Hobbyist Gallery - Klaus Steinhaus
Cichlids are my hobby since over 30 years. When I was 20 years old and still living in Germany I joined the DCG (German Cichlid Association).
When I moved to Canada in 1982 I had to sell all my fish and equipment as I was unable to continue my hobby due to my new job. After things settled down a bit I started again with one tank. That obviously did not last long. "I need another tank for my fry." and another, and another.......... Now I am up to 12 tanks and there are plans to increase my fish room even more.
I find it very interesting to see and hear all the different reasons why people get hooked on cichlids. To me, they are just amazing to watch and to study. They really have a "Personality". I try to offer my cichlids an environment as close as possible to their natural habitat. It is the only way to see their true behavior and character. I can sit in front of my tanks for hours and try to figure out the social structure in each particular tanks and the weekly water changes are definitly a labour of love. But there is nothing more fun in this hobby then to sit with other cichlid "freaks", have a few beer and talk cichlids until the small hours of the morning.
This tank is 72" long, 18" deep and 24" high (183 x 46 x 61cm / 513 liters). The pH is 8.0 - 8.2 and the GH is around 16. 30% of the water is changed on a weekly basis and it is filtered by two 500 liter Aquaclear filters. I set this tank up 1 1/2 years ago and never had any problems. The inhabitants are 10 Cyphotilapia Frontosa of the Magara, Burundi variety. The tank is part of a shelf unit (see bottom picture). The picture at the top was taken at later date.
Although I like to decorate my own tanks with sand, normal rocks & no plants, this tank appealed to me right from the start! Nice colour contrasts, healthy & happy fish, adequate tank size & hiding places! I'm only concerned about the fact that the tank will become a little tight when these Cyphotilapia frontosa grow to adult sizes.
Nice tank(s), Frontosas are the only Tanganyika cichlids I would consider to keep (I just need another huge tank). The tank(s) look well kept (even though the aquascape is NOT that inspiring!). Once the C.frontosa are grown up he'll have to split them in more than one tanks and create some bigger hiding spots. By the way I like lava rock. If I were to list my remarks I would say that 1) I like lava rock for its red-browinsh colour. If I were to choose among the "unnatural" items to use in an aquarium this is the most useful and pleasant to look at - at least to me 2) the substrate size is too big but then Frontosas also grow big! 3) the tank looks a bit shallow (height of the water column?) and 4) most likely he will need larger hiding spots in the future.
Overall: this tank is an eye catcher: correctly aquascaped, nice colour contrast, lighting seems to be ok, and fishes look healthy. Despite the fact I have never had one I do like this "single species" tank. The plants, even though they were not supposed to be there, thrive, are nice to look at and do not disturb the general appearance of the tank! In my opinion, Klaus has done a GOOD JOB, and his tank is worth posting!
Well, mainly it is a lava rock / medium sized gravel combination with plants which - although not the optimal - is still very pleasing in the eye. The fish seem to enjoy it and the general outlook does them justice. The plants are sparingly (and cleverly) added, the color combination leaves very little to be wished for, the tank size is in harmony with the current size of the C.frontosa. Although it seems a bit strange to me to look at just one species in a tank like this, I like the idea and I appreciate the fact that Klaus didn't hesitate to dedicate the whole tank to his frontosas. Moreover, a look at the whole fishroom construction indicates a hobbyist who pays attention to details.
Overall rating by MCH : 74/100