Wolfgang Staeck to Discuss Cichlids

Wolfgang Staeck: “South American Dwarf Cichlids of the Genus Apistogramma” and “Tanganyika: A Lake and its Fishes”

Cichlids are truly the specialty of Dr. Wolfgang Staeck, who will be delivering two presentations concerning cichlids at this year’s Aquatic Experience. His sessions “South American Dwarf Cichlids of the Genus Apistogramma” and “Tanganyika: A Lake and its Fishes” will showcase the rich collection of experiences that Staeck has had as a biologist abroad.

Dwarf Cichlids An aquarist from a young age, Staeck has been keeping and breeding fish of various species for many years. After studying biology at Penn State University, Staeck began to travel the world. Since the early 1970’s, he has travelled Africa, Madagascar, and Central and South America to study aquarium fish in their natural habitats. These trips have led to the discovery of many new species, as well as the gathering of new ecological data and information about the natural living conditions of cichlids.

Yet, Staeck’s accomplishments don’t end there. He has additionally published scientific descriptions of over two dozen recently discovered species of fish, a number of books, and a collection of articles in German and international magazines. Staeck is furthermore known for his lectures, which he has given in a variety of settings.

Staeck is particularly fascinated by the behavior of cichlids. From 1997 to 2010, he was President of the German Cichlid Association. At Aquatic Experience, Staeck’s focus will be exclusively on cichlids.

During his session “South American Dwarf Cichlids of the Genus Apistogramma,” Staeck will discuss some of the effects of the recent increase in the exploration of South America’s bodies of fresh water, including the rise in commercial exportation of ornamental fish and the now unprecedented number of Apistogramma species known to scientists and aquarists alike. Staeck will furthermore provide an overview of these species of dwarf cichlids, highlighting their diversity, reproductive patterns, natural habitats, biology, and required care in aquariums.

For his session, “Tanganyika: A Lake and its Fishes,” Staeck will draw on his many visits to Lake Tanganyika as he describes to attendees the significance and beauty of this African body of water. Tanganyika, which is situated south of the equator, in the 13,000-sqare-mile Great Rift Valley of east Africa, is the second deepest lake on Earth, reaching 5,000 feet. Exclusive to Tanganyika are over 200 species of cichlids, many of which are popular among aquarists for their vibrant colors and interesting behavioral patterns. For its unique, unusual, and extremely diverse fish fauna, Tanganyika is a natural monument. During his presentation, Staeck will provide information on the different habitats, reproductive behaviors, and maintenance needs of the Tanganyika cichlids that are so popular to the aquarist’s hobby.

To learn more about Staeck and the above topics, catch one (or both) of his presentations at Aquatic Experience!