The Cichlid Room Companion

The Cichlid Room Companion (CRC) logo. Image from the CRC website.

Whether you’re new to cichlids or a seasoned veteran keeping these wonderful fish, you can always learn something new. A really cool resource for learning about these fish is The Cichlid Room Companion (CRC). Chock full of species profiles and other great information, including authoritative articles, the CRC is a tremendous resource that everyone should take advantage of. Back in 2018, I did an interview with the man responsible for the CRC, Juan Miguel Artigas Azas.

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Substrate can affect spawning behaviors

Various aquarium substrates. Image from https://www.itsafishthing.com/.

Lot of variables contribute to ideal spawning conditions for cichlids in aquaria. Listing them all is a post for another day. Many aquarists try to identify and exploit certain variables that can increase not just the probability of spawning behavior but also the success of such behavior. Want to get your males more active in spawning? Check your substrate.

A recent study in the journal Animal Welfare found that the sexual behavior of male Oreochromis mossambicus increased in the presence of substrate. Does that translate to all species? No. However, it is food for thought for those who keep cichlids in bare bottom tanks and who have some trouble promoting spawning behavior in MF pairs. Many environmental factors influence spawning behavior, however the simple presence of a substrate (maybe even suitable substrate) can make a difference. 

Reference: Galhardo, L., Correia, J., & Oliveira, R. F. (2008). The effect of substrate availability on behavioural and physiological indicators of welfare in the African cichlid (Oreochromis mossambicus). Animal Welfare, 239-254.

Ron Soucy interview

Ron Soucy

If you’re like me and you enjoy learning about all types of cichlids, in the process you’ll inevitably also learn about many people in the hobby. I’ve said before that, as time goes by, all cichlidophiles will encounter certain names over and over, some more than others. Along my journey I have come across many of the same names. One of those is Ron Soucy. 

I don’t remember when I first heard his name, but no matter what I was reading – an article online, a book, or a magazine – it seemed his name popped up regularly. In fact, it did so again a couple of months ago. I said to myself then, “You need to track this guy down and get an interview with him.” Well, I did track him down and I did get an interview.

Ron’s tropical fish interests began in the 60’s with a single Betta splendens (Siamese fighting fish), or simply betta, as we call them. After high school, he had an entire bedroom full of fish tanks and fish. His fish breeding journey began there and he worked for the next 20 years in aquarium retail. As both his experience and the fish community grew, Ron ran larger and larger fish operations, culminating today in what is one of, if not the largest fish stores in southern California. Let’s get right to the interview!

ACA 2021

Logo for ACA 2021. Image from https://convention.cichlid.org/.

For those of you who look forward every year to attending the annual convention of the American Cichlid Association (ACA), next year’s convention will be in St. Louis, MO, July 23-25, 2021. This year’s convention, planned for Sacramento, CA, was canceled due to COVID-19. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that 2021 will be much better than 2020 and that the St. Louis event will go off without a hitch.

If you have never attended an ACA convention, I encourage you to do so. Every cichlid fan should experience it!

Registration and pricing information can be found on the convention website (NOTE: As of this post the 2021 convention website was incomplete.)

Spawning cichlid behavior excitement

Adult male Julidochromis dickfeldi guarding fry. Photo by author.

One of the absolute greatest joys of cichlid keeping is witnessing spawning behavior. Because I have new fish from an order I placed several months ago, I have been anxiously awaiting some pairings and subsequent spawning. All the fish I received were older juveniles or sub-adults, so I knew that pairing up would begin in a few months. You can read about the new fish in this post from back in May

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