If you keep multiple tanks, Pex pipe can be one of your best friends. It is a very versatile tool to have in your cichlid keeping toolbox. That toolbox post is four years old now, but I still use every item listed there. I could probably add a few more items, but that’s a post for another day. Here I focus on Pex pipe or tubing.
Feeding fry in any kind of tank can be a challenge. Whether a community tank, species only, or even a small segregation tank, getting food directly to the fry can take some effort. Such foods as baby brine shrimp, crushed flakes, and infusoria are great options. However, since these foods can be so tiny for fry intake, any little bit of water movement can quickly carry them away from the fry. As a result and like regular fish food, they can easily foul a tank if enough is not eaten. Unless you’re using a breeder box in which the fry are confined to a really small space and tank current is reduced, you need to get creative. Either that, or you need to simply power off the filtration.
Never heard of the Buntbarsche Bulletin (BB)? Go to the BB website or see my previous post about it for a full description. What I wanted to mention in this post is that the publication needs contributors. They need folks to submit articles for publication. You don’t have to be a cichlid expert and you don’t have to be a great writer. Daryl Hutchins, the editor, is a really nice guy and he’ll help you with editing. Btw, I did an interview with Daryl way back in 2016 (which reminds me I should do another one with him soon).
Here’s the scenario: You wake up one morning, your fish tank just doesn’t look so great. You’re tired of the filter(s) on it anyway and want to try something different. So you start looking at new filters and filter media. You pull up your favorite fish group on Facebook (FB), post a photo of your tank and filter, and start asking questions. Next thing you know, you’ve received 40 replies telling you to buy this and use that…or worse, don’t use this or that. Then all hell breaks loose because someone notices you’re keeping a hap with an mbuna or, heaven forbid, South American and African cichlids together. World War III starts on FB over a simple question about filters and media.
Tank lighting can and does affect cichlid behavior. I have posted before about how some fish become killers at night whereas sometimes everything is calm and peaceful. See Lights on or lights off?, Lights off equals calm, When the lights are off, it’s not always tranquil. My show tanks are all individually lighted. My larger tanks, which are community tanks, also contain considerable cover (e.g., caves, rock work). The lights on those tanks are only on for a couple of hours each day. However, those same tanks are also exposed to ambient lighting (e.g., window light or room lights) about 14 hours a day, leaving my fish in complete darkness for the remainder.