From the Editor
Setting the Bar Higher
For cichlidophiles July is a special month, when the unbeatable team of the American Cichlid Association (ACA) and TFH Magazine bring you both the annual ACA Convention (this year in Atlanta, Georgia, July 17–20) and this special issue of TFH, filled to the rim with cichlid photos, stories,
and information. If you are reading this when the magazine is hot off the press, it is
some time before the convention and you still have a chance to make plans to attend.
If you’re reading a copy of this magazine you got with your convention registration
packet, welcome to ACA 2008!
The ACA and TFH both set high standards, and one of the most challenging goals
of both organizations is to constantly improve. Every year it seems as if the ACA
convention is the best ever, and it doesn’t seem possible that the next year they could
be outdone, but they always are. Likewise, this magazine is always the finest we can
produce, but we work to improve it every month. In both cases this difficult task
is accomplished through experience, dedication, and hard work. The talented and
committed individuals who
deliver each ACA Convention and those who deliver each issue of TFH Magazine learn
and grow from their experiences, and the final product continues to improve.
As usual, our first feature article this month is the latest instructive and always eye-catching Nature Aquarium
installment from master aquatic gardener Takashi Amano (p. 70), followed by a look at an unusual, practically
invisible cyprinid, Danionella translucida, from an author who is also one of the featured speakers at this year’s ACA
Convention, Ted Judy (p. 74).
Then we begin our cichlid lineup with a look at the geographical meeting of North and South American cichlids
(p. 76), moving on to a look at several tilapia species (p. 82), a survey of gymnos in Uruguay (p. 86), plus a report
of spawning wolf cichlids—minus the typical spousal abuse from this big bruiser of a fish (p. 94). Next, we have
a tribute to the late Stuart Grant of Malawi fame (p. 98), followed by a trip into the labyrinth of the Pelvicachromis
taeniatus “Bandéwouri” conundrum (p. 102), and a spawning account for a popular West African tankbuster (p. 108).
After this you’ll be treated to a most unusual and fascinating look into natural cichlid habitats (p. 112)—a vicarious
Amazonian snorkel trip before we break to bring you the convention lineup and event schedule in the special ACA
Convention section (p. 118).
But wait, there’s more! What is sure to be a highlight of the convention for many people will be the trip to the
Georgia Aquarium, featuring more than 8 million gallons of aquatic displays, and we have a preview of that (p. 120),
though more from a marine point of view. (Hey, cichlids are only secondarily freshwater fish, right?) After this, our
resident cichlidophile Wayne Leibel shows his appreciation for the contributions to the hobby made by ACA and TFH
veteran Dick Stratton (p. 126). Finally, the Babes In The Cichlid Hobby make a conservation appeal to convention-
goers and other aquarists (p. 129). Phew!
You might think that with all that we’d have no room for anything else, but aside from all that we also have our
regular columns and departments, covering all aspects of the aquarium hobby as we do month after jam-packed
month. Don’t miss this month’s “Catfish Corner,” featuring the ever-popular Synodontis cats (p. 50); a close-up
look at hitchhiking invert tank invaders in the “Planted Tank” (p. 46); an update from the retail side of the fish biz
with “Import Report” (p. 54); an introduction to the swordtail platy in “Livebearers Unlimited” (p. 42); and much
more! When you package all this up with this month’s fantastic and unusual cover shot of swarming cichlid fry from
legendary cichlid photographer Mo Devlin, well, it’s just a bonanza of material for you!
Although we are very excited about our special annual cichlid issue and about attending another incredible ACA
Convention, we’re already hard at work on our next issue, which we are determined to make even better. After all,
we’ve been improving TFH Magazine for 56 years—we’re not about to stop now!
ical Fish Hobbyist