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  1. #61
    I dum care =] Ash's Avatar
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    Cyphotilapia Frontosa

    Basics:

    The king of Lake Tanganyika, this showpiece can attain lengths over 12 inches! "Fronts," as they're affectionally called, are by far the most popular tanganyikan cichlid. It's not just their impressive size or elaborate fins alone that make them so popular among aquarists, but rather their amiable and outgoing personality (not to mention that good quality fry are always in demand). This fish is like a puppy - after a short acclimization period, they'll eat right out of your hand. Wild specimens are just as gregarious as tank-raised individuals, which is a rare trait among piscovores. Despite being less active and non-aggressive, they excitably greet their owner with the same type of enthusiasm as mbuna.

    Looks:

    Frontosa are characterized by a white (or blue) body, adorned with either 6 or 7 black, vertical bars. Adults develop a large cephalic hump, with that of males usually being more pronounced. The hump is a large fatty deposit that rests atop a dorsal muscle that tends to extend forward. The hump develops and increases in size with age and is usually a sign of sexual fecundity. Their fins become more elaborate with age as well. There is nothing quite like the sight of a 10-year old frontosa with his long fins waving gracefully below and behind him.

    Locatioin:

    Frontosa are found in many different locations in the lake, but always in the deeper portions along the coastline - 10-50 m (30-170 ft). Like many sedentary animals (e.g., tortoise), Fronts have an unusually long life span of over 25 years. This sedentary behavior has probably been the impetus for the development of several geographic variants. The ones pictured on this page are all from Burundi. Other geographical races come from Kigoma, Bulu Point, Mpimbwe, Samazi, Kasanga, Chaitika, Kapampa, Kavala, and Zaire.

    Male/Female:

    Cyphotilapia frontosa is a monomorphic species with little or no difference between males and females. Males usually have a larger hump than females, but this characteristic is by no means a garauntee. Frontosa can only be sexed reliably by venting, and even this method cannot always be trusted. Venting frontosa accurately requires experience. Males also tend to be larger - they can grow to over 12 inches while females are lucky to reach 10 inches - but this too is not always true. In short, be cautious of any one ready to sell you sexed frontosa; make sure they're experienced and reputable.

    Feeding:

    As already mentioned, C. frontosa is a lethargic and slow-moving fish. Even in the lake they don't expend much energy in hunting down their food. Nature has endowed them with a unique trait which gives them an advantage over their prey - Fronts are nocturnal feeders and don't require much light to wake up. Fish make up the majority of their diet, Cyprichromis species being their primary target. Cyps spend the day in large schools (numbering in tens of thousands) in the upper water column, but at dusk, they descend to the bottom where they hug the substratum. Fronts, still awake and alert, easily scoop the unsuspecting Cyps up by the mouthful. Because of the ease with which they are able to feast upon the Cyps, frontosa don't have to spend much energy chasing their food, a chase they would certainly lose to the agile Cyps during the day.

    In the tank, this cichlid can be fed small feeder fish (live or frozen), mysis, shrimp, krill, and worms. Pellets are also a good food, but flakes should be avoided after they reach 4 or 5 inches in total length. Flakes will either go ignored or get too messy and are not adequate to bring them into breeding condition.

    Breeding:

    Patience is necessary if you plan to breed this wonderful fish. Three to four years are required for a 1-inch fish to reach sexual maturity. Sexually active males turn blue, especially the snout region. He will select an open, yet secluded area which is only weakly defended. When he has a willing female's attention, he will slowly pass over the spot with his fins folded. Spawning is very inconspicuous - no shaking, no flashing of fins, or sparring with conspecifics. As the male passes over the selected spot, he releases his milt, showing the female where to go. Some have hypothesized that the milt may serve to encourage the female to lay her eggs. She will then pass over the spot in the same manner as the male, slowly and with fins folded. After dropping an egg, she will back up - not turn around - to pick it up. She will repeat this procedure, "rocking back and forth" four to six times. Apparently, the male's milt is powerful enough to fertilize eggs several minutes after it is released.

