||Just before COVID-19 reared its ugly head here in the states, I came across a university lab doing some fascinating cichlid research on breeding behavior. Using Astatotilapia burtoni, a maternal mouthbrooder from Lake Tanganyika in Africa, as the model fish for the research, Dr. Scott Juntti’s lab is attempting to unlock some of the mysteries surrounding A. burtoni breeding behavior.
Dr. Juntti became interested in neuroscience as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, where he fell in love with life in the lab. After completing his undergraduate work, including stops at labs in Germany and San Diego, he began his graduate work at the University of California, San Francisco. There he began working in Dr. Nirao Shah’s lab, where he studied social behavior using molecular genetic approaches in mice.
Interested in ordering cichlids online? I have posted a couple of times about online purchasing – a post about what to consider when doing so and issues with ordering online. I’ve even posted about some of the online sources I’ve used in the past. While I encourage you to patronize your local fish stores (LFS), they may not always have the most comprehensive selection or the best price. Give them your business but also know there are other options.
Below I’ve compiled a list of online cichlid retailers that I know of. While the list isn’t exhaustive, it’s pretty comprehensive. Unless otherwise noted, these are all based in the United States. Cichlid species from Africa, Central America, South America, etc. can be found within various stock lists of these retailers.
A few days ago, I posted about the new ‘Lamprologus’ caudopunctatus tank I set up. I’ve only had the fish for about six weeks.
Tonight I went down to feed everyone and, in that tank, I see what looks like a little cloud of pepper floating near the sand. Fry!!!
Is your tank overrun with diatomaceous algae, more commonly called brown algae? Or does your tank simply contain more of it than you would like? There are numerous factors that can contribute to an overabundance of this brown film. Mostly associated with newly set-up tanks, even established tanks are not immune. I know, because some of my tanks have brown algae even though the they’ve been established and running for years.
A little over a year ago I picked up a 30g rimless tank (called Symbolic) by Mr. Aqua. At that time, I had intended to make it a species-only shellie tank of ‘Lamprologus’ ocellatus “gold”. I got the tank set up, cycled it with some existing media, and was off to the races. But as the saying goes, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” which is exactly what happened. My plan didn’t pan out for a variety of reasons.
Not long after I started this blog back in 2015, I reached out to a unique fellow cichlidophile, whom I’d never met, to see if he would be interested in an interview. Thankfully, he said he would be happy to do it. Fast forward nearly five years, and I thought I would reach out to him again. This long-time aquarist is different than most because he’s also an artist who focuses on fish illustrations and aquarium art.
Sam Garcia, Jr. is not only an awesome artist, but he’s a fantastic fish keeper and a super nice guy. Sam Scalz, as he’s known in the art community, is also quite busy these days. In addition to fish keeping and his art business, which includes t-shirts, he also helps out at his friend Ron Soucy’s shop, Aquarium Fish Depot, in San Diego, CA.
In the wild, creatures of all sorts have a plethora of options for shelter, breeding, nesting, etc. Some build their own, and others simply take advantage of what’s around them. Fish are no different.
However, your tank is not “the wild.” What is available to your cichlids is what you provide. They can’t move off to another area in search of something different or better. You force them to choose from what you give them. So if provided multiple options, what would your cichlids choose and/or use?
This may come as old news or no surprise to many of you, but the annual ACA convention, which takes place in July, has been canceled for 2020. Originally scheduled to be held in Sacramento, CA July 16-19, there will be no convention this year according to Alan De Angelo, Editor of ACA News. Next year’s convention is still planned but, according to Alan, it won’t be in Sacramento. No location has been announced for 2021.
Interestingly, as of this post, the ACA Convention webpage did not mention the cancellation.
||All cichlid keepers have favorite products or brands that they use. I am no different. Today’s interviewee owns the company that produces products used regularly by aquarists all around the world, me included. In fact, I’ve been using one of his products for almost as long as I’ve been keeping fish. You may not know the interviewee by name, but I can almost guarantee you’ve heard of his products. If you haven’t until now, today’s your lucky day.
Jeff Turner is President of Boyd Enterprises. As such he owns the Chemi-pure line of products. “Chemi-pure is the unrivaled filtration media for maintaining an aesthetically pleasing and healthy aquarium.” Jeff is also President of Reef Aquaria Design and Jellyfish Art, custom tank building companies.
An aquarist and businessman, Jeff has been in the hobby for over five decades. While his career was built around marine aquariums and systems, Jeff is a freshwater enthusiast and also a cichlidophile. In fact, the tank in his work office is a cichlid tank.
I had not met Jeff prior to this interview but I reached out to Chemi-pure in hopes of getting an interview with him. His folks got him in touch with me and, as they say, the rest is history.
Lots to cover so let’s get going!
Yesterday during water changes, it occurred to me that I’ve talked about the tanks in my fishroom but I’m not sure that I’ve ever shown them. I am fortunate to have enough space in my home for a designated fish room. This isn’t where my show tanks reside, but where my “work” tanks reside. By “work” I mean the tanks where I keep fish under special circumstances e.g., sick or injured, segregation for breeding or aggression issues, or even quarantine for new fish.