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 April 2004
What's new July 2004
What's new October 2004
What's new January 2005
What's new April 2005
What's new July 2005
What's new October 2005
What's new January 2006
What's New ©by Laif DeMason

The long winter is finally coming to an end. As the weather slowly improves, it is time to reorganize your cichlid tanks and give that fish room a good cleaning-out. While you are at it, give some thought as to how the hobby will fare in the future. There are many past-time activities competing with the aquarium hobby, and it appears that fishkeeping may be a bit old-fashioned! Let’s face it, the fishkeeping hobby could use some new young recruits! It is time for some of us old-timers to put something back into the hobby. Anyone can help expose young kids to the wonders of aquarium fishes. What can be a better family-oriented hobby than one that teaches science, nature, and responsibility. Retailers and fish clubs alike can team up to sponsor youth-oriented tropical fish workshops. This can be done through schools, Scouting, or summer camps. All you need is a good cichlid guy to teach the basics, and a place to do so. Make sure you schedule a follow-up lesson after a week or two so the kids can share their experiences and excitement! 

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

Lake Tanganyika 

Collections continue at near-normal levels at all points on the Lake.  Exports from Zambia and Tanzania continue to be “multi-national,” with fishes from different countries arriving in each shipment.  Some collectors in search of new material are sampling the “in-between” sites (those between the usual, well-known sites), looking for new Tropheus and Opthalmotilapia varieties.  Whether or not these forms will actually prove to be something new and/or different remains to be seen.  

what's new: Lake Tanganyika

The yellow-tailed Ophthalmotilapia ventralis from Ulwile Island, Tanzania, is a rarely imported variant of this popular species. Photo by A. Konings.

Reportedly from the Gombe area of Zambia, Julidochromis “transcriptus” has again been imported lately. 

Newly-exported from Zambia, Tropheus moorii Nundo is collected somewhere between Nkambe and Chilanga (east of Nsumbu).  Photo by T. Veall.

Shipped from Tanzania, this population of T. moorii Namansi is marked mostly in yellow; very similar to the T. moorii found near Nangu (Zambia), many miles away! 

Lake Malawi

Collections on the Tanzanian and Malawi coasts continue per normal, as do exports.   However, collections in Mozambique remain spotty, at best.  Some new forms and seasonal items have appeared on the market.  Small mbuna and Aulonocara varieties seem to be holding on to their current popularity, with large or extra large haplochromines also starting to become of interest.  Captive-bred supplies are also strong and many Malawi species are available as juveniles. 

what's new: Lake Malawi


Captive-bred Metriaclima estherae, or the red zebra.  The “supercharged” color comes from feeding fish food mixed with 5% commercial Cyclops oil extract.  

Originally collected near Njambe, Tanzania, Metriaclima sp. “dolphin” is now available as F1 juveniles, but is known to be difficult to breed. Photo by A. Konings.

A small new mbuna from Tanzania, Ps. sp. “minutus tanzania” is infrequently found at Pombo Reef.  

Another new variety from Tanzania, Protomelas sp. “Chimate” still needs to be properly identified. Any guesses?  

A beautiful male Aulonocara from Gallireya Reef, Malawi.  It is similar to the form collected at Chitimba, known as Aulonocara Maulana, but the Gallireya Reef form seems to have larger egg spots.  

A recent arrival from somewhere near Ndumbi, Tanzania, this form of Pseudotropheus sp. “red top ndumbi” sports red spots on its forehead, not the usual red blaze.  Photo by K. Duelund.    

West Africa

Some new material has appeared from the Congo River areas near Kinshasa (DR Congo). Other West African countries continue to export their own native cichlids and other fishes.  There is some interest from hobbyists in finding seasonal or infrequently-collected West African cichlids, year-round. This may be possible from breeders, but it may prove impossible for importers to order specialty items on demand.  

what's new: West Africa


Juveniles of this rarely-seen Ctenochromis polli have recently been imported from the Congo.  This fish grows to over five inches in size. Photo by A. Bornstein. 

Imported under the erroneous moniker “Liberia Red,” this larger form of Pelvicachromis humilis actually comes from Guinea. Photo, of two males, by A. Bornstein.


Importers have stepped-up their fish purchasing from most South American countries. Hobbyists also continue to trek deeper into the bush to collect that elusive new cichlid, thus increasing the overall number of cichlid varieties available. General purchases of captive-bred Neotropical selections have also been strong.  

what's new: Neotropics


Imported from Peru, Acaronia nassa is found through Amazonia and is rarely bred in captivity.  They are reasonably peaceful with larger fishes. Photo by J. Rapps.

Exported in relatively small numbers from Brazil, Nannacara taenia is also bred in Europe. Photo by O. Lucanus. 

Infrequently available as un-colored juveniles from southeastern Brazil, Retroculus xinguensis is much more spectacular as an adult.  Photo by O. Lucanus.

Collected in the Ucayali area of southern Peru, Aequidens patricki is a relatively peaceful cichlid.  Photo by J. Rapps.

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