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We are a father and son who both love Malawi cichlids.

I (Johan) had my first aquarium as a birthday present from my parents when I was eight years old. This small tank was sized 40x30x30, and at that time I was very happy with it. Like many others, I placed guppies, platyfish, mollies and other fish in it. A small light standing on a piece of glass laid over the aquarium was taking care of the primitive day and night sequence. A year later I could get a larger aquarium from an acquaintance of my parents and I felt like a king about it. For the time it was a large aquarium, measuring 100x40x40.

At the end of the sixties, cichlids were told to be very bad fish. People told they were agressive and that they would fight a lot, eat your vegetation and dig holes. In those days there were only South-American species available in my hometown. I liked them but I decided not to put them in my new tank. I placed guppies and similar fish in it, like before. My interest in cichlids was born when I first visited the local store. As years passed, more and more Malawi cichlids were to be sold in this store. The first species I saw there were Melanochromis Auratus and Labeotropheus Trewavasae, if I remember correctly. From the moment I saw them I completely fell in love with these cichlids.

Still, it lasted until the end of the eighties before I was more serious about keeping Malawi cichlids. Before that time I was too busy with school, puberty, going out and other things a young person should do. In the middle eighties I got married, got kids and my first Malawi cichlids were brought into my home. I bought the fish in a well known cichlid specialty store. At the time, I had an aquarium of 120x40x40 with the couples listed below:

Copadichromis borleyi
Aulonocara maylandi
Aulonocara stuartgranti
Aulonocara jacobfreibergi
Aulonocara baenschi

Of course I quickly noticed that this was off limits: there were too many large fish in my too small aquarium. To make matters worse, the Aulonocara females weren't distinguishable from eachother, so they began to crossbreed. I also had two empty aquaria, measuring one meter in length each. I started setting them up immediately and put the Aulonocara in to stop them from hybridising with other species. I placed Baenschi and Maylandi in one tank, Stuartgranti in the other and Jacobfreibergi and Borleyi were staying in the aquarium they were in before. By then it really started for me. After a while the fish began to have offspring so I decided to buy another aquarium to put the small ones in. This way I was raising and selling the young ones, until I had to stop in the end of the nineties because there was no more room for the aquaria. Since that time I only have my main aquarium (200x60x50) left and I let nature do the rest in this tank.

overzicht vorige bak

Some years later, in the summer of 2008, we`ve started to place some breeding tanks in our home because we`ve gotten some more space in the house. This was mainly all because of my son's enthousiasm. At that time it was our purpose to breed some rare "mbuna`s", which were difficult to find in trade.
Unfortunately this was only for a short time. In the course of 2012 we stopped with this project. My son needed to spend more and more time on his study and I am getting worsening health issues so things have become more difficult.

For a few years I am taking photographs of our own cichlids. I'm also travelling to several traders all over Western-Europe frequently to take pictures of the fish they have in their shops at the time. I'd like to show the pictures to other Malawi-cichlid lovers in this way.

Which brings me to my son, Thimo. Since he was born he has been fascinated by the different kinds of Malawi cichlids we've had and since autumn 2006 he`s keeping his own fish in his own tank. He loves the Mbuna types en he wants to focus on them in the future. Meanwhile he`s got a larger tank (since july 2008), in which he keeps "mbuna`s", of course. Thimo likes to work with the computer and everything that has something to do with that as well, so we decided to make this website together. In that way, we can learn from eachother.

I hope you enjoy this website. All pictures are self-made. You may leave a note in our guestbook, if you please.

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Contact: onzemalawicichliden@gmail.com