Cichlidiot (cich·lid·i·ot)

Fishkeeping for the masses

  • cich·lid : Any of various tropical and subtropical freshwater fishes of the family Cichlidae, many of which are popular as aquarium fish
  • id·i·ot : A foolish or stupid person
  • All original content is © 2006-2007 Cichlidiot.

Archive for December, 2006

Sad State of Affairs

Posted by cichlidiot on December 29, 2006

On the way home from work today, I stopped by the SM Megamall branch of Bio Research, the Philippines’ largest chain of pet shops, for some fish food. As I was waiting in line, I noticed one of the staff packing up six juvenile Aequidens rivulatus in one bag for some poor unsuspecting customer. After politely telling him that I didn’t think that this was acceptable, he retorted that the fish were just skittish because they were stressed from being bagged.

I can’t help but wonder why the management team of Bio Research, which has such a dominating position in the industry, doesn’t see the merits of properly training and educating employees on topics such as proper fish care, at the very least. I would think that these people understand the basic principles of economics and business, and how the company stands to gain a lot more with a complement of knowledgeable staff, as compared to the status quo. Just take the case of the lady that purchased the six juvenile Aequidens rivulatus. There is a reason why this fish is called the Green Terror, after all, and I’m sure that at least one of them will die before 2007 is over, simply because the lady didn’t seem to know what she was getting herself into by buying this particular cichlid. Furthermore, there is a strong likelihood that this lady’s aquarium will see more deaths since she did not purchase an aquarium, meaning she probably already has an established tank with some community fish in it. In the short-term, Bio Research made a sale of P600, or the equivalent of $12. Now, if the unsuspecting lady who bought these fish gives up on fishkeeping as a hobby due to frustration over the death of her fish, then Bio Research has just lost another potential “regular” who could have easily brought in around P500 to P1,000 in revenues annually. Even if she doesn’t abandon fishkeeping altogether, chances are, her dissatisfaction with Bio Research will probably make her shop somewhere else.

Among the hobbyists I know, only a few have decidedly good experiences with Bio Research. I can’t imagine just how much potential revenue the management of Bio Research is giving up by neglecting to properly train the company’s employees. Considering that it is in their best interest to promote fishkeeping as a hobby, it’s a pity that stuff like this has to happen. Hopefully, they figure things out sooner than later.

Posted in Local Fish Stores, Real Life™ | 4 Comments »

Fishkeeping Utopia

Posted by cichlidiot on December 26, 2006

I’m sure that all fishkeepers wished there was a way to eliminate the need for those back-breaking water changes. I sure have, because I have to ask my personal care attendant and our family driver to do it for me because of my disability. Since water changes aren’t really part of their job descriptions, I can’t very well add yet another aquarium that they need to service weekly.

That being said, I came across a thread at Aquarium Advice (one of the forums I usually lurk in) where the merits of a denitrifying filter were discussed. I followed a link to a company called North Coast Pets, which offers such a product. The first thing that struck me was this particular line: “Imagine… an aquarium that almost never needed water changes.” This caught my attention for two reasons. Firstly, if the implication is that such a device could eliminate the need for regular water changes, then it would definitely interest me, despite the hefty $600 price tag. Secondly, I seriously doubt the effectiveness of a product that makes such bold claims while going against conventional wisdom.

While I don’t have the resources to actually purchase one just for the sake of a controlled experiment, I’d sure love to hear from others who have used such a device. In the meantime, I’m pretty sure that partial water changes will still be part of my regular aquarium maintenance routine, at least until such time that scientific proof shows that these denitrifying filters actually work.

Posted in Equipment, General Fishkeeping | 1 Comment »

Merry Christmas

Posted by cichlidiot on December 25, 2006

Just a quick greeting to all of my friends.  Merry Christmas!!!  I hope everyone’s having a grand time.  I sure am having a fine Christmas, though it would have been better if I was in Xiamen with my family.

Posted in Real Life™ | Leave a Comment »

WordPress vs. Blogger

Posted by cichlidiot on December 21, 2006

When a few of my friends found out that I’ve started a new blog, they automatically assumed that it would be found on Blogger, since that’s where my previous ill-fated blogs were found. However, after “shopping around” (if you consider looking around for a free host “shopping”), I’ve decided to migrate to WordPress. While I do appreciate Google for pushing the envelope when it comes to online services (I use Gmail and Picasa), I think that the kind folks behind WordPress (the software) and WordPress (the hosting service) offered a better product at the same price (free), which is not to say that Blogger is an inferior product in every aspect. In the end, the pros of WordPress just outweighed the cons.

As far as design is concerned, while WordPress doesn’t have that annoying bar at the top of the page, Blogger allows more flexibility in terms of changing fonts. Luckily, I found a theme here that works for me so giving up the ability to select fonts wasn’t that big of a deal.

In terms of page flexibility, while Blogger does what it’s supposed to, WordPress is superior because of the capability to publish pages divorced from the main blog, just like my “Links” page on this blog. This opens up a world of possibilities, allowing bloggers to maintain a full-blown website if they so desired.

Posted in Blog Stuff | Leave a Comment »

Blog Interrupted

Posted by cichlidiot on December 20, 2006

I was going to start working on an “About Me” page tonight, but seeing that today is the 10th anniversary of a car accident that left me paralyzed from waist-down, I’ve decided to spend the evening reflecting on Real Life™.

Regular programming resumes tomorrow, December 21st.

In the meantime, I highly recommend visiting the PCA Forums for your daily cichlid fix.

pca-logo.jpg

Posted in Real Life™ | Leave a Comment »

Stroke of Genius

Posted by cichlidiot on December 19, 2006

On my way home this evening I was playing around with a few ideas on what would be an appropriate title for my new blog. In my efforts to find one that would capture the essence of my fascination with fishkeeping and aquaria in general, I finally found what I think is a fairly suitable one. Considering that I primarily keep cichlids, and, according to some of my not-so-supportive friends, I sometimes do stupid things for the sake of my hobby, I’m pretty sure that nothing my limited creative juices could come up with would match Cichlidiot. Luckily, nobody had the subdomain reserved on WordPress, so I guess I have the blessing of the powers that be. That’s one task out of the way. Now to find some suitable content for Cichlidiot.

Posted in Blog Stuff, Real Life™ | Leave a Comment »

Taking the Plunge

Posted by cichlidiot on December 19, 2006

After several short-lived escapades with blogging over the past three years, I’ve decided to start yet another online journal, on yet another topic altogether — fishkeeping. While I’m sure that this blog will receive its fair share of digressions in the form of Real Life™ rants, among other things, I’ve promised myself to keep such posts to a minimum and concentrate on my complementary hobbies of photography and fishkeeping. Hopefully, this endeavor meets more success than my previous forays into the world of online publishing.

Posted in Blog Stuff, Real Life™ | Leave a Comment »