Setting Up a Shell-dweller Tanganyikan Cichlid Aquarium

SpeciosusI think that Cichlids can be an extremely fun fish to watch.  They interact with each other and other fish in interesting ways and they have their own set of habits that can be really entertaining from building shelters to courting and breeding. I live on a budget, fresh out of college, so to set up a cheap cichlid tank, I decided to do a single species that stays small so I can use a smaller tank and less expensive equipment. Cichlids usually need a larger tank to accomodate their size and territoriality. I really wanted to try African Cichlids of some type, even though most of the South American dwarves are more colorful. Most African Cichlids grow to at least 4-6 inches, but I did find one group of cichlids, the Shell-dwellers from Lake Tanganyika, that would be just the right fit for my set-up. Many of these cichlids stay under 2 inches even as adults, so the 15 gallon tank that I have will provide plenty of space for several. They use the empty shells of aquatic snails as sites for breeding and shelter, and this behavior alone is very interesting to watch.  Read More »

How to Move Your Aquarium

AquariumOne of the most common questions we receive is about moving an aquarium, whether it is across the room or across the country. Larger tanks and larger fish are certainly more difficult than smaller ones and the larger the distance you are traveling, the more involved the process becomes (although I have used some of these methods when moving my saltwater tank from one room to another when the room it was in was being re-carpeted). For long distances, try checking with your local fish store. Some may be able to help you arrange to have your livestock packed up and shipped via Fedex Overnight or another service. If you are doing the move on your own, there are several tricks and techniques you can use to make things easier on you and your livestock. Read More »

Setting-up an Aquarium for Central American Cichlids

Hello, cichlid fans!I’ve been blogging on how to create suitable habitats for various types of cichlids in my previous entries, and this time I want to talk about the set-up that has worked best for me when I keep Central American species. I have kept and bred different species in tanks ranging from 30 gallons to 75 gallons. Most of my recent spawns have taken place in 40 breeders with a base dimension of 36 inches x 18 inches. 40 Breeders are nice, especially since I live in a smaller apartment and I don’t have the space for larger tanks. I have had plenty of success breeding Dovii, Firemouths, and Grammodes in my tank (at different times) and am now working with Cuban Cichlids. Read More »

A Fish By Any Other Name – Hawaiian Names for Common Aquarium Fish

HUma TriggerBy this time of year, we’re all at the end of a long, cold winter and have our sights set on the warmer weather ahead. So, in honor of the vacations and tropical beaches we all wish we were on, I thought I’d share some of the native Hawaiian names of some of our favorite tropical aquarium fish.

The fish on this list are those found around the eight Hawaiian islands. Some are endemic – meaning they are found only around the Hawaiian islands – while others are found in other areas of the Pacific and even Indian Oceans. Keep in mind that in native Hawaiian, some words have multiple meanings and some of these names may refer to a group of fish. This list is far from all-inclusive and are just some of the more interesting names that I’ve found. Read More »

The Flowerhorn Cichlid, Past and Present – Personal Recollections

Living Legend FlowerhornHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  While new fishes occasionally enter the trade (much to our delight!), it’s not often that an entirely new species is created by breeders.  But that’s exactly what happened in the early 1990’s, when the incredible Flowerhorn Cichlid burst onto the scene.  Since then, “fine-tuning” has resulted in a fish with perhaps the most complicated parentage of any hybrid – 7 to 10 species have contributed their genes!  Read More »