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Cichlids / Africa / Lake Tanganyika / Checkerboard Juli

Checkerboard Julie, Marlier's Julie
Julidochromis marlieri

Synonyms: None
Physical description: A fish similar in body shape to J. ornatus, although adults develop a hump on their forehead, and the lips are of their mouth are considerably larger. The caudal fin is fan-shaped. The background color is generally beige to a dull yellow-gold, with three to four brown-black lateral stripes. Crossing these stripes are five to eight faint, brown transverse bars, that together form a "Checkerboard" pattern. All these stripes and bars vary in intensity and size depending on the individual. The fins have a brown-black background and are spotted with small, yellow dots. The caudal fin includes a white line that follows the edge of this fin.
Size/Length: To 6" (15 cm) in nature, although in captivity, they rarely exceed 5" (13 cm).
Similar species: A commonly available morph of J. regani is very similar, also Kendall's Lamprologus (Neolamprologus kendalli)
Habitat: Eastern Africa; found along the southwestern rocky shores of Lake Tanganyika.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: 32" (80 cm) or 30 gallons (114 L). Retreats for each fish are especially important. Otherwise follow the guidelines for J. ornatus.
Water chemistry: pH 7.5-9.0 (8.2), 8-20 dH (16), 75-82 F (24-28 C).
Social behavior: A fish territorial towards others of its own species. Compatible pairs are hard to come by as they often will not be able to find a mate. Like other Julidochromis, J. marlieri can be combined with other robust Lake Tanganyika cichlids and catfish. Once a pair forms, it is usually unstable. The bond can easily be broken by a sudden change in the water conditions or a tank rearrangement.
Suggested companions: Lake Tanganyika cichlids, Synodontis, Aulonocara, Lamprichthys, Afromastacembelus , Rainbowfish.
FOOD: Live; crustaceans, bloodworms, other insect larvae, aquatic insects, Tubifex; finely chopped meat; flakes; pellets; spinach.
Sexual differences: Males are smaller and when mature its genital papilla comes to a point and is aimed toward the tail. With the female, the genital papilla is rounded and points toward the head.
Breeding techniques: J. marlieri can be bred in a 24" (60 cm) or 15 gallons (56 L) tank. Spawning is very similar to that of J. ornatus. Usually 70-100 eggs, although broods exceeding 300 have been reported, are laid. Start feeding with Artemia and crushed dry foods.
Breeding potential: 6. Breeding is fairly easy once a compatible pair is found.
Remarks: Will pair and hybridize with J. regani. This species has also been crossed with J. ornatus to produce sterile offspring.
Difficulty of care: 6. More aggressive than J. ornatus.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com