What's new April 2000
What's new July 2000
What's new October 2000
What's new January 2001
What's New ©by Laif DeMason

Cichlid interests and the resultant sales have noticeably increased over the last few weeks. Various weather-related problems associated with shipping and collecting are on the wane, but nevertheless continue to affect sales.  Still, there is a definite buying trend that is hard to ignore.  Prices of export fishes from some areas have nudged upwards due to higher fuel costs in underdeveloped nations.  However importers are absorbing the brunt of these increases for now, rather than pass them on to the consumer.  Not much has changed in hobbyist tastes within the various cichlid specialization departments over the last year or so.  It will be interesting to see if any one cichlid group or genus will now emerge as a new “must-have” fad, as has happened so many times in the past.

Here’s “what’s new” on the cichlid scene:

Lake Tanganyika 

Apart from the heavy rains that have plagued the southern regions, exports are as per usual. The most popular species from Lake Tanganyika are various lamprologines, small Tropheus, and various oddities. Wild-caught Cyprichromis have gained some popularity of late.

what's new: Lake Tanganyika

Collected north of Kipili,  Xenotilapia spilopterus is known for its unique yellow dorsal fin.

From southern areas, Altolamprologus compressiceps “Mwela” sports a pleasant coppery-orange color.

Exported from Zambia, a new variety of Paracyprichromis brieni called “primrose” shows a strong yellow hue in the anal fin.

A recent export, this variety of Ophthalmotilapia ventralis “yellow” is from Kala, Tanzania.  Photo by A. Konings. 

Lake Malawi

For a variety of reasons, exports of wild-caught Malawi stocks have slowed.  Sales are still brisk, however, from Florida farms and bred sources.  Popular items include small colorful mbuna, large Aulonocara males, and many hard to get oddities.  Malawi cichlids at small sizes are still one of the most popularly-purchased items.

what's new: Lake Malawi


Caught north of Cape Kaiser, Tanzania, Pseudotropheus sp. “zebra yellow tail” is an elongated form that is rarely exported.

Related to Otopharynx heterodon, this O. sp. “big spot Tanzania” is characterized by the large spots on its flanks.

Popular in the early days of Malawi cichlid-keeping, Hemitilapia oxyrhynchus is available again from bred sources and occasionally from the wild.

Exported from Tanzania, this unidentified species of Lethrinops is similar to some of the “green face” varieties, which are exported from southeast Malawi.  Photo by C. Kacirek.

Occasionally exported and available from bred sources is the yellow Mylochromis melanonotus.

This rarely-exported, torpedo-shaped predator with a black longitudinal stripe is likely Mylochromis formosus.


The cichlid scene regarding the Victorian basin remains unchanged.  There is renewed talk of exports, but the best source is still from breeders.  Popular varieties include many of the old stand-bys from ten years ago.

what's new: Victoria


Originally from Uganda, ‘Haplochromis’ sp. “madonna” can still be found from specialized breeders.
From Lake Albert and elsewhere (most areas held by rebels), ‘Haplochromisaeneocolor is popular due to its bright yellow underbody.


Neotropical cichlid buffs maintain a stronghold of favorite selections.  Wild caught discus and dwarf cichlids are still popular, as are geophagines and odd selections of Central America cichlids from bred sources.

what's new: Neotropics


Originally from Panama,  Archocentrus nanoluteus is a low-aggression cichlasomine.  Photo by J. Rapps.

Caught in Nicaragua, wild Amphilophus labiatus are occasionally seen in full breeding dress.  Photo by J. Rapps.

With several color variants available (from different locations), Apistogramma agassizzi is very popular.  A male Ap. agassizzi “red” is pictured here.

Originally from Uruguay, Gymnogeophagus cf. gymnogenys “Salto” has atypical vertical bars.  Photo by J. Rapps.

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