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

Winter 2000-2001 has struck with a vengeance, affecting many aspects of the cichlid trade.  Unseasonably cold temperatures and snow have backlogged and delayed airline flights which also slows tropical fish freight across the United States.  Extreme long-lasting cold in Florida has killed more sensitive tropical species on farms in the center of the state.  Early and heavy rains have hampered collections and transport over land in parts of Africa, including southern Tanganyika.  Fortunately, supplies of cichlids from Florida and importers are holding up for the time being; however this could change quickly depending on conditions during the rest of the winter season!

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

Lake Tanganyika 

Supplies from breeders across the world and exporters in Burundi and Zambia are still good.  Newcomers in Tanzania and Zambia are still struggling with the dynamics of the cichlid trade, while some old-timers are wondering if they can still make it work! Congo (Zaire) collections are still off limits.

what's new: Lake Tanganyika

Once again available in (the usual) low quantities is the deep-water Gnathochromis permaxillaris.  Photo by Ad Konings.

From Burundi, Neolamprologus savoryi has been received recently.

Imported from Zambia, Julidochromis transcriptus “Gombi” has been re-visited by hobbyists.  Photo courtesy of R. Krüter.

Originally from the Congo coastline, but only available from bred sources, Ophthalmotilapia ventralis “orange” is a colorful variety.

Lake Malawi

Collections and exports from all points around Lake Malawi have slowed somewhat.  Mozambique collections are still off line.  Availability of bred Malawi cichlids is still strong, and the selection of bred varieties are at an all time high.  Recent increases in demand include small, colorful bread-and-butter varieties of mbuna.

what's new: Lake Malawi


From near Lundu Point in Tanzania, an unknown variety of Lethrinops looks superficially like L. micrentodon.

Another newcomer from north of Lupingu (Tanzania) looks somewhat like a fish sold previously as Labeotropheus trewavasae “mango”.

 Large bred specimens of Copadichromis virginalis “Chingata” are popular buys.

Somewhat larger and found sympatrically with the classic blue-gold “steveni” in northern Tanzania, Protomelas ‘imperial steveni’ in full breeding dress is deservedly admired by aficionados.

Collected off Likoma Island, Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos or “Maingano” is now being exported again.

Rarely found in the lake, the yellow variety of Exochromis anagenys is now available as fry from breeders.


Activity around the Victorian basin seems is virtually nil.  As research activity wanes in Uganda, interest in commercial exports is coming around.  Victorian fans have more to hope for but still must wait patiently to see what develops.

what's new: Victoria


Does anyone still have stocks of this fish originally sold as ‘Haplochromis’ sp. “emerald fire”?  It hails from Lake George which is now off-limits due to rebel activity.
Originally caught below the Owens Dam near Jinga (Uganda) and now available from breeders, this  “Haplochromis” sp. “red-fin piebald” is a male; females can be red-orange in body coloration.


West Africa and Madagascar 

Exporters in Guinea and Nigeria are active now.  Congo exporters are hampered somewhat by a shortage of flights to Europe brought on by safety concerns.  Madagascar fans must rely on bred sources for most items.

what's new: West Africa / Madagascar


Often arriving in shipments from Kinshasa, these riverine Lamprologus are often contaminants in bags of Steatocranus.
Available in limited quantities from breeders, stocks of Paretroplus maculatus are now threatened by sensitivity to cold weather in Florida.


Neotropical supplies remain status quo.  Recently, shortages in space on cargo flights from Manaus have affected some Brazil fish importers.  The usual fares from breeders and import items are popular.

what's new: Neotropics


Originally from southern Brazil, Gymnogeophagus meridionalis is available from specialty breeders.  Photo by J. Rapps.

Several dwarf cichlids, like this Apistogramma viejita “red,” are frequently offered from European breeders.

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