If you’re a regular to the blog, you’ve probably noticed that I often post about resources for cichlid information. I point to videos, cichlid forums, Facebook, regular websites, etc. I do this because these resources present a multi-media experience that is multi-informative.
All of these resources have the capability of educating and informing you about cichlids. What they can’t help you do is understand your own fish. Because cichlids are highly individualistic with respect to behavior, the resources you use to learn about them will provide you with information that is general to each genus and species, not specifically to your own fish. You can only understand the behavior of your own fish by observing them.
Species are known to interact with their own kind (conspecifics) in typical ways. However, if you house multiple specimens of the same species together, you may find that your fish deviate from typical behavioral baselines. That’s a good thing.
Often, it’s even more exciting to house multiple species together. Cichlids offer a variety of behaviors when they interact with each other. Sometimes they behave exactly like most information about them says they will. On the other hand, sometimes they won’t behave at all like you expect. Do your cichlids behave differently than how you expected? If so, how?
With a little fore-knowledge and preparation, you can be adequately prepared for most any fish behavior scenario. Nothing is more valuable than what you observe, which ultimately becomes experience. When you invest in the hobby, you should also invest in your own intellect. Find out about the fish you plan to keep – do some research. But don’t stop there. When you get your fish, watch them. You’ll learn even more.