Melissa says: Dev, you still here or are you thumbing through your references at the last minute :)
Dev says: you'll have to excuse my unpreparedness(unless of you course you don't notice it) and my tardiness since the last two days have been hectic and on top of that, I spent all afternoon moving tanks around the house...
Juanmi says: Excuses, excuses
Dev says: want more Juan? :)
Rsf says: Dev we want devastating insight on the topic at hand
Rsf says: I thought it was fish, cichlids in particular, and Laetacara to be specific am I wrong?
Melissa says: Shall we start the meeting?
Gecko says: I'm sure Dev will get his act together shortly
Dev drops his act and it shatters into millions of pieces....oh sh*t
Juanmi says: Sure Dev is reading as fast as he can some literature on Laetacara :)
Dev chants STALL STALL STALL...oh wait...that's supposed to be kept in my mind
Melissa gets the dustpan and broom
Juanmi starts beating the table with his closed fist, tumb, tumb, tumb
Melissa says: Stalling Dev?
Gecko says: it would be terrible for anyone to miss out on your words of wisdom :)
Dev points at himself "who me??"
Dev is thumbing through the index and can't find the god-damn L's...
Dev says: ok, I'm as ready as I could ever hope to be
Rsf says: look under "Aequidens" Dev :-)
Dev says: please, save the heckling for reef meetings...
Dev whistles innocently...
Dev promises to make up to everyone for the impending disastrous ecture by buying everyone a cappuccino afterwards in the coffee room...
Rsf taps his fingers...on devs noggin
Dev says: ok, I shall begin, I've got siphon tubes I've got to attend to before my house floods...
Gecko threatens the lag demon with GBH if he causes her to miss any of Dev's inspiinspirational words :)
Gecko whispers to Bob: "GBH = Grevious Bodily Harm", pommy slang
Dev says: Laetacara , as you may know, is a recently created genus used to reclassify several dwarf cichlids, all of South American origin
Dev says: most, if not all of these species were formerly in the Aequidens genus Dev says: although Laetacara is the most up-to-date classification, only the true cichlidiots will be caught correcting neophytes as even wholesalers and distributors (and thus stores) are using the old Aequidens genus label (at least in my area)
Rsf says: Same here Dev (Seattle)
Dev says: probably because price lists are expensive to update, and blah blah blah, but that's a whole another lecture...
Juanmi says: You are filling me with knowledge Dev :)
Gecko says: that sounded like sarcasm Juan!
Dev says: there are currently four established species that are scientifically recognized, with several others still to be named, although most of them have been aquarium kept and even bred already
Dev says: I remind you (ie- Juan), save the heckling for reef meetings :)
Dev says: an interesting fact is that recent research has shown that species of Laetacara are not so related to the
Aequidens family as they are to the Cichlasoma genus
Dev says: hence the genus switch...duh :)
Dev says: characteristic markings of Laetacara include a distinct lateral spot, and a conspicuous dark blotch on the dorsal fin
Dev says: commonly found is a broad dark band connecting these two markings
Dev says: another distinct physical feature is the stout, relatively non-lateral compressed , hi-backed bodies
Dev says: and very little distinct sexual morphism, although dwarf cichlid "studs" like our own Bob has remarked that there are general differences that may be used in sexing them (ie size, and particularly steepness of slope of head in specimens)
Dev says: native habitat of most Laetacara span from the upper Orinoco basin in Venezuela (where we are fortunate to have imported Payara from) to Paraguayan Parana
Dev says: the pros of keeping Laetacara (relative to other SA dwarfs) include low space requirements, hardiness and water condition adaptability, colorful patterns (esp. during breeding), general docile behavior (except during breeding) and plant-safe nature...
Dev says: generally, fry are raised in a parental family, with breeding taking place on/in substrate
Dev says: or on smooth surfaces such as rocks
Dev says: ok, now for the species specifics...
Dev says: pop quiz- what's the most common Laetacara sp. commonly seen...?
Gecko says: errr.... shoot the hostage?
Rsf says: Laetacara devigerus
Dev says: no Gecko, but I'll let you drive the bus later....
