Sign up for email reminders for Swaps, Rare Fish Auctions, Fish Room Hops, Auctions, and Other Events (spam-free).

Subscribe

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Protomelas annectens

Protomelas annectens Male

Above: Protomelas annectens. Photo by Rick Borstein. Video available below.

General

Protomelas annectens is a mouthbrooding cichlid from Lake Malawi, Africa. It was first typed by Regan in 1922.

Protomelas annectens is a large and active fish. Males get up to about nine inches while females stay an inch or more smaller. The overall base color of the fish is a grey-blue. Dominant males have a steep cranial profile, a blue head and a horizontal stripe which is overlayed (usually) by blue sheen. Some irridescent scales may appear on the upper flank. The caudal fin is usually black and may be edged in a dull blue or grey. 

Protomelas annectens tends to show off differently depending on the substrate and tank background. With dark substrates and backgrounds, the fish will appear almost black. If you hope to see the bluest fish, keep this fish over a light substrate with a brighter background.

Habitat

Protomelas annectens is typically found at depths of about 5-10M over sandy areas of the lake.

Care

Protomelas annectens is a not a very aggressive cichlid, but since it gets fairly big, a four foot or larger tank with a sandy substrate is recommended. Lake Malawi has hard water, generally from 75-80F, so supply the same. My fish did fine in ordinary Chicago water (pH 7.4) at 78F. Males do not aggressively molest females or sub-dominant males, so little damage if any occurs. Still, provide some cover for sub-dominant fish.

Feeding

In the wild, Protomelas annectens is one of the so-called "follower cichlids" which trail behind other substrate sifting cichlids, picking off food items that are stirred up in the water column. Konings notes that this fish does not exclusively utilize these leftovers and makes use of other resources as well. Whatever the case, this fish is easy to feed in the aquarium, readily accepting Tetra Cichlid Sticks, Extreme, New Life Specture and Dainichi Pellets, etc. I fed copious amounts of Repashy Spawn and Grow (Gel Food) which quickly got females into condition.

Breeding

I obtained a group of eight, adult wild Protomelas annectens from fellow GCCA member Jason Libasci and placed them in a four foot, 90-gallon tank with a light green background and a sandy substrate. The tank contained numerous caves and rockwork and was filtered by a TidePool II wet/dry filter.

As mentioned above, I fed Repashy Spawn and Grow which I have found to be a great conditioning food for large Malawians. The females soon grew fat and within three weeks of getting the fish, I had my first spawn. I allowed the female to hold for 14 days after which I stripped her of 28 large, elongated fry. 

I offered live baby brine shrimp as a first food and the babies grew steadily. At six weeks of age, they are a almost 3/4" long and eating flake food.

Protomelas annectens Female

Retail Price

Protomelas annectenshas has been seen recently on some specialty cichlid sellers website. Wild-caught fish would be $60-$80 each. F1 fry, if you could find them at 1-1.5", would be about $8 each.

Video

 

Report April 2014 by Rick Borstein

Nyassachromis prostoma "Orange Cap"

 Nyassachromis prostoma Male

Above: Nyassachromis prostoma. Photo by Rick Borstein. Video available below.

General

Nyassachromis prostoma is an mouthbrooding cichlid from Lake Malawi, Africa. It was first typed by Trewavas in 1935.

Members of the genus Nyassachromis prostoma were formerly placed in the Copadichromis genus, but Konings advises that juvenile color pattern was one reason why these fish were split into a new genus. Nyassachromis  are characterized by a rather small head and narrow body and conspicuous line on the body. Males get up to six or seven inches while females stay smaller. This is a mostly silvery fish, but males have a nice bright blue sheen to the front third of the body and over the flank. The orange cap variety can have reddish coloration on the head, but it is not always very visible. The dorsal offers some red coloration, but the anal fin is mostly nondescript with only an egg dummy or two. Females are smaller by an inch or two and are silver with a blue sheen.

Habitat

Nyassachromis prostoma is a shallow water fish usually found over sand.

Care

Nyassachromis prostoma is a not a very aggressive cichlid and presents few problems. This fish should definitely be kept over sand since bower building is a prelude to courtship. My group did great in ordinary Chicago water (pH 7.4) at 78F. 

Feeding

In the wild, Nyassachromis prostoma is an open water planktivore, but it is not difficult to feed in the aquarium. Flake food, Repashy Spawn and Grow, New Life Spectrum and Xtreme pellets were all eagerly accepted by my group of fish.

Breeding

I obtained a group of eight, adult Nyassachromis prostoma from a GCCA Rare Fish auction in 2013. The fish were a couple of inches long when I got them and I placed them in a 90-gallon tank with substrate of quartz pool filter sand. This tank had only a few rocks for landscaping and was filtered by a TidePool II wet/dry filter.

