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What the @#$% is that?!?


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Hi all,

Now that i have your attention.... i need to know.

Since when, did LFS start calling fish these ridiculous names??!!??

My friend has a fish shop and he showed me the fish list from a well known supplier.

He asked me "What i thought a fish that was named on the list actually was?".

It was called a "PINK FIREMOUTH"...

The only fish that i thought that even comes close to that description would be amphillophus longmanis or perhaps Thorycthus Macrapinnis (Ellioti) but given that they were only asking $4.95 wholesale i figured Longmanis would be the one.

We started to go through some of the names that do nothing but cause confusion to newcomers to this hobby.

Things like "green horseface" (satanperca lucastista) and god knows what a "red horseface" actually is.

Given the confusion reigning in the "eartheaters circle" that could mean anything!

I would also like to know when Aquidens Rivulatus became the "Green terror" and Amphilophus festae became the "Red Terror"??

Surly these names do nothing to assist people to understand what fish they are dealing with.

I rang a pet store the other day looking for herotilapia multispinosa, the "young sounding" assistant told me ( very confidently) that they were illegal!.

Not wanting to argue with such a learned young man, I asked him what american fish he did have?...

He said he had Jags, Green Terrors, Red Devils, Texas, Oscars and rainbow cichlids. Now, i ask you all, "When did multispinosas become rainbow cichlids"??

I don't blame the kid for not knowing, I mean he's probably only reciting the names from these fish lists, but it doesn't help the public to know what they are buying, it just makes it easier to sell fish.

I've been in this hobby for over 35 years and i had to learn the names just so that i knew what i wanted and how to ask for them.

I also saw on Petlink a while ago now..."Breeding pair of GTs....$20"...I thought "thats cheap for GIANT TREVALLY" !!!!

Maybe I'm just a GOB (Grumpy Old Bugger) but what the @#$% is a Pink Firemouth?????

I look forward to learning something new.



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yeah pink firemouth is longimannis, and i agree i thought it was misleading, and had a similar experience yesterday when a shop assistant claimed that a geophagus steindachneri was a green horseface, and on tuesday a shop assistant that didnt know what a sajica cichlid was, googled it and then said to me "oh t-bar, usually its best to use common names..."


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see this is what i mean.

There are so many geos that look similar how would you know what you were buying.

When i had "Geo Fever", i was a dubious about weather the brachybranchus in the eartheaters book was the same fish that we have here. I sent photos of my fish to Thomas Weirner ( the guy who wrote the eartheaters book), and he said he had never seen our black throated fish. So it turns out that the fish that we have called Surenimensis and now brachybranchus are actually niether.

During the late seventies and early eighties (so i am told) we imported our "Surenimensis" from french gyana so who knows... perhaps our fish are a completely differant species all together. Maybe Geophagus Australis??????

Anyway my point is that if your LFS does'nt call these fish by the right names, what chance is there of keeping track of whats available in this country. Let alone the new people coming into the hobby actually knowing what they are keeping.

We are limited by the law as to what we can keep in Australia, we really need to know what we have got.

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The problem is the common names have been around for as long as i can remember, also in the early days as in Red horseface or (other fish) thats what they were imported as because the species was either unknown or in L numbers as an example undesscribed. The common names stick as thats what everyone was used too.

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  • 3 weeks later...

haha i guess everything becomes shortened, nicknamed or abbreviated these days, especially if it's not to easy to say or remember...

When you go to get money out do you say "I'm going to the atm" or "I'm going to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia's Automatic Teller Machine"...

Not having a jab, just a different way of looking at it :happy:

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  • 4 weeks later...

It does make everything very confusing, both for newcomers and experienced individuals. I work casually at a pet shop in Newcastle and for years we have been getting Geophagus 'Red Horseface' from our suppliers, which have ranged from Brachybranchus to Brasiliensis to even Steindachneri at one stage. Why we even order this code when it comes with such variance I will never know.

Likewise with the 'Green Terrors', we order, and label these fish as what they are, Aequidens Rivulatus 'Gold Saum', but customers will come in and happily point out that 'thats just a Green Terror'.

It throws alot of confusion around when 'common names' and the like are brought into it. One of the more recent ones I was approached with (forgive me if I am being ignorant, but I've never heard this before) was a Giraffe Cichlid. WTF is that? And then this young bloke walks up to the tank holding Nimbochromis Venustus and says 'these ones mate, theyre Giraffes!'. I have honestly never heard that before in my life.

One of my biggest pet hates is hybrids. Call them hybrids/crossbreeds/whatever you want, they dont have a place anywhere IMO. What compounds this problem is when newcomers dont understand this, happily breed them 'because theyre different' or 'they look cool' or 'you get really good patterns and colours', and then onsell them to more newcomers who take them at face value and continue with this downward spiral. I recently had a customer come in with a bucket full of fry trying to sell them, and telling me 'well mate, the mum was one of them Venustus things, and the dad woulda been a Saulosi'. After discussing with him the fact it was a hybrid and that I wouldnt sell them, but use them for feeders, he was happy to give them to us for nothing and be on his way. If only it was that simple with everything.

Now that I realise that I'm having a bit of a rant, I'll stop. But naming in the LFS certainly needs to change, and some more attention paid to it. Thats all from me :)


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Well there you go. I have worked there for nearly 7 years, and spent a fair bit (too much, easily :p ) in other pet shops and aquariums and never heard them called that. Theres something I've learnt today!

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Seems like Malawi is well represented with these trade names - e.g some other ones I have seen besides Hawk & Gar:

Malawi Trout - Champsochromis Caerleus

Malawi Sand Diver - Fossorochromis Rostratus

Malawi Baracuda - Rhamphochromis Macrophthalmus

Malawi Bream - Chilotilapia Rhoadesii

Malawi Eye Biter - Dimidiochromis Compressiceps

Exochochromis Anagenys - Malawi Torpedo

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Ahh good to see you good people get my drift....

How can the newbies to the hobby ever be expected to learn?!?

I bloody had to....

Try having a conversation with some of the older members of any cichlid society without using the correct names.

It's hard enough keeping up with the species name changes that have occured of late. let alone trying to remember what they used to be known as!!

The "Veija - Paratheraps" discussion comes to mind. Theres even some talk that all Synspillum are now to be known as Melanurum!!!!.

I know, lets start a movement... "THE CICHLIDIAN PEOPLES FRONT AGAINST COMMON NAMES"...that would look good on a T-shirt!!!

We could crush any resistance by calling them SPLITTERS!!!

Maintain the RAGE!!

let me know what you think...

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