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

As the doldrums of summer wane, interesting cichlids are again appearing in the market place.  Cichlids from Lake Tanganyika are enjoying a major spurt in availability based on exports from Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia.  Malawi cichlids are holding their own, although exports have not maintained an edge in sales over domestic sources, as they have in the past.  The rainy season is on in West Africa thus slowing collections, while South American exports are on a seasonal rise.  It would appear from the sales in the specialty cichlid market that hobbyists are returning to aquariums in greater numbers and spending more time with their fishy pets.  However, demand drives the cichlid business; thus if sales prove lucrative, exporters will continue to venture further to satisfy importers and customers alike.

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

Lake Tanganyika 

 Exports from the Congo (west) coast of Lake Tanganyika have arrived again after several years of restrictions due to political strife.  This stimulus alone has charged up Tanganyika enthusiasts!  Further, regular shipments from the Kipili area of Tanzania have arrived.  In Zambia increased efforts plus additional exporters have sought to make hard-to-get specimens more available. 

what's new: Lake Tanganyika

Exported from Congo, the Cyphotilapia frontosa caught around the islands near Kavala is known for the yellow in its dorsal fin.  Photo by A. Konings.

Collected from Ulwile Island near Kipili (Tanzania), this juvenile Tropheus sp. “Kipili” is also known by more colorful names.

Available throughout the Kipili area, this Lamprologus brichardi variety sports blue facial markings.

Also in demand is Xenotilapia papilio from the islands around Kipili.

Lake Malawi

Juveniles of Malawi cichlids continue to be big sellers.  However, imports of wild-caught fish have slowed due to weak demand.  Exports from both the Malawian and Tanzanian coasts continue, but activity in Mozambique is very restricted.

what's new: Lake Malawi


Domestic sources are now supplying F1 adults from Aulonocara sp. “maleri” from Maleri Island due to its infrequent collection and export.

Caught far south in Undu Point (Tanzania) and sold as Copadichromis sp. “azureus white cap” is a popular fish due to its striking colors.  Photo by A. Konings. 

Sporting striking yellow finnage, Copadichromis pleurostigma is infrequently exported from northern Tanzania.  Photo by A. Konings.

Another Tanzanian export, Tropheops sp. “red fin” is from Hongi Island.

Collected at Hai Reef (Tanzania) this Cynotilapia afra “red top” is truly a dwarf species. Photo by A. Konings.

Incidental in the lake, Stigmatochromis pholidophorus is an example of a beautiful predator species, if one only has the patience to let it color up in the aquarium!


Victorian cichlid fans have little hope for new wild-caught material any time soon.  Searches are still on-going for the once commonly-bred varieties that have slipped away from the hobby.  With commercial demand lacking, breeders have discontinued  production of several species.  The need to preserve as many direct lineages as possible becomes even more evident.

what's new: Victoria


Once commonly bred over five years ago, Astatotilapia sp. “blue neon” is now rarely seen.
One of the most colorful cichlids, ‘Haplochromis’ sp. “all red” originally hails from Lake Nawampasa.


Neotropical cichlid hobbyists continue to trade bred items from both South and Central America.  Wild supplies continue to flow from the usual South American countries.  Dwarf Apistogramma have gained popularity due to the ever increasing flow from bred sources in eastern Europe.

what's new: Neotropics


Often imported from Guyana and sold as Apistogramma ortmanni, this fish is a regular item for dealers. 

Originally from southern Brazil, Gymnogeophagus labiatus is gaining popularity among eartheater fans.  Photo by J. Rapps. 

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