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.
It goes without saying that the longer you participate in a hobby, the more you’ll learn about it, including the names of fellow hobbyists. Over time, you’ll come across the same name more and more frequently. This is what led me to today’s interviewee.
Let me introduce Jason Wilson, or Jay, as his friends call him. I had come across his name several times either via YouTube or in conversation with another hobbyist. As it turns out, Jay is a renaissance man of sorts. He’s into a little bit of everything associated with the hobby. Intrigued, I decided he needed to be interviewed for the blog. I reached out to him back before the holidays to see if he would be interested. His response when I asked, “I’d love to.”
Leaving the Navy after a 13-year career, Jay needed a new purpose in life. Though having been a fish keeper since he was small, it was only seven years ago that he found that new purpose….in cichlids. In fact, his interest in cichlids helped save his life. If you’ve ever met him or visited his YouTube channel, Jay Wilson – Glass Box Therapy, then you know he’s high energy. In a very short time, he has channeled much of that energy into cichlids. Let’s get started!
The title of this post is a bit misleading. What I mean by “building” isn’t exactly synonymous with turning raw material like clay, for example, into something that resembles a cave. This post is more about using various aquarium-safe objects for caves and breeding structures.
If I asked you to compile a list of cichlidophiles you know 1) who make regular trips to cichlid locales to collect fish, 2) who regularly speak at cichlid conventions, and 3) and whose name you hear regularly in the hobby, how many people would be on that list? I bet your list wouldn’t be very long but I also bet that Oliver Lucanus would be on it.
At the OCA 25th Extravaganza back in November, I attended Oliver’s presentations. They were chockfull of great photos and were very informative. After his second talk, I introduced myself and the blog. I asked him if he would be interested in doing an interview. He smiled and said, “sure”.
You may know Oliver as a long time aquarist and wildlife photographer. What you may not know is that he’s also been importing fish for more than 30 years. Furthermore, he’s an author, who’s book “Below Water – the Amazon” has become a favorite of cichlid hobbyists, especially those keeping SA fish. In fact, he has a new book coming out soon titled, “Xingu – Below Water”. For those unfamiliar, the Xingu is a tributary river of the Amazon in Brazil. At over 1,000 miles long, the Xingu runs north to south and is home to some of the most beautiful and fascinating fishes in the world. Oliver’s experience diving and collecting in this river is expansive, and his photos of cichlids in their natural habitat are amazing.
Over the years I have posted a few times about the CARES Preservation Program. Yesterday I came across a Facebook post (shout out to Pete Liptrot) linking to a short article about CARES in New Scientist magazine. For more information about the program, check out the interview I did with Greg Steeves. If you want the complete lowdown on CARES, you can go straight to the their website.
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.
For the first post of 2020, I wanted to wish all of you a Happy New Year and thank you for reading the blog! I hope your cichlid keeping efforts this year are successful, fun, and rewarding. My wish for 2020 is that I’m able to continue sharing with you my excitement and love for cichlids. As such, I hope to bring you some great content again this year!
If you read the blog and you like it, please share it on your preferred social media sites. If you’re a member of any cichlid Facebook groups, please don’t hesitate give the blog a shout out. I always welcome more readers and love to meet new cichlidophiles.
As I’ve stated before, this blog is nothing more than a virtual personal journal if there aren’t any readers. And I don’t need a blog platform to write for myself. So please feel free to share the site with others. Also, feel free to comment or contact me. I welcome that too.