México, a journey into the world of cichlids
Cichlid Room Companion

México, a journey into the world of cichlids

The cichlids from México, an underwater view
Author: Heijns, Willem, 2010

| review | content | backcover | size |


by Juan Miguel Artigas Azas, 23-Aug-2010.

This new DVD by Willem Heijns compiles over fifty hours of underwater filming of cichlids in many Mexican freshwater habitats, from the north of the country to the south east of it. It presents nineteen clips showing a very varied assortment of cichlids and other fishes, many times showing the cichlids in reproduction. The DVD was filmed in the latter part of the 1990’s and early 2000’s. It brought back great memories to me, as I believe I was present when most of those clips were filmed (I was obviously present at El Palmar). At least, I have been fortunate enough to be in all the localities depicted and can talk about the quality of the scenes chosen. The watching of the DVD made me want to let anything I was doing and jump in the car with diving equipment and rush to any of those places (particularly any those that I haven’t been in several years) to spend some hours underwater, observing the wonderful fish fauna so nicely brought up by Willem in this DVD.

From the fry feeding behavior of Herichthys] sp. ‘white labridens’ to the molluscivorous Herichthys minckleyi] substrate diving in Poza de la Becerra in Cuatro Cienegas, searching for snails. Petenia splendida] and Herichthys steindachneri] with fry, which are very rare sightings. The DVD is a fantastic natural history document. Together with the scenes, in my opinion this DVD has one of the best chosen musical tracks to go along with it, which makes a pleasure to observe once and again. Many times wonderful films have been almost ruined by not so nicely chosen music.

The length of each clips could be judged as short (specially for a fish nut like me), but after thinking it over you realize they may actually be close to the perfect length, as you can go through all of the DVD clips in one session without being overwhelmed by it. If there is something I would criticize is the lack of subtitles (at least short duration ones) that tells the viewer, particularly those not experienced with the fish, what species they are watching. But of course, I realize this was a decision made by the author for his own reasons.

A short summary of the DVD can be found on Willem's Facebook page at Willem Heijns's video.

Order the DVD directly from the publisher for $ 25.00 US (+ $7.00 shipping-handling) and pay securely with PayPal

This DVD can be purchased directly from the publisher. The Cichlid Room Companion has no involvement and cannot be held responsible for any transaction originating from this advertisement.



This DVD contains the compilation of over fifty hours of video material of the cichlids from México. It shows many species in their natural habitat, most of them displaying their characteristic breeding behavior.

The video can be watched as one film (about 50 minutes), but selection of a specific river/lake and watching a videoclip of that particular location is also possible. For every location a list of represented cichlid species is given. Every clip can be watched separately and in doing so the list of species can be studied for as long as one likes. Together with the footage of the underwater habitat this provides for an excellent way of creating a biotope oriented aquarium for cichlids from that area.


Contains 19 underwater video-clips on cichlids in Mexico in their natural habitat, which can also be watched as one entire film. Maps with locations of represented cichlid species are also included

  • Laguna Bacalar:
    Cryptoheros spilurus, 'Heros' salvini, 'Heros' urophthalmus, Petenia splendida, Thorichthys meeki, Vieja synspila

  • Cenote Azul:
    'Heros' urophthalmus, Thorichthys meeki, Vieja synspila

  • Río Candelaria:
    Astatheros robertsoni, 'Heros' pearsei, 'Heros' salvini, Paratheraps bifasciatus, Petenia splendida, Thorichthys helleri, Thorichthys meeki, Thorichthys pasionis, Vieja heterospila, Vieja synspila

  • Río Chacamax at Nututún:
    Astatheros robertsoni, Chuco intermedius, 'Heros' salvini, Paratheraps bifasciatus, Petenia splendida, Theraps lentiginosus, Thorichthys helleri

  • Río Chalchijapan:
    'Heros' salvini, Paraneetroplus bulleri, Paratheraps species, Thorichthys callolepis, Thorichthys species "Mixteca", Vieja regani

  • Río Chancalá:
    Chuco intermedius, 'Heros' salvini, Parachromis friedrichsthalii, Petenia splendida, Theraps irregularis, Theraps lentiginosus, Theraps nourissati, Thorichthys helleri

  • Río Chocoljaito:
    Chuco intermedius, Parachromis friedrichsthalii, Theraps irregularis, Theraps lentiginosus

  • Cuatro Ciénegas:
    Herichthys minckleyi, Hemichromis species

  • Río Dos Caños:
    'Heros' salvini, Paraneetroplus nebuliferus, Paratheraps fenestratus, Thorichthys maculipinnis

  • Río Grande:
    Amphilophus trimaculatus, 'Heros' salvini, Paraneetroplus bulleri, Paratheraps species, Thorichthys callolepis, Thorichthys species "Mixteca", Vieja regani

  • Río Lacanjá:
    Chuco intermedius, 'Heros' pearsei, Petenia splendida, Theraps irregularis, Theraps lentiginosus, Theraps nourissati

  • Media Luna:
    Herichthys bartoni, Herichthys carpintis, Herichthys labridens

  • Río Mizola:
    Chuco intermedius, 'Heros' salvini, Theraps coeruleus, Thorichthys socolofi

  • Puente Nandabure:
    'Heros' grammodes

  • Río Otapá:
    Paratheraps fenestratus, Thorichthys maculipinnis

  • Río Hondo:
    Astatheros robertsoni, 'Heros' salvini, 'Heros' urophthalmus, Parachromis friedrichsthalii, Petenia splendida, Rocio octofasciata, Thorichthys meeki, Vieja synspila

  • Río Puyacatengo:
    Chuco intermedius, 'Heros' salvini, Paraneetroplus gibbiceps, Paratheraps bifasciatus, Theraps coeruleus, Thorichthys helleri

  • Tamasopo:
    Herichthys labridens, Herichthys steindachneri, Herichthys tamasopoensis

  • Río Tulijá:
    Chuco intermedius, Paraneetroplus gibbiceps, Theraps coeruleus, Thorichthys socolofi


Willem Heijns has been keeping cichlids since 1975. Over the years he has made many trips to the rivers and lakes of Central American and Mexico. This DVD, with more than 50 minutes of underwater video, is the result of his observations of cichlids in their natural habitat at 19 different locations.


Fifty minutes film in a DVD in PAL or NTSC format.