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 October 2003
What's new January 2004
What's New ©by Laif DeMason

It has been very cold in many parts of the United States this winter – very cold! There’s little doubt that unfavorable shipping conditions and increased security threats to airlines at the turn of the New Year have led to delays and shortages to some degree in tropical fish supplies. Some collectors and exporters around Lake Tanganyika have thrown in the towel, leaving a more reasonable number of suppliers. Cichlid interest and sales have maintained a higher level compared to the recent past. Less oversupply for the current demand seems to help this trend. New cichlid hobbyists are often willing to “shell out” for infrequently seen items. Prices for cichlids are still at a historic bargain compared to the decades before!

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

Lake Tanganyika 

The big news is that some collectors/exporters in both Tanzania and Zambia have closed down their activities for good. This development has been welcomed by the remaining collectors, as they foresee an end to oversupplies and price-slashing. The actual “shake down” effects remain to be seen. Supplies from Burundi are good and timely, while activities in Zambia and Tanzania are slower to start in 2004. Infrequent and rumored collections are still reported from Congo. 

what's new: Lake Tanganyika

Collected infrequently near the border of Zambia and Congo, Julidochromis dickfeldi “Moliro” is available again.

Collected occasionally near Nkamba (Zambia) in areas infested with large crocodiles, Tropheus moorii “Ilangi” is exported from time to time. 

Also from Zambia but collected near the Nangu River is a yellow rainbow variety, known as Tropheus moorii “Linangu.”

Collected near Kapampa (Congo) and exported from Zambia, Neolamprologus marunguensis (a N. brichardi-type) has been shipped again. Photo by A. Konings. 

Lake Malawi

Supplies from all corners of Lake Malawi seem to be good. Several novel varieties are available from time to time from the Malawi coast, which is most welcome. Small mbuna types seem to be more popular than ever, with colorful Aulonocara or peacock types also in demand. Bred supplies are holding up although spotty shortages from Florida have been reported. 

what's new: Lake Malawi


A new variety of Metriaclima aurora is collected from Cobwé, Mozambique. 

A seasonal predator, Dimidiochromis dimidiatus is only rarely exported. Photo by A. Konings. 

Available from farms many years ago and long forgotten, Metriaclima sp. “patricki” has been collected near Jalo Reef recently.

Another novel H. steveni-type, Protomelas taeniolatus “Chilumba Jetty” was exported for the first time last year. Photo by A. Konings.

Only seasonally available from northern Tanzania, Sciaenochromis ahli —sometimes called “big-eye ahli” — is the correct fish for this name, not H. “electric blue”! 

Shipped to Florida by Eric Fleet over 20 years ago, the so-called “green zebra” is actually Cynotilapia sp. “Mbweca”, an afra-type from Mozambique! Photo by A. Konings. 

West Africa

Exporters in Guinea and Cameroon are “chomping at the bit” to jump in on the new popularity of cichlid species from there. They are ready to supply any demand. Long delays in the usual rains in Congo have reportedly resulted in short supplies of riverine species near Kinshasa. Nigerian suppliers are shipping per normal. 

what's new: West Africa


One of the more interesting cichlids from Cameroon is Pelvicachromis taeniatus “Bipindi”; a male is pictured here. Photo by O. Lucanus.

From Mungo (Cameroon), Benitochro- mis (Chromidotilapia) finleyi “mungo blue” is one of the more colorful members of this group. Photo by O. Lucanus.


Exports of material from South American countries are running smoothly. Favorite wild-caught varieties include Geophagus, Symphysodon, and some of the pike cichlids. Bred items are still many and varied. Bred dwarf “apistos” still seem a quite popular alternative to the big guapotes.

what's new: Neotropics


Occasionally available, Crenicichla marmorata from Brazil grow to a large size. Photo by J. Rapps.

A very popular dwarf bred in Europe due to its intense coloration is Apistogramma agassizi “double red”.

Astronotus orbicularis, a lesser known relative of the common oscar, has been shipped from São Paulo, Brazil. Photo by J. Rapps. 

Geophagus itapicuruensis is a new variety from the Itapicuru River in the Bahia area of eastern Brazil. Photo by O. Lucanus.

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