Lac Fwa?

Discussion about cichlids from Africa other than Rift Lake
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Piotr Koba
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Lac Fwa?

Post by Piotr Koba » Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:25 pm

Hi there,
After acquiring Anton's fantastic book I wanted to know more about this amazing lake. But dr. Google is not helpful - only river Fwa is given in wiki. No more info. I only found some nice pics on Bleher's website, but still now information. Could someone give me a link, or something, with more interesting info about it? Water parameters, location on the map (Bleher wrote under one of the pics it's 22 kilometers long, on Google Earth there's nothing like that). Thank you very much for any info.
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Piotr

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Philippe Burnel
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Re: Lac Fwa?

Post by Philippe Burnel » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:45 am

seems that the "lake" is only an enlarged part of the river (old paper in the "Revue Française d'aquarioglogie")

Philippe

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Re: Lac Fwa?

Post by Piotr Koba » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:17 pm

Thanks Philippe!
But it's still not a lot of information. By the way, could someone identify these cichlids:
Image

from Aquapress Bleher website, an underwater shot of Lac Fwa. Is it Cyclopharynx?
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Piotr

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Re: Lac Fwa?

Post by Rico Morgenstern » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:18 am

Dear Piotr!
It seems that most if not all fish at the picture are indeed Cyclopharynx, but I am not sure which of the two species, for they are difficult to distinguish. In some of them I mean to make out a slightly subterminal mouth, which would point to C. fwae rather than C. schwetzi, but it is hard to say with certainty.

‘Lac‘ Fwa is indeed a (short) river rather than a lake, which arises from six ore more springs and flows into Lubi River, an affluent of the Sankuru, a major tributary of the Kasai (Congo drainage). Although it is situated in a dry savannah or mixed woodland area, the river banks are heavily vegetated. The width and maximum depth of the river varies considerably (from several tens to more than a hundred meters and 2-8m, respectively; in the deepest springs the depth is up to 22m). The river banks are well defined but difficult to approach due to the rockiness, dense shore vegetation, roots, logs and other debris. The river bottom consists predominantly of fine white sand, alternating with stretches of cobblestones, huge boulders and dense stands of aquatic plants (mostly Vallisneria aethiopica).
The water is very clear, Schupke (1994) gives the following parameters: ph 8.07, conductivity 310 µS/cm, carbonate hardness 7.2 °dH, total hardness 7.4°dH, sodium 13 mg/l, potassium 2.1 mg/l, calcium 28 mg/l, magnesium 15 mg/l, iron 0.043 mg/l, nitrate 1.6 mg/l, chloride 18 mg/l, sulfate 9 mg/l, phosphate 0.07 mg/l, hydrogen carbonate 156 mg/l.
21 species of non-cichlids are recorded from the Fwa, most of them widespread in the Congo Basin. In contrast, five of the six cichlid species are endemic, the exceptional species is Hemichromis cf. elongatus.

References:
Roberts, T. R. & S. O. Kullander (1994): Endemic cichlid fishes of the Fwa River, Zaire: systematics and ecology. Ichthyological Explorations of Freshwaters 5 (no. 2), pp. 97-154

Schupke, Peter (1994): Die Cichliden des Lac Fwa. Buntbarsch Jahrbuch v. 2; pp. 30-37 (in German)

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Re: Lac Fwa?

Post by Piotr Koba » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:08 am

Hi Rico,
Thank you very, very much for information. :) Another question is, does anyone here keep Schweztochromis neodon? It seems to be a pretty aggressive species, as Anton wrote. It was absent to the hobby, as well as others (small exception is T. brauschi) and now, Erwin Schraml describes it as again available. Any experiences?
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Piotr

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Re: Lac Fwa?

Post by Philippe Burnel » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:55 am

I've kept S. neodon but unfortunatly only females !!!!

In a public aquarium in St Malo (France) there was a group of this species, seems to me that it was not so agressive.

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Re: Lac Fwa?

Post by Heiko Bleher » Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:53 pm

Hi,

just saw this. Maybe some know, I was twice on Lac Faw, I have published very extensively in aqua geõgpgaphia nbr. 2, about 14 pages long the article
and also in the under the only down-load version:
http://www.aquapress-bleher.com/index.p ... &Itemid=45
and additional report. Schupke was with me once.

There are at least 9 endemic cichlid species, Tyson unfortunately did only research in the upper lake, but there are actually two of them, and the lower one is gigantic, much wider than the upper one, a real lake. But very diffucult to get to. And I measured it (both), that is why I know it is 22 km long. Unfortunately everything around is desert now, every single tree cut. But it was still on the the second trip a Dream lake.

I brought all 9 back on both occasions, but I can today see only one or two in the hobby. The most beautiful of all, what I acll the Picasso fish, see:
http://www.aquapress-bleher.com/index.p ... &Itemid=44
is still not described and possibly one of the most beautful cichlids on Earth (at least for me). And S. neodon is a very peaceful cichlid and also a real beauty (the make, fantastic). At least all the time I had it and my breeder, it was very peaceful. Also my observations under water in nature. But with some cichlids, specially in a small tank, one never knows ...

best regards

Heiko Bleher
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Re: Lac Fwa?

Post by Rico Morgenstern » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:06 am

Heiko Bleher wrote:I brought all 9 back on both occasions, but I can today see only one or two in the hobby. The most beautiful of all, what I acll the Picasso fish, see:
http://www.aquapress-bleher.com/index.p ... &Itemid=44
is still not described and possibly one of the most beautful cichlids on Earth (at least for me)
The 'Picasso fish' is Thoracochromis callichromus (Poll, 1948). It has been identified with that species by Schupke, by Mayland (in his 1995 book), and by Roberts & Kullander who even quoted your article. Anyway this is a striking beauty, unfortunately it didn't got established in the hobby, at least as far I know.

