Kindle E-Book On Convict Cihlid

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Let Nature Help You Maintain Your Aquarium

New Trick - Keeping Many Aggressive Convict Cichlids Together

aggressive cichlids cannot be kept together as adults as they will literally kill eahother. you can keep them together as babies, but as they begin to grow, you will notice their agresion toward eachother. upon reaching aulthood, they will not even stand the presence of one another. the very sight of another imilar sized adult cichlid will make their blood boil. cishlids are territirial fish and need a lot of pace from eachother. if you keep many adults together, they will establish a pecking order. they will target one at a time and kill eachother. its more like a last man standing game.

but today im going to share with you an amazing trick that has worked for me. i have got dozens of adult convict cichlids together in one tub. the tub isn't even that big. the magic is worked by a thick vegetative mass of hydrilla verticillata, an invasive aquatic plant species. ydrilla provides multiple benifits to the convict cichlids like refuge from eachother, shade from the sun, a safe feeling which i important for fish health and development, water conditioning, removal o ammonia and nitrates etc. the filh will thrive even without waterchanges for a month.

a huge dense mass of this plant prevents these fish from targeting eachother and causing stres tyo eachother. even though in cloe proximity to one another, they are unable to affeciently attack eachother. after uing this trick, i have noticed a drastic improvement in hunger health and growth. they tart to grow to wild sizes like you never see in aquariums. they start to feel more like they are in the wild.

now that i have spoken about this idea and you have got the whole concept of thi, i will explain how to succesfully set this up without failure.

  1. Make sure you have a large volume of plants in the aquarium before you introduce the fish. if you have just a tiny amount of hydrilla, you cannot easly get t to establish in a tank full of many fish as it would not be able to handle the bio load and the fish will also damage the plant thu preventing it from growing. you will have to grow the plat separately till it increases to a significant amount with a few fish first. remember that the plant should be the dominating thing in the tank. the plant should roughly cover 80% of the aquarium. the fish will learn to move effeciently amoung the dense forest.
  2. Light - Sunlight is one of the best light for all plants, but if your house does not get sunlight, you can use white ddaylight tubelight or cfl. hydrilla is not too fusy about light and will do quite well under a white cfl or tube. nowdays you get submerable lamps which is actually a t4 tube encased in a waterproof glass capsule. you can sim ply throw in a submersable and leave it afloat among some hydrilla and watch the plant utilize as much light as possible from it and growing.
  3. Maintainance - Once or twice in a month some water changes will be good. make sure you remove the exces plant mass. you need to leave some place for the fish. you might also need to sometimes wash the plants as a lot of dirt may attach to the leaves if you use airstones. you can simpley remove the plants and spray some water on them and put them bak. there are many ways you can do this.
  4. OXYGEN - A very important thing is oxygen. once hydrilla establishes a significant mass in the aquarium, it will drastically deplete oxygen levels at night. during the night the plant utilizes oxygen duing respiration. i would recommend a good bubble wand as long as posible although even a simple air stone will suffice. make sure the oxygen runs all time espeially at night as if it in't running at night, this can be detrimental to the fish.

Cheap LED Lighting for Aquariums and Planted Aquariums

After reading and researching about aquarium lighting and lighting for plants, I found that many speak in favor of cfl daylight being a reasonable source of quality light for aquariums and plant growth. Even though you get special grow cfl lights which are very expensive, one can do just fine with the regular daylight cfls which are used in regular house lighting. Daylight cfls emit a fair spectrum of light which is useful for plants. Whenever I visit shops, I notice them using fluorescent tube lights in their aquariums. Today with so much advancement in technology, people are using led lights for aquariums now. There are various led lighting systems available at fish shops, but they are very expensive and might not match the size of your aquarium. I live in India, a place where few cool things are available down the road. You have to go searching a lot for these types of things. So i decided to go DIY and make the most out of the stuff that is highly available.

I started to think about what led lights would be great for aquariums. LED bulbs and tubes which are designed for households emit the brightness and spectrum required for plants to grow in your aquarium. These things could easily fit into a pre-designed aquarium cover. Problem is, i do not have an aquarium cover and was not really inclined in wasting my time and money in creating one. I was wanting something as compact and simple as possible.

