What's new April 2000
What's new July 2000
What's New ©by Laif DeMason

Hey, what’s this? Sales of cichlids in the United States have nearly doubled since the last installment of “What’s New”, indicating the beginning of a strong cichlid season! While domestic fuel prices may make us grumble, in more remote areas of the world, the energy crisis is even more serious. Severe price increases and fuel shortages are plaguing aquarium fish collectors and exporters. Not only are basic costs of getting to collecting areas and to airports with shipments on a rapid rise, but the cost of air freight cargo has also jumped due to the expense of jet fuel! Scaling back to conserve money and fuel is the order of the day. In spite of all this, supplies of imported cichlids are still good for the moment!

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

Lake Tanganyika 

Bred fishes are in good supply, and import items are available in fair numbers as well.  Some of the recent shortages from Zambia have been reversed, but central Tanzania is still problematic.  There are still no collections from the Congo (Zaire) shores.

what's new: Lake Tanganyika

Exported from Zambia, this colorful, bright-orange form of Neolamprologus mustax arrives sporadically.

Reportedly from the southern shores of Tanzania, another rainbow form of Tropheus moorii is distinguished by its bluish fins.

Originally from Ubwari (Congo), Tropheus sp. “green” often develops red flecks on the body as it ages.

Infrequently collected, but usually available from speciality breeders, Ophthalmotilapia boops “neon Kipili” is a choice featherfin.

Lake Malawi

Collection efforts have temporarily bogged down in Lake Malawi, but stocks are especially strong from fish farms, limiting export demand.  Exports from both Malawi and Tanzania have slowed due to bottlenecks with carriers; also, fewer collectors are now working in the lake.

what's new: Lake Malawi


Reportedly from the eastern shore of Malawi, Cynotilapia afra “edwardi-type” first arrived earlier this year.

Newly exported from the northeastern lakeshore in Tanzania, this “broadmouth” mbuna is related to Pseudotropheus novemfasciatus from southwestern sections of the lake.

From Magunga (Tanzania), Aulonocara gertrudae has been an available export of late.  Photo by A. Konings.

Though infrequently exported, Nimbochromis livingstonii has recently arrived from Manda (Tanzania) sporting an ivory ground coloration.

Developed in Florida, Labeotropheus trewavasae “Opal” has whitish-orange males with an opalescent cast and classic orange-colored females.

Having caused a stir in the mid-80s, Aulonocara saulosi, or the metallic green-face peacock, is now making a comeback with both hobbyists and breeders.


Unfortunately, new collections and exports from the Victorian basin have stalled, with no immediate resolution apparent.  Hobbyists are still relying on bred material from various sources.  An occasional novelty arises!

what's new: Victoria


One of the few “limax” varieties bred here and there from years ago,  this haplochromine is yellowish with a reddish chest.
Variably sold as Haplochromis obliquidens or H. “thick-skin,” the so-called “red-tail” and “blue” morphs are essentially the same fish.


West Africa 

Exports from the usual places, such as Nigeria and Congo, remain unabated, while items from Cameroon and Guinea are currently best obtained from speciality breeders.

what's new: West Africa


Exported from Nigeria and occasionally elsewhere, this Hemichromis fasciatus female is set up for breeding with an aggresive mate.  Photo by J. Rapps.
First appearing in France some time ago, Hemichromis sp. “Simballa” has been received from Guinea.  Photo by O. Lucanus.


Exports from many areas of  South America are strong.  Wild discus (Symphysodon), unusual Apistogramma, and geophagines always seem to be popular.  Other large guapotes can be procured from specialized breeders.

what's new: Neotropics


Always an attractive novelty, this new Apistogramma reportedly hails from the Rio Uaupes in western Brazil.  Photo by O. Lucanus.

Originally from Uruguay, Gymnogeophagus gymnogenys “Rosario” is an interesting color variety.  Photo by J. Rapps.

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