1. Why are there no sponsors or advertisements on your blog?

The simple answer is because I don’t want any. The blog’s purpose isn’t to make money and, since I don’t benefit financially in any way from anything found on the site, I’m not beholden to anyone for the site’s contents. Furthermore, I don’t want ads and other extraneous links cluttering up the site. I want the site to be simple, clean, and ad-free.

2. What is the purpose of your blog?

See the About this blog link in the navigation above.

3. What is the post frequency of your blog?

I don’t have a set frequency. However, I try to post every three or four days.

4. How do you conduct the interviews that you post?

Great question! All of the interviews I’ve done have been via e-mail except for two. I email the questions and the interviewees return the answers. Of the two not done via e-mail, one was done via Skype in which the interview was recorded and transcribed, the other was a recording the interviewee made of himself answering the questions. It was also transcribed. I’m not going to tell you which two they are, but I’ll let you guess. If you want to guess, send me a note via my contact page. If you’re correct, I’ll send you a blog t-shirt for free.

5. Do you respond to messages when contacted?

Absolutely, as long as your message isn’t inflammatory, antagonistic, or otherwise irrelevant to the blog. If you can be civil, by all means contact me. I love to meet and communicate with fellow cichlidophiles!

6. I commented on a post but it’s not showing up. What happened?

Since all comments are moderated, the most likely scenario is that your comment was ignored because it was inappropriate or got caught by my spam filter. This is a friendly site, and the criteria listed in question #5 above equally apply to post comments. If you violate the criteria, your comment will not be posted but rather simply deleted. Disagreement and debate about posts are more than welcome and, in fact, appreciated. However, engaging in either of those can and should be done in a civil manner. If you submitted a comment, you don’t believe it violated the rules, and it doesn’t appear soon after you submit it, please send me a note so I can make sure something hasn’t happened with the site.

7. Do you accept suggestions for posts and interviews?

Of course. I love to get feedback, suggestions, questions, etc.

8. Can I share information that I find on your site with others?

Sure, and I encourage you to do so, as long as you provide the appropriate attribution. See the copyright section on the About this blog page linked in the navigation above. Also, see my post about information sharing.

9. Do you have a Facebook page?

Yes, but not tied to the blog. I would love to have one associated with the blog, but I just don’t have time to maintain this site and a Facebook page to go with it.

10. Do you have a Twitter account?

Yes, both a personal one and one for the site. See The Cichlid Stage on Twitter.

11. Why does your blog have so little information about Central and South American cichlids?

The short answer is because that’s not what I keep, thus my experience with those genera is more limited. I keep African Rift Lake cichlids – from Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika.

12. How long have you been keeping cichlids?

Hmmmm. That is a really good question. Sadly, I don’t recall when I bought my first cichlid. I do know it was in the 1990s, so that makes it at least 20 years. I could probably go back through my copious notes and give a precise date, but I’m too lazy to do that. We’ll go with 20+ years.

13. What is your favorite genus or species?

Wow, another great question. I’m quite partial to lamprologines, but if I had to pick one, I would go with any of the species in the Julidochromis (julies) genus. I love shellies of the ‘Lamprologus’ genus, but julies hold a special place for me. I have bred nearly every one of them and simply find them fascinating!

14. Why do you tend to focus on small or dwarf cichlid species?

I only keep smaller cichlids, or those widely considered dwarf species. I would love to keep the larger species at some point, but I mainly don’t because I don’t have the space. Large species require large tanks.

15. What types and brands of equipment do you use?

This is a tough one because the only brand that I’m a bit partial to is Sicce. I use Sicce canister filters and Sicce pumps because, frankly, I think they’re well made and they just work. I have posted several times about my equipment, my set-ups, etc. If you really want the details, probably best to do a search on the blog and you’ll find my posts about all that. Every once in a while I’ll give an update on some of the products and equipment I’m using.

16. Where do you get your fish from?

Great question! I actually source my fish from various online sellers as well as my local fish store (LFS). I compiled and posted a listing of online cichlid retailers in January 2019. If you’re a cichlid seller and have an online retail address, send me a note and I’ll add you to that post.

17. Do you breed any species?

Sure, sometimes. When I do depends on several factors: 1) the species I currently have, 2) the needs of my LFS, 3) the time of year (some parts of the year are busier for me than others with respect to my occupation).

18. Why not have a YouTube channel and/or do a video blog instead?

Mainly, four reasons. 1) I’m old school, which means I gravitate more toward reading and writing, 2) Reading is fundamentally important, and I think everyone should do a lot of it, 3) It’s much quicker to write a post than it is to produce a high quality video demonstrating/showing/explaining something, so it’s a time thing, 4) Since I don’t do this to make money, the return on investment (ROI) for me is already low and would be much lower if I produced videos (see #3 above in this question).

19. What separates your blog from other blogs focused on cichlids and cichlid keeping?

Another great question and probably one best for the readers to answer. Though I don’t routinely read cichlid blogs, my general conclusions are, in no specific order, 1) there aren’t very many of them, 2) many are no longer active, 3) for those still active, the post frequency is low, 4) mine has no sponsors and/or advertisements, and 5) others don’t offer the same range/variety of content.

20. I would like to advertise on your site. How can I reach you other than filling out the contact form?

Don’t bother. The site doesn’t accept advertisements. Read my About this blog page for more information on that.