My cichlid species “wants”

If you’re like me, you rely on myriad resources to get your cichlid information. I subscribe to multiple serials devoted to cichlids, I search the Web regularly, and I have some of Ad Koning’s books. I’m also a member of multiple cichlid groups on Facebook. In aggregate, these resources have provided a plethora of species profiles and information about both popular species and lesser known fish.

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Effects of aquarium anthropogenic noise on Astatotilapia burtoni

Adult male Astatotilapia burtoni. Photo from

If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you’re probably aware of my disdain for extraneous, anthropogenic (man made) noises in aquariums. Such noises occur in the natural environments (boat motors, industrial machinery) of many cichlids. Eliminating such noises is unrealistic. Reducing them is not. I used to have a sister blog called The Bio Stage (it’s coming back, btw). In that blog, I often wrote about the effects of anthropogenic noise on cetaceans (e.g., dolphins and whales).

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Keep the intakes a bit higher

Regardless of the filter types that you use, they can and do fail. These failures come in all forms, but one of the worst is a seal failure or a hose failure on external canisters and sumps. An external filter that stops working but doesn’t leak is one thing. But that same tank losing water because of a hose, filter, or tank seal failure is something different.

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Recycling tank sand

Clear plastic bin for drying sand. Photo by author.

Clear plastic bin with for drying sand with lid removed. Photo by author.

I have posted several times about my tank maintenance set-up. There are multiple advantages to using this process, which you can read at the end of that post.

Two of the advantages are money savings. One, of course, is that I don’t waste any source water in the effort, which is normal for Python-type vacuum systems. The other is that I recycle my sand. Yep, you can reuse the sand that you vacuumed out of the tank during your regular tank cleanings. How? It’s a bit work intensive, but you will save some money in the long run.

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What’s your plan for cichlid babies (e.g., fry)?

Adult pair of Texas cichlids (Herichthys cyanoguttatus) with fry. Photo by Dick Au from”

Here’s the scenario: you’re new to cichlids but you’ve done a ton of research, you’ve talked to other cichlid keepers, you know what fish you want, and everything is all set. Fast forward several weeks or months after you’ve purchased your fish and one day you discover that some of them have spawned and you have babies (fry) in your tank. You’re very excited…and then it hits you. “What do I do with them?” you ask yourself.

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A few shots of my Tanganyikans

Because I haven’t posted about any of my fish in a while, I thought I would share a few recent photos. It’s funny how it always seems that the smallest fish are the most gregarious. In my experience, the larger the fish, the more apt it is to be shy and withdrawn when someone approaches the tanks. My most gregarious fish is, in fact, the smallest. I have a single adult male Neolamprologus signatus. He’s very inquisitive and likes to see what I’m doing whenever I’m close.

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A disaster but not a tragedy

Water on carpet. This is NOT a photo of my carpet in the basement. Photo from

If you keep fish long enough, you will eventually experience a tank or filter failure that will inevitably leave you with a floor full of water. It WILL happen.

After nearly 20 years of personally avoiding such a disaster, my luck ran out this past weekend. I woke up Sunday morning and, like every other morning, went down to the basement where all but one of my show tanks are located. The basement is partially finished and partially carpeted.

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