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.
This is Blue, my large Cyphotilapia gibberosa Mpimbwe male. He is between ten and twelve inches long - probably closer to twelve - and meaty. I have had him since he was a wee little fellow. I originally purchased a small group of fry around 1.5" long at a Greater Chicago Cichlid Association auction. I can't remember exactly when that was, but I am guessing sometime in 2009 or 2010. The largest tank I currently own is a 75 gallon aquarium. You can imagine how a group of large gibberosa would not do well in a tank that size. At some point the fish began to grow too large and I sold off the other members of the group I had and kept only Blue. He was the largest of the bunch at the time.
I have enjoyed having a front around, even if it was only the one. Fronts (a term I collectively use to mean frontosa and gibberosa) are beautiful, majestic fish. They are typically very mellow. Blue is a bit skittish, but has at times taken food directly from my hand. I have used him as a cull machine for all of my malformed fry over the years, a role I think he rather relished.
But the time has come for me to move on from Blue. He occupies a 75 gallon aquarium all by his lonesome. I could really use that space more productively. And, to be frank, he deserves more space to swim around. I will miss him, but that is the nature of life. Sometimes circumstances dictate that we be separated from those we love. That does not mean we love them any less. I say that with sincerity.
Those of you who long to keep this species already know the answer to the title question. This is a male Neolamprologus nigriventris of Lake Tanganyika. He is one of two males I have and the father of the fry in the video below. I am happy to say that I now have two pair of N. nigriventris breeding simultaneously in side-by-side tanks. That means that I will begin reaching out to the people on my waiting list for fry. Of course, they produce small spawns and the fry take a little time to grow to salable size, so be patient if you are on the list. I will eventually get to everyone, God willing.
For now, enjoy a short video of the first batch feeding away on live baby brine shrimp. They have yet to attain their adult color and currently resemble N. leleupi, though much less intensely colored.
As a bonus for those livebearer enthusiasts out there, there are some Girardinus metallicus swimming around in the tank as well. I just love that species.
I have been very inactive regarding updates to the website. Can you believe I haven't posted since April and it is now October? I know - sad. In contrast the fish have been quite busy. I have a lot of breeding to report. That will come shortly after the upcoming Greater Chicago Cichlid Association swap meet on October 15th. Once I get some of the surplus fish and equipment out of my space, I will dedicate some time to updating my information here.
You can expect an updated Currently Keeping page, specific articles on exLamprologus occelatus "Gold" and exLamprologus meleagris, as well as updates to a couple of existing articles. Please stay tuned.
I recently updated the Currently Keeping page. Check it out. Also, I plan on adding a list of plants. I have been exploring this area somewhat of late. You may see some posts and even articles pertaining to keeping plants in the aquarium... eventually.
I added a new link to the Links to Excellence page as well.