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Rare Cichlids

If you believe these are no exotic aquarium fish left any more then you could be mistaken. Different countries have differing import restrictions. As a result some fish can be difficult to obtain. To create a unique fish aquarium consider seeking out some of these rare cichlids. List compiled by Chris Davis.

In Australia we have strict import regulations which prohibit the import of many cichlid species into the country. This listing represents unique species which are in serious need of breeders and are at some risk of being lost to the Australian cichlid keeping hobby. I have also included in this list (part II), a selection of species which are at risk of inbreeding problems associated with selection of pairs by breeders.

If you are considering setting up a breeding tank, but are unsure what to keep, this list can provide some species which are in need of breeders.

Species at Risk of Loss or Presumed Lost

American Cichlids

Aequidens tetramerus - Probably lost
Aequidens paraguensis - Probably lost
Acarichthys heckelii - Probably lost
Amphilophus trimaculatus - Less common
Archocentrus sajica - Less common
Archocentrus septemfasciatus - Less common
Archocentrus spinosissimus - Probably lost
Caquetaia krausii - Probably lost
Crenicichla saxatalis - Probably lost
Crenicichla lepidota - Probably lost
Crenicichla johanna - Extremely rare
Geophagus altifrons (Ovophile) - Very Rare
Guianacara geayii - Very rare
Herichthys cyanoguttatus - Probably lost
Hoplarchus psitticus - Probably lost
Laetacara sp. 'buckelkopf' - Very rare
Krobia itanyi - Very Rare
Nandopsis motoguense - Probably lost
Nandopsis facetum - Chanchito - Probably lost
Nandopsis oblongum - Probably lost
Nandopsis salvinii - Less common
Nandopsis urothalmus - Less common
Parachromis friedrichsthalii - Less common
Paranetroplus sieboldi - Probably lost
Satanoperca acuticeps - Extremely rare
Satanoperca daemon - Probably lost
Satanoperca leucosticta - Less common
Taeniacara candidi - Very rare
Thorichthys ellioti - Extremely rare
Uaru spp. - Less common
Vieja hartwegi - Rare
Vieja bifasciatum - Rare
Vieja zonatum - Probably lost

West African Cichlds

Anomalochromis thomasi & Hemichromine spp. (Other than "bimaculatus" (guttatus)) - Rare to Less common
Chromidotilapia guentheri - Probably lost
Hemichromis elongatus - Probably lost
Nanochromis spp. - Very rare.
Nanochromis transvestitus - Extremely rare
Pelvicachromis humilis - Rare
Steatocranus tinanti - Less Common
Teleograma brichardi - Probably lost

Etropline cichlids (Asia & Madagascar)

Etroplus sp. (both the green & gold chromides) - Very rare & rare respectively
Paratilapia polleni - Very Rare

Rift Lake Cichlids

Alticorpus macrocleithrum - Probably lost
Astatotilapia limax - Rare
Aristochromis cristyi - Rare
Chilotilapia euchilus - Rare
Copidachromis quadramaculatus - Rare
Copidachromis virginalus - Rare
Copidachromis mloto - Rare
Chalinochromis brichardi - Rare
Chalinochromis bifrenatus - Rare
Chalinochromis ndoboi - Extremely rare
Chalinochromis popelini - Very rare
Ctenochromis horei - Probably lost
Cynotilapia afra 'Gold head' - Rare - Less common
Cyphotilapia frontosa 'Zaire blue' - Very rare
Hemitilapia oxyrhynchus - Very rare
Gephrochromis lawsi - Probably lost
Labidochromis fryeri - Probably lost
Labidochromis pallidus - Extremely rare
Lepidiolamprologus attenuatus - Less common
Lepidolamprologus kendalli - Rare
Lepidolamprologus nkambae - Rare
Lepidolamprologus pleuromaculatus - Probably lost
Limnochromis auritus - Probably lost
Limnotilapia dardennii - Probably lost
Melanochromis labrosus - Probably lost
Melanochromis vermivorus - Rare
Mylochromis epicorialus - Probably lost
Mylochromis incola - Probably lost
Nimbochromis linni - Rare
Neolamprologus christyi - Extremely rare
Neolamprologus cunningtonii - Probably lost
Neolamprologus toae - Extremely rare
Neolamprologus sexfasiatus Blue form - Probably lost
Placidichromis johnsoni - Very rare
Petrotilapia tridetiger - Probably lost
Petrotilapia retrognathus - Extremely rare
Placidichromis phenochilus - Rare to Less common
Protomelas spilonotus - Very Rare
Pseudotropheus acei - Less Common
Pseudotropheus aurora - Very rare
Pseudotropheus minutus - Probably lost
Pseudotropheus patricki - Probably lost
Pseudotropheus tropheops sp. Mauve (syn: williamsi) - Probably lost
Telmatochromis temporalis - Probably lost
Varibilchromis moorii - Rare - Less common

If anyone has any ideas on other exotic species that should be considered for the listing, contact me and let me know. I would like to thank the users of the Sydney Cichlid Page forum and in particular, Chris Davies for helping to compile/edit/update this listing.

Rare Species for Which Caution is Advised Due to Inbreeding Issues

Congenital Deformities

Astronotus ocellatus - oscars - deformed heads and jaws.
Apistogramma species particularly Apistogramma agassizi, cacatuoides, nijsseni - mouth, spinal, eye and fin deformities.
Julidochromis species - bent spines.
Neolamprlogus multifasciatus - bent spines & square jaws.
Papiliochromis ramirezi - blue/gold rams - twisted pelvic fins & odd shaped heads.

Aulonocara Species: Why don't they look like the pictures in the book?

I think this genus as a whole must be treated very carefully by the breeder. Although the genus does not show a particularly high number of physical deformities the colouration of these fish is not, sadly, what it was. I think the best method for rectifying this situation is to obtain two colonies (of the best stock you can find) of 6-8 fish each and grow each up separately. Take the females from one blood line and add them to the best (brightest colour/largest) male from the other colony. Contacting other Aulonocara breeders is also worth considering. 

Keeping Cichlids
Rare Cichlids
Cichlid Names
Feeding Cichlids
Breeding Cichlids
Importable Cichlids
Cichlid Hybrids
Cichlid Profiles

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