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Re: Lac Fwa?

Post by Bojan Dolenc » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:27 am

Thoracochromis callichromus is mentioned on this forum also here:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1391
Change in habit, producing change of function, is the main cause of the production of change in living structure. F. Wood Jones (1953) Trends of life

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Re: Lac Fwa?

Post by Piotr Koba » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:45 am

What a beauty! I wonder why they are absent in the hobby while e.g. Cameroonian crater lake inhabitants are present, and much easier to get. :? And also doing a Biotope tank for them would look much more interesting (almost like an iwagumi, even if fish would eat plants out :lol: )!
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Re: Lac Fwa?

Post by Mark Smith » Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:57 pm

Since Roberts and Kullander only list 5 endemic species (Roberts and Kullander's paper, Endemic cichlid fishes of the Fwa River, Zaire: systematics and ecology, in Ichthyological Explorations of Freshwaters, volume 5, no. 2). Which additional 4 species are you referring to? Do you have photos of them to prove that there are 4 additional endemic species?

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Re: Lac Fwa?

Post by Heiko Bleher » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:36 pm

Hi,

yes I have photos of all, and details and what you, Mark, wrote long ago is what has been happening: misidentifications all along.

In short:
1. The fish Poll described (I saw the sepcimens) as H. callichromis in 1948 is NOT the fish I named "Picasso fish".
2. Tyson, who is the only other one besides me, who went to the lake (the upper part only), had photos of dead fishes and specimens which were actually in poor condition as he carried them always around with him, also while I was with him and Jean-Pierre Gosse at the Museum in Bruxelles. And one can be seen the photos on the work he done with Sven.
3. They miss-identifed them, simply because that no life photos was avialble, and poor condition of specimens. None of the two saw them alive.
4. To me the one in the hobby named as T. brauschi is actually T. callichromis.

I was twice on Lac Faw (the only one, on one trip I took Shupke and another German) and brought back all species, they were 9, on both trips. But I think only 2-3 are still around. I wonder if Schwetzochromis is still in France, it is the 2nd most beautful fish in the lake.

Piotr Koba: Why? The Cameroon lakes are very easy to get to, just rent a car in Duala and go. Lac Faw one must have a permit to fly to Kananga (if they fly, no normal flights, they fly when they want, the first time I waited one week, the second two days...). In Kananga any white man landing first is taken to the police and normally placed in prison, as it is mining country and only special permit, the normal permit (from Kinshasa) the local police tell you has no value thier. If you can get over this one way or the other, then you need to find a vehicle for the 150 km east Lac Faw. But there is none. If you are lucky the missionares (if they are still there) have a 4x4, as no other car will pass the mud roads.

This only in very short. I wrote extensively in aqua geographia about it, and also in Bleher's Biotopes which is available for download at my site. All details and species/variants, etc.

All the best,

Heiko Bleher
www.aquapress-bleher.com
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Re: Lac Fwa?

Post by Mark Smith » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:00 pm

It is easy to say the things you said, but you still have not given proof that there are 9 species in lac Fwa, nor that the fish in the hobby as C. brauschi is actually C. callichromus. At least Roberts and Kullander have given concrete proof of their assertion that there are only 5 species in this river, and not 9. Can you give us better, or should I say, scientific/objective proof?

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Re: Lac Fwa?

Post by Rico Morgenstern » Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:14 pm

Heiko Bleher wrote:1. The fish Poll described (I saw the sepcimens) as H. callichromis in 1948 is NOT the fish I named "Picasso fish".
Roberts & Kullander (1994) have also checked the type material in order to identify their specimens, so what makes you so sure that they, not you, are in error?
Heiko Bleher wrote:2. Tyson, who is the only other one besides me, who went to the lake (the upper part only), had photos of dead fishes and specimens which were actually in poor condition as he carried them always around with him, also while I was with him and Jean-Pierre Gosse at the Museum in Bruxelles. And one can be seen the photos on the work he done with Sven.
None of the photos in their work shows a specimen in poor condition. All are obviously well preserved and would be even comparable with life specimens
Heiko Bleher wrote:3. They miss-identifed them, simply because that no life photos was avialble, and poor condition of specimens. None of the two saw them alive
Live colors of species all species are described (obviously based on Roberts' field observations) and sometimes even compared with the colors of specimens figured alive in the literature, including your and Schupke's (1993) article.
Heiko Bleher wrote:4. To me the one in the hobby named as T. brauschi is actually T. callichromis.
If I compare the original description and figure of the holotype with the data and figures in Roberts & Kullander, I have not a trace of any doubt that the species is correctly identified. Furthermore I have kept this species some years ago and have compared the fish with the descriptions. I was unable to find any indication that they are not T. brauschi.

Why did Schupke (Buntbarsch-Jahrbuch 1994), who was with you, recognize only six cichlid species (including the non-endemic Hemichromis)?

So could you please give us some evidence for your claims other than "I was there, you not"?

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Re: Lac Fwa?

Post by Mark Smith » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:59 pm

I noticed on Heiko's Wall Photos on his Facebook site, that he is now referring to his Picasso Fish as Thoracochromis callichromus.

To quote an earlier statement by Heiko on this thread:

"The most beautiful of all, what I acll the Picasso fish, see:
http://www.aquapress-bleher.com/index.p ... &Itemid=44
is still not described and possibly one of the most beautful cichlids on Earth (at least for me)."

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