    Broods number anywhere from 20 to 50 fry, and maybe even as high as 80, depending upon the condition of the female and the variant. Females will hold for a period of 5 weeks. Fry should be separated and raised apart from the adults.

    General Tank Set- up:

    The tank should be decorated simply with a few rocks, which are important to give these shy cichlids a sense of security. Don't overdo it with lots of rocks or sharp rocks. These fish move slow until they get spooked - then they are lightning fast and very clumsy. The alpha-male will be your largest and oddly enough, shyest of the group. He will need a cave, but the females do alright in the open. While not always a success aethestically, clay pots can be used to create caves. Lace rock works well as does slate if placed on its side to create alleys and secretive coves. 40 gallons will work well as a grow-out tank. For a colony of 10 adults, a 125-gallon tank or bigger is recommended.
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  2. #62
    Goliath Tigerfish bluedempsey's Avatar
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    ^
    awesome info
    I caught you a delicious bass

    an iguana's tail can fall off, it's a defence mechanism!
    i read it in a magazine!

    you've just moved up a knotch in my book!
    your now at knotch number 1



  3. #63
    I dum care =] Ash's Avatar
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    Nimbochromis venustus

    General:

    A large Malawian mouthbrooder, was first typed by Boulenger in 1908 as Haplochromis Venustus. In 1989 it was reclassified into the species Nimbochromis by Eccles and Trewavas.

    Nimbochromis venustus is closely related to Nimbochromis livingtonii. Both are popular cichlids reguarly found in pet stores. Nimbochromis venustus is sometimes called the Giraffe Hap because of the blotchy patches that appear on females (see photo at right) and sub-adult males. Males in breeding dress have a bright blue head and yellow-green sheen to the flanks partially covering the "giraffe" splotches. There appears to be quite a bit of difference between individuals depending on age, position in the hierarchy and the presence of breeding color.

    Habitat:

    Nimbochromis venustus is found over sandy areas in the lake at depths averaging 15 meters.

    Care:
    Nimbochromis venustus is fairly hardy and easy to keep. Like all Malawian cichlids, it appreciates hard water and temperatures of 76 to 80F. Nimbochromis venustus grows up to 10 inches; a group of six to eight adults would do best large tank of at least 100 gallons. Smaller specimens can be kept in correspondingly smaller aquaria.

    Nimbochromis venustus is an ambush predator. It has been observed burrowing into the sand where it's splotchy coloration acts a camouflage. Because of this habit, provide a soft substrate of sand or fine gravel. A sharp substate combined with poor water quality can quickly lead to eye cloudiness in this fish which is impossible to reverse in my experience.

    Like many predators that live in the sandy habitat, Nimbochromis venustus are strong and swift swimmers. I observed near constant schoaling behavior in the tank making for a very attractive display.

    There are differing reports regarding aggression in this species. I have read reports stating that this fish is very aggressive toward both it's kind and conspecifics. This was not my experience; I would classify this fish as only moderately agressive.

    I kept seven Nimbochromis venustus with a variety of other Malawian cichlids with only moderate aggression taking place. Individual fish do have quite different personalities, however, so keep on the lookout for aggressive behavior. When I added two fish purchased from a fellow club member, the newly introduced dominant male went aggressively after his forrmer tankmate. The fish were sold to me as a pair but were, in fact, a dominant and sub-dominant male. Cichlids always keep us guessing!

    Feeding:
    In the lake, Nimbochromis venustus is an opportunistic feeder. Much has been written about its habit as a paedophage (fry eater) where the ambush technique previously mentioned comes into play. Stomach contents have revealed, however, a variety of zoo plankton and other materials, so as you'd expect, this fish is easy to feed in captivity. I fed Tetra Cichlid Flakes, spirulina flakes, Aquadine Duraflakes, frozen brine shrimp and Tetra Cichlid Sticks. They are big eaters and will keep eating until they are quite plump!

