Effects of aquarium anthropogenic noise on Astatotilapia burtoni

Adult male Astatotilapia burtoni. Photo from http://www.african-cichlid.com/.

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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Hassle free water parameter maintenance for cichlids

Image from http://shrimpnow.com/.

As the title of this post states, this is about taking the effort out of maintaining certain water parameters. Why? For many hobbyists, chasing such parameters as hardness and pH makes fish keeping a lot of hassle. The easiest solution? Keep the species that work best in the water you have. Whether you’re on municipal water or well water, there are cichlid species that will live and thrive in what you have. In fact, find out before you purchase your fish what water they were bred/kept in.

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Behavioral signs of an ill cichlid

Image from https://molliesfish.com/.

I’ve posted on the blog here several times about how much I hate to lose a fish. I don’t consider them pets like I do my dog, but I take my responsibility of keeping them seriously. When they get ill, I try my best to treat them if I know what’s wrong. All cichlid keepers will eventually experience sick fish. So how do you recognize the behavior of a cichlid that is ill?

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A cichlid Thanksgiving!

Every year I try and make it a point to give thanks to folks who have contributed to making The Cichlid Stage the best cichlid blog on the Web. All of the people listed below played a part this year – directly or indirectly – and I send you my heartfelt thanks. There are probably some that I am forgetting. I’m sorry for that, but you know I’m thankful for you.

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Additional evidence of chemical cues in cichlids

Chemical structure of uric acid. Image from https://chemspider.com/.

Back in October of 2018, I posted about how water changes can upset hierarchical dynamics of cichlids. That post was about a recent scholarly journal article focusing on angelfish. The premise was that the removal of tank water and the introduction of fresh water during a water change dilutes the chemicals that angelfish expel and depend on for social status reconciliation.

A couple of days ago, while looking for some additional information on chemical cues, I found a very interesting article published in 2015 titled “Chemical communication in cichlids: a mini-review“. This article covers chemical communication in cichlids within multiple contexts (e.g., reproduction, social hierarchies, recognition). I would encourage you to read it when you get an opportunity.

Sand substrate for cichlids

Mystic White sand in a bucket. Photo by author.

If you’re looking for a good all purpose sand for your cichlids, I recommend Mystic White II. This is a pool filter sand that you can pick up at your local pool supply store. You can also purchase it at Walmart and several online stores. My pool supply store sells this for WAY less than I can get it online or even at Walmart. Nonetheless, what makes this sand so good?

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A cichlid mystery

Unidentified juvenile cichlid. Telmatochromis temporalis maybe? Photo by author.

The other night when feeding one of my tanks, I noticed a very small (~ 1″), solid black colored cichlid venture out from a little crevice and grab a morsel? I stood there watching in utter amazement. Why? There shouldn’t be any juvenile cichlids or even fry in that tank. It contains no breeding pairs of species…at least I thought.  The tank is a 75g community Tanganyikan tank containing leleupis, a male and female Neolamprologus tretocephalus, a lone female Julidichromis marlieri, a lone Eretmodus cyanostictus, two small plecos, some dithers and three adult Altolamprologus calvus (2x male, 1 female)

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Interesting research or just bad science?

Male Maylandia greshakei. Image from https://de.wikipedia.org/.

Do you feed your cichlids commercial foods that contain probiotics? Many of the larger market food brands (e.g., New Life Spectrum, Cobalt) and even some smaller ones (e.g., AquaLife) offer probiotic infused foods espousing the benefits to fish digestion.

I came across a recent study (October 2017) in the World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research that looked at the effects of probiotics on reproduction.

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