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The cichlids patrol their 48”x18”x18” tank and
though this country has been officially metric since
April Fool’s day, 1975, I still measure fish and tanks
in inches, feet, ounces, pounds and gallons.
A mix of African cichlids, from lakes Victoria and
Tanganyika, but tanks are the only world they’ve known.
Cichlids are of interest to me because of their diversity,
they're the fish equivalent of Galapagos finches.
But I really keep them because their bright colours and
constant motion especially at feeding time provides
a brief respite from the humdrum.
Each species more or less keeps to themselves,
establishing ever shifting territories in the
nooks and crannies of the rock wall I built,
that runs through the middle of the tank.
There is a balance of density and species,
which I never quite manage to maintain and
as they mature, intra and interspecific aggression
becomes a factor and every so often, I’ll find
a beat-up loser floating at the top of the tank.
But other times they breed successfully and
if I separate the mouthbrooding female early
enough, I can raise another generation of fry.
Copyright © D.W. Rodgers | Year Posted 2021
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