Tag Archives: Cichlid

Neolamprologus tetracanthus

13. June 2018

This species of cichlid from Lake Tanganyika lives in two different worlds. The fish attains a maximum length of about 20 cm; however, in the wild hardly ever specimens larger than 10-12 cm can be found. On the one hand this fish is a typical inhabitant of sandy areas. Here it feeds on small invertebrates. Most wanted are small snails, which are sucked out of their shells, but the species is not specialized at all and readily accepts all types of meat that fit the mouth.

On the other hand N. tetracanthus is a cave brooder and needs caves and crevices in rocks for that. Both sexes take very good care of eggs and youngsters and defend them aggressively.

This explains the sometimes very contradictory experiences aquarists make with that species in respect of aggressiveness. As long as the cichlids are not in breeding mood they are quite peaceful. It makes only little sense to defend territories on sand. But when the fish are in the mood for breeding they become pretty tough, because usually all potential breeding grounds in the rocky area are already housed by other fish.

For our customers: the fish have code 549501 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusiveyl supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Neolamprologus cylindricus

8. June 2018

Among the small species of cichlid from Lake Tanganyika Neolamprologus cylindricus is one of the prettiest. The very obvious ringed pattern makes it unmistakable. In respect of behaviour N. cylindricus is best comparable with the species of the genus Julidochromis. Like these N. cylindricus form fixed pairs (in large aquaria a male may pair with more than one female). The eggs are spawned in caves or crevices and both parents guard the eggs and the fry.

A very typical behaviour of that species is the „stone-surfing“. This means the fish try to stay with their belly as close to the rocky ground as possible.

For our customers: the fish have code 544903 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Geophagus cf. abalios

16. February 2018

Currently we have as well larger wild collected specimens and bred ones in stock. G. cf. abalios is a beautful, ovophilous mouthbrooider and originates from Venezuela. The fish have bred in our showroom. At that time they had a total length of about 8 cm, so we initially thought they would represent a dwarf variety. However, in the meantime this initial suspect has been proofed as erranous. The fish are no giants (the photographed adult male is 14 cm long, inclusive the tail fin, but exclusive the prolongation of that fin), but also no dwarfs. So Geophagus cf. abalios can be told a peaceful, beautiful cichlid that is perfectly suited for larger community tanks.

For our customers: the fish have code 677554 (wild ones) and 677562 (bred ones) on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Danakilia sp. Sukoray

31. January 2018

Danakilia are very strange cichlids that were described scientifically only very recently and were – of course – totally unknown in the hobby, until Anton Lamboj was able to bring some specimens alive back to Austria from Etritrea. He made this expedition together with Giorgio Chiozzi from the Milan Museum. One of the new discovered species could be bred: Danakilia sp. Sukoray, named provisionally after the Wadi where it was collected. For more information of the trip and the biotope, please see the publication „100 Meter unter dem Meeresspiegel: Cichliden aus der Wüste“ by Anton Lamboj, published in Amazonas No 66 (Juli-August 2016).

These fish are the ancestors of the specimens we currently can offer. Our fish are young and young adults, 3-8 cm long.

Keeping Danakilia: it is absolutely necessary to keep them warm. The fish show their temper only at temeratures from 28-30°C. The breeding males become very colourful (black/blue/with a white-yellow hump) – a real eyecatcher! The dominant male will defend a small pit in the bottom; during that period it is always active and displaying. Feeding is absolutely easy, the fish will readily take flakes and frozen food. Best choice is to keep the fish in a group; at least a part of the bottom should be sand to give the males an opportunity to burry the pits. Perfect is a group containing a few males and a greater number of females, the dominant male will become very brillant coloured under these conditions. The tank should be furnished with some roots and stones, but not too much. The swimming behaviour of Danakilia can be best compared with Sarotherodon, eg they are active swimmers and always on move. These fish are female mouthbrooders. The largest fish observed so far are about 12 cm long. If the temperature is too low the fish will look drab. A bright tank with sand, some pebbles and not too small (from 120 cm on) is the perfect home for the active and attractive fish.

For our customers: the fish have code 520211 (3-5 cm) and 520212 (5-8 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Otopharynx lithobates

11. September 2017

Today we took the photo equipment in our fishhouse (instead of taking fish from the fishhouse in the phototank), for here in one of our tanks a great show is presented: 50 sexually ripe (7-10 cm long) Otopharynx lithobates, more than half of them males in breeding mood. Wow.

