Sarotherodon knauerae is a unique cichlid found in Lake Ejagham located in the western region on Cameroon. Unlike many of the other lakes in the area, Lake Ejagham is not a crater lake. The lake is also isolated, lacking an inflow and its only outflow connects to the Munaya River. Fish from the Munaya River aren’t able to reach Lake Ejaham due to a waterfall. It is believed that only 7 endemic species of fish are found in the lake.
Although not many hobbyists have kept Sarotherodon knauerae, most report that this species is extremely peaceful and hardy. They do well with a diet of standard flakes and are tolerant to a variety of water conditions. S. knauerae has an interesting copper coloration not seen in many species. Its peaceful nature and hardiness make it an idea fish for beginning hobbyists, and also for advanced hobbyists looking to keep and unusual and uniquely colored fish. To discuss S. knauerae visit the West African Species forum.
Closeup Boulengerochromis microlepis. Photo by Ad Konings
Commonly known as the Emperor Cichlid, Boulengerochromis microlepis is a giant from Lake Tanganyika. Reaching sizes of 20 inches in length and rumored to reach up to 3 feet, B. microlepis is the largest known cichlid. Due to its size, it is unlikely that anything other than a juvenile will be seen in the hobby. Outside of Lake Tanganyika adult B. microlepis can sometimes be found in public aquariums.
In the lake Boulengerochromis microlepis are found along the rocky shores when they are very young. As B. microlepis mature they make their way into deeper waters reaching depths of 100 yards or more. They prey on smaller fish and will consume anything they can fit into their mouths. When not spawning, adult B. microlepis form small groups and swim around looking for food. Spawning takes place in a sandy dugout and can number in the thousands although very few offspring reach maturity. Both parents will care for the young until they are large enough to swim off on their own. To discuss Boulengerochromis microlepis visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.
Another beautiful Victorian cichlid, although not from Lake Victoria, is the Haplochromis sp. “ruby”. The Lake Victoria Basin is made up of many lakes, streams and swamps surrounding the much larger Lake Victoria. Cichlids from this area are collectively referred to as Victorian cichlids. H. sp. “ruby” is found in Lake Kyoga and also in the much smaller Lake Nawampassa.
Haplochromis sp. “ruby”, also known as H. sp. “ruby green”, can grow to around 4″ in length. The males sport the bright red, green and blue coloration, especially when spawning or showing dominance. Although they can be aggressive toward their own species, H. sp. “ruby” males aren’t too tough on their own females. Despite not being as aggressive as other Victorian cichlids, they are best kept in groups of one male to multiple females. For more information on this species visit the Species Article by Marc Elieson. To discuss Haplochromis sp. “ruby” visit the Lake Victoria Basin forum.
A 24/7 live stream of the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.
One of the largest aquariums in the world is the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium located in Okinawa, Japan. The aquarium houses over 2.5 million gallons of water in 77 tanks. Visitors are treated to spectacular marine displays and unarguably the best being the Kuroshio Sea exhibit. This exhibit houses whale sharks, manta rays, and schooling fish in almost 2,000,000 gallons of water. The Churaumi Aquarium has recently made the exhibit available to everyone via a live stream. Take a few moment or the entire day to enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Kuroshio Sea exhibit. Watch as divers clean the glass tank or the multiple whale sharks slowly make their way around the tank. For more information visit the Churaumi Aquarium website.
A new species of cichlid from Iran has been described. Iranocichla persa joins I. hormuzensis in what was once a single species genus. Like I. hormuzensis, I. persa has only been found in drainage rivers along the Persian Gulf coastal region. The article titled “Iranocichla persa, a new cichlid species from southern Iran” by Hamid Reza Esmaeili, Golnaz Sayyadzadeh and Ole Seehausen can be found in its entirety on the ZooKeys website.
According to the publication, Iranocichla persa is genetically close to I. hormuzensis, but different enough to be considered a separate species. Visually, I. persa stands out from I. hormuzensis by the orange coloration in the chest and lower part of the head. To find out more about I. persa including the collection locations and methodology used in describing this new species, visit the ZooKeys website. To discuss I. persa visit the Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species forum.
