Certainly there are lots of cichlid enthusiasts who are attracted to the large cichlids from either side of the Atlantic. There is something incredibly alluring about a full grown wolf cichlid (Parachromis dovii) or one of the large predators from Lake Malawi. It takes a rather substantial aquarium to do many of these cichlids justice, and some dedicated hobbyists are fortunate enough to be able to provide just what these fishes need, however, that is not to say that good things cannot come in small packages, particularly when it comes to cichlids. This issue focuses on relatively small cichlids; fishes which are smaller in size, but large in character.

Uwe Werner describes his successes (and occasional setbacks) in breeding Nanochromis transvestitus, a tiny parcel of color and fascinating behavior that he bred in tanks only a foot long. Juan Miguel Artigas reveals the secrets of Theraps coeruleus. This is the smallest member of its group, and it too, employs incredible breeding colors as part of its reproductive efforts. As Juan points out, while some of these fishes can be kept in very small aquaria, if you devote a larger space to them, you are more likely to see the full splendor of their color and behavior. The point is made by the two other articles in this issue, namely Patrick Tawil’s article on Eretmodus and Ad Konings’ article on the blue followers (Placidochromis). While not dwarfs, both of these groups are most fascinating when given the space to “do their thing”. The eretmodines have amazing biparental care with swapping of the young while the blue followers reveal the full complexity of their lives only when they are able to follow the feeding trail of a larger fish.

So, the next time you have the opportunity to put cichlids in a large tank, consider stocking it with smaller cichlids, rather than just one or two large cichlids. You may be surprised at the richness of your rewards. 


Ron Coleman, Editor

return to index


Copyright © 2009 Aquatic Promotions, Inc. All rights reserved.