by Claudia Dickinson
Yes, I\’m still reading books about fish! The more specific they are, the more interesting they get. Even though I\’m not planning on keeping cichlids yet, I wanted to learn more about them, so found this book at the library. The book went into more detail on things I hadn\’t read about yet, like how the aquarium hobby first started back in the late 1800\’s. There\’s discussion on hobbyist events and shows, and of course all things about cichlids. Their origins, biology, behavior, diet, environmental needs, personality, breeding and how they raise their young. I will never forget some of the unique physical characteristics of these fish- they have a double set of jaws and an interrupted lateral line, unlike most other fishes. (Now I look closely at every photograph of a cichlid to see if I can spot the break in the lateral line). I knew cichlids were renowned for their personality and interesting behavior, and learned a lot more about that in this reading. Of course the book also has basics on setting up a fish tank with a particular focus on the needs of cichlids. It went into more detail on the nitrogen cycle and proper establishment of good bacteria than I have seen before. A lot of the information on caring for sick fish, managing aggression, proper feeding and general husbandry can translate to other species as well, so I did learn some useful stuff. There are so many different cichlids the book could only highlight some of the more popular ones, but I think it a good introduction regardless. It would have been nice to know the names of the many others cichlid species shown in photographs earlier in the book. Overall it\’s a very well-written and informative guide on caring for these unique fish.
Rating: 4/5 112 pages, 2007