Because I haven’t posted about any of my fish in a while, I thought I would share a few recent photos. It’s funny how it always seems that the smallest fish are the most gregarious. In my experience, the larger the fish, the more apt it is to be shy and withdrawn when someone approaches the tanks. My most gregarious fish is, in fact, the smallest. I have a single adult male Neolamprologus signatus. He’s very inquisitive and likes to see what I’m doing whenever I’m close.
Everyone probably agrees that part of the allure of keeping cichlids is the diversity of their behavior.
I have a breeding pair of Telmatochromis temporalis in a 20g long. The tank contains several ceramic tubes and a ceramic cave. The female spends most of her time in the cave.
If you keep fish long enough, you will eventually experience a tank or filter failure that will inevitably leave you with a floor full of water. It WILL happen.
After nearly 20 years of personally avoiding such a disaster, my luck ran out this past weekend. I woke up Sunday morning and, like every other morning, went down to the basement where all but one of my show tanks are located. The basement is partially finished and partially carpeted.
Yes, I have a blind cichlid, a Neolamprologus cylindricus to be exact.
How do I know he’s blind? Observation.
My decisions to breed cichlids and raise fry are rooted in three places (in no particular order):
- The challenge
- The enjoyment
We all know that the nitrogen cycle consists of breaking down ammonia or ammonium into nitrite and then into nitrate. For years, the microorganisms credited with performing these tasks in aquaria were bacteria, specifically from the genera Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter. That is still true, however the notion that bacteria are exclusively responsible has recently been challenged by the scientific community. In fact, it may not be bacteria at all that perform the majority of the work, at least in freshwater aquariums.
A few weeks ago, I was searching for a scholarly article on something cichlid related and stumbled upon some interesting research on convict cichlids. I downloaded the paper and read it. I then looked up the authors and discovered that they regularly use cichlids in their research. I reached out to them about doing an interview for the blog and, thankfully, they agreed.
Professor François-Xavier Dechaume-Moncharmont is a behavioral ecologist who teaches at the University of Lyon in Lyon, France. His research focus is the evolution of decision making, within a sexual context, of fish.
Dr. Chloé Laubu is a former student of Dr. Dechaume-Moncharmont, and her research focuses on mood and personality of convict cichlids in a sexual context. Dr. Laubu works in the Laboratoire Biogéosciences at the University of Burgundy. The two researchers have authored several papers together, and their research is quite complementary.
With the introductions out of the way, let’s get started.
If you’re in the market for a new air pump, consider the Silent Giant by Hydra Aquatics. It might just be the quietest aquarium pump on the market. You can see a video of it being tested against a couple of other comparable pumps, including Danner, on the Aquamanknox YouTube channel here.
There are numerous ways to remove algae from the glass in your aquarium. You can remove it physically, chemically, or naturally. All of the following assume you’re removing algae from a glass tank containing water rather than empty. A dry tank or an acrylic tank are a whole different conversation.
It goes without saying that the longer you participate in a hobby, the more you’ll learn about it, including the names of fellow hobbyists. Over time, you’ll come across the same name more and more frequently. This is what led me to today’s interviewee.
Let me introduce Jason Wilson, or Jay, as his friends call him. I had come across his name several times either via YouTube or in conversation with another hobbyist. As it turns out, Jay is a renaissance man of sorts. He’s into a little bit of everything associated with the hobby. Intrigued, I decided he needed to be interviewed for the blog. I reached out to him back before the holidays to see if he would be interested. His response when I asked, “I’d love to.”
Leaving the Navy after a 13-year career, Jay needed a new purpose in life. Though having been a fish keeper since he was small, it was only seven years ago that he found that new purpose….in cichlids. In fact, his interest in cichlids helped save his life. If you’ve ever met him or visited his YouTube channel, Jay Wilson – Glass Box Therapy, then you know he’s high energy. In a very short time, he has channeled much of that energy into cichlids. Let’s get started!