    Breeding:
    Nimbochromis venustus is fairly easy to breed. The key components to success are:

    The fish need to be at least four to five inches long and 1 to 1.5 years old. Be patient as this fish needs to be pretty big before they will reproduce.
    Provide a flat stone or slate as the breeding site.
    Position the slate away from strong currents in the tank as the eggs are externally fertilized, similar to Cyrtocara species.
    Although I never observed a spawning, reports I have read indicates that it proceeds similarly to that of Cyrtocara moorii.

    Spawns are very large containing from 60 to 120 eggs. I found the females to be shy holders in my hectic 125 gallon tank, so I stripped the female two days post spawning and incubated the largish eggs for 13 days. The fry exhibit the female color pattern almost immediately and are quite robust eaters. I fed my fry on Cyclops-eeze for four days and then transitioned them to crushed flake food. Even at young age, they are strong swimmers. The fry grow quickly.

    A few notes about breeding this fish:

    Males will spawn prior to obtaining full adult coloration. To identify up and coming males, look for a longer yellow streak down the nose and egg spots on the anal fin.
    Females definitely respond better to fully colored males than sub-dominant males.
    If you move a juvenile male into a tank containing several females and a colored-up male, expect trouble. A sub-dominant male was harassed by a dominant male on one occasion. Expect this behavior to be more profound in a species tank than in a mixed tank.
    As always, I recommend you start with a group of six to eight juvenile fish and grow them up together
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  4. #64
    Peacock Bass fsc46's Avatar
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    Waiting for the next fish! Red Empress, Calvus info if you have time.



  5. #65
    I dum care =] Ash's Avatar
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    Red Empress (Protomelas taeniolatus)

    General Information:The Red Empress is a beautiful haplochromine line bred from the Namalenje strain in Lake Malawi. As is usual for haps, the males are the showy ones whereas females are drab gray/brown with black horizontal striping. The males generally color up around three inches. During courting and breeding, the male will actively and aggressively defend a large territory, driving out any fish that may inadvertently enter the territory. When not breeding, the male will no longer defend this territory and will allow any fish to go into it and be overall very peaceful. They are very aggressive against other males of their kind and it is not recommended to have more than one male in a tank unless the tank is very large.

    The empress is not so much a digger as it is a relentless sand-sifter. In a tank with sand as the substrate it will regularly scoop up sand in its mouth and scatter it all over the tank, on plants, on rocks, and yes, next to the filter intake. Therefore, an intake with a sponge prefilter and/or the heavy pool filter sand are recommended to protect the filter impellor from sand damage. Generally, they will not bother plants and appear to appreciate a planted tank with some room to sift. Mine also enjoys the rock structure in my tank for hiding whenever something strange is happening in the tank such as an invading siphon tube. Rocks and caves are needed, but these structures must be planned to allow for plenty of available swimming room.

    Adult Length: 8"-9" (22 cm) max, females smaller. Max size is generally 6" (15 cm)

    Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons (280L), 100 gallons or more preferred

    Water Requirements: pH: 7.6-8.6 Very Hard, 76-82 degrees F (25-28 C)

    Diet Requirements: They are herbivores but very opportunistic feeders. They will do fine on a varied diet including spirulina as well as meaty flakes/pellets. I feed a mix of spirulina flake and color-enhancing pellets. Empresses are bloat-prone, thus small, frequent feedings are preferred over one or two large feedings

    Sexing: Males will develop a great deal of color as they mature, females will remain drab gray with black horizontal striping. Otherwise, venting must be done. Males will also have longer, pointed dorsal and anal fins with females having shorter and more rounded fins

    Breeding: Maternal mouthbrooder. Male will intensify in color, stake out an aggressively defended territory, and vibrate and display in order to attract females. After breeding, male will cease defense of his territory, letting other fish use it to their desire.
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  6. #66
    Caquetaia man Mourinho18's Avatar
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    give us some info on some tropheops
    Quote Originally Posted by Oddball
    I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying". They're just fish that I forgot I had planned to get.



