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 January 2002
What's new April 2002
What's new July 2002
What's new October 2002
What's new January 2003
What's New ©by Laif DeMason

Despite winter’s persistent cold and snow coupled with the sluggish economy, people are buying cichlids in good numbers. Sales of most items on the cichlid shelf are strong. Interest in Tanganyikan species this year has increased to levels beyond any of the previous five years. With more interest, collectors have pushed for new items, even if some are “new” in name only. Spotty shortages are reported from breeders in a few bred items of African cichlids. Prices are still the lowest — compared to the last 30 years or so — thus making fish-buying a bargain given the wide selection of cichlids available nowadays. Hobbyists are encouraged to take a trip to their nearest supplier and take a look!

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

Lake Tanganyika 

Exports are very active from Zambia, Tanzania, and Burundi. Collections from the Congo coastline are occurring with more regular activity promised. Bred supplies of Tanganyikan cichlids are selling well with shell-dwellers now gaining popularity. A flood of “blue” forms of Cyphotilapia frontosa collected from various locations has entered the scene. I wonder — if they were all put in the same aquarium for a day, could anyone — even an “expert” — tell them apart?

what's new: Lake Tanganyika

Several varieties of Cyprichromis leptosoma are being exported; one type from Kigoma (Tanzania) sports a yellow body and powder blue fins.

Collected near Ikola (Tanzania), this jumbo version of Eretmodus cyanostictus is marked with strong reddish hues.

Exported from Zambia, a “new” Altolamprologus calvus sold as “inkspot” has a purple sheen on the head.

With increasing interest, shell-dwellers such as ‘Lamprologus’ ocellatus “gold” have been popular choices of late.

Lake Malawi

All the collectors and exporters on Lake Malawi are hitting areas that are infrequently visited. Thus a new wave of items is appearing, some for the first time! Areas in Mozambique are being collected more often of late, as well as out of the way places in Tanzania. The search goes on for the latest cichlids!

what's new: Lake Malawi


From Cobue (Mozambique) comes a new Metriaclima hajomaylandi  (aka “Ps. greberi”) sporting golden markings that extend far back over the body.

From Lion’s Cove (Malawi), Pseudotropheus polit is a small mbuna that often shows black markings on the head, but can change completely to light blue! Photo by A. Konings.

A version of Copadichromis trewavasae from Londo (Mozambique) sports a black body, unlike the original “mloto” from Likoma.

A new Protomelas ‘steveni’ has appeared from Nkhata Bay (Malawi) sporting red markings instead of the usual yellow. (No, this is not a Red Empress!).

From the extreme north of Lake Malawi, Lethrinops sp. “Mdoka red” is infrequently encountered for collection. Photo by A. Konings.

Also sporadically collected for export from Tanzania, Buccochromis spectabilis is a rare find! Photo by M. Hyuga.

Lake Victoria

Not much to report for Victoria basin cichlid fans. No new collections of wild material have been reported. Hopefully with time this situation will change. For now, bred material is the only source. Be careful of the “pedigree” of the strain you are considering! 

West Africa and Madagascar
Collections and exports of riverine forms from Congo, Cameroon, Guinea, and Nigeria are in seasonal swing. Several species of Pelvicachromis, ‘Chromidotilapia’, Nanochromis, and Teleogramma not often seen are currently available. Interest in cichlids from Madagascar is also on the rise. Bred material is still the best and most reliable source. A new book on these interesting Malagasy fishes by Patrick de Rham and Jean-Claude Nourrisat is currently available in French.


Seasonal collections are high at the moment from countries in South America. Importers have complained that due to airline flight cut-backs, shipments from Brazil are hard to schedule as weekly capacities on board have been reduced. Currently several breeders, some in Florida, are producing many of the less common New World cichlids. Supplies of European bred Apistogramma and other dwarf species are still good.

what's new: Neotropics


Originally from Argentina where sporadic exports have occurred over the years, Gymnogeophagus australis is currently bred by hobbyists. Photo by J. Rapps.

From Peru, Tahuantinsuyoa macanzatza is an infrequently-seen delayed mouthbrooder. Photo by J. Rapps.

Extremely rare in the trade, Nandopsis ramsdeni is from the island nation of Cuba. Photo by J. Rapps.

Known as Cobra Pike, Crenicichla sp. Tapajos II is a colorful, large cichlid from Rio Tapajos, Brazil. Phot by K. Devlin.

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