WHAT'S NEW ACROSS THE WORLD
|What's New ©by
Many aquarium fish hobbyists around the world
seem to have turned to cichlids as their favorite fishy pets. Amazingly
enough, due to the wealth of information currently available on the internet
and books, people in small countries are even joining the hobby. And as
always the most popular cichlids vary in each region of the world. What’s
most popular in Hong Kong, is different than Poland, and even different
than Cleveland, Ohio. And, as most of us “old-timers” know, this cichlid
fascination never really stops. Just as you tire of one group of cichlids,
another different group peeks your interest as thus the quest continues.
Today it may be big Central American guapotes, and tomorrow it will be
large predatory Malawi “Haps”. So many cichlids to choose from! So many
fascinating fishes to keep! Real cichlid hobbyists will never call it quits!
Here’s “what’s new” on the cichlid scene:
Reports of collections from the northern section of Congo have preceded
this issues’ printing. Of course this area is still dangerous as
rebels largely control these northern shores, thus completely closing access
for the past several years. Other collection areas along Zambia, South
Congo, Tanzania, and Burundi are still producing exports. One sad bit of
news: Thierry Brichard, son of the great African fish collector Pierre,
has died after a bout with cancer. Thierry was a great scuba diver and
boatman who lived most of his life in Burundi on Lake Tanganyika. A great,
jovial guy and a lover of cichlids; we will miss him dearly.
what's new: Lake Tanganyika
Collected in Keseke, Tanzania, Xenotilapia
sp. red fleck, named for the small red spots in the dorsal fin, is available
Also from central Tanzania, a dark form of Neolamprologus
cylindricus have been collected and exported.
Collected near Karilani Island, Tanzania, Aulonocranus
dewindti from this area, reportedly show more blue coloration in the
body. Photo A. Konings.
First collected and exported over one decade ago,
Petrochromis sp. red fin Ubwari has been collected again.
From Apembwe, Tanzania, a new Eretmodus cyanostictus
that sports strong gold body bars.
Originally collected by the Brichard family in Congo,
Tropheus moorii Zongwe, is similar to the T. moorii Murago,
but exhibits a more tawny yellow juvenile coloration.
Open season has been called on Lake Malawi! Seemingly all collectors
from all exporting countries are collecting in each other’s turf and there
has been widespread trading by “independent” divers from many locals. Trading
seems to be brisk and one wonders where it will all end, as the distances
traveled to deal fishes are great. Fishes from Mozambique, Tanzania, and
Malawi are offered for sale with disregard for traditional national boundaries.
Seasonally shipped from Tanzania and elsewhere, Rhamphochromis
esox has been recently exported. Photo by A. Konings.
Newly discovered on Mbembe Point, Likoma, this Gephyrochromis
species sports bumblebee-like barring. Photo by A. Konings.
A staple from Florida cichlid farms of the past, Hemitilapia
oxyrhynchus is now being offered again. Photo by A. Konings.
Also being bred in earnest, due to demand in the Far
East, Tyannochromis macrostoma can be purchased as juveniles.
There is still a lack of collections in most countries in the Lake Victoria
basin. Some similar species are collected occasionally elsewhere.
The most reliable sources for Victorian cichlids are from established breeding
facilities with known and established breeds.
what's new: Lake Victoria
Originally from Tanzania, ‘Haplochromis’ nyererei
Python Island is available from European breeders. Photo by O. Seehausen.
Exported from Burundi, this Victoria-like ‘Haplochromis’
burtoni actually hails from Lake Tanganyika and its tributary rivers.
Photo by A. Konings.
Cichlid exporting nations of West Africa are active and eager to strike
when the metal is hot! Fishes from Cameroon, Guinea, Nigeria, and
Congo (riverine species) are currently collected and exported. Now,
suppliers’ stocks are very good and have been keeping up with the recent
One of the many yellow varieties from Cameroon, Pelvicachromis
taeniatus Nyete is newly exported. Photo by O. Lucanus.
Occasional bred by avid hobbyists, Thysochromis
ansorgii is a very peaceful cave brooder from West Africa.
It is collecting season again and exports are arriving in good numbers
from most regions in South America. Seasonal dwarf Apistos, discus, and
pike cichlids are regularly sold. Some specialty cichlid breeders are selling
directly to importers and many new and unusual items are making their way
into stores for hobbyists to buy.
Originally from Peru, this red headed Heros sp.
‘rotkeil’ is now available from specialty breeders. Photo by J. Rapps.
Available from discus breeders, one of the blue cobalt
varieties with strong solid blue hues.