Avoiding water parameter problems

Tank maintenance check list. Image from https://www.talkfishy.com/.

I can’t tell you how many times I come across fish keepers whose water parameters have suddenly degraded and they don’t know why. There are lots of things that can cause ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate spikes or even pH crashes and changes. However, there is one pretty simple solution to minimizing the probability of it happening – routine tank maintenance and consistency. 

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Want a new t-shirt from The Cichlid Stage – for free?

The Cichlid Stage t-shirt, front. Photo by the author.
The Cichlid Stage t-shirt, back. Photo by the author.

One quick-acting blog reader can win a free t-shirt right now. I will even ship it for free (anywhere in the world)! To participate you must be a member of at least two of the Facebook groups listed. Below the list of Facebook groups are the rules. You must complete each step in the rules. The first reader that completes each step below wins!

  • Dwarf Cichlids World Wide
  • Shell Dwellers
  • Cichlid Keepers
  • Tanganyika Cichlids in the USA
  • African Cichlids Worldwide

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Crenicichla wallacii

For the pike fans out there, especially fans of the dwarf species, see the latest issue of AMAZONAS Magazine. It is subscription only, but is well worth it, in my opinion. Anyway, the January/February 2021 issue has a great article on Crenicichla wallacii, a beautiful dwarf species. The article also contains several great photos of both wallacii and another dwarf species known as sp. “Essequibo,” named for the river in Guyana in which it is found. Though most pikes grow quite large, the dwarf species usually max out at about 4-5″. For photos of wallacii, you’ll need to do a Web search or you can visit The Cichlid Room Companion’s C. wallacii page

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‘Lamprologus’ brevis profile

‘Lamprologus’ brevis. Photo from https://www.aquasnack.co.uk/.

For the L. brevis lovers out there, the latest edition of Cichlid News contains a great profile article by Ad Konings. The magazine is subscription only, but for the quality of articles it publishes, it is not very expensive, in my opinion. Currently, a two-year e-subscription is $46 USD. I am a subscriber and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Get it!

 

More Telmatochromis temporalis? Yes, please!

A male of the slender morph photographed at a depth of 14 m. Reprinted by permission from Springer Nature Customer Service Centre GmbH: Springer Nature, HYDROBIOLOGIA, A new morph of Telmatochromis temporalis (Cichlidae; Cichliformes) from Lake Tanganyika, Tetsumi Takahashi, Copyright 2020.

I have made it no secret that I am a big fan of the Telmatochromis genus. Containing roughly six species, most members of this genus resemble species of the Julidochromis genus. Most are torpedo shaped and quite small. One of my favorites, however, is the bulldog of the genus – temporalis. If you follow this species you know that the normal temporalis, not to be confused with the dwarf morph, sp. “temporalis shell,” is quite robust in body shape. Unlike it’s torpedo-shaped cousins, both normal and dwarf morphs of temporalis also have a very noticeable nuchal hump. In fact, both sexes of temporalis posses this hump, with the male’s being more pronounced. In my experience, males are very territorial, not unlike many male cichlids. But I digress. 

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Laetacara araguaiae profile

Female Laetacara araguaiae. Photo by Paul V. Loiselle from AMAZONAS Magazine.

For those of you interested in South American dwarves, the Laetacara araguaiae is a beautiful, easy to keep little fish. If you aren’t familiar with it, check out the species profile in the September/October 2020 issue of AMAZONAS Magazine. Written by well renowned cichlid expert Dr. Paul V. Loiselle, the profile is quite detailed and provides a great snapshot of the species. You can read an excerpt of the profile on the magazine publishers website here – Reef to Rainforest Media.   

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Feeding shellie cichlid fry – update

10″ 14 gauge Luer lock, stainless needle and 30 ml syringe purchased from Amazon. Photo by the author.

Back in August, I posted about a nice way to feed shellie fry. I have subsequently improved upon that method. The syringe and water line tube work great…until they don’t. What I discovered is that, over time, the tube end that connects to the syringe will “stretch” such that the connection point isn’t airtight. What happens is 1) air gets in between the tube and the syringe, preventing a good suction and 2) just a little bit of air will allow whatever food you’ve been able to pull into the tube to invariably flow back out before you can remove it from the food source. 

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New dwarf Crenicichla (pike) species?

I ran across a really cool video today showing several species of fish from the Araguaia river in Brazil. The short video by Oliver Lucanus is Part 2 of a video set he made about the Araguaia in Brazil. This was taken after recent rains had flooded the upper Araguaia and includes a possibly unidentified dwarf species of Crenicichla, which Oliver posits is from the Regani group. I also encourage you to watch the Part 1 video for more information about this river drainage in Brazil.

In the video above, you’ll see a small group of the dwarf pikes show up at about the 44 second mark. Oliver narrates the video and provides a nice description of these dwarves. 

For more information about Oliver, check out the interview I did with him back in January of this year.