American Cichlids 1 – Dwarf Cichlids

Author: Horst Linke & Dr. Wolfgang Staeck
Publisher: Tetra, Melle, Germany
ISBN # 1564651681
Copyright 1984
English Edition 1994
Binding: Hard Cover
232 pages
152 photos
43 drawings
28 tables
69 maps
Bibliography: 48 references

Since it first became available, I’ve considered this to be one of the better books about South American dwarf cichlids. The book was published in German in 1982 and there are multiple editions in German. In 1989 the American Cichlid Association published a text-only English translation of the 1984 edition. You had to have two books, the German edition and the translation to have the book in English. However, In 1994 Tetra Press published the complete 1984 edition as an English language text. This review is of that version.

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This is an identification guide to the species known at the time and discusses them in a comprehensive fashion with text that is excellent in detail and accuracy. Unfortunately, it’s been nearly 30 years since it was published and there have been many new discoveries and naming clarifications since that time. The photos are generally quite good. Most of the species identifications are accurate, but much has been learned since publication.

While the species information is dated, the husbandry information is generally quite good. Information on care and breeding is provided for most species. The care and maintenance of Apistos really doesn’t change so this book is an excellent guide. The bibliography is good for the time and the index is good. One thing I like about this book is the extensive use of maps. There are distribution maps for many of the species discussed.

In summary, I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good primer on dwarfs. Despite the limitations of its age, I believe most hobbyists would benefit from owning a copy of this book. It’s a standard reference for me that I often consult despite having a shelf full of other books.

Where to buy

Used copies of the 1994 English edition are usually available through used book dealers but you might have to look around to find it. You can usually find used copies through Amazon. Sometimes they are cheap and sometimes rather expensive. If you’d like to search for this book you can find it on Amazon.

If you ever find the English translation produced by the American Cichlid Association remember its text only and you’ll need the 1984 German book as a companion. These are not commonly available and its far easier to acquire the English edition.