So back in April, I posted about more interviews on the way. I try to keep several interviews in the pipeline because I’ve learned to expect that some who commit to do them actually don’t. This is unfortunate, but reality. In a perfect world, everyone who agreed to do an interview would actually follow through.
Back in 2017 I wrote about some mbuna cichlids I had. Specifically, I talked about their propensity to be night time killers. You can read that post here.
This post is about a Tanganyikan version – Telmatochromis sp. “temporalis shell”. If you’ve kept cichlids long enough, you might notice many display their own unique personalities…just like people. By the same token, I believe that certain species have a greater propensity for violence. In my experience, these Telmatochromis are true night stalkers also. They’re even more deserving of the moniker because adults are typically jet black in color (unless stressed, which is a post for another day).
A great place to find information on cichlids, when you feel like you’ve exhausted all other resources, is some of the online fish forums. If you do a Web search and all you seem to get are links to fish forums, don’t ignore them. Go ahead and click on the posts. Often you don’t have to be a member to access the threads.
If you’ve ever had to isolate fish, for any reason, you know there are several ways to do so. The best method to use depends on why you need to isolate the fish. Below are a few options:
- You can move a fish to its own tank.
- You can put a fish in a breeder box (either a hang-on or submerged). Or you can make your own custom isolation box, like the one I posted about here.
- You can put a divider in the tank where the fish already resides.
- You can put a divider in a hospital tank to treat multiple fish simultaneously while keeping them separated.
I haven’t posted any photos recently from any of my tanks, so I thought I would today. Specifically, I was able to get a shot of my female Julidochromis marlieri out in the open, along with a couple of her tankmates (two N. leleupi and a N. tretocephalus). In the very back of the tank, you can partially see my Eretmodus cyanostictus (to the left of the black skirt tetra). I had just finished a water change and had moved a couple of things around when I took the photo. The fish are naturally inquisitive, so were moving around a bit to check things out.
About a year ago, I was looking for some cichlids that were proving to be difficult to find. I began thinking to myself “Who might have these fish?” I remembered hearing about a guy in Texas who often has some of the more difficult to find species, so I went to his site – Dave’s Rare Aquarium Fish. The owner, Dave Schumacher, didn’t have what I was looking for, but I thought “Why not ask him to do an interview?” I did, and he agreed.
As a kid, Dave was always into reptiles and amphibians. He got his first job in high school at a fish store in Houston that focused on cichlids but the store owner was wanting to carry reptiles. The owner didn’t know how to care for them and didn’t want to handle them. It was at that store that he became fascinated with cichlids.
After high school, he moved to San Marcos for college at Texas State University, and while there, got a job at Armke’s Rare Aquarium Fish. He worked there for a couple years, then bought the business in 2006. Not long after, he moved everything a short drive south to San Antonio. Currently, his shop houses more than 200 cichlid species.
Dave’s been an active member of the Hill Country Cichlid Club, alongside Greg Steeves (who I interviewed back in 2017), where he’s been on the board and even served as secretary of the American Cichlid Association. He travels a few times each year speaking to clubs about Mbuna, Lamprologines, building his shop, and basic cichlid genetics/nomenclature.
Let’s get this started!
If you keep shell dwellers and you’re having trouble getting shells or getting your shellies to use them, an alternative is PVC. Use small elbows with caps. One advantage to using PVC elbows as a shell substitute is that it is more difficult for the occupant to get “lodged” in the elbow and not get out. Another advantage is that you can remove the cap on the end of the elbow to extract the PVC, the fish, or fish’s eggs separately if you need to for some reason.
If you’ve had luck breeding cichlids and you’re having trouble getting rid of the fry, trade them at your local fish store (LFS). If you have a community fish store that you like, see if they will take your fry and give you a store credit. Not everyone in the hobby has an LFS, which I distinguish from the U.S. big box stores like PetSmart, Petco, etc.
If you’re a fan of the eartheater cichlids from South America, then you’ll be happy to know a new species was recently described. Gymnogeophagus jaryi is found in the southern tributaries of the Middle Paraná basin of Argentina (on the border with Paraguay). The standard lengths (SL) for the male holotype and female paratype are 113.1 mm (4.5″) and 73.3 mm (2.9″), respectively.
This is a beautiful little fish with a nice nuchal hump and light blue coloration on the adult males. You can find a more thorough description, including multiple photos, in the PLOS One journal article where it was described. A shout out to Amazonas Magazine, which has a nice, short write up about the fish.