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What's new April 2004
What's new July 2004
What's New ©by Laif DeMason

Summer is long over and it is time to “get down to business”!  Many cichlid hobbyists will soon start to think and re-think their fishy set-ups.  Seemingly, which cichlid groups are most popular is dependent upon hobbyists in each country and sometimes in each part of a country.  Often the water characteristics in each region also contribute towards determining popularity.  Hobbyists want to see their cichlids breed and thus for those in areas that have naturally soft, acid water, dwarf apistos or Pelvicachromis may fit the bill.  However, many areas of the world where cichlid-keeping is keen have hard, alkaline water where East African cichlids are king.  So to each his own, and one thing to be sure — cichlid hobbyists are always willing to try something new!   

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

Lake Tanganyika 

The status quo seems to be holding across this area.  Collections and exports are nearly the same as for the last six months or so, as regular exports continue from Burundi, Zambia, and Tanzania.  Occasional collections from specific areas in Congo are infrequent.  Occasionally a new item appears — or at least one that has not been around lately! 

what's new: Lake Tanganyika

Available from the central Tanzanian coast, Petrochromis sp. “Ikola” is one of the more colorful forms of the genus and somewhat reasonably-sized as well.  

Caught near Msalaba, Tanzania, males of Tropheus sp. “Mpimbwe” sport red cheeks.  

Reportedly from the central Tanzanian coast as well, this new Tropheus “rainbow special” male is colored similarly to a reddish “Ilangi”; females are green, as in Ilangis.  

A strain developed some years ago, albino Paracyprichromis nigripinnis “neon” are still infrequently sold.  

Lake Malawi

The more established exporters around Lake Malawi seem to be holding strong on sales, whereas the newcomers on the lake seem to be struggling.  More effort has been directed towards uncovering “new” forms to strengthen interest.  Interest in odd and smaller mbunas like Labidochromis and “dwarf” pseudos such as perspicax types is still evident.  Bred items are plentiful after the recent summer breeding season.   

what's new: Lake Malawi


A new variety from the Malawi coast shipped as Aulonocara sp. “Zunga” has arrived.  

Another steveni type, Protomelas taeniolatus “Border” has also arrived from the Malawi coastline.  

From Chizumulu Island (Malawi), Labidochromis flavigulus has piqued some interest in small mbuna fans.  Photo by A. Konings.

From north of Njambe (Tanzania) comes a new yellow-blaze Cynotilapia afra variety.  Photo by A. Konings.  

Collected from Luhuchi Rocks south of Mbamba Bay (Tanzania), Pseudotropheus elongatus males sport strong bars typical of “ornatus type” members of this group.  Photo by A. Konings.  

Originally collected near Otter Point in Malawi National Park, Nyassachromis eucinostomus is available from bred sources.  

West Africa

West African collectors and exporters are active and continue to send out material.  Cichlids from Cameroon, Guinea, Nigeria, and Congo have all made their appearance. New items are still in big demand and exporters are trying their best to comply.  

what's new: West Africa


A recent new export from Cameroon, Pelvicachromis taeniatus “Makoure” has made its appearance.  

Available from Guinea, Hemichromis letourneaux is a true jewelfish sporting red and often lime green coloration.   

Often sold as “silver jewelfish”, the actual identity of this Guinea export is likely to be a tilapiine. 

Also seasonally available from Cameroon and not often seen, Parananochromis caudifasciata has been exported of late.


Collecting season in South America has started strong with a variety of pike cichlids and the usual associated species (some not cichlids!).  Also, there are good quantities of bred items like dwarfs, discus, and the usual ’Cichlasoma’ varieties.  Special color morphs of mid-America species are also actively sought by avid travelers/hobbyists to be used in further breeding efforts.  

what's new: Neotropics


One of the many bred dwarf cichlids from Europe, Apistogramma sp. “opal” is a popular choice.  Photo by A. Konings.  

Now produced by specialty breeders, this yellow Amphilophus amarillo originally comes from Lake Xiloá in Nicaragua. Photo by A. Konings. 

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