Building caves for cichlids

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.

River rocks. Photo by author.

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Oliver Lucanus interview

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.

Pictured is Oliver doing what he does…alot. Photo courtesy of Oliver Lucanus.

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.

Let’s go!

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Cichlid hobbyists and CARES

Image from https://www.newscientist.com/.

 

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.

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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 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.

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Happy New Year!

Image from https://eventbrite.com/.

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!

 

 

 

Social media and The Cichlid Stage

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.

Thanks for reading!

Feeding cichlids while away

Plastic medicine cup. Photo from walmart.com.

With the holidays upon us, I thought about how many cichlidophiles will be traveling. Many of those will be gone long enough to need their fish fed while they’re gone. This sometimes creates problems. I was recently reminded of how often cichlid keepers return home only to find a tank with dead fish.

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In memoriam – Don ‘Z-man’ Zilliox

Don Zilliox.

Just before the awards ceremony at the OCA Extravaganza this past weekend, two members from the Tropical Fish Club of Erie County (TFCEC) made a short presentation.  They presented a $100 check to the Jim Smith Fund in memory of long time TFCEC member, Don Zilliox, who passed away last month.

The cichlid keeping community has lost a great treasure, and I am very saddened. Though I never had the privilege of meeting Don in person, I know he was an outstanding fish keeper and a great guy. How do I know? Keep reading.

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OCA 25th Extravaganza, day 2

Day two (Saturday) of the Extravaganza was outstanding….well, at least for me.

The day began with several talks – Hans George Evers, Oliver Lucanus (his 2nd talk of the event), and Ad Konings, I didn’t attend Evers’ talk but I did Lucanus’ and Konings’. Both are excellent speakers and their presentations were very informative. Below are the talk titles:

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