Cichlid Room Companion

Reviews

Celebrating Cichlids from Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika

A showcase of beautiful pictures of Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika cichlids
Author: Konings, Ad, 2005
Celebrating Cichlids from Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika

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Review

by Juan Miguel Artigas Azas, 01-Aug-2005.

Ad Konings has produced yet another wonderful book on Rift Lake Cichlids. We now take it from granted, but before Ad made it into the cichlid scene with his first Malawi book back in the 1980's, pictures and information about the magnificent assemblage of cichlids from lake Malawi and Tanganyika was scarce to say the least. Ad, like nobody else, has brought to us over the years fascinating facts, new species and wonderful pictures from the beautiful and incredibly interesting lake inhabitants. His books, articles and incredible lectures have made us dream with the lakes and to many people Ad has even make those dreams become true organizing diving trips to the lakes.

This new showcase book brings to us a careful selection of some the most wonderful of Ad's pictures, which beyond their technical perfection and displayed art, show us some fascinating facts and behavior of the cichlids and other lake fish, and their stunning natural coloration. The pictures are accompanied by notes of biological facts about why their are so interesting and unique.

For many of us, this book will be an inspiration and a beloved part of our bookshelf, and to many more this book will surely attract them for life to the lake's cichlids and the exotic countries where they inhabit. I can't think of a more proper name for this book than "Celebrating Cichlids".

Description

Just the words “East African Rift Lake” convey sufficient magic to attract the attention of those that have never even heard of cichlids. Imagine a body of water as large as the state of Maryland, filled with crystal clear water - fresh water - and teeming with millions of gaudily-colored fishes. Just like a coral reef without the salt water, the currents, and the tides. And Africa has two such lakes, both about the same size and both with a unique set of fishes, almost all of them found only in that particular lake. A part of Lake Malawi has been declared a World Heritage Site, the world’s first freshwater park. The fauna of Lake Tanganyika — with a depth of 1470 m the second deepest in the world — is thought to be older than six million years, and perhaps as old as 20 million. The lake may have been the cradle of most cichlids found today in East Africa.

One of the most exciting groups of fishes, the cichlids, is dominant in both lakes Malawi and Tanganyika, with each lake harboring a staggering number of endemic species whose ranges are restricted not only to the lake in question but often also to a particular section of each lake. Some of the species occur only around tiny rocky reefs, with population densities as low as a few hundred individuals, while others are found lake-wide with millions caught every year by local fishermen. Since the 19th century, when Lake Malawi was discovered by Livingstone and Lake Tanganyika by Burton and Speke, scientists have been intrigued by the fact that so many species could originate in a single body of water. Leaving aside the intense scientific interest in African cichlids, these colorful creatures are also extremely popular with aquarists who are able to keep and breed many of them with ease.

Each cichlid has an interesting story to tell; this book shows a collection of cichlid fishes that were caught in the act - the act of their behavior, the act of displaying their splendor - all demonstrating that they are celebrated segments of the rich tapestry of life in the magical lakes of Africa.

Content


  • Rift Lake Cichlids, 6

  • Rift Lake Habitats, 8

  • Lake Malawi, 11

  • Lake Tanganyika, 91

  • Plate Notes, 170

  • Index, 176

Backcover

Just the words "East African Rift Lake" convey sufficient magic to attract the attention of those that have never ever heard of cichlids. Imagine a body of water as large as the state of Maryland, filled with crystal clear water (Fresh water) and teeming with millions of gaudily-colored fishes. Just like a coral reef without the salt water, the currents, and the tides. And Africa has two such lakes, both about the same size and both with a unique set of fishes, almost all of them found only in that particular name. A part of lake malawi has been declared a World Heritage Site, the world first freshwater park. The fauna of lake Tanganyika (With a depth of 1,470 m the second deepest in the world) is thought to be older than six million years, and perhaps as old as 20 million years. The lake may have been the cradle of most cichlids found today in East Africa.

One of the most exciting groups of fishes, the cichlids, is dominant in both lakes Malawi and Tanganyika, with each lake harboring a staggering number of endemic species whose ranges are restricted not only to the lake in question but often also to a particular section of each lake. Some of the species occur only around tiny rock reefs, with population densities as low as a few hundred individuals, while others are found lake-wide with millions caught every year by local fishermen. Since the 19th century, when lake Malawi was discovered by Livingstone and lake Tanganyika by Burton and Speke, scientists have been intrigued by the fact that that so many species could originate in a single body of water. Leaving aside the intense scientific interest in African cichlids, these colorful creatures are also extremely popular with aquarists who are able to keep and breed many of them with easy.

Each cichlid has an interesting story to tell; this book shows a collection of cichlid fishes that were caught in the act (The act of their behavior, the act of displaying their splendor) all demonstrating that they are celebrated segments of the rich tapestry of life in the magical lakes of Africa.

Size

176 pages finest quality paper; 11.75 x 11"; 400+ color photographs; linen bound; dust jacket.