Choices have consequences

Image from

Every single decision you make in your fish keeping journey has a consequence. Let that sink in a second.

Your choice of fish, filtration, substrate, food, and lighting all matter and all factor into your success or failure. So how do you keep from making the wrong decision? I can sum that up in two words: experience and consumption. That first word is obvious. The second one, not so much, so I’ll explain.

A big part of your journey, no matter what that journey entails, depends heavily on the information you consume. Your uptake of information, i.e., what information you choose to mentally file away and ultimately use, matters as much as your experience. Experience is built on whether you applied the right or wrong information.

The amount of available information about cichlids and cichlid keeping is immense. And I’m not talking about just what you can read in a book, magazine, or online. There are a ton of experienced and knowledgeable cichlid keepers in the community. There are also a lot of folks that want you to think they’re experienced and knowledgeable. When you follow information from the latter more than the former, your choices will be more problematic and your experience will be gained the hard way.

At the end of the day, your success in fishkeeping, just like anything else, will be a direct result of the choices you make. You’ll get lucky sometimes, but never depend on luck.

If you’re asking other people questions about cichlid keeping to help you make the right decisions, be judicious about who you ask. You simply can’t trust everyone out there who gives advice or information.

2 thoughts on “Choices have consequences”

  1. As a cichlid blogger is there a particular cichlid on line group that you would recommend? (and an aquarium DYI group too maybe?)

    I had cichlids as a young man and looking back I am surprised I even kept them alive, but now in my 70s I have the time to keep them pretty well taken care of so .. I started back up.

    • Hi Gary. Thanks for reading the blog! So glad to hear that you started keeping cichlids again. That is fantastic. Good for you!

      There isn’t a particular online group I would recommend because, in my opinion, they all have both “good” cichlid keepers and trolls. I don’t visit any pure forums any more. I think it’s mostly all Facebook now, which is similar to the old style forums but with many more limitations. What I would recommend is visit/join the FB groups that align with your cichlid interests (i.e., if you like shellies, join the shell dweller groups). I know who some of the legitimate, experienced cichlid keepers are in many of the cichlid FB groups based on their posts/answers. But you get a lot of folks who are quick to answer questions because they want readers to think they’re knowledgeable/experienced. Many of the members just regurgitate something they read somewhere without really knowing what’s fact or fiction.

      I don’t know if you’re on Facebook, but I would encourage you to sign up if for no other reason than to join some of the cichlid groups. You can really learn a lot from these groups if you’re judicious about what you read and who wrote it. I’ll be happy to converse with you more on this if you want to contact me directly through my Contact form.

      As for DIY stuff, I used to get a lot of ideas from Joey Mullen, who runs the King of DIY YouTube channel. I’ve never met him and don’t know anything about him, though there are lots of bad things floating around out there about him as a person.



Leave a Comment