What's new April 2000
What's new July 2000
What's new October 2000
What's new January 2001
What's new April 2001
What's new July 2001
What's new October 2001
What's new January 2002
What's new April 2002
What's new July 2002
What's New ©by Laif DeMason

 Autumn has just begun and with it arrives a cooler breeze. Though an economic slowdown has continued for the last few months, the stay-at-home philosophy of a recession has yet to take hold in the cichlid trade. Supplies are strong for the most part with certain sectors of cichlids showing increased interests from buyers. Competition among collectors, exporters, and breeders is now keen — all of which leads to the best pricing and availability in some time. No need for low interest rates; just go shopping!

Here’s “what’s new” on the cichlid scene:

Lake Tanganyika 

Exports from Burundi, Tanzania, and Zambia continue per normal. Collecting along the southern coast of Congo is now possible but at a high price. These types of “entry fees” are spreading to other areas causing increased concern. There is a lesson to be learned here and maybe another reason why prices may yet go up!

what's new: Lake Tanganyika

Collected at several places in eastern Zambia, Cyathopharnyx furcifer “green” is frequently exported. Photo by T. Koziol.

Exhibiting brilliant hues of blue and yellow, Cyprichromis leptosoma from Karilani Island (Tanzania) are noteworthy. Photo by T. Koziol.

Collected from Cape Bangwe (Tanzania) south of Kigoma, this variety of Eretmodus cyanostictus is a new arrival.

Known in the early 1980s as “Lamp. Walteri”, Neolamprologus falcicula Kigoma is a smaller princess-type.

Lake Malawi

Exports from Malawi have struggled to adjust to new shipping routes and internal logistics. Tanzanian exports seem to have their own problems as well, but agents from both are still sending out consignments. Mozambique survives as a hit or miss affair. Bred items remain the “bread and butter”of African stocks, coming from a variety of farmed sources.

what's new: Lake Malawi


Developed years ago but recently refined for color, the albino flavescent (Aulonocara) peacock is a real beauty.

A larger mbuna, Pseudotropheus williamsi “red top” from Nakantenga Island (Malawi) is infrequently available. Photo by A. Konings.

Sold and written about under several names (e.g., sp. “slim”; sp. “compact”; zebra OB elongate), this fish is one of the best OB species for a consistent “blueberry” pattern. Originally from Mbamba Island (Tanzania), its lack of popularity may simply be due to its lack of a good trade name!

Large import facilities for cichlids usually receive several oddball items that arrive as contaminants. Here Corematodus taeniatus, a scale-eater from Tanzania, which becomes a beautiful emerald green not often seen in Malawian haplochromines.

A classic “steveni” from Cape Kaiser (Tanzania), this fish exhibits the typical blue-gold coloration and lean body form.

Often sold as “imperial steveni”, this incredibly beautiful Protomelas species from Tanzania is more closely related to P. taeniolatus types, such as “red empress” and “fireblue.”


Unfortunately, there is only bad news to report for Victorian cichlid fans. Increasingly, as novice hobbyists join the ranks, more misidentified and hybridized cichlids are being passed off as established species. People just do not have enough reference material at hand. The aquarium literature available is just not adequate for the mainstream Victorian buff.

what's new: Victoria


An “old timer” from the 1980s or before, Astatoreochromis alluaudi is still found from specialized breeders.
Many wild-caught cichlids, such as this predator haplochromine from Lake Nawapasa (Uganda), were just imported once, never to become established before the long export embargo began. Photo by M. Smith.


Rains have abated in South America, and thus the collecting season has begun again. Recent news that the government in Peru has restricted several fish species from export has spread confusion of late. Other bred varieties still abound, even if you have to look a little more for some of the rarely bred ones!

what's new: Neotropics


Originally from Rio Itapicuru, Brazil, Geophagus itapicuruensis are available from eartheater specialists. Photo by J. Rapps.

For Middle American fans, Herichthys sp. “Altamira” originally hails from the gulf coast of Mexico. Photo by J. Rapps.

Bred in the Far East and selected for the basic colors and form of the “brown” discus is this strain of Symphysodon discus.

Often bred in central Europe in good numbers, Apistogramma viejita II exhibits excellent red markings.

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