is streamlined to cope with the fast moving waters and their swim bladder is small to reduce buoyancy. Information on their behavior in the wild is limited due to the difficulty in observing them in the river.
In the aquarium, Lamprologus congoensis is highly aggressive and requires a large footprint tank. Tankmates should be carefully chosen in order to withstand their aggression. An effort should be made to provide adequate water movement not only to make them comfortable but also to increase oxygenation. The article Setting up a Rheophilic Tank by Dave Hansen gives some tips. To discuss L. congoensis visit the West African Species forum.
Herichthys carpintis is a large cichlid from the Panuco River drainage of eastern Mexico. They can be found in both fast moving or still waters. A range of temperatures and water conditions are also well tolerated. H. carpintis is similar to, and often misidentified as, a Texas Cichlid (H. cyanoguttatus). Common names for H. carpintis include green Texas cichlid or pearlscale cichlid. Despite being confused for the Texas cichlid, H. carpintis is not native to Texas waters.
Herichthys carpintis males can reach a size of 12 inches while females rarely grow larger than 8 inches. These fish can also be very aggressive, especially when breeding or caring for their young. Because of their size and aggression, a 5 foot tank or larger is recommended, especially if you want more than on pair. A male and female will usually pair off and become aggressive toward other fish just prior to breeding. While spawns can number in the hundreds, larger adults can lay upwards of 1000 eggs. To discuss Herichthys carpintis visit the Central American Cichlids forum.
Chindongo bellicosus, formerly Pseudotropheus sp. “Elongatus Aggressive”. Photo by Ad Konings
A new Lake Malawi mbuna genus has been described and several other species of mbuna have been reclassified. A recent publication by Ad Konings, Shan Li and Jay Stauffer describe a new genus in Lake Malawi. Chindongo bellicosus, formerly known as Pseudotropheus sp. “Elongatus Aggressive”, is the first species of the new genus. Unfortunately the publication describing the new genus and renaming of other species is behind a paywall here.
Along with Chindongo bellicosus 6 species have received official names. They are Cynotilapia chilundu, Metriaclima flavicauda, M. usisyae, Tropheops biriwira, T. kamtambo, and T. kumwera from what was known as Cynotilapia sp. “elongatus taiwan”, Metriaclima sp. “elongatus yellow tail”, M. sp. “elongatus usisya”, Tropheops sp. “elongatus greenback”, T. sp. “elongatus reef”, and T. sp. “elongatus boadzulu” respectively.
Metriaclima sp. “lime nkhomo”. Photo by Dave Hansen
Not often seen on price lists or local shops, Metriaclima sp. “lime nkhomo” is a uniquely colored mbuna from Lake Malawi. M. sp. “lime nkhomo” made their debut into the hobby about 15 years ago. Often named Pseudotropheus sp. “lime nkhomo”, but without an official description, it is likely that this species may go other names.
Care and behavior of Metriaclima sp. “lime nkhomo” is similar to most other mbuna. They aren’t picky eaters so care must be taken that they receive plenty of plant matter in their diet. Despite their small size, they can be aggressive and won’t shy away from conflict with larger fish. Males have a yellow around the face and fins with a blueish hue on the body. Females lack the brighter color or the males. To discuss this species and other mbuna visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.
Despite an international effort to protect the Yasuni National Park in Ecuador, oil drilling has begun in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. An initiative to preserve the pristine park began in 2007. Ecuador asked the international community for compensation in exchange for not drill the estimated 800 million barrels of crude oil under Yasuni National Park. The plan only raised a fraction of the necessary funds and drilling has begun.
Yasuni National Park is considered one of the most biologically diverse spot on Earth. The concentration and diversity of both animal and plant life sets records unmatched anywhere else. For more information on Yasuni National Park and the impact of oil drilling in the region visit CommonDreams.org.
A short video of some of the wildlife in Yasuni waters
This year’s Aquatic Experience (AE) will feature an American Cichlid Association fish competition. Each year the AE brings together aquarium product manufacturers and consumers under one roof. Everything that has to do with freshwater and saltwater aquariums is welcome to participate. It is a great opportunity for hobbyists to interact with vendors and see the latest products. This year the AE will feature its fist American Cichlid Association 25 class competition. Cash awards given to class winners as well as a $500 Grand Prize. All competitors also receive a 3-day admission to the show floor.
If you live in the Chicago area or can get yourself there November 4-6 make sure to attend the Aquatic Experience. To participate in the competition all entries must be submitted by October 15th using the online form. For more information on the Aquatic Experience visit their website at www.aquaticexperience.org.
Omega One is accepting entries for their 6th Annual Photo Contest. Winners will receive a year’s worth of fish food and have their photo featured in an upcoming calendar. 2015 winning images can be seen on their 2015 winners page HERE. All kinds of fish can make the cut. Entries must be received by October 1, 2016. Break out your camera or start looking through your past photos because one could be the winner. They may ask you for higher resolution versions of your entry and minor editing is allowed as long as their is no significant modification of the original image. For more information, where to submit your photo, and a complete list of rules visit the Omega One Photo Contest page.
Astatotilapia sp. “Chizumulu”. Photo by Greg Steeves
A recent find, Astatotilapia sp. “Chizumulu” has been making its way into a few select hobbyist’s aquariums. As of now, this is not believed to be the same species as Astatotilapia calliptera Chizumulu. Whether this is a distinct species or simply a variant has yet to be determined. The library has an article on Astatotilapia calliptera.
Although information on Astatotilapia sp. “Chizumulu” is vague and often confused with A. calliptera, A. sp. “Chizumulu” is a beautiful fish. The body has some blue color, but the fins really shine with red trim around fluorescent power blue. To discuss A. sp. “Chizumulu” visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.