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

The recent blackout experienced in the Northeast has made all aquarists acutely aware that fish-keeping is totally reliant on a constant supply of electricity. Since most cichlid hobbyists have many tanks, what can be done to minimize losses from long-term power interruptions? First, don’t panic! Most aquaria stocked at normal densities can survive quite easily for from a few to several hours without electricity. During such interruptions, the fish may become “spooked” and hide — this is a good sign. Simply do NOT feed your fish on that day! A bad sign would be fish hanging at the surface, a sign that the water is low in oxygen. For a long-term power outage, you can run battery-powered aerators part of the time. Prepare yourself ahead with bait aerators run on D-cell batteries, which are inexpensive at sport fishing stores. Buy a least one per two large tanks. If your system runs off a central blower, you’ll need a car battery-operated blower from aquaculture supply stores (for under $200.00). For larger solutions, there are portable generators; select one of at least 5000 KW (but run it OUTSIDE your building). Even if you didn’t lose fish this time, this blackout serves as a wake-up call — be prepared!

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

Lake Tanganyika 

The usual supply lines are still providing cichlids, Zambia and Tanzania per normal with Burundi exporting in spite of recent rebel attacks in Bujumbura. Congo is still hit-or-miss with the usual talks about permanent collecting. Bred fishes are available in good numbers as well.

what's new: Lake Tanganyika

More blue Cyphotilapia frontosa, — this one from Nangu, Zambia — are being harvested, along with other fishes in the area, such as black calvus.

Altolamprologus cichlids are still quite popular; A. compressiceps “red” are collected from two places in Tanzania. Individuals vary in the intensity of red in their body and fins.

Also from Tanzania, the blue-eyed Tropheus from near the mouth of the Malagarasi River; some of the “forgotten” Tropheus of the past are being noticed again.

Something new on the scene from a specialty breeder — an albino Julidochromis transcriptus. Photo by R. Bachu.

Lake Malawi

Supplies are still good from both Malawi and Tanzania, while Mozambique activity is spotty. Although the volume of exports seems to have slowed, the number of specialty species has increased from all shippers. Popular bred items include newer varieties as well as some of the “forgotten” species from the past. 

what's new: Lake Malawi


Caught at depth in northeastern Malawi, a new yellow Cynotilapia afra can exhibit either bright yellow or orange colors depending on mood.

A newly-exported Pseudotropheus perspicax from Mbowe Island (Malawi) sports a distinct orange cap and dorsal margin.

Also recently exported is Labidochromis gigas, a little blue-barred cichlid from Malawi. Photo by A. Konings.

An interesting multi-colored mbuna sold as Ps. sp. “yellow belly zebra” is also from Mbowe Island, Malawi.

Collected along the southern Tanzanian coast, Copadichromis sp. “likomae blue” has a metallic sheen. Photo by A. Konings.

Developed in Florida some time ago, Protomelas sp. “steveni Taiwan albino” sports electric red, orange, and bluish-white. Many normal-colored juveniles carrying the albino gene were sold, and thus albino fry have appeared in broods in other places.

West Africa

Continued interest in these cichlids has pushed collectors to provide more varieties from the rivers of Congo (Zaire), Cameroon, and Guinea. Numerous cichlids are being shipped from species “hot spots”, especially from Cameroon and Guinea. Unfortunately many varieties are seasonal and will not be collected again until spring.

what's new: West Africa


A very small species, Nannochromis dimidiatus has been exported recently from the Congo in good numbers. 

Other river cichlids, such as Lamprologus congoensis, are currently supplied from Congo. Photo by A. Konings.

Many different varieties of Pelvicachromis taeniatus — such as this male “Dehane” — are exported from Cameroon. Photo by A. Lamboj.

Also from Cameroon (Ntem River), Parananochromis longirostris can reportedly grow quite large in the aquarium. Photo by A. Lamboj.


The collecting season has been very good in Brazil and other South American countries this year. If you are looking for wild-caught pikes or discus, they are available now. Many other varieties and species from the Americas are also being provided by specialty breeders.

what's new: Neotropics


Many of the more appealing eartheaters are actively bred for sale; shown here is Geophagus sp. “Bahia red.” Photo by J. Rapps.

Created in the Far East a couple of years ago, the “Parrot-fish” cichlid is a hybrid that has been selected for its oddly-shaped head and now can be bought in several color forms. Courtesy of Jy Lin Trading Company, Ltd.

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