How did I get into this mess?

15 06 2009

My story is probably a common one – I got into keeping Cichlids by accident. My boss had an aquarium that she needed to get rid of: a 40 litre tank that came with a colony of about 30 guppies that had been happily breeding for 20 odd years.

I decided that it would be nice to add a few different fishes for variety so I had a look at the stock in the local fish store. There were two fish I purchased, a pleco catfish – after all, its not a proper fish tank unless it has a sucky mouth catfish in it and an Electric Yellow Cichlid. I went home and asked the internet about the fish I liked. It told me that the Electric Yellows were ‘Peaceful Herbivores’. Great I thought, should play nicely with the guppies.

The Electric Yellow got bought along with 2 Firemouths, 4 Rosy Barbs and a Common Pleco and into the tank they went. The lights went out and the tank was covered for a day. In the morning it was immediately obvious that there were less guppies than before and the yellow lab was bigger than it was in the shop! Within a week the Yellow Lab had polished off all 30 guppies, hardly the behaviour of a herbivore!

It seemed then that my homework on the yellow lab was inadequate. Further studies revealed that it was a fish that originated from the shores of Lake Malawi, of a type called Mbuna. All fish of this type are naturally herbivores, grazing algae off rocks however in an aquarium they will eat anything that will fit in their mouths. Furthermore they are extremely aggressive and will attack pretty much everything, so much so that they can only really be kept with other Mbuna as most other fish just couldn’t take the punishment. Electric Yellows are peaceful relative to other Mbuna, but they are still brutes.

After this time and research I had become rather attached to this vicious little animal and named it Jade in honour of the late, great Jade Goody (an obnoxious, big mouthed UK ‘celebrity’ who’s death divided the UK into camps of morbid fascination and inappropriate joy). I decided to persevere with keeping cichlids and bought a second hand 350 litre tank and stocked it with more Mbuna.

This blog will form a record of my progress and experiances and I hope it may prove useful and interesting to readers.

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17 06 2009
How did i get into this mess? | Jade Goody Blogs

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