A Tropheus moorii Kasanga feeding video by RonnyM88 to kick off Thanksgiving.
One of the most popular variants of Tropheus is the Red Rainbow. However, the name Red Rainbow is used for several T. moorii location variants including Kasanga (in video above) and Kambwimba (pictured below). T. moorii Kambwimba also produces orange-blotched (OB) specimens which are very attractive.
Tropheus are very active cichlids that are prone to becoming stressed and sick if dietary and tank requirements are not properly addressed. Tropheus can also be very aggressive toward each other. For those reasons they are often not recommended for beginning hobbyists. Despite their “difficult” reputation, once a hobbyist is committed to properly keeping Tropheus they are a pleasure to have and not too difficult to maintain. To learn more about keeping Tropheus moorii and other Tropheus species visit the Tropheus Corner library section. Discussion can also be done in the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.
Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor victoriae. Photo by Greg Steeves
A unique cichlid found in rivers and streams in the Lake Victoria basin and even in the upper Nile River. Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor victoriae is one of two subspecies, the other being Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor multicolor. The two subspecies have different color patterns and are not found together in the wild. P. multicolor victoriae, with its golden body and red fins, is considered the more attractive of the two subspecies.
Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor has been in the hobby for over 100 years and was one of the first species bred in captivity. Other the years it lost its popularity and isn’t seen much anymore. Regardless, due to its hardy nature and attractive coloration it is still considered a great beginner fish. Reaching less then 4 inches in length, P. multicolor adapts well to a variety of water conditions, accepts all types of foods and breeds easily. Males can be aggressive even toward other species so care should be taken when considering tankmates. Due to the likelihood in interbreeding, Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor victoriae and P. multicolor multicolor should never be kept together. To discuss either of the two subspecies visit the Lake Victoria Basin forum.
Altolamprologus fasciatus is the lesser known cousin of Altolamprologus calvus and Altolamprologus compressiceps. Both A. calvus and A. compressiceps are easily recognizable by their laterally compressed body and unique profile. Although A. fasciatus’ body is somewhat similar to the other species in the genus, it differs enough that it may eventually be reclassified into another genus. For the time being, it is still an Altolamprologus.
In the wild Altolamprologus fasciatus is a predator feeding mostly on fry and small fish in shallow, rocky waters. Adults can reach 6 inches in length. In the aquarium A. fasciatus is peaceful toward other species but can be aggressive toward its own. Because of its peaceful nature it does well with many other species. However, if other fish are too aggressive or active, A. fasciatus may become very shy. Dietary considerations should also be taken. A. fasciatus needs a diet high in protein which may not be suitable for other fish. To discuss Altolamprologus fasciatus visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.
The Ohio Cichlid Association is holding their annual Extravaganza on November 18-20, 2016. That gives everyone just over a month to make their plans and attend one of the nation’s best cichlid events. Guest speakers include Ad Konings, Adrian Indermaur, Rusty Wessel and Ingo Seidel. Aside from presentations, attendees can enjoy a swap meet, vendor tables, 29 class fish show and an auction on the final day. A pizza party and hospitality suite is also available for registered attendees.
This year’s event will be held at the Strongsville, Ohio Holiday Inn. Special room rates available for registered attendees. For more information and to register for the 22nd Ohio Cichlid Association Extravaganza visit their Extravaganza 2016 page.
When we think of Labidochromis, the species that comes to mind is Labidochromis caeruleus, the yellow lab. However, the genus Labidochromis is made up of many species including Labidochromis vellicans. Most of the other Labidochromis species with the exception of sp. “Hongi” or “perlmutt” are rarely seen in the hobby. L. vellicans can be found from time to time, usually from other hobbyists.
Sporting a yellow face with a blue body Labidochromis vellicans is an attractive fish. Growing to almost 3 inches it isn’t very large. It can be found in the southern part of Lake Malawi feeding on algae and small invertebrates. Unlike L. caeruleus, L. vellicans are more solitary and are usually only seen in pairs or small groups. A quality flake or pellet made up of vegetable matter and some protein is recommended. To discuss L. vellicans or any other Labidochromis visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.