Cichlids of Victoria

CichlidsofVictoria.com is dedicated to the discussion and husbandry of African Cichlids especially the Victorian species
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 Post subject: Ugandan Blue Rock Kribensis
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 4:58 am 
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Big Jim";p="5146 wrote:
I talked to KevinB and he said he dose not have them anymore. He tried to find some for me but they are gone. I'll keep looking, but I think we let this one disappear.


Chapter 1;
Okay, so here's my story in all it's boring details. If we go back somewhere around 15 to 20 years ago, the Shedd Aquarium had (and still has) a rather large colony of these rock kribensis from the shores of Uganda in northern Lake Victoria. A biologist, (I'll call him Clint) living in Portsmouth, OH working for the Ohio State University knew the curator of the Shedd. The curator gave Clint a dozen of these fish and told him to breed them. The curator wanted a reliable sourse of these fish in case something happened to the stock at the Shedd and Clint the biologist was just that kind of reliable guy. So Clint bred these fish until his whole house was overtaken by these rock kribs. He sold them to the local fish store until they wouldn't take any more because no one wanted them. Clints wife complained that the rock kribs had taken over every fish tank in the house for years now and they both wanted variety. Clint started taking them to the Cincinnati club auctions. I was at one of these auctions in 2002 when no one was bidding on a reverse trio of rock kribs. They were full grown and butt-ugly but they were Victorian so up goes my hand. Here's a nicer picture of what the stressed male looked like;
Image

Stressed in the bag, it looked much, much worse. The auctioneer didn't mention that it wasn't your every day rock krib.

Kevin

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 Post subject: Re: Ugandan Blue Rock Kribensis
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 5:19 am 
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Chapter 2:
I take the reverse trio home and place them in one of my 55 gallon tanks with some Pundamilia nyererei. The next day the rock kribs have blossomed into these incredible blue-gray (males) with very long bright red fins. I knew that I had seen them in Mark Phillip Smiths book Lake Victoria Basin Cichlids. The two males were struttin' their stuff doin' the T-bone thing. Within a few weeks they bred in the front corner of the tank on the substrate and I captured the whole thing on my old Sony camera as an mpeg. The female did not hold to term and the fish were old enough that they never bred again.
Image

So now I'm on a mission to find who ever it was that was selling this fish in Cincinnati. It took me two full years. I had (stupidly) thrown the bag away and didn't know the guys name. But FINALLY I'm at an auction and I see a single male rock krib for sale and I now knew the guys initials. Then the auctioneer calls out his name because he had a leaky bag that needed to be redone. I saw who he was and finally got this whole story. He was happy to find some one that actually wanted his fish.

But Clint isn't exactly an action oriented guy. I now had his email and offered to drive to Portsmouth but he wasn't real interested in that for some reason. It took another full year for Clint and I to hook up at another of the Cincinnati club auctions where he gave me a bag with 2M:8F rock kribs maybe 2 inches long.

Kevin

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Last edited by KevinB on Sat May 01, 2010 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ugandan Blue Rock Kribensis
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 5:29 am 
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Chapter 3:
I now have my prized colony of Ugandan blue rock kribensis. I put them into their own 55 gallon tank and they bred over and over again for a few months and then stopped.
Image
(The ones with a bit of red on the body and a grayish color below the dorsal fins are males)

They had produced maybe 150 fry although it was pretty male heavy. There was absolutely no one in Columbus at all interested in Victorians back then and I very much wanted a local vic-buddy. And I wanted to keep this species close at hand in case anything ever happened to my stock. That was a mistake. I ended giving away these wonderful fish to people that weren't very serious about the hobby. They didn't maintain the colony and many weren't still keepmig fish a few years later.

I intended to keep them going myself but lost a bunch of juveniles to disease. I had only the original colony left. I checked around Columbus for Big Jim and no one stepped forth to tell me they had any. I emailed Clint and haven't heard back, but remember that it took an entire year for me to hear from him last time.

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Last edited by KevinB on Sat May 01, 2010 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ugandan Blue Rock Kribensis
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 5:39 am 
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Chapter 4 (the end for now);
The original colony of blue rock kribs lived until last year. They're are a bit unusual. Many Victorians get very dark and ugly with lumpy-bumpy bodies (like my old dayglows). But these guys just got better and better looking in old age. The only change was that their "snout" got a bit pointed:
Image
When stressed, the male is white with either horizontal or a checkerboard black stripes. When feeling better, he is a blue-gray with very faint checkerboard stripes, when fighting or breeding the male becomes less gray, more blue and loses the strpes altogether.

If I ever get this species again, I will be sure to get them into the hands of more serious Victorian enthusiasts. All is not lost just yet. There are likely some around some where. I know some folks in Chicago (where the Shedd Aquarium is) had some quite a few years ago as well.
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At the Shedd with Astatotilapia latifasciata.
Kevin

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Last edited by KevinB on Sat May 01, 2010 6:11 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 5:54 am 
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This is history and not boring at all. Stories like this, sad as it may be, are what people (like me) want to hear (except for the part about losing the fish).

Out of this story I have new information about the Shedd Aquarium's collection, specifically that they have fish collected from Uganda. I have always wondered about the Ugandian fish in the hobby. Many of them are shrouded in mystery collected from "black sites".

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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 6:59 am 
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If you do manage to locate some again I would be interested in a small colony's worth!
Any stats on these guys?

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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 7:21 am 
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I would love to get my hands on some of these. :cry: These are my wife's favorite fish. She has wanted them sense we started to look for some Victorians. Let us as a group never let this happen again. Dam I love these fish.

Keven if you find some let us know. We would love to keep the line going.

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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 8:03 am 
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Lets all throw up a few 'looking for' posts on our other fish forums and see if anything happens!
Its a long shot but it may happen!

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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 8:38 am 
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Fern";p="5271 wrote:
Lets all throw up a few 'looking for' posts on our other fish forums and see if anything happens!
Its a long shot but it may happen!
May spur a round of fakes to show up. I think the Cincinati area would be the place to concentrate.


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 Post subject: Re: Ugandan Blue Rock Kribensis
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 10:35 am 
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The story was a good one. I laughed I cried etc ;)


I am sure fakes would show up, but in the whole what are a bunch of fakes if 1 real group surfaces. You never know who had what and moved where, there could be some very far from the original zone. Even posting all over different cities on craigslist could uncover something. Just my two cents.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 6:25 pm 
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Kevin keep a eye out for these for me. I'm still on the look out for them.

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2800 gallons and growing

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 Post subject: Re: Ugandan Blue Rock Kribensis
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 6:00 pm 
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The story alone makes me want some!


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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 6:09 pm 
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I have seen some fakes out there already. A guy in Utah say's he has some but they are not them.

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 Post subject: Re: Ugandan Blue Rock Kribensis
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 2:19 am 
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I can remember my LFS having some in a long while back but haven't seen any since.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 3:47 am 
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Big Jim";p="5299 wrote:
I have seen some fakes out there already. A guy in Utah say's he has some but they are not them.


Live Fish Direct in Utah is selling Haplochromis sp "Red Tail Shellers" as blue rock kribs. I sent them an email but they really don't care.

Kevin

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