Volume 9, #1 January 2023
Editor: Alan De Angelo
Contact: [email protected]
Publisher: Daryl Hutchins
Happy New Years!
This issue of the ACA News marks the Ninth year that Daryl and I will be bringing you news from the organization and beyond. I hope that you continue to enjoy it as much as we enjoy bringing it to you. Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] with any cichlid-related news or events that you would think are pertinent for inclusion.
💥 News Flash
Heiko Bleher says that he believes 6-8 new Iranocichla species will soon be described. He hopes get back to Iran soon. Originally believed to be a monotypic genus, other Iranocichla varieties are being discovered as the country is being better explored.
Two new species of Australoheros have been described from the coastal rivers of south-eastern South America. Australoheros mboapari and A. ricani join the genus that currently has 33 species assigned to it. You don’t hear much about Australoheros in general but some mighty handsome (Obviously! Austral = handsome 😁 – D) fishes grace the genus and are well worth checking out.
Everything in life is relative to our own life experiences. Our hobby offers a variety of these experiences to us as hobbyists. An Apistogramma keeper may think that a Thoricthys meeki is a big fish. Thorichthys keepers may feel that an Oscar is huge. I have read that Oscars can grow to 18″. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have seen plenty of 10-12″ Oscars but never an 18″er. But I’m not saying they don’t exist.
Having kept Cyphotilapia of the Blue Zaire variant, I have personally raised one male that reached the huge proportions of 15″ TL and around 7-8″ in height. Fifteen inches is from the crease of my elbow to the first knuckle on my hand. He was thick in the body, too, and was a very heavy fish. It would take a lot of Neolamprologus multifasciatus to equal his mass. To this, the keepers of Parachromis dovii and some of the Cichla fans will scoff and point you to the beasts in their tanks. That is, until the person who keeps Boulengerochromis pipes up and says “Hold my beer!” as he shows you the world’s largest cichlid, at 36″ recorded, roaming his ocean of an aquarium.
The same goes for tank sizes and fish rooms. You may be a Killie keeper that has 100 aquariums but they are all 2-5 gallons in size or a crazy cichlid guy that had 5000 gallons of water in the basement spread out amongst 70-80 tanks including 4-180s, 2-150s, the venerable 130, 8-125s and a slew of 60 Breeders and 55s with a smattering of 20s. Now, I’m not saying who this cichlid nut was but … ahem … my wife called the fish room “Water World”. But, this pales in comparison to some of the other fish rooms and/or breeders’ facilities out there. Everything is relative.
With approximately 3000 known species of cichlids to work with, one can spend an entire lifetime exploring the various behaviors and breeding strategies of these fishes. Having some time on my hands over the holidays, I did a quick count of the cichlids that I have successfully bred and the number approaches the 300 mark. But I’ve been breeding fishes since I was six years old. That’s 61 years of fish keeping, which breaks down to a little less than five species per year. If you read my series, ‘Adventures in Cichlidom’, you may remember that as a kid, my classmates nearly all had aquariums and we were very competitive in breeding different species. That carried forward into adulthood. Of course, having something like Water World does help in this accomplishment. Like I said, it’s all relative.
Think about it. With 3000 species of cichlids, one can spend a lifetime and not keep and breed 90% of them. Why in the world, with all of this variety, all of these various shapes and sizes, different behaviors and a full spectrum of colors would anyone want to keep or create hybrids? I just don’t get it. Now, these are my personal thoughts and not necessarily those of the ACA but the ACA does encourage keeping wild populations of fishes in their original form. The conservation of these species is of utmost importance.
Granted, a Dragon Blood Peacock is a very pretty fish but does it really rival a full grown Aulonocara jacobfriebergi “Lwanda”? Does there really need to be a Dragon Blood? Only you can answer that for yourself.
What does the ACA do with the money that it collects? Well, for many years we, through the Jordan and Loiselle Funds, have been funding research and conservation projects. Such as the project carried out jointly with the London Zoo that maintains captive-bred stock of Madagascar’s endemic cichlids in a facility located in Madagascar. Last year, we funded the Costa Rican Stream Study that is working with the genus Cribroheros in, you guessed it, Costa Rica. We, the ACA, have funded numerous projects like this throughout the years. Not too long ago, I told you about the ‘Wild Caught’ video that we helped to fund. The ACA is about research, conservation and education. So, not only do your dues bring you Buntbarsche Bulletin, the ACA News and a bunch of other services, they help to fund programs such as these. All lofty accomplishments.
Hopefully, this year, a comprehensive listing of all the ACA accomplishments can be collected and published.
The ACA is also about really great conventions that everyone should attend to have the fishy time of their life. This year’s convention will be in Madison, WI – starring cichlids and catfish. What a great combo! Make sure that you are attending. It’s always a fun time.
Start the New Year off right. Get a new species or two, or 20, and explore the wonderfully wide world of cichlids. Variety is the Spice of Life. (Just don’t tell your spouse that one and blame me … I mean a variety of cichlids.) Then, after you gain experience with them and have success, send your articles, photos, drawings and other submissions to our BB Editor, Daryl Hutchins at: [email protected].
💥 ACA Member in the News!
Greater Cincinnati Aquarium Society has shown itself to be a very discerning organization in naming the indefatigable Jan Benes as their ‘GCAS Member of The Year’. But we could have told them that!
Have a healthy and prosperous New Year.
You can purchase BB Back Issues and a flash drive containing all BBs at the website store – cichlid.org.