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.
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.
Here is some video footage of my 75 gallon aquarium. It houses several Tanganyikan species, namely Lepidiolamprologus nkambae, Neolamprologus buescheri Kachese, and Synodontis multipunctatus. There is also a lone Neolamprologus leleupi female in the video. She has since moved on to another home elsewhere. Enjoy.
I have a short video of these fish with their fry and a few tankmates. This footage is a bit old - I don't even own the fish any longer - but it takes me a while to put the video together. It is more work than posting photos. Anyhow, enjoy!
This goofball took a long walk off a short pier. I recently moved a rack of 5.5 gallon aquariums that I emptied out and cleaned up to sell. This sad fella was behind it. He or she is a Lepidiolamprologus sp. 'meeli kipili' from Namansi in Lake Tanganyika. I always try to warn people that Lepidiolamprologus are leapers and will find their way out of any openings. The tank this fish jumped from had only a small opening for an airline (maybe 2" by .5"), but this individual managed to find it and make the worst possible use of it.
I almost have to laugh because this photo reminds me of one of those pictures of a specimen that has been collected for scientific study and is all colorless and nearly unrecognizable. This fish actually has more color left in it than those specimens typically do.
There is a new article in the Cichlids of Africa category. I hope it is helpful to those considering keeping Lepidiolamprologus nkambae. This species is uncommon in the hobby though not impossible to find, and it makes for an interesting change of pace from the various Neolamprologus species.
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 love these predatory Tanganyikan cichlids. Lepidiolamprologus nkambae (arguably the same fish as L. kendalli) are solitary predators who spend their time cruising for meals. Shaped like a torpedo and armed with a decent set of chompers, these fish are formidable. I have a pair who have not spawned in a couple of years, but still intrigue me. Their demeanor could best be described as mock timidity. They will usually hover in or around a cave they have excavated as if they are afraid to join the masses, but when some unsuspecting fish wanders too near their home, a quick - and sometimes vicious - strike sends the unwary wanderer fleeing in fear and pain. The male is often abusive to the female, but she is no slouch when it comes to inflicting damage on other tank inhabitants.
I am debating purchasing some more youngsters at the upcoming GCCA swap meet on February 16th. Here are a few recent photos of my pair. The last picture is the only shot of the female.
As anyone with eyes can see, my website is slow in taking form. I have only three of the "Species Articles" complete thus far. Actually, I believe only one is truly complete in its current state. Having said that, which species of those listed - or even those unlisted, would you, the viewers, like to see finished first? I will try to accommodate your wishes in as much as it is possible.