My tank vacuum and water change process

The complete set-up for my tank cleaning process. Photo by the author.

I have posted a few times about how I do water changes. All of my cichlid tanks, except my quarantine and hospital tanks, contain sand substrates. As a result, I use a system I created using Python water changers that easily minimizes loss of source water, cichlid fry, and sand. My process utilizes two Python brand water changing hoses and a few other components.

Continue reading this post…My tank vacuum and water change process

OCA Extravaganza – Give Away

If you attend the Ohio Cichlid Association (OCA) Extravaganza in less than three weeks, look for me. The first three people who come up to me, introduce themselves, AND tell me they read the blog will receive a gift. On Saturday, I’ll be wearing a Cichlid Stage t-shirt (like the one below), so I shouldn’t be hard to spot.

Continue reading this post…OCA Extravaganza – Give Away

A cichlid mystery

Unidentified juvenile cichlid. Telmatochromis temporalis maybe? Photo by author.

The other night when feeding one of my tanks, I noticed a very small (~ 1″), solid black colored cichlid venture out from a little crevice and grab a morsel? I stood there watching in utter amazement. Why? There shouldn’t be any juvenile cichlids or even fry in that tank. It contains no breeding pairs of species…at least I thought.  The tank is a 75g community Tanganyikan tank containing leleupis, a male and female Neolamprologus tretocephalus, a lone female Julidichromis marlieri, a lone Eretmodus cyanostictus, two small plecos, some dithers and three adult Altolamprologus calvus (2x male, 1 female)

Continue reading this post…A cichlid mystery

A fatal mistake? Not so fast…

Image from

Not long ago, I thought I had made a fatal fish mistake. My small tanks (< 30g) are filtered with HOBs, with the exception of one that is filtered with a small, external canister. And none of these tanks have back up air pumps for power outages. When I feed the HOB- filtered tanks, I typically turn off the filters, something I did as usual a few nights ago. I do this to prevent food from getting blown around and inevitably getting sucked into the filter intakes even though they’re prefiltered. At the time, I had three such tanks occupied. Two of those each contained a single adult Telmatochromis temporalis, and the third only contained a few juveniles. The two adult Telmats are actually my breeding pair. They’re segregated because they’re prolific breeders and, to be honest, I needed a break from caring for so many fry.

Continue reading this post…A fatal mistake? Not so fast…

Embracing challenges and responsibilities of cichlid keeping

Before I began this blog years ago, I already had some ideas about the type of content it would/should include. Much of what you read here on the The Cichlid Stage, to this day, was born from those ideas. However, posts that you don’t see much here are those in which I philosophize. Not that I don’t want to, but I wanted the blog content to be more practical.

Continue reading this post…Embracing challenges and responsibilities of cichlid keeping

A little R&R

Image from

Sorry about the short drought in posts. I took a little trip to the beach for some rest and relaxation.

I’m back now, so regular posting will resume.

Thanks for your patience!


OASE BioMaster Thermo 350

OASE external canister filter in shipping box. Photo by author.

Last month, I posted about the OASE company. I mentioned in that post that I would be receiving a BioMaster Thermo canister filter for review. It arrived!

As you can see in the photo above, OASE sent me the 350.  The 350 is one of three in their external canister line. Designed for 90g tanks, the 350 is the middle size of the three. The 250 is the smallest and designed for 70g tanks. The 600 is the largest of the three and makes a big jump from the 35o, specifically designed for 160g tanks.

Stay tuned!

Cichlids and the status of the CARES priority list

Following up on the previous post about the IUCN Red List, have a look at this recent journal article, which gives a status update on the CARES (Conservation, Awareness, Recognition, Encouragement, and Support) preservation program. CARES is comprised of multiple organizations and, like the IUCN, it also maintains its own priority list. Interestingly, the status of a species in CARES doesn’t always match that of the IUCN. As of May 2019, the CARES priority list contained a bit less than 600 fresh water fish species with nearly half of those being from the Cichlidae family.

To learn more about CARES, visit their website. Also see the interview I did with Greg Steeves. Greg is the coordinator of the Lake Victorian cichlid species for CARES.