New dwarf Crenicichla (pike) species?

I ran across a really cool video today showing several species of fish from the Araguaia river in Brazil. The short video by Oliver Lucanus is Part 2 of a video set he made about the Araguaia in Brazil. This was taken after recent rains had flooded the upper Araguaia and includes a possibly unidentified dwarf species of Crenicichla, which Oliver posits is from the Regani group. I also encourage you to watch the Part 1 video for more information about this river drainage in Brazil.

In the video above, you’ll see a small group of the dwarf pikes show up at about the 44 second mark. Oliver narrates the video and provides a nice description of these dwarves. 

For more information about Oliver, check out the interview I did with him back in January of this year. 


Better go looking if you don’t see someone….

Unsexed Telmatochromis sp. “temporalis shell”. This is not the aggressor described below, but a “temporalis shell” in another tank. Photo by the author.

Anyone who follows the blog knows I’m partial to dwarf cichlids since that is what I keep, which includes shellies. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I purchased some fish way back in the spring of this year. Included in that purchase was a group of five Telmatochromis sp. “temporalis shell.” These are wonderful little fish, but I find them to be extremely territorial for their size. This may be more a product of the small space I’ve kept them in (20g longs), but that’s a post for another day. Though the little fellas only get about 2.5″ long, they just simply don’t like being around conspecifics of the same gender. IMO, they’re more aggressive than ‘Lamprologus’ ocellatus.

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Watch those nerite snails


Olive nerite snail (Neritina reclivata) on tank glass. Photo by author.

For those of you looking to add a glass/decoration cleaner to your tank, consider the nerite snail. I’ve posted before about using nerite snails to clean up diatomaceous algae aka brown algae. They are great cleaners, inexpensive, available, and require little maintenance. 

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Lake Tanganyika cichlid photos

Map of large lakes in east Africa. Image from

Looking for a good resource for Lake Tanganyika cichlid photos? There are several online. I posted a few months ago about The Cichlid Room Companion, which is a great resource for all cichlids. If you want something specific to Tangs, check out This is Gregor Bauer’s site, and the language is a mix of English and Slovenian. Photos themselves, thankfully, have no language. Cichlid names are in English.

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Neolamprologus pulcher submission signals

Neolamprologus pulcher. Photo from

Do you keep Neolamprologus pulcher, AKA the daffodil cichlid? If you keep multiples and mixed sexes of this fish together, do you pay close attention to their behavior? Ever notice a head down or a head up posture when one fish is in close proximity to another fish? If so, you are possibly witnessing social hierarchy behavioral displays. Specifically, you’re noticing submissive and dominance behavior. But which one is which?

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Sicce endorsement

Sicce logo. Image from

Many of my previous posts mention the equipment that I use. However, I wanted to explicitly mention a company named Sicce. This Italian aquarium products manufacturer produces filters, pumps, heaters, etc. Though lesser known in the United States compared to companies like Hagen (Fluval) and Eheim, IMO Sicce’s filters and pumps are as good or better. If you’re a regular on Facebook, you have probably seen an increase in posts about them and the number of LFSs carrying their products. Though they have been in the states for a while, they are making a big push into the home aquarium market. 

I use Sicce pumps and canister filters almost exclusively. I have for many years. In fact, all of my larger tanks are filtered by Sicce canisters.

If you want to venture out of your comfort zone and try some products you haven’t before, give Sicce a try. 

Jodi & Brantley Berry (Pleco Caves) interview

Brantley and Jodi Berry, owners of Pleco Caves. Photo by the Berry’s.

Several years while attending an annual ACA convention, I was walking through the vendor show room and spotted several tables covered with some really cool looking clay caves. I had been looking for something very specific for one of my tanks, so I walked over to the tables and saw a large sign that said Pleco Caves. I began talking to the young lady on the other side and explained that I was looking for something specific. I then asked her if they do custom work. She said, “Sure.” That was my introduction to Jodi and Brantley Berry, owners of Pleco Caves.

Based in Indiana, Pleco Caves is a regular vendor at many cichlid and fish conventions/shows. The number and diversity of clay products they make for aquariums is incredible. Not only do they make great stuff but they are fantastic to work with. They have made several custom items for me, which have always been produced exactly to my specifications. Don’t let their business name fool you. Their products work great for cichlids too! I can honestly say they have made my fish journey a better one. I reached out to Jodi and Brantley back in the spring and asked if they would be willing to do an interview for the blog. Thankfully, they didn’t hesitate. Let’s get started!

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Ohio Cichlid Association (OCA) Extravaganza

Image from

Well, I’m a little late to the party on this one, so I apologize. Because of the coronavirus, this year’s OCA Extravaganza is going to be virtual. Always held the weekend before Thanksgiving, this year’s version promises the same quality speakers as they’ve had in the past. Because the event is virtual, you can register and attend online from wherever you are. 

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