The smaller, blind Cichla goes to where the food typically falls in the tank and is led around by its companion.
So, as with humans, cichlid feeding tastes
can and do change over time.
But then, all this is not at the heart of the title
“Love Is Blind”—or perhaps it is. Or maybe all
the hard work, worry, and patience has made
them something special to me beyond just the
beauty and grandeur of peacock cichlids. So
here’s the rest of the love story.
Notice, above, I wrote that the larger of
the two remaining fish was about 9 inches
long. In contrast, the smaller of the two
is more like 5 to 5½ inches…on a good
day. Despite the size discrepancy, they are
inseparable pals, even more curious since
the big one could easily swallow the small
one! I actually think they might be male
and female—a compatible if young pair—
though this size dimorphism is about more
than just typical sexual size differences.
You see, the smaller of the two fish
had a rough time growing. For some
reason both fish got pretty sick once
along the way about a year ago, just after
they converted to stick foods. I say sick
because I really don’t know what was
wrong. One time they both quit eating
for two or more weeks, got very hollowed
out, clamped, and did the shimmy shake.
Water changes and medication eventually
saw them come around—actually I think it
was just time—but the smaller of the two
was never the same.
In fact, she was left blind. Her eyes
look fine—that is, they are not clouded
or otherwise externally injured—but she
clearly can’t see out of either of them. The
first one went, and then the other. After
she went totally blind, she crashed into the
sidewalls of the tank but then soon learned
to use her other senses (presumably lateral
line) and memory to avoid such collisions.
She also keeps close to the bigger fish and
gets her cues from him. It became hard for