Hey, find your own spot!

75g Tanganyikan community tank. Photo by author.

Territory disputes? With both species only and community tanks, this can be a potential problem. It can be mitigated by overcrowding, i.e., having so many fish that no single fish can claim a territory. Even if your tank isn’t overcrowded, you can still sometimes ease such disputes if you move things around in the tank frequently (e.g., rocks, caves, decorations).

Continue reading this post…Hey, find your own spot!

Interesting research or just bad science?

Male Maylandia greshakei. Image from https://de.wikipedia.org/.

Do you feed your cichlids commercial foods that contain probiotics? Many of the larger market food brands (e.g., New Life Spectrum, Cobalt) and even some smaller ones (e.g., AquaLife) offer probiotic infused foods espousing the benefits to fish digestion.

I came across a recent study (October 2017) in the World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research that looked at the effects of probiotics on reproduction.

Continue reading this post…Interesting research or just bad science?

Ohio Cichlid Association (OCA) 25th Extravaganza

In less than three months, the Ohio Cichlid Association (OCA) will be hosting their annual Extravaganza. Billed as the “…largest celebration of cichlids and catfish on the planet,” the event takes place November 22-24 at the Holiday Inn in Strongsville, Ohio.

To register, go to the 25th Extravaganza registration page. I plan to attend and I hope to see you there. If you attend, introduce yourself to me, let me know you read the blog, and what you think about it. Good or bad, I’m always interested in feedback and I love to meet other cichlidophiles.

More information about the event, including the speaker list, can be found on the 25th Extravaganza website.

New flake and stick food

Image from Aquarium Life Support Systems.

There are lots of well known and not-so well known commercial brands of fish foods available for your cichlids. In addition, some hobbyists make their own food. While some of the bigger brand names like Northfin, Cobalt, Hikari, Omega One, and New Life Spectrum dominate the American market, there are several lesser known companies who sell good food products.

Continue reading this post…New flake and stick food

Finding blog content

If you’re new here or only drop by on occasion, you might not be aware of the various content on the site and how to get to it. If you’re on a desktop or tablet, there is a right side bar that contains the following in order (from top to bottom):

  • a list of interviews I’ve done,
  • a list of recent posts,
  • a dropdown menu to search by post category (there are six categories),
  • a dropdown archive menu to search by month,
  • a list of websites
  • and a list of cichlid Facebook groups.

This same content can also be found on mobile devices but you have to scroll toward the very bottom to get to it. Since roughly half of the site viewers use mobile devices, this isn’t ideal. However, I’m happy with the WP theme that I use and am reluctant to change it. Also, I haven’t received any complaints about this, so…

On the positive side, I have made searching quite easy by providing search tools at the top of the page that appears on all devices. The search tool is quite powerful, so I encourage you to use it to look for older content.

New cichlid book

Book cover for Awesome Aquatics! Handbook Volume 2: Introduction to Cichlids by Laura Main and Sean Foley.

While I don’t know anything about Laura Main (listed as the author on the cover), I do know a little about the book’s co-author, Sean Foley. Sean is one of the administrators of the Cichlid Keepers Facebook group, a huge group with nearly 40,000 members. I’m a member of that group, and Sean is an active administrator.

I haven’t read the book, so I can’t speak to the contents or the quality. It’s free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription but the paperback version will set you back more than $50 (at present). You can find it here at Amazon, where you can also get a sneak peek of the contents.

And watch those pots too!

In the previous post, I talked about rock shapes and how those with jagged or rough edges/ends can present problems for your more rambunctious species. What I didn’t mention was other types of caves and hiding places hobbyists often use – ceramic pots.

Unglazed 6″ ceramic clay pot with part of side cut out. Photo by the author.

Many hobbyists “customize” clay pots for use as breeding caves and for simple shelter. This customization typically involves cutting the pot in some way, usually to create a large opening on the side. Make sure you’re using unglazed pots.

Customization is good and creates additional options depending on how you intend to use the pot. However, unless you’re using a diamond cut bit or blade, you can create very jagged and sharp edges on the ceramic. That’s because it typically breaks.

Fortunately, a little sanding is all that is needed to fix the edges.  I don’t use sandpaper, but rather a Dremel to smooth mine out. See the photo above. The edges have been smoothed out nicely. See one of my earlier posts for the tools I use to break off large pieces.

Watch those rocks!

Image from https://pxhere.com/.

Many cichlid enthusiasts, regardless of the species they keep, use various rocks in their tanks. Yes, rocks are typically more common and prevalent in African cichlid set-ups, but rocks can work in any aquarium and nearly any biotope set-up. That’s the good news. The bad news is certain rocks can create problems that other aquarium contents don’t. This post isn’t about rock composition but rather rock shapes.

Continue reading this post…Watch those rocks!