As the title of this post states, this is about taking the effort out of maintaining certain water parameters. Why? For many hobbyist, 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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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).
How much do you care about your fish? Seriously. Are they “just fish” to you? Or does the death of one of your fish really bother you? Maybe the effect on you is somewhere in between.
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.
Several years ago at one of the annual American Cichlid Association (ACA) conventions, I overheard a conversation about some shell dwelling cichlids. Being a dwarf cichlid enthusiast myself, my interest was piqued upon hearing the word “shellies.” I wasn’t eavesdropping but I clearly heard something equivalent to “You should check with Chris Carpenter. He keeps all kinds of shellies.” Like any hobbyist who constantly builds their knowledge base, I filed that name away.
In the years since that convention, I have heard Chris’ name mentioned numerous times. In an effort to ensure that my interviews on the blog cover all corners of cichlid keeping, I needed to get someone to talk about shell dwelling species. Because he is widely regarded as an expert on these fish, I looked him up and sent him a note about doing an interview. He promptly replied and happily agreed.