Synonyms: Haplochilus tanganicanus, Lamprichthys curtianalis
Physical description: An elongated fish with a slightly arched back. The back of male fish is dark olive-yellow, while the flanks are lighter. The body is covered with bright sky-blue spots. The fins are yellow with numerous bright yellow spots. The frontal part of the caudal fin has blue spots, although the rest is colored like the other fins. All the fins are marked with a yellow fringe. Females are less colorful, with silver-blue spots.
Size/Length: Males to 6" (15 cm), females to 4.7" (12 cm)
Similar species: None
Habitat: East Africa; inhabits the rocky shore areas of Lake Tanganyika.
S: middle, top
Aquarium: A tank measuring 48" (122 cm) with a capacity of 50 gallons (190 L) is sufficient for adults. It is very important to leave large open swimming areas. Set up the tank as for Lake Tanganyika Cichlids.
Water chemistry: pH 7.5-8.8 (7.8), 10-25 dH (12), 75-79°F (24-26°C)
Social behavior: An active shoaling fish that should be kept in groups of at least six. A dominant male, distinguishable by elaborate fins, will establish a large territory among rocks. Works well in a Lake Tanganyika community tank.
Suggested companions: Altolamprologus, Julidochromis, Lamprologus, Neolamprologus, and Synodontis species.
FOOD: Live; insect larvae, flying insects, crustaceans, Tubifex; flakes; pellets
Sexual differences: Males are larger, more colorful, and have more elaborate fins.
Breeding techniques: Use a large tank with many rock structures. The dominant male will pair with a female. The spawning is a slow process and the eggs are laid in crevices. Remove the rocks from the tank as the parents will eat the eggs. The eggs, not usually numbering more than 100, hatch after 11-14 days. Start feeding the fry with nauplii and powdered dry foods. The young are slow-growing.
Breeding potential: 7. A difficult species to breed.
Remarks: Make frequent partial water changes.
Difficulty of care: 6. This somewhat delicate species makes a fine addition to a Lake Tanganyika community tank.
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