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 October 2001
What's New ©by Laif DeMason

Life has certainly changed!  With the September 11th terrorists’ attacks in America, the tropical fish industry’s dependence on the airlines has turned the business upside-down.  Many fish shipments were in transit when all flights were grounded on that horrible day.  And the subsequent embargo on freight and the tightened security for carriers affected all exporters worldwide, even in the remotest parts of Africa.  Fortunately, most routes were up and running again within two to three weeks, with some “unsecured” airports taking a month to resume shipping.  Of course as a result, fish sales have slumped, along with most other industries in the U.S.  However, cichlid sales in Europe have seen an upturn, compared to last year’s season, although sales in the Far East have not.  In theory, with the current crisis within the airline industry and the resulting “stay-at-home” consumer strategy, the aquarium industry should see a turn around with increased sales during this winter.  Perhaps cichlid hobbyists will now spend more relaxation time with their fishy pets!

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

Lake Tanganyika 

Collections and exports have been fairly steady from Burundi, Tanzania, and Zambia.  Collections in the Congo seem to be on the rise in the southern sections, and there are reports that collecting is occurring north to Uvira as well.  Bred fishes are plentiful, and sizing is at its best.   A few new strains have been reported from different areas and hopefully will appear in hobbyists’ tanks soon.

what's new: Lake Tanganyika

Originally caught in Congo (Zaire) and distributed from Burundi, Chalino- chromis popelini is also collected in Tanzania south of Kipili.  Photo by T. Koziol.

Collected from Nkondwe Island, Tanzania, Cyprichromis leptosoma “tricolor jumbo” has different male color morphs. Some are all yellow, and some have the characteristic black fins with an orange-yellow head and throat.

Exported from Zambia, the Cyphotilapia frontosa “blue Kapampa” or “true blue” is trickling out of Congo.

From Kipili, Tanzania, Paracypri- chromis brieni sports pin stripes and a yellow tail fin.

Lake Malawi

Exports from Lilongwe (Malawi) struggled during the aftermath of the September 11th crisis; however they (happily) were able to resume in November.  Limited collections have begun again in Mozambique, along with the normal Malawi fish collecting.  Tanzanian exports have increased for the moment.  Florida and Far East breeders also have plentiful stocks.

what's new: Lake Malawi


Reportedly from Nkhata Bay, Malawi, an “edwardi-type” Cynotilapia afra sports an unusual yellow forehead and dorsal markings.

A rarely exported egg stealer, Hemitaeniochromis insignis is from northern  Tanzania.  Note the specialized mouth shape.

Collected in Mozambique, Placido- chromis electra or “deep water hap” is now available from these shores.

Another difficult-to-find cichlid which can be collected only in the breeding season, Copadichromis sp. “mloto gold crest Makonde” is available from Tanzania. 

Not exported from Tanzania in large numbers until now, Copadichromis borleyi “Kirondo” is an orange variety with white fin markings.

A difficult-to-find beauty, Lethrinops sp. “red cap” was discovered ten years ago from the extreme northern tip of the lake in Tanzania and has now made a second debut.  Photo by C. Kacirek.


Not much news to report from the Victorian basin, as exports are non-existent due to conservation fears generated several years ago.  In Uganda, many cichlid varieties exist in large populations which are not in any danger of over-collecting for the ornamental trade.  Hobbyists still need to re-visit varieties available from specialized breeders.

what's new: Victoria


Exported over ten years ago from Uganda, Haplochromis sp. “fire” (a wild-caught individual is shown) is still available from bred sources.
Also from Uganda and found in large numbers there, Haplochromis sp. “ruby green” is only available from breeders now.


The collecting season is starting to wane in some parts of Brazil and elsewhere.  Imported and bred supplies of Neotropical cichlids are strong.  Seasonal favorites and colorful cichlids seem to make up the fare for this winter.

what's new: Neotropics


Available from breeders, ‘Cichlasomaistlanum hails from the Pacific slope of Mexico.  Photo by J. Rapps.

Seasonally available from southern Brazil, Crenicichla sp. “Xingu III” is a sporadic export.  Photo by J. Rapps.

From Colombia, a new Acarichthys variety has caught the eye of some specialized hobbyists.  Photo by J. Rapps.

From the Far East, this green Symphysodon discus sports the desirable red spotting on the body and a high dorsal fin, characteristic of bred strains from there.

return to index


Copyright © 2000-2002 Aquatic Promotions, Inc. All rights reserved.