While I was in Ohio in November, I picked up a dozen Lepidiolamprologus nkambae around three to three-and-a-half inches in length. I have had these Tanganyikan cichlids in the past and really like them. I'd been longing to keep them again, so I didn't waste the opportunity to obtain some. My plan is to keep about four to six of them for myself and sell the remainder. They are probably around four months from sexual maturity. Maybe more. In any case I hope to breed them again. Enjoy these photos of the fish and be sure to check out the species specific article.
Here are just a couple of shots of one of the panther crabs I recently acquired. Thus far they have been very secretive. If they see or sense me near the tank they will quickly scurry into hiding. They are housed in a roughly forty gallon corner tank - it's an odd size - with a bunch of rockwork and a single piece of Anubias covered grapevine rising up in the center.
As I understand it, they are omnivorous. I have been feeding a mix of fish flake and pellets in an attempt to discover what they prefer. I have found that they don't eat as much as one might suspect based on their size. I initially had a lot of excess food building up, so I cut their feedings down in frequency and quantity. What I discovered is that they adore guppy grass (Najas guadalupensis). Instead of eating the offerings I provided, they have been steadily demolishing the bunches of this plant that I added to the tank for cover and visual appeal.
I have already had the pleasure of watching one of them molt. It was a slow process in which the crab slowly extricated itself from its existing shell through the back, leaving a perfect hollow replica of itself. A friend of mine, Don, informed me that it is best to leave the empty shell in the tank with the crabs as they will consume it and reclaim some of the calcium and other minerals present in the exoskeleton.
I hope to capture the act in video and post it to the site. I will work on getting some more photos as well.
It has been over a year since I posted anything to this site. In that time the Neolamprologus nigriventris featured in the last post did indeed spawn again. It was a small batch of seven fry. I kept them in the hopes of raising them up to become the next generation of breeders as I don't believe I am going to see much more activity from their aging parents. The juveniles are now between 2 and 3 inches long and quite healthy. I just recently moved them from a heavily planted 40 gallon breeder aquarium to a 75 gallon that is also housing some recently acquired Lepidiolamprologus nkambae of similar size as the nigriventris, a few haps, around fifteen yellow Labidochromis caeruleus, and a couple of medium sized L128 plecos. Most of the occupants are temporary residents. I will try to post some photos soon.
There have been many changes in my tank inhabitants recently. Take a look at the updated Currently Keeping page. The newbies came from two events, the December swap meet held by the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association and the Ohio Cichlid Association's Extravaganza. This is second consecutive year I have attended the annual convention held in Strongsville, OH. It is a great event that I would recommend to any cichlid or catfish enthusiast, and most any other aquarium enthusiast as well. They have a slate of intelligent, well informed speakers, a fish show displaying a variety of beautiful adult catfish and cichlids, a packed vendor room, an evening hospitality suite featuring some grub for attendees, and a huge Sunday auction. On top of all that, attendees set up elaborate mini pet stores in their rooms from which can be purchased all manner of interesting fish, inverts, plants and dry goods. That alone makes a one-time trip worthwhile.
Allow me to mention that the auction is one of the best I have seen for a few reasons. First, despite an entire weekend of fish trading hands in hotel rooms and at local fish shops, the content of the auction - and this is true for both of the auctions I attended - was comprised of a lot of quality stock. Yes, there were some unsightly entries, that is to be expected at any auction, but the majority of the fish were desirable, healthy specimens. I picked up some nice adult Neolamprologus cylindricus breeders, some uncommon Victorian Enterochromis paropius, and a few others. The second reason I like this auction is that there are a large number of buyers to compete for the available fish. And these buyers are all largely insane by normal standards - most of them having double digit aquariums in their home, some triple digit. These wackos - and I include myself in this group - are willing to spend for what they want. That leads to good prices for the sellers, in general, which in turn encourages sellers to enter better stock into the next auction. As I said, it is a very good example of a fish auction. Mind you there are always deals to be had, you just have to be patient, attentive and decisive. There were many bags of fish that I wanted, but ultimately lost out on in the bidding war. Still I went home very happy with my purchases.
I will attempt to post some photos and videos of the fish in upcoming weeks. I also really want to add to the species articles located within the Cichlids of Africa tab too. We'll see.
Stay tuned to see some info about the Parathelphusa pantherina, panther crabs, that I recently purchased.
The video below is a mashup of footage of my breeding pair of Neolamprologus nigriventris. I say breeding pair, but they have not spawned in some time. I just put them back together after a two month separation due to over-the-top aggression from the male, the Black Ghost.
I hope to have some near-future success from them again. Time will tell.
Enjoy this video of a female Placidochromis sp. 'phenochilus tanzania' vacuuming up her fry. I didn't think she'd manage to get them all back inside. What do I know?
I will be attending the OCA Extravaganza convention this coming weekend in Ohio. Hopefully I will return home with some cool new fish.
I updated the Currently Keeping page for anybody who cares to know. My apologies for the lack of content recently. It has been a busy spring/early summer for me in the garden. I purchased quite a number of new plants for my yard this year and have just recently finished getting most of them in the ground. I still have a few to go. Here are a couple of photos you probably couldn't care less about. The first is Missouri evening primrose (Oenothera missouriensis) and the second is a "Sugar Love" lily. I will try to post more about the fish soon.
Here is a photo of the dominant male Cyathopharynx furcifer Ruziba in my small group. This isn't a great photo, being kind of grainy. I shot it with the flash on, because it is very difficult to catch this fish's color without the flash. I typically don't use the flash at all. In any case, this spectacular color is exactly why people like the Tanganyikan feather fins.
By the way, I will be at the Quad City fish swap in Davenport Iowa Sunday, April 15th.
I had been contemplating a name change for the website to Belly Up Aquatics. After a quick Google search I discovered that there exists a YouTube channel of that name. I am disappointed. Kudos to the owner of that channel for choosing a great name.
I suppose it isn't all that bad. After all, I really like my logo as it is.
I could use Washed Up Aquatics, but that makes me sound really old. I don't know if I'm interested in that idea.
I made an impulse purchase of sorts this past Saturday. Here is a video showcasing the exLamprologus ornatipinnis I picked up. There was a pair that was behaving favorably toward one another in the pet store aquarium, but once the net went in they became indiscernible from a third fish in the tank. So I bought all three. This pair is displaying to one another minutes after I added a few shells to the tank. I am fairly certain I will have fry within a couple of weeks.
I did not take a photo of the shell an hour later when the entrance was completely blocked with a pile of sand. I wish I had. The following day it was once again back to normal and one of the fish is inhabiting it. I believe this is a female. I suspect the third fish is also a female as the attitudes of the others are not combative toward it.
You may have noticed in the Currently Keeping page that I have some Altolamprologus sp. 'compressiceps shell' Mpulungu fry. These are photos of them. They were born in December, just a few short months after I purchased the parents at a Greater Chicago Cichlid Association rare fish auction.