There is no such thing as a Cichlid or a Cory

GaryE

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Well, okay, there are many many Cichlid species. And many many Corydoras species. All are a little different, and some are incredibly different.

There are 1,650 or so scientifically described Cichlid species, and many more in the hobby that have yet to be studied and named. So if you are tempted to say "I have a question about my Cichlid", it's a great idea to say which species.

There are only 180 described Corydoras, but the group is growing fast with new discoveries.

This hobby is really about biodiversity, and how interesting it has made the pursuit of fishkeeping. I know this is a pet peeve of mine, because I think we should know what we are getting before we get it. That first tank creates exceptions, but aquarists who will stay with it tend to start trying to understand fast!

So, does the word "fish" have a lot of meaning?... There are flying fish, fish that leave the water, self cloning fish, ocean, freshwater... yikes.
 

itiwhetu

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Yes, there is a Cichlid " A fish that is really intelligent and understands where it's food is coming from" and yes there is a Cory, " that understands none of the above". The idea that you are proposing confuses me.
 
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GaryE

GaryE

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Yes, there is a Cichlid " A fish that is really intelligent and understands where it's food is coming from" and yes there is a Cory, " that understands none of the above". The idea that you are proposing confuses me.
But there are Cichlids that eat plants, scales of other fish, eyes of other fish (yech), fish, copepods, mulm, poop, insects, etc.
There are cichlids that stay tiny, and everything in between all the way to behemoths.
There are mbuna that like crowding, and fish from other habitats that are one pair per tank, or even one fish per tank.
There are Cichlids from water of no measurable hardness, and species from soda lakes.
There are Cichlids that look like they might be able to have an intelligent conversation with you, and clueless Cichlids called "Acara bobo" by the locals.

The diversity is fantastic. But if you just say you have "Cichlids", what do you have?

If you knew how many times I used to say "Oh I have Apistos, angels and kribs" and the new guy in the club would say "Not me. I have Cichlids"....

I had a Corydoras aeneus that used to swim into my hand. So it had something figured out. There are Corys that need different temperatures, current or not, different lighting... they are a bit more similar than Cichlids, but. A couple of months ago I made a mistake here and wrote C sterbai was good in cooler water. I should have looked it up first.

I've got to run. Mammals in the back yard. If they're deer, bears, raccoons or bobcats, the response is different. We owe fish the same detail.
 

itiwhetu

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But there are Cichlids that eat plants, scales of other fish, eyes of other fish (yech), fish, copepods, mulm, poop, insects, etc.
There are cichlids that stay tiny, and everything in between all the way to behemoths.
There are mbuna that like crowding, and fish from other habitats that are one pair per tank, or even one fish per tank.
There are Cichlids from water of no measurable hardness, and species from soda lakes.
There are Cichlids that look like they might be able to have an intelligent conversation with you, and clueless Cichlids called "Acara bobo" by the locals.

The diversity is fantastic. But if you just say you have "Cichlids", what do you have?

If you knew how many times I used to say "Oh I have Apistos, angels and kribs" and the new guy in the club would say "Not me. I have Cichlids"....

I had a Corydoras aeneus that used to swim into my hand. So it had something figured out. There are Corys that need different temperatures, current or not, different lighting... they are a bit more similar than Cichlids, but. A couple of months ago I made a mistake here and wrote C sterbai was good in cooler water. I should have looked it up first.

I've got to run. Mammals in the back yard. If they're deer, bears, raccoons or bobcats, the response is different. We owe fish the same detail.
Whatever!@
 

Rocky998

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Idc... Whichever way you slice it, they are still Cichlids or Corydoras. They are both their own species category with sub species.
No matter what you say or how smart you are, you can't say or acrually believe there is no such thing as a Cichlid or a Corydoras.
There are MAAAANY differrent varieties of each but that doesn't mean it eliminates the fact of what they are.

I guess then you could say there is no such thing as a fish by what you are saying
 
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GaryE

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@Rocky998 Yup, you can say there's no such thing as a fish, but there are many different things we use the label for. Defining 'fish' is hard. It's a bit of a word game, because we need a word and it's convenient.

I know there are people happy to think whales are fish, and that it doesn't matter a whole lot. All livebearers are the same, and so on. It keeps things simple to approach it like that, but it causes trouble for aquarists who raise their game. I know I'm stirring the pot here, and not everyone likes soup.

The standard thing learned by kids at school learning biology is the Linnaean system, an oldie. It was a Christian's attempt to understand nature before evolution was considered as a possibility. It was a start, though changes in knowledge have caused it to be adapted and adjusted. It went:
Domain
Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Order
Family
Genus
Species.

Cichlid is a family. Apistogramma is a Genus. panduro is a species.
Sub-species tend to be an older category, and the trend is away from using them.

We can really use 'species groups' in the hobby, as if you can't get info on a fish you like, you can look up who its closest relatives are and work off that. There are a surprising number of species we don't know a lot about. Some show up in good stores. Not very long ago, your gobies were rare and unknown fish outside of their region.

Does it matter? Only if learning more matters. This is just a hobby for us, but if you want to get into it more, it matters a lot.
 

Rocky998

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Well yes obviously if you want help with YOUR fish you would say what type it is instead of using "cichlid" to say what you have BUT you don't list all the cichlids off if you are just saying "most cichlids like hard water"...
 

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@GaryE I get it. I get where you're coming from and I wish I could have said what you did so well. This hobby can be so much more than a pretty aquarium with a pretty fish in it. It can be science and learning. Keep on preaching brother !
 
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GaryE

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But if you say most Cichlids like hard water, you just gave bad advice for about 500 species, give or take a few. There are probably a thousand described hardwater Cichlids, but the new discoveries there have slowed and the new finds are generally rainforest in origin. Fun stuff.
 

emeraldking

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I do know what Gary means. But yes, cichlids and cories do exist but it comes down to the details. For it's the same thing that I see happening when we talk about livebearers overhere. The generalization part that is used so often.
 

Rocky998

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I do know what Gary means. But yes, cichlids and cories do exist but it comes down to the details. For it's the same thing that I see happening when we talk about livebearers overhere. The generalization part that is used so often.
Yes I do agree but I dont understand how you could say that there is no such thing as cories and cichlid.... Just seems to irritate the heck out of me and I dont know why
 

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