Melissa says: Umm... the little ones? :)
Gecko says: dearie dearie me...
Dev says: ok, you all give up
Juanmi says: Curviceps ?
Melissa says: Curviceps is what I see here
Dev says: our little friend, Curviceps....otherwise known as the flag cichlid
Dev hands Juan and Melissa cookies for being such good sports...
Melissa says: Thanks Dev
Juanmi says: uhmm, tasty
Juanmi says: Dorsigera
Juanmi says: Flavilabris
Rsf says: uh oh Juan is showing off now
Juanmi shuts his own mouth
Rsf says: we see Dorsigera about equally to Curviceps here
Dev says: OK Bob, don't ruin my class yet...:)
Dev says: curvis get to about 8 cm in males, 6 cm in females
Dev says: you might NOT know that there are several color morphs of curvis available, since most specimens in stores are scared-stiff and don't show their full coloring
Dev says: one (that I've seen personally) has a fire-red band
Dev says: otherwise, the common curviceps are bluish in color with iridescence and some red edging
Rsf says: along the lateral line dev? (the red band)
Dev says: parallel to the lateral band
Rsf nods his head in understanding.
Dev says: ok, no. 2 on my list (or tie for 1 on Bob's) is dorsigera
Dev says: dark brown coloring, less iridescence than curvis, explained by Bob (at least when in stores) as looking like "little pieces of sh*t" (or a store employee quote, sorry Bob)
Gecko says: charming, Bob
Gustavo says: descriptive!
Dev says: now take it easy, Bob did not say this, he was quoting a store employee...
Gecko says: ahhh...
Dev says: dorsigera are about the same size as curvis, a tad more delicate to keep (only because they tend to be more shy)
Dev says: some Laetacara sp. you might not have come across in your weekly jaunts down to the store (or daily- You know who you are...)
Dev says: are L. flavilabris
Dev says: a new sp by the name L. sp. "Bulge head"
Dev says: and L. sp "orange-fin"
Dev says: oh, and don't forget L. thayeri
Rsf says: bearing a striking resemblance to our presenter dev" bulge head" sung :-)
Dev says: too bad these aren't more widely available as the few pictures I've seen of them (particularly "bulge-head") show very pretty coloration, keeping the same lovable blunt-head
Dev checks his head for bulges...
Dev says: if anything, I'm suffering from hole-in-the-head wherein all useless information is leaking out and flowing into my terminal and onto your screens...
Gecko says: as long as it's only the useless info Dev
Dev says: L. sp. "bulge-head" has been kept by one of our very own, Apistogramma/Ted Judy
Dev says: unfortunately, Ted wished to test the limits of Leatacara hardiness and found that threshold
Gecko says: Ted's always pushing the limits :)
Dev says: ok, now for common application...
Dev says: you probably want a tank greater than 36" (3') for more than a pair of these fish
Dev says: but, keeping to the "small-requirements" theme, I would think you could get away very comfortably with ONE pair of Laetacara in a 2' /24" tank (20gH perhaps, for you US people)
Dev says: the tank should have dark gravel, somewhat fine (for the plants)
Dev says: the tank should be planted, but probably more with broader-leaf plants since these fish aren't exactly tiny and thus need some maneuvering space among the plants.
Dev says: one large Echinodorus with smaller foreground tenellus or lilaeopsis would work nicely
Dev says: also, the tank should be not too strongly lit, so perhaps Java fern might be a good substitute
Dev says: water conditions-
Dev says: Laetacara have been found in very varying waters, from 6.0-7.2
Dev says: but neutral would work for a maintenance tank, slightly more acidic for breeding conditions
Dev says: peat is recommended for bringing down the pH for breeding conditions, also to help darken the water and help dim/mute the lighting
Dev says: with such a small tank, probably the only filtration necessary would be either a small power filter or a sponge filter, especially since a heavily planted tank will rarely have problems with ammonia
Dev says: avoid using undergravels in any tank with plants, unless you have special reasons...
