Cichlids DO fight and/or get beaten up!

Adult Red Zebra (Maylandia estherae). Mbuna cichlid endemic to Lake Malawi. Photo by the author.

If you are new to cichlids, especially African cichlids and more specifically mbuna, you should rarely be surprised when you find one of your fish upside down in your tank looking like it got drug across the driveway. Cichlids fight, get picked on, and get killed by other cichlids. Know this before you set up a cichlid tank.

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Watching cichlids – stress and safety versus visibility

A 40g freshwater tank from 2017. Note the mix of cover and open space. Photo by the author.

Everyone enjoys watching their fish. That’s one reason we keep them. On the other hand, having cichlids visible in your tank because they have little to no cover might be good for you but not always good for them. This is especially true for new fish recently added to a show tank or quarantine tank. 

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Algae and cichlid fry

Rock work with black beard algae (BBA) in Tanganyikan community tank. Photo by the author.

I wanted to follow-up on the previous post, The Julidochromis regani nursery. As you can see in the photo in that post (and above), I have some black beard algae (commonly referred to as BBA) growing on the rock structure. I have posted about this algae and its cousin, blue green algae (BGA), before. 

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Fish keeping myth series

Because I’m always thinking about new content for the blog, I’ve decided to start a series on fish keeping myths. This will be posts about various myths that propagate in the hobby. They can be anything from inaccurate claims about tank maintenance to outright misinformation about species and everything in between. There are a lot of myths floating around out there, so this series could get pretty long.

The first post in the series, Myth #1, will be about rinsing filter sponges in tap water. Stay tuned!

First time cichlid keepers

Newbie sticker. Image from https://virtualrealestateinvestor.org/.

Hopefully, if you’re reading this, it’s because you’re doing some research before embarking on a cichlid keeping journey. Also, I hope you’re not just now beginning with fish keeping. If you’ve SUCCESSFULLY kept tropical freshwater fish before, keep reading. If you’re brand new to fish keeping, you know very little about them, and you’ve already purchased some cichlids, keep reading and you’ll understand why you’ve made your first mistake. 

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Clearing particulate cloudiness

A cloudy aquarium due to substrate change or addition. Image from a member of the forum at the Reef2Reef website – https://www.reef2reef.com/.

I have posted about this before. Tank cloudiness due to high particulate concentrations is common when changing substrates or adding substrate for the first time. It is also an easy problem to solve. To do so you have a few options, listed below in no certain order. NOTE: It’s worth mentioning that cloudiness due to bacterial blooms and such require a different solution. That’s a post for another day. 

  1. Let your existing filter(s) do the work
  2. Add a new, temporary mechanical filter
  3. Do nothing and wait for the particulates to settle

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