I have found Repashy Spawn and Grow to be a great conditioning food for large Malawians. When the males were about five inches long, I observed the largest individual digging pits in the sand. This large male dug a pit which was at least three inches deep and about a foot around. A couple of weeks later, I observed my first female holding. I allowed the female to hold for 14 days after which I stripped her of 22 large fry. I offered live baby brine shrimp as a first food and the babies grew steadily. 

Nyassachromis prostoma Brooding Female

Retail Price

Nyassachromis prostomahas is occasionally available on cichlid sellers website. Wild-caught fish would be $60-$80 each. Two inch juveniles go for about $8 to $12 each.

Video

 

Report June 2014 by Rick Borstein



scubadiver's Avatar
scubadiver replied the topic: #35321 2 years 10 months ago
Forum Thread

Lepidiolamprologus sp.''meeli kipili''

Lepidiolamprologus sp. Meeli Kipili - Namansi

Above: Lepidiolamprologus sp. “meeli kipili”. Photo by Mario Toromanovic. Video available below.

General

Lepidiolamprologus sp. 'meeli kipili' belongs to a genus of sleek, pursuit-hunting piscivorous lamprologines with a large size range ( The Cichlidroom Companion). The genera Lepidiolamprologus was first described by Pellegrin in 1904. Lepidiolamprologus sp. 'meeli kipili' was first designated by Konings in 1995 as Neolamprologus meeli, but it was later given a provisional name of Lepidiolamprologus sp. 'meeli Kpili' also by Konings in1998. Sexes are similar, except that males are around twenty percent longer than females. Males get up to about four inches in length. Females are slightly smaller reaching a maximum length of about 3 to 3.5 inches. 

Habitat

Lepidiolamprologus sp. 'meeli kipili' is found in the sandy zone of the shallow intermediate habitat of lake Tanganyika. It has been observed in the central to southern Tanzanian coast at localities such as Nemansi, Mtosi, Kipili and Kalugunga.

Care

Keeping Lepidiolamprologus sp. 'meeli kipili' does not present many problems. They enjoy digging, and covering their shells, so provide fine gravel or sand substrate. Since they are native to Lake Tanganyika, my Lake Michigan water was a good match. They pretty aggressive towards their conspecifics, so larger tanks are recommended. I kept my group of eight in forty gallon breeder tank with a lots of rock work and many hiding spots. I would add aquarium salt after each 30% weekly water change, so my pH was always around 8.0. I kept the water temperature at 79°F.

Feeding

I could not find any documentation regarding the diet of Lepidiolamprologus sp. 'meeli kipili' in the wild, but because of their body shape, it is believed that they are hunters, predating on invertebrates and small fish.

My tank raised specimens readily accepted prepared food such as flakes and pellets. They loved frozen food such as daphnia, mysis and brine shrimp, and I enjoy watching them feeding on live black worms, or hunting after baby brine shrimp.

Breeding

I obtained Lepidiolamprologus sp. 'meeli kipili' at GCCA’s Cichlid Classic silent auction. They were around 1.5 inch long and probably five or six months old. I like buying juvenile or small fish, growing them up, and breeding them, rather than buying breeders or breeding pairs. That way you can study and watch your fish growing, forming pairs and experience the whole breeding process. These fish were from Dave’s Rare Fish, so I was sure that they are quality fish.

I knew that Lepidiolamprologus sp. 'meeli kipili' were shell dwellers, so I placed many different size shells in the tank. The tank was a forty gallon breeder with white sand, a requirement for shell dwellers which like to dig. About six months later, I noticed a pair hanging together and cleaning around a shell. Interestingly, the pair covered all the other shells at their territory with sand, so no other pair would come close and try to claim a shell. Meanwhile, on the other side of the tank, another pair formed, going through the same steps. Other individuals hovered at the safe distance close to the top of the tank. Males from two pairs would launch at them from time to time, but no damage was done.

I witnessed the spawning ritual of one pair (see video below). The colors of both the male and female darken right before and during mating, and the belly and dorsal fins of both fish turned almost black. After spawning, the female constantly guarded the shell, while male stayed a small distance away. About eight days later, I noticed small fry emerging from the shell, about 50-60 in total. At this point I introduced fry to their first food, live baby brine shrimp, which they readily accepted. 

Retail Price

Lepidiolamprologus sp. 'meeli kipili' is not a fish you would find at your local pet shop. They are pretty aggressive, they are not very colourful,and so they are kept only by a few dedicated cichlid hobbyists. They are not bred commercially, but juveniles are available from hobbyists in the $8-10 range.

Video

 

Report September 2014 by Mario Toromanovic

Share this page