Do you recognize these guys? A friend of mine from the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association was kind enough to bring me a bag of ten Thorychthys meeki, aka the firemouth. He gave them to me at the most recent swap meet, October 1st. Take a good look. I didn't. At least not when he gave them to me.
If you are familiar with them, you will know that these are in fact red devils (Amphilophus labiatus). As much as I admire the beauty of this species, I loathe the idea of raising ten of them to adulthood or anything near it. I had one red devil years ago. He, or she, was quite the terror in the mixed tank I kept it in. These youngsters are not long for my aquariums.
I added a few Cyprichromis photos to the Photo Gallery. Take a moment to check them out.
Updated 09-08-17: I apologize to anyone who searched for the photos mentioned above, but didn't find them. I assure you all, they are there now.
I understand that this will come as bad news for some of you, but I am no longer attempting to fulfill the waiting list for Neolamprologus nigriventris fry. I still have the adult fish, but they have been extremely fickle spawners. Those few of you who managed to get some of the fry, rejoice. The last four or five spawns have had very minimal hatch out rates - and that for what are already small batches of eggs. Several of the spawns disappeared days after the eggs appeared. I suspect the adults ate them, though I cannot say why.
To make matters worse, one of the males gave his female partner a terrible beating following a water change in the tank. She nearly bit it, but managed to revive in a solo tank. She is now with the Black Ghost (pictured above) in a 75 gallon aquarium. Hopefully I will get some more activity out of them, but I can't say. If I do manage to raise some additional fry, I will post them when available. My apologies to those of you waiting patiently on fry. Sometimes things just don't work out. Unfortunately, this is one of those times.
I have had very little luck raising Altolamprologus calvus fry, but I seem to have a lot of luck getting them to spawn. Here are a few shots of my yellow calvus spawning. The female is enticing the male to the cave (shell). This is the second pair of yellow calvus I have. The first pair has been spawning on and off for a few months. I have not done well raising their offspring. I do, however, have about thirty or so fry nearing .75". I think my problem is in not feeding them frequently enough with live food. They, like most fish, are more inclined to eat food that is wriggling about in front of their faces than flakes that are resting on the sand.
I purchased ten Enantiopus melanogenys juveniles in April of 2016 at roughly 1.5 inches in length. They grew fairly quickly once I put them into a 75 gallon aquarium. There are now only nine of them, but they are between 3.5 and 5 inches long. And, after all of this time anxiously waiting, they are colorful and fun to watch. It was a long test of my patience. I have to say the payoff was worth the wait.
For your viewing pleasure I offer a video of two male E. melanogenys displaying for the ladies in their newly redecorated home. I find it interesting that the two males have distinct markings in their dorsal fin allowing me to differentiate between them. There are other males in the group, at least two others. I am curious if they will be equally uniquely marked when in full breeding dress.
I have updated the Currently Keeping page. You will notice that I have acquired a number of young Malawi cichlids recently. I slowly sold off all of my Malawians only to find myself with a desire to keep some again. And so I shall.
Also, I have some fry from my Altolamprologus calvus "Yellow". The dominant male is pictured above and below is a shot of some of the girls.
The last photo is one of the Cyathopharynx furcifer Ruziba juveniles I purchased at the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association's February rare fish auction. It was a great event made possible by the laudable efforts of several club members to whom I am grateful. There was a nice mix of cichlids from Tanganyika, Malawi, west Africa, Madagascar and South America. I am usually trigger happy at auctions, but I tempered my impulses and only came away with the one group of furcifer. They look great and I couldn't be happier about the purchase. Perhaps the future will see some photos of a nice beautiful male posted here.
I am admittedly confused by the current taxonomical definition of the species Neolamprologus brichardi and Neolamprologus pulcher. I was mistakenly under the impression that the two had been clumped together under N. pulcher. After reading a species profile on Cichlidae.com for N. pulcher, I am of the understanding that they are still considered two distinct species. My apologies to anyone confused by any of my previous posts that may have indicated otherwise.
So to clarify, I do not have any N. pulcher. I currently have some albino brichardi.
The most easily recognized difference between the two species is the pattern on the cheek of the fish. N. brichardi have perpendicular marks, while N. pulcher have two parallel, near-vertical marks. This is not so easy to determine in the albino form.
I took a few photos today and had little success in getting the shots I intended. I did manage a few reasonable shots that were not what I was looking for. Above is a juvenile Neolamprologus nigriventris from the second batch of fry I have managed to coax from my breeders. These guys have a mixed bloodline - always a plus - and are the first offspring from the Black Ghost in quite some time.
Below is a shot of a rock covered in hydra. I don't know a great deal about these invertebrates. They are micro-predators, feeding on small live prey. That can include fry if they are unfortunate, though I haven't noticed any problems and this shot is from a tank housing breeding exLamprologus similis. The hydra thrive in tanks that get live baby brine shrimp feedings. I found an informative blog post on them that was very interesting.
I also updated the Currently Keeping page. At the last two swap meets I attended I moved some of my adult fish, including a breeding pair of Lepidiolamprologus nkambae and a breeding trio of albino Neolamprologus brichardi. Now I have a lot of young fish growing out. That seems to be pretty common for me. I enjoy watching young fish grow. They are rarely as beautiful as healthy adults, but there is always excitement in their activity. In contrast, some of the adult fish get very boring and complacent. Plus I can usually keep more fish when they are young than when they are full-sized adults. Makes sense.
I finally had exLamprologus ocellatus "Gold" breed for me. I currently have two pair and a small smattering of fry that are quickly nearing sexual maturity themselves. As is typical of cichlids in general, the pair do not always get along. Everything is great during spawning. The female holds her own, protecting her nest and her babies when they come along. However, when the children are not in the picture things can get a little ugly.
I recently placed a pair of the gold ocellatus together in a ten gallon aquarium. Initially the tank housed only the female. When the male was added, things got hairy in a hurry. The video below shows the fish bickering. Eventually I put enough rockwork into the tank to break up the sight lines a little bit. The male still hounded the female. They will settle down and the male will allow the female to occupy a shell and work on a new batch of fry, but at present the lady is out of luck and out of a shell.