Adipose fin

is the small fleshy fin situated on the back between the dorsal fin and the tail. The function of this fin is unknown.

Allopatric speciation

results from the geographic separation of two or more populations of species. For example, there are many different geographical variants of Metriaclima zebra, including Red-top Zebra and Blue Black Zebra.


means are found mainly at the bottom of the water column where the water flow is slowest but turbulence is greatest.


is the two-name system of classifying animals and plants and was introduced by Swedish naturalist Carl von Linne (Carolus Linnaeus) in the 18th century. Also known as the Linnean system.

Black Water

is water that:

  • has a dark tea coloured stain that is caused by the tannins and humic acids from decaying vegetation;
  • has a very low pH and
  • is very soft.


means a fish of the same species or a species that looks similar – con meaning same; similar.


means they are active during the day.

Dwarf cichlid

is a cichlid that has perticular characteristics, of which size is just one trait. Some small cichlids are not classified as Dwarf due to other characteristics such as aggression.

Dummy egg spots

are the brightly coloured oval-shaped spots on the anal fin of many cichlids from Lake Malawi. These spots are especially important to the fertilisation of the real eggs. When the female takes the real eggs into her mouth, the male spreads his anal fin, displaying his egg spots. The female sees these and sucks at them thinking that they are real eggs. At that moment the male releases sperm, which the female takes into her mouth, causing the eggs to be fertilised.


means a group of closely related fish that share similar characteristics.

Larvophile mouthbrooder

means that the wrigglers are taken into the mouth after the eggs hatch. This is also known as delayed mouth brooding.


is a mineral used in fresh water plant tanks to supply nutrients, either as a ball placed under the root ball of the plant or mixed into the substrate.


means that the fish form a pair bond and remain together after spawning. Both parents are involved with defending the eggs and fry.


means that there is only one species belonging to the genus – mono meaning one and typic meaning type.


means they are more active at night.

Ovophile mouthbrooder

means that the eggs are incubated in the mouth. After they fry hatch and are released, they often return to the mouth at the first sign of danger.


means that the fish is named after a person.


means that a male may breed with several females at a time. May also be referred to as a harem breeder. Females tend to guard the eggs and fry while the males defends the territory.


means the specific name assigned to an individual. Glossary

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