The fall issue of Cichlid News typically marks the end of the summer “holding pattern” that many aquarists, including myself, enter into while we enjoy the outdoors, visit family and friends, or embark upon that well-earned vacation. Although giving your fishes (and yourself!) some time-off from heavy feeding and breeding cycles can be beneficial, don’t forget to continue supporting your local fish shop.  Summer often brings financial hardships for those increasingly-rare independent stores; stopping by for that extra can of flake (or that 300-gallon set-up) can really help.
Speaking of time-off, this issue is the first in a while that lacks a full-length piece by Juan Miguel Artigas Azas.  But, we couldn’t let him off that easily; he is now tasked with presenting his list of favorite cichlids. 
Up first, Ad Konings presents a blockbuster article on a beloved group of utaka; guaranteed to fire-up the Malawi fanatics.  Copadichromis is a genus currently undergoing some scientific evaluation with the descriptions of new species and discussions of generic “splitting.”  The scientific community, of course, not only deals with systematics, it is also interested in matters of behavior, ecology and conservation.  Two of the most recognized areas to those concerned are the freshwater ecosystems of Madagascar and Lake Victoria. Roger Bills, from South Africa, presents an article on a community-based conservation project taking place on a river full of unique, endemic species in Madagascar.  Such initiatives strive to provide benefits for both piscine and human inhabitants.  The plight of Lake Victoria, by now well-known to many, is a sad story that has affected an entire region of Africa.  However, its cichlids, many of which occur only in captivity, continue to provide insight into the family’s behavioral and morphological adaptations.  Leiden, the Netherlands, is a place now synonymous with Lake Victoria cichlids, and Patrick Niemantsverdriet illustrates their techniques for long-term species maintenance in captivity.  Since New World cichlid aficionados might have something to say about breeding all those haplochromine mouthbrooders, Radek Bednarczuk brings an account of one of the most frustrating New World eartheaters, Acarichthys heckelii. If ever there was a fish to challenge the most accomplished and committed cichlidophile, this is it!

  So, as always, sit back and enjoy this issue of Cichlid News. I hope it satisfies your thirst for the beautiful and/or rare. 

Ariel Bornstein, Editor 

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