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What's new April 2002
What's new July 2002
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What's new April 2003
What's new July 2003
What's new October 2003
What's new January 2004
What's new April 2004
What's new July 2004
What's new October 2004
What's New ©by Laif DeMason

Time spent with your favorite hobby (like cichlid-keeping) is time well spent. Time spent visiting fellow hobbyists or an occasional fish show or club meeting is also time equally well spent. Socializing with others gives all of us a new perspective on cichlid care, breeding and husbandry techniques, and of course, on what others are keeping species-wise. With many cichlids, most of us are bound to run into the “name game”, so hearing what others are calling which name is most helpful in sorting out all the names in current usage. Most good books written by respected authors in the field are well worth the investment. At least with a good reference book, hobbyists can start somewhere on common ground for common handles for each fish. Many cichlids have their (scientific) names changed by ichthyologists, but often one of their two names (genus or species) is retained in the revised form. Also, many cichlids can have a location name for those with more than one color morph in the wild. Stay away from “designer cichlid” named fish that do not have a location name associated with it. As for man-made strains of angelfish and discus, stay with only known strains that have been well established. The more you ask around, the more you will understand and avoid the fancy designer names that are here today and unknown tomorrow! 

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

Lake Tanganyika 

 Many different fishes from all points in the lake, except the northern Congo shoreline, are being collected and exported. Some of the exporters have been re-shuffled or no longer collect. Competition, however, among exporters up to now has brought us newer species and bargain prices. 

what's new: Lake Tanganyika

Shipped in small numbers from both Burundi and Zambia, Bathybates species at a juvenile size (3-4") are available occasionally. 

Also from Burundi, Neolamprologus brevis Ruziba (a shell-dweller) sports an orange-red fleck above the eye and a violet sheen to the face.

New from Karilani Island (Tanzania), Eretmodus sp. “cyanostictus north” sport reddish vertical bars instead of the usual yellow bars. 

Reportedly collected at a depth of 150’ and exported from Zambia, Xenotilapia sp. “red princess” is a new species yet to be described. The dorsal fin is yellow anteriorly with a large bright red blotch! 

Lake Malawi

Exports keep chugging along from all shores of Lake Malawi. Interesting and newer items from “in between” locales are being collected and sent from the Malawi side. Mozambique activity is stronger now as well as Tanzanian. Bred items from commercial cichlid farms are now up to size and available once again in good numbers. 

what's new: Lake Malawi


Collected near Liuli (Tanzania), Copadichromis borleyi “blue” usually has more of the blue hue and less of the typical orange body coloration. 

A new species, Pseudotropheus elongatus “blue tail” found at Mumbo Island in Malawi National Park. Photo by A. Konings.

Not always in demand, but known from its old-time name “golden fuscoides”, Pseudotropheus barlowi has claimed new interest once again. 

An albino form of a man-made fish, Aulonocara “eureka red”, has been selected for its bright red markings. 

A new color morph from Jaro (Malawi), Placidochromis sp. electra “green face” sports a yellow underside and unpaired fin markings along with a blue body and the greenish sheen on its face, making this variety one of the most colorful to date. 

Developed in Florida, Pseudotropheus elongatus “orange sunburst” has vibrant orange females with powder-white males sporting orange flecks. 

Lake Victoria

A few varieties maintained only by institutions for conservation purposes have found their way to European breeders and thus hobbyists elsewhere. Several species are also bred on fish farms, but the numbers are dwindling due to lack of demand. No new wild exports have been known for years.

what's new: Lake Victoria


Several varieties sporting the “typical” black body with red finnage of Astatotilapia nubila are occasionally for sale, although their exact species identities may not be known. 

Originally from Tanzania, Haplochro- mis sp. “red back scraper” is currently available from bred sources. Photo by O. Seehausen.

West Africa

Cichlid supplies from countries in West Africa are in full swing. Congo (riverine), Nigeria, and Cameroon top the list in cichlids exported. Often unknown to hobbyists, many are still timid in buying these unusual items. 

what's new: West Africa


Recently shipped from Cameroon, Pelvicachromis taeniatus Bandewouri is yet another color variety. 

From Cameroon, one of the many chromidotilapiines, Benitochromis riomuniensis Ntem. Photo by O. Lucanus.


Exports from South America are still strong as of this writing. Bred fare for ‘Cichlasoma’ species, dwarf Apistogramma species, and discus varieties seem to be the most popular preferences among hobbyists. Discus fans should choose from the known strains; avoid any new names and un-established strains.

what's new: Neotropics


Originally from Mexico, Thorichthys maculipinnis “Rio Obispo” (sold as T. “ellioti Rio Obispo”) is colored a bit differently than the normal T. maculipinnis

One of the many wonderful discus strains, a pigeon-blood variety sporting the typical red eye. 

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