Volume 5, #10, October 2019
Editor: Alan De Angelo
Greetings and gold, orange, yellow and red salutations!
Fall has fallen on our door stoop in the MidWest and with it comes the glorious colors of the trees and other foliage. It’s the most beautiful time of the year. As the temperature plummets, our fish get the much needed attention that they deserve as we turn our attentions indoors. For some, like me, the summer is spent boating and catching fish and yes, eating a few. As a kid, I was a meat fisherman. We would go out with the intent of filling the cooler and then the freezer with our limits of fish to be eaten at a later date. Now, I’ll keep a meal and make them fresh. Oftentimes, I won’t keep any and release all of my catch. Priorities change.
For the ACA, priorities can change other people’s lives, too. I am looking into groups that are teaching the people that live near the shore of the Great Rift Lakes to farm native fishes, not for ornamental trade but for consumption. The goal is to relieve the pressures on the lakes to produce food, leaving the stocks to bounce back from the edge of being lost. We have all heard that the mosquito netting that has been passed out to help stop insect borne diseases have been repurposed to fishing nets. These nets, with their tiny mesh size, catch everything, big and small, which is decimating some coastal fish populations. A starving population needs to eat. If fish farms can raise local food fishes, the lakes may get a reprieve. In one of Ad Konings’ articles, I believe he stated that Buccochromis heterotaenia was the most delicious of the Malawian fishes. My curiosity is piqued. Eating a B. heterotaenia is now on my bucket list. I guess that fish can be food AND friend.
Once I find out more about these groups , we could possibly secure funding for them through the ACA. One video I watched showed how a simple lesson changed one fish farmers entire operation. You see, he had several ponds with a type of what I believe were Oreochromis in them and was trying to raise a quantity of fishes. The only problem was that he was not catching the females, having them spit, tumble the eggs and rear the fry in separate containers. He was relying on some fry and juveniles surviving with the adults. Very counter-productive. After he was taught the basics of stripping females and artificial incubation, while raising them sorted by size, things improved greatly. So, sometimes, it’s the simple things, ones we hobbyists take for granted, that need to change in order to have big success. We will see if the ACA can be able to get involved and help. More to come.
I have been reading aquarium magazines since I was a kid. My grammar school had a small library and it carried the old Aquarium magazine in it. About half of the boys in my class were aquarists and we would all check out the magazine and absorb every word in it. The first magazine that I ever purchased was the February 1968 issue of TFH. It had a mauve and gray cover with leaf fish on it. The March issue was black with tiger barbs. Stunning. I bought them both at the same time and these covers are indelibly etched in my memories. It’s funny how that happens. Some things we never forget.
While the Aquarium magazine is gone and I still subscribe to TFH (tfhmagazine.com), I have to mention what has become my new favorite freshwater aquarium magazine, Amazonas. Unlike other magazines, Amazonas focuses a large part of each issue on a specific topic giving the reader numerous points of view. I really like that approach. The latest issue was one I could not put down. You see, the “kribs” hold a special place in my admittedly small (sic) heart. (After my last stress test, the nurse came out and told my wife that; “Yes, he does have a heart but it is very small.”) This issue’s focus covered the Pelvicachromis species from Cameroon in detail, it was full of great information and glorious photography. Cameroon has enough species to last you a lifetime. It also had several other articles including one by Rusty Wessel on the Subin River Trichromis salvini. If you don’t already subscribe to Amazonas, do so today (amazonasmagazine.com). You won’t be sorry. By the way, as a collector of aquarium literature, I have every issue of Amazonas and it just keeps getting better. Oh, and if anyone from Amazonas is reading this, an issue on the rest of the Pelvicachromis species would be fantastic. Just a little hint there.
The Aquatic Experience 2019 has come and gone. Preliminary reports have come in and it looks as if it was, again, a great success. Either I or Daryl, in BB, will bring you more about that in the near future.
Lastly, BB is in need of articles, photographs, short stories, dissertations, helpful hints and personal experiences of the cichlid type. There is no need to have long, detailed articles. And, of course, if you are bashful, Daryl or I can edit your work and give it the polish that will make it shine. And, BB pays. Send your submissions to our venerable BB Editor, Daryl Hutchins, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next month,
WHERE ARE YOU?
Please make sure that the ACA has, at the very least, your current e-mail address. Otherwise we could lose touch. Your physical address and phone number would be useful too … just in case.
Send your cichlid-related news/events to the AN Editor at ACANEWSLTR@gmail.com and we will be happy to spread the word for you. Allow six weeks lead time. Thank you.