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 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 took a few new pictures. Take a look at the Photo Gallery to see more of what came out of the camera.
I finally managed to get my aquarium maintenance back on a regular schedule. Those of you who have multiple tanks - and, to a greater degree, those of you who have many, many tanks - understand how easy it can be to fall behind on your regular maintenance of the aquariums that house your precious pets. I found myself allowing my aquariums to suffer for extended periods of time. Never to the extent that the fish were dying directly from poisonous conditions, but to the point that their health was suffering and they were becoming susceptible to disease. This was a disapointment to no one as much as it was to me. I recently, say seven or eight weeks ago, decided I needed to get my act in gear or start to decrease the number of aquariums I had until it was a managable task. I chose the former and began a three week rotation. I currently have fifteen 10 gallon aquariums on one rack, sixteen 5 gallon aquariums on a second rack, and several larger tanks (one 75 gallon, one 90 gallon, one 30 gallon breeder, and one 50 gallon breeder). I also have a twenty gallon plastic vat in which I house a colony of Gammarus shrimp, known as scuds. This is a feeder colony from which I infrequently harvest some live treats for the fish. Every Saturday I do a roughly 75% water change on one third of the tanks at a time. One week it is the 10 gallon rack, the following Saturday the 5 gallon rack, and finally the four larger tanks. This is thus far a manageable shcedule that is promoting great health and better growth in my fish. I know people who do 50% weekly water changes on all of their aquariums. This is excellent fot the fish, but not really something I can manage without an automatic system in place.
Hopefully I will have some photos and videos forthcoming soon. Here are just a couple of pics I took recently. Also, check out the Currently Keeping page for an updated list of fish I have at present. I sold a good deal of fish at a recent swap meet to make room for some of the others I have growing up. A second round of selloffs is coming soon, as I still have too many fish for the space I have. It is difficult to prioritize species when they are all so amazing and worthy of our interest. By the way, while I do occasionally sell some of my fish, I am not a retailer and do not have many fish available to sell. Only when my fish spawn do I typically have anything for sale. I do not mind the inquiries, but keep that in mind.
This is a male Pseudochrenilabrus nicholsi from Africa. They are a river dwelling, mouthbrooding cichlid that can be quite aggressive. I liken their behavior to that of the mbuna of Lake Malawi except that they are not rock dwellers or plant eaters. The spawning activity and territoriality of the species, however, is almost identical to most mbuna. The stunning male coloration of this species makes it well worth the troubles.
Here are a few fry of Lepidiolamprologus sp. 'meeli kipili'. They are a substrate spawning species that will readily accept shells for the purpose of laying their eggs. Below are photos of a female with a new brood of fry upon reaching the free swimming stage of their lives. I have never kept Lepidiolamprologus attenuatus, but from the photos and videos I have seen, these two species are very similar in appearance.
I have four Altolamprologus calvus "White Chaitika" in a 30 gallon mixed tank that includes two species of rainbows (Melanotaenia kamaka & Bedotia geayi), a redtail shark (Epalzeorhynchus bicolor), a small group of Copadichromis trewavasae "Lupingu", and a single blue phantom pleco (Hemiancistrus sp. 'L-128'). I have noticed a couple of them acting suspicious. One large individual - roughly 3" - and a smaller one - roughly 2" - have holed themselves up in a crevice formed of several pieces of slate. The male is visible guarding the area and the female rarely leaves the cave. I suspect they have spawned and am very excited about it. I have kept this species only once before and the experience was less than positive. The male of the pair continually abused the small female until she eventually passed away. The male lived to be a beautiful adult specimen only to then be knocked off by a female Sciaenochromis fryeri recuperating after having held a batch of eggs for nearly three weeks.
This time the prospects are more promising. I haven't noticed any aggression between the four fish, and I suspect there are two males and two females. That suspicion is based on the size of the fishes and the behavior exhibited. I look forward to taking a stab at raising some of these slow-growing fry.
Below is a video containing glimpses of the two males: