Julidochromis regani… pair?

A friend of mine, Rick, recently sold his house and will not be able to set up his new fish room until after his new home is built.  I do not look forward to the day when I have to tear down my fish room.  Lots of work… and a depressing chore to boot!  I offered to keep a few of Rick’s fish for him until he can get set back up, and one of the species he has deposited with me is the Lake Tanganyika cichlid Julidochromis regani.  Rick brought a colony of six fish over, and I pulled out these two fish to keep separately as, I hope, a breeding pair.  Rick has had the fish for a couple years, but had never seen a spawn.  The larger of these two fish is pretty robust, and based upon some research I think that it is a female.  Apparently, the females of this species that get larger and thicker.  I chose the largest of the more slender specimens, that was also very colorful, in hopes that it is a male.  The last clue that they may be a pair is that they get along.  The larger ‘female’ tolerates the smaller ‘male’, and they often forage together in the front area of the tank (where I can actually see them).  All of the other Julidochromis species I have fight all the time, so I have to assume that if they are not breeding they would be fighting.  Please take look and let me know if you think that these two fish at least have the potential to form a pair.  Are they at least male and female?

Dambas and Eels

The largest aquarium I keep is a 110-gallon with a semi-aggressive community of fish.  There are two species of dambas from Madagascar that I brought home from the ACA 2010 convention:  Paretroplus keineri and P. maculatus.  I really like the P. keineri.  It is a small species with an interesting mottled color pattern with red highlights on their faces.  They look like they have red noses!  P. maculatus is larger and more aggressive.  I had two, but the remaining specimen badgered the other so much that I found it a new home.  He does not bother the P. keineri, however, which are significantly smaller.  There are also two large eels from west Africa, Mastacembelus nigromarginatus.  I have had these eels for almost four years, and I have become very attached to them.  Eels have great personalities.  The other fish in the tank include some Cryptoheros cutteri cichlids, a group of panda barbs (Puntius fasciatus) and some giant danios (Devario malabaricus), all of which are dithers/targets for the dambas and eels.  The tanks is actually quite peaceful, and is one of the tanks I will watch for long periods of time.  Enjoy…

Xystichromis sp. ‘Kyoga Flameback’

I bought this colony of cichlids from a local club member, Pat, who had been trying to find homes for all the offspring she raised out.  I do not know what it is about Lake Victoria – type cichlids.  Either you are really into them or they are not the first fish that comes to mind when you are stocking a new tank.  I am not sure why they are not more popular, because they are very pretty.  Their color patterns are definitely unique.  I cannot think of another group of cichlids with the same combination of primary colors and distinctive black markings.  That is especially true for the dominant male of this colony.  The colony consists of two males and four females in a 40-breeder aquarium.  The tank is filtered with a Poret foam wall that is air driven.

Lepidiolamprologus hecqui with fry

One of the Lake Tanganyika communities in my fish room combines a small colony of Tropheus duboisi and a pair of Lepidiolamprolugus hecqui.  The L. hecqui is a really cool shell-dwelling lamp that does not get as large, or as nasty, as the more familiar Lepidiolamprologus species (L. kendalli, for example).  I started with six of them, but a pair quickly established their dominance and I had to remove the others.  This video is from the pair’s first spawn.  I will shoot a new clip soon to show how much they have grown in the past six months.

Astronotus sp. ‘Orinoco’

The community in this video is a mix of six Astronotus sp. ‘Orinoco’, four male Archocentrus multispinosa (rainbow cichlids), a male Ameca splendens and a male blue gouramie, all in a 75-gallon tank filtered by a Poret foam wall (air driven).  The aquarium was established for the oscars, which were wild-caught, that I purchased at 2″ from Tangled Up In Cichlids (Jeff Rapps) in August, 2010.  All the other fish were intended as dithers/targets for the oscars.  I will eventually will get the other fish out of there, but so far everyone is cohabiting peacefully.  In fact, the shyest fish in the tank are the oscars.  This video is what happens every morning when I turn on the lights and toss in some floating pellets.  It takes a few minutes before any of the fish venture out for breakfast, and the first to emerge is never an oscar.  As soon as one fish braves the open water, the oscars come pouring out to gather up most the food.