Waterproof LED Lights

Waterproof LED Lights
One day while checking out options at the lighting shop, i came across waterproof led lights of various colors to chose from. I went and bought myself a good amount of these and stuck them on a glass cover and placed it over my aquarium. I mixed red, green, blue, white and warm white to try and cover a wide light spectrum needed by plants. A nice option - The light was quite bright, the tank was lit up well, the plants were responding quite well to it. There was a major downside to this as these lights came as a bunch, so in order to evenly mix colors, I had to rewire them all and that took a lot of time and energy. Another downlide was that the sticker which is used to attach it on a surface gives up and the lights fall into the aquarium.


  • Cheap cost
  • Bright light output. The more you add to the panel, the more brightnes.
  • Many colors to chose from - Red, Green, Blue, White and Warm White when mixed, should be good for plants.
  • Waterproof
  • Safe even if they fall in the water.


  • Sticker used for attaching led to surface is not reliable and gives up. Once attached, its messy to remove as sticker glue doesn't come out easily.
  • If you decide to rewire them to mix light colors, its a lengthy task.
  • Ugly wires takes up lots of space on the panel.

Strip Lights

I tried led strip lights too. You get the waterproof version of these which are a bit more expensive. They come in various colors. They are easy to attach.

Now the downside here is the light intensity. The intensity wasnt enough. So i deccided to try something new. I was looking for cheap, yet powerful, highly luminous light sources with good cri (color rendering index). After searching I realized something amazing at the office. I noticed downlight led panel which was really bright. the brightness and quality of light produced by it was great too. So i decided to try it out in my aquarium. So I rushed to the shop and picked up a led downlight of 15 watts, 1000 lumins, daylight. I used pvc pipes to mount it atop my aquarium. I siliconed the light to the pipes to secure it. The light output was amazing and the plants started to release a large amount of oxygen bubbles. The entire aquarium was litup a great deal.
I do not find anyone talking about using these types of lights even though they are quite similar to cfl light, take up less power and give out more light and last longer. Besides the light is all focused in the right place, rather than getting wasted elsewhere. CFLs and tubelights give out a lot of wasted light in opposite directions which is a waste of good energy. downlights on the other hand focus all f the light down into the aquarium.
Here are some pics of what I have done. It is quite neat and compact and doesn't look ugly. If you find this article useful, you could perhaps use it in your setup.

The Convict Cichlid (Kindle Edition Ebook)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Cheap Lights for Growing Aquatic Plants

I have tried a lot of simple low budget light combinations to get good results with growing aquarium plants and have come to a conclusion. Fluorescent lights are just a perfect for the job and are cheap. I would recommend going in for the reddish and bluish ones. I recommend adding a 50/50 of red and blue florescent light in your tank for good results. By doing that, you will get a purple ambiance in your aquarium. You can even add a daylight florescent tube for a brighter look and improved plant growth. The deeper the aquarium the more lights will be needed so that a significant amount of light reaches the plants.

The red light helps the plants develop roots and the blue light helps with stem and leaf growth.

Another thing to keep in mind is the type of fish you got with the plants. Avoid keeping fish that will harm the plants as that will greatly affect growth.

The Convict Cichlid (Kindle Edition Ebook)

Monday, December 19, 2016

What is stress and it's effect on fish?

A fish can get stressed out for many reasons. Aggressive tank mates, transporting, too much water current caused by power heads, poor water quality, disease, too much light, hitting the glass, lack of privacy in a transparent tank etc. are common causes of fish stress.
Stress directly affects the normal functioning of a fish. It's mental and chemical balance is affected making it prone to disease as the immune system gets weak. After prolonged exposure to stressful situations, a fish can develop chronic conditions, organs may malfunction or fail causing imminent death.

One example of fish stress is keeping 2 male convict cichlids together in one tank. They are territorial and aggressive in nature and will fight each other from time to time. In the wild, the loser runs away never to be seen again but in a fish tank, such a thing is not possible. This causes stress of the very presence of the dominant male. These fish may display signs of fear by sticking close to the surface of the water at the corners. Appetite may be affected too.