In the natural habitat, males of this species inhabit caves. The bright head stripe is a distinctive feature for females passing the cave. For each females a courtship display is started immediately. In the home aquarium one must take care that females which are not willing to spawn can hide. In the wild they can easily swim away, but in the tank the males can become pretty nasty in cases not enough hiding places are provided for the females.

Otopharynx lithobates feeds on plankton in the wild and can be easily fed by a variety of usual ornamental fish food items. The pH must not sink below 8 in long time sight; otherwise these cichlids, like most cichlids from lake Malawi, are not much demanding and easy to care.

For our customers: the fish have code 556604 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Dimidiochromis strigatus

23. June 2017

The genus Dimidiochromis comprises currently four accepted species. Only one of them, D. compressiceps, is found in the trade on a regular basis and has become an ornamental fish so far. D. strigatus can still be considered a rarity in the trade. We have the species stocked now for the first time, our fish are German bred ones.

All species of Dimidichromis are predators that feed in the wild almost exclusively on small fish. In the aquarium they feed readily on any usual fish food. These cichlids do not live in rocky shores, but among reed and underwater weeds like Vallisneria over soft bottom. These predators do not inhabit territories outside the breeding season and thus they can be considered as very peaceful fish as long as accompanying fish are too large to be eaten. One should never choose the always hectic and aggressive rock cichlids from Lake Malawi (Mbunas) as tankmates, for they would be a continous disturbance for the calm and cautious Dimidiochromis.

Dimidiochromis strigatus attains a maximum length of about 25 cm. As almost all cichlids from Lake Malawi it is female mouthbrooder. The species occurs not exclusively in Lake Malawi, but also in Lake Malombe and the River Shire that connects the two lakes.

For our customers: the fish have code 520252 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Altolamprologus calvus

7. April 2017

This cichlid belongs to the most attractive species of the family from Lake Tanganyika. It attains a maximum length of about 13 cm. Despite the lurky look the fish is one of the most peaceful species of cichlid at all. One can say as a rule: if another fish is too large to serve as food it will become simply ignored. And astonishing enough: although Altolamprologus calvus is for sure a predator in the wild it happily accepts even flake food in the aquarium…


For our customers: the fish have code 543303 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.


Benitochromis nigrodorsalis

2. April 2017

We can cvurrently offer a very small number of German bred specimens of a top rarity among the cichlids of western Africa: Benitochromis nigrodorsalis. This species has been described scientifically only in 2001. It originates from Cameroon and the island of Fernando Poo. Prior to the scientific descrption the fish was known as „Chromidotilapia finleyi Moliwe“ in the hobby. The species attains a length of about 12 cm.

Benitochromis is closely related to the Pelvicachromis species and can be compared regarding the aquarium biology quite good with these peaceful and colorful cichlids. In contrast to Pelvicachromis, which are cave brooders, Benitochromis are biparental, ovophilous mouthbrooders. This means that both parents take care for eggs and fry; eggs and fry are given from parent to parent several times per day. The eggs are taken in the mouth immediately after spawning (= ovophilous).

For our customers: the fish have code 503045 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Chaetobranchopsis australis

8. March 2017

Here it is: the cichlid with the probably most interesting mode of feeding from Paraguay! Chaetobranchopsis australis is specialized in feeding small planktic organisms. The up to 12-14 cm long fish swallows water like a vacuum cleaner and sieves the plankton with long gill rakers out of it. Obviously at the time of our importation – last september – the plankton in Paraguay is rather rare, for the fish are more skinny than we like it; but we are sure this has become corrected in the meantime in the fishhouses of our customers.

Chaetobranchopsis belongs to the very few species of cichlid in which the breeding behaviour is absolutely unknown. Aquarium fish have been observed in cleaning stones, so they might be open brooders, but no one knows!

For our customers: the animals have code 634904 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer


Acarichthys heckelii Albino

20. January 2017

We received this extraordinary and beautiful sport of Acarichthys heckelii from Taiwan. A. heckelii is a comparatively large species of cichlid that can attain over the years a total length of more than 20 cm. And the fish becomes more and more beautiful with every year! The species is very peaceful. Aquarium maintenance is comparable with Geophagus or the Ram, but A. heckelii is much less demanding in respect of the water chemistry. A. heckelii is a cave brooder that can be quite productive.

For our customers: the fish have code 601043 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos. Frank Schäfer