Dev says: provide smooth flat rocks for breeding as eggs are sometimes laid on such rocks
Dev says: otherwise, they will dig their own pits in the substrate
Dev says: is anyone still alive?
Gustavo says: yes, very interesting..
Melissa says: Barely :)
Juanmi awakes, uhm!
Gustavo says: please continue
Gecko says: eh?
Clk says: aaaaa what dev?
Dev says: not much more, it'd be easier if I had an Lota of a question to steer me...
Gecko says: oho! criticism of the audience, VERY nice... :)
Dev says: it goes both ways Gecko :)
Juanmi says: When and by who was Laetacara described Dev ? :)
Dev says: ooh, a challenge Juan :)
Dev defends himself proudly...
Dev says: Kullander, 1986...
Gustavo says: 86!
Juanmi says: type species ?
Gecko says: where's the holotype kept?
Dev says: yes, the genus is very recent Gustavo, hence the apprehension in name-switching and thus the more common name "Aequidens curviceps, dorsiger, etc...)
Juanmi says: Who collected it?, What had for breakfast that day?
Dev starts shaking in his pants...
Dev says: what sp. Juan
Juanmi says: flavilabris
Juanmi says: What did the collector has for breakfast that day?
Dev :) :)
Dev says: L. flavilabris- Cope, 1870
Dev says: YES, that's 1870
Gecko says: no brackets?!
Juanmi says: Described as Acara flavilabris
Gecko is appalled at this breach of taxonomic courtesy
Juanmi says: You still have the breakfast question Dev
Dev says: um, hang on...
Dev says: ok, the collector had Wheaties, because it's the breakfast of CHAMPIONS
Dev says: btw- an interesting taxonomic note is that L. dorsigera has been called A. flavilabris at one time
Juanmi nods your head in understanding.
Juanmi says: Gee Dev, you got them all!!!
Gecko says: ...but did he use NOXFISH to catch the holotype?
Dev says: any more questions (that I have to field way out in left-field...)?
Dev says: the holotype was a hologram
Gecko nods in complete understanding
Dev threatens to bring down plagues of ick unless people stop idling :)
Gecko says: they can read and be idle at the same time Dev! Would you prefer they were interrupting all the time? :)
Clk jumps up and down
Dev says: oh I forgot to mention that Laetacara are very timid and shy and thus should be provided with some dither fish
Clk says: what kind of dither fish
Dev says: some recommended dither fish- neon tetras, cardinals (if you have the room), pencil fish (three-striped dwarf is good), other smaller characins, rasboras
Clk picks up Gecko and throws her in a tank
Dev says: avoid larger tetras like serpaes, bleeding hearts, etc.. as I have found them to be lower-to mid tank swimmers and can get quite nasty
Gecko swims round the tank, introducing herself to all its friendly inhabitants
Juanmi says: A friendly black tip shark :)
Clk says: just keep dithering Gecko
Gecko dithers for all she is worth!
Gecko crawls wetly out of the tank
Dev throws Gecko a towel...
Dev says: Laetacara are described as "never having problems with diet" Dev says: a good diet might consist of a staple flake food, with spirulina flakes for conditioning, as well as treats of brine and blood worms.
Dev says: I've heard that corys can interfere with breeding attempts so bottom dwellers might be better off excluded unless you do not plan on breeding them on purpose
Juanmi says: Breeding behavior?
Dev says: courting involves shaking of the head and body to show interest in both partners
Dev says: partners take turn guarding the spawn, fanning the eggs, protecting the terriotry, much like the typical krib pair
Dev says: any more questions or shall we adjourn this meeting?
Juanmi says: Nice talk Dev, thanks a lot (in behalf of the cichlid room club)
Gustavo says: very clear
Dev smells cappuccino...
- Kullander, Sven. 1986. "Cichlid Fishes of the Amazon River Drainage of Peru". Swedish Museum of Natural History. Cichlids Amazon. pp. 1-431 (crc00282)
© Copyright 1995 Devin Sung, all rights reserved
Sung, Devin. (May 27, 1996). "Laetacara". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on May 22, 2019, from: https://www.cichlidae.com/article.php?id=296.