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Allan Barber wrote:
>>Look after your N. lourensi Kitonga north TAN 97/9 and try to maintain
>>over the long term because this is one population that may not last very
>>long in the hobby.
>>Brian R. Watters
>Brian, my I ask why you do not believe that they will last along time in
>Is it that they are not as beautiful as other killies, or not as easy to
Personally, I consider N. lourensi to be a beautiful Notho and also unusual
in that it has little of no red coloration; but then, I like all Nothos so I
am certainly biased. It is also prolific and easy to breed.
My main reason for saying that I did not think the Kitonga population of N.
lourensi would last in the hobby over the long term is that past experience
has shown that a relatively small proportion of the Nothos we have
introduced into the hobby over the last 10 years or so have, in fact,
survived even over a relatively short term. Some might consider this a
cynical view of the situation but it is not, I am simply being realistic.
In most cases, the loss of a Notho from the hobby is not a matter of
incompetance on the part of hobbyists but rather a matter of a loss of
interest in that species (for whatever reason) and the desire to try one of
the many other interesting species that are now available. And if everyone
loses interest in a species at more or less the same time then it can very
easily be lost forever.
Perhaps the hobby has a saturation level for new populations/species ? I do
my best to maintain most of what I collect but there is a limit to what my
time and fish-room capacity will permit. When you consider the fact that
since 1988 we have collected and introduced into the hobby almost 200
different populations and species of Nothos (not to mention many lampeyes as
well) you can perhaps begin to appreciate the problem. There are simply not
enough hobbyists sufficiently interested in Nothos and with the required
dedication to be able to maintain all of those on an on-going basis.
The original collection of N. lourensi was in 1976 (from the Ruvu River
floodplain near Kwaraza), when there were relatively few Nothos in the
hobby. This population survived quite well in the hobby until about the mid-
to late-80s when it became very uncommon. In 1995 we collected and
introduced a new population (N. lourensi Ifakara TAN 95/4); these were
gorgeous robust fish and everyone wanted them. It was distributed
extensively but now, only 3 years after it was collected it is very rare in
the hobby and in danger of being lost. I have received a number of enquiries
about this population in the last 8 months or so. Fortunately, I still have
The Kitonga north population is not as attractive as the Ifakara population
(at least the wild fish were not as impressive) so given the trend of the
latter in the hobby, I am not optimistic that the former will last.
Anyway, I would encourage Notho hobbyists to maintain it and prove me wrong.
Let me know in 5 or 6 years time if you are still maintaining it.
Brian R. Watters
University of Regina
Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 0A2, Canada
Ph: (306) 584-9161 (home); (306) 585-4663 (work)
Fax: (306) 585-5433
E-mail: bwatters at sk_sympatico.ca