For those of you who have contacted me about the species Neolamprologus nigriventris (and this is by far the species I get the most questions about), I have some sad news. I have long kept my male and female breeders separate in abeyance, waiting for a time when I could put them back together again in an appropriately-sized aquarium. Unfortunately, the female, Dainty Lady, died in August. I am now counted among the many who are searching for this species. I still have the Black Ghost, though he is more of a grey ghost without his lady around to spur him to greater beauty.
I intentionally eliminated the majority of livebearers from what I am keeping. I only kept three species: Limia perugiae, Limia melanogaster, and Girardinus metallicus. The perugiae and metallicus are probably my two favorite wild-type livebearers at this point in time.
My plan for the future - and I have no idea how near or far down the road this will be - is to put in a rack of six 40 gallon breeder aquariums which will serve as housing for my breeders. That means I will be limiting myself to between six and twelve different species of cichlid. I have to make some hard choices about what I want to focus on, but I know that I can't keep operating in the fashion I had been, which consisted of constantly buying more fry of species I like and forcing them in, somewhere, only to run out of space as they grew. That is a fool's way. I don't want to be a fool. It isn't fair to the fish. God did not intend them to live the way I have forced them to, all crammed together. Granted, everything about life in an aquarium is unnatural, but appropriate maintenance makes a world of difference. My plan is to keep fewer fish in better environments and spawn them for years. That way the fish I like will be around for awhile.