I am a master's student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
I will be doing research on parasites of native and exotic cichlid fishes in Panama starting January 2007. The main component of my research consists of an experiment using caged sentinel fishes in the wild to observe patterns of host colonization by macroparasites.
In order to run this experiment, I need to acquire specimens which bear the least parasites possible. The easiest way to do this is to purchase them from aquaria dealers. My reasearch (in Panama) will focus on the introduced Oreochromis niloticus niloticus (from Africa) and the native Vieja maculicauda, formerly Cichlasoma maculicauda.
I am interested in knowing how common these fishes are among fish hobbyist and whether it is possible to acquire approx. 45 specimens of each species around subadult stage. Useful contact info would be greatly appreciated.