So please keep in mind the basic idea about fish stress while keeping fish and give them the best experience possible to make them happy and healthy.

The Convict Cichlid (Kindle Edition Ebook)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Danger of keeping large amount of fish together

It's never usually a good practise to have a large number of fish stocked up in a single tank. The reason for that is if any illness strikes, it strikes with a bang and can be more fatal than otherwise. Heavily stocked tanks are a perfect place for any disease to spread and thrive and persist which makes the disease more fatal than it actually is. Some examples are diseases like ick.
In situations like this, you should immediately reduce water level and start medicating with the right medicine for the problem with the correct dosage. Beware of overdose as that can easily kill your fish. Read the dosage and apply the right amount depending the volume of water in tank.
Do regular water changes. Make sure any dead fish are removed immediately.

The Convict Cichlid (Kindle Edition Ebook)

How i dealt with green water problem

My tank is located in a sunny spot as it's too big to be kept inside the house. I'm sure many of you too got your tanks or ponds in the open with no shade.
The sun along with its benefits brings along some problems too. Well I wouldn't quite say this is a problem as it does not affect the fish health, but it can be a nuisance to owners as they will not be able to admire their own pond or tank.

I'm taking about green water. Many call it green soup. This is known as phytoplankton which is a microscopic algae that does not attach to any surface but exists freely in the water and spreads super fast in certain conditions.

Phytoplankton are a natural water conditioner. They absorb the bad stuff from the water and multiply their mass. Thus the water is better conditioned for your fish.
But now I'm going to talk about the bad side. I personally like to admire my fish on a daily basis and if anything, even this kind of good stuff block my view, I consider it a problem. So here's what I did to bring this problem under control.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Breeding Convict Cichlids in Bulk in a Single Tank

Convict Cichlids are very aggressive fish and cannot be kept together. Especially when they begin to form pairs and raise young. This causes huge amount of stress to the tankmates. Here is a solution to your problem if you house many of these cichlids.

Place containers facing upwards inside your aquarium. They should be big enough for an adult pair of convicts to move around in. Its as simple as that. The pair will not take much time in finding it and making home there. You can use a glass bowl which will give you the privilage to view them spawn and raise their fry.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Do fish need space?

All living things need some space from one another. The more space, the better. I have observed that fish grow much faster if they are provided their own space. I have keep a single convict Cichlid baby in its own aquarium and it out grew all the others that were stocked together.

In my opinion, all living things have an energy field around them. With competitive species especially, the presence of a dominating companion will inhibit it's progress. Even though the fish may seem fine, at some level of its consciousness, it feels fear and stress in the presence of its competition. The results eventually show in its growth and health.

I raise convict Cichlid fry in a single tank together. But I won't be able to house them together for long. As they grow they need to spread out. Their requirement for personal space expands as they grow.

However this rule may not apply for schooling fish like Danios, tiger barbs, neons etc. These fish need to be in groups to function properly.

The Convict Cichlid (Kindle Edition Ebook)

What aquarium plants are easy to grow?

To my personal experience, hydrilla verticillata and duck weed are great plants that spread very quickly in your aquarium with reasonable light.

I have tried other types of plants but was never successful. I have always tried amazon sword but failed at all attempts. Whenever I got myself an amazon sword, it would get covered by algae and die.

Sometimes plants may compete with other varieties by releasing chemicals in the water which inhibit the growth of their competition.

If the water is too rich in nutrients, especially ammonia, although plants utilize ammonia as food, they will not grow if there's too much of it.

You need to balance things out with water changes. If you are dealing with too many fish and do not find much time to do water changes, you can use aggressive plants like duck weed or hydrilla. In fact, if you got fish that do not consume duck weed, then it would be a better choice to hydrilla. Even though hydrilla is an aggressive plant, I have witnessed it losing the battle against algae at times. Duck weed floats at the top. It's leaves float on the surface of water, so algae cannot cover that. Duck weed divides quickly and will soon cover your entire aquarium and deprive algae of light and nutrition.