  7. #67
    I dum care =] Ash's Avatar
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    Altolamprologus calvus
    The Pearly Calvus

    General:
    Altolamprologus calvus is a recently discovered Tanganyikan fish, first typed by Poll in 1988. This slender predator's unique compressed shape and somewhat menacing appearance has made it a popular fish for cichlid enthusiasts.
    While not difficult to keep, Altolamprologus calvus can be a challenge to breed for the novice. This is a very slow-growing species; allow at least two years to get them from a one-inch size to your first spawn. Additionally, this fish requires a unique spawning area.

    A number of color variants of Altolamprologus calvus are available in the hobby. The most popular, the "black" variety (sometimes called Pearly) is pictured above. Other varieties include white and orange. I have also heard of a zebra type, but have not personally seen it.

    Habitat:

    Altolamprologus calvus is always found in association with rocky areas, particulary the reef-like structures in the lake.

    Care:
    Altolamprologus calvus can easily be kept in a 15-20 gallon tank and is not aggressive towards con-specifics. Like all Tanganyikans, it appreciates hard, clean water. I kept mine in Chicago water and made no chemical changes.

    I performed weekly, 50% water changes during my grow-out stage with no problems. Altolamprologus calvus can be sensitive to abrupt temperature changes, so make sure that your replacement water is consistent with what is in the tank. I kept my fish at 78F.

    Feeding:
    Altolamprologus calvus is a specialized predator, feeding on eggs, fry and young fish on the reef. The laterally compressed body of this fish allow it to penetrate tight crevaces and extract their prey hiding within. The large mouth is rapidly opened and the enormous suction produced draws in the prey forcefully.

    Fortunately, in the aquarium, they will take a variety of high-protein foods. I fed brine shrimp and earthworm flakes, New Life Spectrum and Aquadyne duraflakes.

    Don't get frustrated if your fish do not grow quickly; this species just doesn't get big fast!

    Breeding:
    Altolamprologus calvus isn't hard to breed, but you do need to make sure your fish are sexually mature and have the right place to lay eggs. While they are growing, you can keep

    You can sex Altolamprologus calvus by size. Males are about one-third larger than females. I suggest starting with four to five fry or juvenile fish and growing them up in a twenty-gallon tank.

    After two years or 2.5" for the female, pair formation will begin. Look for a small fish and large fish that like to stay together. At this point, it's a good idea to remove the other fish, although I have had successful spawns with unpaired calvus in the tank. If you have any plecos in the tank, it would be a good idea to remove them as they may eat the eggs.

    Altolamprologus calvus likes to spawn in tight confines. In one of Pam Chin's columns, she recommended using shells. However, GCCA members who has successfully spawned this fish recommend Boester Bells named after Rick and Monica Boester who have sold many of these for breeding dwarf bristlenose plecos. These tapered, ceramic cones seem to appeal to the fish and worked for great for me.

    The female will enter the Boester Bell and lay the eggs. The male, if he's not too big, will enter the mouth or stay near the entrance and wash his milt over the eggs. Young pairs will lay about 75 eggs. Larger pairs will lay over 200 eggs.

    The female will stay inside fanning the eggs and protecting them while the male patrols outside. They are very good parents.

    It's certainly possible to raise the fry in the parent tank, but I removed the Boester Bell one week post-hatch when the fry were are almost free swimming to a five gallon grow-out tank containing gravel and a seasoned sponge filter.

    The fry of Altolamprologus calvus are bottom huggers. For this reason, you will need to pay extra attention to water quality as extra food can quickly foul the substrate. I fed a mixture of Cyclops-eeze, Hikari First Start, and finely ground earthworm and brine shrimp flakes.
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  8. #68
    I dum care =] Ash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benfica540
    give us some info on some tropheops
    gotta get back to work, I'll update on them later tonight or tomorrow k!
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  9. #69
    Caquetaia man Mourinho18's Avatar
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    , good stuff so far
    Quote Originally Posted by Oddball
    I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying". They're just fish that I forgot I had planned to get.



  10. #70
    Dorado AngelicGreenTerror's Avatar
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    I agree.. and nice Calvus picture.. I simply love it.
    55 gallon:
    1 Common pleco / 2 Jack Dempsey



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