I hope this site will help you to learn about and to love the fascinating group of freshwater fishes that make up the family Cichlidae. With this aim in mind, this site has been created. Of course I do not pretend to get rich with this page, I do it because I love life, animals, and fish, Cichlids in particular, and this is a tribute to nature and to them.
I understand thousands of sites are created about important matters such as politics, science, medicine, ecology, history, and a myriad of other day to day topics, but I thought that regardless of how trivial the topic may seem, it deserves serious and full attention. Of course I would like to make this site the best on the Internet (I am not humble to tell you this), although managing this goal will not always be within my reach as I have a job and a family to take care of, as well as several other interests including my own research.
This site was created in English which is not my native language because I want the information it contains to be accessible to the largest number of people possible, and English is probably the most widely understood language in the world. Another very important reason is the fact that most of the contributors to this page speak English, and their articles and writings would otherwise have to be translated. It is my belief that as time passes English could be even more widely spoken, so for this reason I decided this was the way to go.
Of course this site wouldn't be possible if I were to just write about my own knowledge and experience. The value of this site is the fact that it concentrates the knowledge of many top specialists in several areas of Cichlidae. An impressive amount of knowledge I should add! Let me tell you that so far I have contributions by many of the top contemporary cichlid experts in the world, telling us about their specialty in the vast world of Cichlidae knowledge. I am very happy I have been able to obtain their permission to publish their work, and I am very much indebted to them.
One common denominator I will always strive for with this site is quality. Documents published here comply with this goal, at least in my opinion. You may find different points of view in several documents found here, but they all have valid points and all will help you develop a sound knowledge on the topics presented This site will take you from fairly basic Cichlid information to a solid reference for research and taxonomy.
As of today (Nov-97), this site has become very large and I have calculated that if you wanted to print it all on paper it will cover over 900 letter size pages, and it is still just beginning. This page is still pretty new and just a fraction of the many cichlid topics are covered here. This site is a life project as I understand it, and may never be complete. I will try to carry on with this project for as long as I can, adding weekly quality documents to it.
New information on this site is made public by means of an electronic bulletin, Cichlidae Online. Reading a short abstract (or even the whole contribution) may help you decide if you want to link to it or not. In addition, Cichlidae online distributes information that is not always available on this site including a monthly trading e-mail document which helps with the interchange of cichlidae species, as well as contributions that are found elsewhere on the Internet.
Current sections for this site include a magazine with an ever increasing number of illustrated quality articles covering all topics relating to cichlids. These articles are written by top specialists all around the globe. A bookshelf includes a brief neutral review of cichlid books and the topics they cover, with information about the availability of the book when pertinent. The indexes of Cichlid News Magazine and The Cichlid Yearbooks, two of the finest cichlidae oriented publications that have ever been published worldwide, are also found here. A Interviews with people that have contributed to the increase of cichlid knowledge are also found on this site, so you can get to know about these amazing people.
Descriptions of actual breeding tank conditions where cichlids have been bred by hobbyists around the world is another section of this page I am very excited about, this is a real mine of information! I also have transcriptions of meetings held on the Fishroom chat facility on the Internet, and most of those meetings have been chaired with a presentation by real experts. Nice cichlid images with a resolution of 1024x768 for screen wallpaper use is another offering of this site.
The most ambitious section of this page however, is the Cichlid Gallery, with which I eventually intend to present taxonomic information on every genera of cichlids in the world, including illustrations and information about every species. This project however will take years to be completed.
In addition to these sections, more will be created as time allows, with diseases and a habitat gallery being high on the list. Sections will be created as well based on the suggestions of users, comments which are the oil lubricating the gears that move this page.
I hope this page can be the information resource that I lacked when I started keeping cichlids, and that it's objective can be fulfilled by your learning and awareness of the magnificent gift nature has given us with cichlids, enjoy!.
Juan Miguel Artigas Azas, nov-97.