Quarantine chaos!

Dominant male Telmatochromis sp. “temporalis shell” in quarantine tank. Photo by the author.

Even the best made plans can go awry! Revisiting my recent fish order and the subsequent quarantine plan I implemented, a little problem developed. Thankfully, the problem wasn’t a health issue but rather a behavioral one.

Continue reading this post…Quarantine chaos!

A new cichlid tank, pt. 2


New 33g long shellie and julie tank. Photo by the author.

If you read my post on May 9th, then you know I ordered some new fish. They delivered on May 15 and still look great. Currently, they’re all in quarantine. Yes, I quarantine all my new fish regardless of where they come from. My typical quarantine is 4-6 weeks. Many illnesses and maladies will reveal themselves within that timeframe.

Continue reading this post…A new cichlid tank, pt. 2

Sightlines, chemicals, and aggression

Image from Burt’s Blog.

Because most cichlids exhibit aggression during breeding and territorial defense, a common solution to reduce such aggression in closed systems is the introduction of sightline barriers. This can come in the form of plants, rocks, wood, decorations, or even sand piles. The basic principle is that blocking the regular view of one cichlid from another will reduce aggression between the two. However, relying solely on sightline reduction to mitigate aggression in cichlids is often futile. Why?

Continue reading this post…Sightlines, chemicals, and aggression

Change in Brazilian ornamental fish exportation

Map of Amazon River basin in Brazil. Image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_basin.

Effective May 1, the Brazilian government modified the rules governing native fish exports for the aquarium trade. The implication is that aquarists may now be able to more easily acquire some species. It also suggests some species that were previously not exportable may now be. What impact this will have on cichlid exports, if at all, is unclear.

Continue reading this post…Change in Brazilian ornamental fish exportation

Cichlid naming conventions


Word cloud image from https://www.wordclouds.com/.

So what does the word mean that often follows a cichlid’s scientific name? For example, you see Julidochromis transcriptus Bemba. What is Bemba? That’s the location from which that particular strain of fish originates or was collected from. So in the Julidochromis example I gave above, Bemba would be a specific town, island, bay, or cape on Lake Tanganyika. Sometimes the word will be in quotation marks, like Julidochromis transcriptus “Bemba”.

Continue reading this post…Cichlid naming conventions

A new cichlid tank!

New 33g long aquarium by Aqueon. Photo by author.

Back in March, I posted about losing a seal on my 55g and about 40 gallons of water as a result (yes, that sucked). That was my dwarf mbuna tank. Since I moved all those fish to another tank, I was left with a 55g stand and no tank for it. Yes, I could have resealed the 55g but, because I get a discount on my tanks, it was cheaper for me to buy a new one than reseal the 55g (see my post on time vs. money). So I bought one, a 33g long to be exact. The 55g and the 33g long have the same footprint and bottom dwellers are planned for the new tank. I don’t need the extra height of a 55g, which would end up being wasted space. Yes, I could get some dithers, Cyps, or some other mid-water occupants but…

Continue reading this post…A new cichlid tank!

It’s okay!

Image from https://twitter.com/100daysofitsok.

Don’t have 37 tanks in your home? Never stripped a holding female? Haven’t tumbled eggs? Never vented a fish or even know what that means?

Maybe you’ve never used a sump as filtration or even know what a sump is. Maybe you use a regular submersible heater with a thermostat rather than a heat controller.

It’s okay.

Your cichlid keeping journey should be about what gives you satisfaction, what you’re capable of doing, and what you can afford. For most of us, fish keeping isn’t a contest or competition. It’s not about all the things you’ve accomplished, how technical you are, or how many tanks you have.

I’ve posted numerous times that you don’t have to use the most sophisticated and expensive equipment to be successful keeping fish. As long as you’re enjoying what you’re doing and you’re taking good care of your fish, just keep doing it. You do you and just enjoy the hobby!

My cichlid species “wants”

If you’re like me, you rely on myriad resources to get your cichlid information. I subscribe to multiple serials devoted to cichlids, I search the Web regularly, and I have some of Ad Koning’s books. I’m also a member of multiple cichlid groups on Facebook. In aggregate, these resources have provided a plethora of species profiles and information about both popular species and lesser known fish.

Continue reading this post…My cichlid species “wants”

Effects of aquarium anthropogenic noise on Astatotilapia burtoni

Adult male Astatotilapia burtoni. Photo from http://www.african-cichlid.com/.

If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you’re probably aware of my disdain for extraneous, anthropogenic (man made) noises in aquariums. Such noises occur in the natural environments (boat motors, industrial machinery) of many cichlids. Eliminating such noises is unrealistic. Reducing them is not. I used to have a sister blog called The Bio Stage (it’s coming back, btw). In that blog, I often wrote about the effects of anthropogenic noise on cetaceans (e.g., dolphins and whales).

Continue reading this post…Effects of aquarium anthropogenic noise on Astatotilapia burtoni