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Alcolapia alcalica
December 15, 2011
11:02 am
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mzapater
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I was lucky to find (and bring back) this cichlid from Tanzania in August.

I wanted to share with you some pics about the place where they were collected (sorry, they are not very good).

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Hope you like them. So far the fish are doing great and starting to breed at about 4 months of age.

Manuel...

December 15, 2011
11:57 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Very, very cool! Are they found in the lake itself too Manuel?

Cake or death?
December 15, 2011
12:42 pm
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oaken
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Sweet! Btw, you mention they are starting to breed at about 4 months age. Would that be fry from the fish you originally collected that are starting to breed now or?

December 15, 2011
12:43 pm
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oaken
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Would also be very interesting to see pictures of them in the tank and some information about how you are keeping them /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

December 15, 2011
1:31 pm
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mzapater
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Actually, what I brought back were fry from the mouth of a female, so, when I arrived here was about the time for them to be released, this is why I know their age.

I couldn´t bring back any adults or juvenile fish, the weather was hot there and they died in just a few hours most likely due to lack of oxygen, even though I used only bottled water to pack them.

Sorry about not having aquarium pics, they are really fast, move all together and my tank is very poorly lit (13 w for 120 l tank). Water is kept at about 26 ºC, pH about 8, and I add sodium bicarbonate from time to time, but not really worried about it. Diet is basically vegetarian, from what I saw in that small stream.

Matt, I don´t think they are in the lake, the water is really hot and still, as well as loaded with sodium carbonates, pH is said to be over 9, so bad conditions for fish there. I couldn´t make to the real shores though, the floor was made of sticky mud (due to the small volcanic ashes), quite dangerous to try to walk there.

The volcano pictured is Ol Doinyo Lengai, which last erupted in 2008, losing half of its summit. We made a night trekking to the top...

February 21, 2012
2:36 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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So I was visiting Manuel this weekend and took a few photos. As he said the tank is dimly-lit so it was tricky as I've still no external flash, but here they are nonetheless. Some of these will hopefully be residing with me shortly!

Dominant male:

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Subdominant male:

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Female holding eggs:

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Bonus shot of alpha specimen:

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Attached files

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Cake or death?
February 21, 2012
3:55 pm
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Colin
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what a pretty fish - make sure you breed them too then!

/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

February 21, 2012
5:01 pm
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oaken
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I'm not jealous. Not at all /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" />

February 21, 2012
5:20 pm
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nuchal man
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Beautiful fish! I've been trying for years to find these in the states.

February 21, 2012
5:42 pm
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Colin
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How was he keeping them Matt - as extreme as what "freshwater" fishkeeping can be or were they adaptable?

February 21, 2012
6:25 pm
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Matt
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Just in local, fairly hard, tap water I think. They're apparently very adaptable though guess they wouldn't do too well under acidic conditions (?). What was interesting to see was how closely they group together.

The photos really don't do that alpha male justice at all, absolutely beautiful little thing.

Cake or death?
February 21, 2012
8:13 pm
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mzapater
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Hi, since they are swimming in my tank and it´s me who collected them, I can tell you that I keep them in a pretty simple setup.

120 l tank, dobule filtration: home made sponge filter on one corner, Eheim pick up filter on the opposite side.

pH around 8, 26 - 28 ºC, I have no hardness measurements, but I add sodium bicarbonate from time to time. Construction sand and some crushed coral sand as substrate (less than 1 cm, I hate deep substrates in my tanks).

Ceratophyllum growing freely floating, I take out what´s in excess from time to time.

Feeding regime basically vegetarian, mainly JBL novo rift pellets, and some protein rich food maybe once a week.

So far so good.. hope to start breeding them soon, these fish were "born" in August, so still about 6 months old.

I´ll post some more pics from the habitat.

Manuel...

February 21, 2012
8:25 pm
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Colin
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Very nice Manuel - good luck breeding them /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

February 22, 2012
8:32 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Thanks for the details Manuel - didn't realise you were adding bicarb. Do they feed on the live plants?

Cake or death?
February 22, 2012
9:45 am
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mzapater
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No, they don´t seem to feed on the Ceratophyllum or the filamentous algae that I give them from time to time.

My other cichlids from Lake Malawi (basically Lethrinops, Placidochromis, Sciaenochromis) and the Pundamilia from Victoria, do eat the Ceratophyllum leaves. I still don´t know exactly who does that.

Thanks for helping to make this fish a bit better known Matt!

February 22, 2012
11:07 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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I rather think you deserve the credit for collecting them, I just came and stuck a camera in their chops. /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />

Cake or death?
March 1, 2012
10:55 am
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mzapater
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2 females holding... lets hope for the best...

March 5, 2012
1:02 pm
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oaken
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Cool. Best of luck! Keep the thread updated /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

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