Practical Information About Keeping, Breeding and Buying Dwarf Cichlids

Fish Profiles & Photos
South American  
    sp. "Abacaxis"
    sp. "Putumayo"
    sp. "Steel Blue"

West African 

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South American Dwarf Cichlids

book cover
Author:    Rainer Stawikowski, Ingo Koslowski and Volker Bohnet
Publisher:  DATZ, Germany
ISBN # 3800109115
Copyright 2005
Binding: Paper
129 pages
558 photos
Bibliography: 50 references

      This is currently the best guide available to assist in the identification of a South American dwarf cichlid. Apistogrammas in particular are being discovered at a rapid pace and as a consequence it is not uncommon for a new species to be introduced with under several different names. This book provides quality photos of every known South American dwarf and identifies alternate names for many species.  There are many excellent photos and to date most identifications seem to be standing up to the scurrility of other experts.

      One interesting aspect of this book is that it contains both German and English text in the same book. The authors and publisher are German and historically we Americans would have to wait years if ever for an English translation to appear. There seems to be a very small market for specialty books in America and publishers often refuse to even offer translations because of low sales. Fortunately, with this book all of us English speakers are finally able to receive the best available information in a timely fashion. I have to admit that I am occasionally annoyed to sort through the German and English on the same page but I only have to remind myself how annoyed the  Germans must be and I have no complaints. In fact, I encourage everyone to buy a copy of this book to rewards the publishers for the dual language release.

      I also strongly recommend the book on the merit of its content. This is the best ID book available at this time. However, be aware that this is intended to be an identification book only. There is very little information given about the species with each fish is given no more than 4 or 5 lines of text. If you are looking for a book that thoroughly covers all aspects of keeping and breeding these fishes I would believe that some of my other recommendations would serve you better.

      Finally, I have to note that with this book the authors propose and use a new numbering system to identify Apistogrammas. Each of the species and forms pictured in the book is assigned an A number. The numbers begin at A1 and continue through A243. This means that the authors identify 242 (Apistogrammoides pucallpaensis is given A100) different apistos. I have some real problems with this system that I have outlined in our section on Apistogrammas

      This is the very best identification book available and it belongs on the shelf of every serious dwarf cichlid fan. It is not yet widely available in North America. In fact you might have extreme difficulty in obtaining a copy. Mike Wise in Denver occasionally offers the book for sale along with several other dwarf cichlid books. Mike is the only possible domestic source I know of and I can't guarantee he has the book but you can send him an Email at  "apisto wise @earth link(dot)net" (remove the spaces and put a period instead of (dot)). If Mike can't supply the book you will probably be forced to find a European dealer to ship it to you. Unfortunately, this will be quite expensive.

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