Golden Julie, Ornate Julie, Yellow Julie Julidochromis ornatus
Physical description: An elongated cichlid with three characteristic brown-black longitudinal lines.
uppermost runs through the base of the dorsal fin, while the lowest extends from the snout, through the lower part
of the eye, and back to the base of the caudal fin.
The body is whitish yellow to a deep gold color.
The fins are yellow and the anal, caudal,
and dorsal fins have a dark outer edge.
The pelvic fin may a white marking on its end, and the caudal fin is
Size/Length: To 3.2" (8 cm)
Similar species: Chalinochromis
brichardi, this species resembles a young
Habitat: Eastern Africa; found at depths of 6-15 feet (1.8 to 4.6 meters) in rocky zones on
the northwestern shore of Lake Tanganyika.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: 24" (60 cm) or 15 gallons (56 L).
The tank should have a rocky set-up
including caves and crevices.
Use a fine gravel or preferably, a coral sand substrate.
Cover the tank well, as frightened fish
may be inclined to leap.
A few hardy plants can be used.
The rearrangement of the tank can lead to the break-up of pair bonds.
Water chemistry: pH 7.5-9.2 (8.2), 10-22 dH (14), 72-77°F (22-25°C)
Social behavior: A territorial fish that is intolerant of its own species.
A male will defend a territory established
around a set of stones and a cave.
He will not allow other
J. ornatus in, except in cases where a
bond has formed, his mate.
In conflicts, the weaker fish may be killed.
Monogamous bonds are formed and the
young are cared for in a nuclear family arrangement.
Suggested companions: Lake Tanganyika cichlids (including other
Julidochromis, Neolamprologus, Cyprichromis),
Synodontis, Aulonocara, Lamprichthys,
FOOD: Live; crustaceans, bloodworms, other insect larvae, aquatic insects,
finely chopped meat; flakes; pellets; spinach.
Sexual differences: Males are smaller and more slender when mature.
Breeding techniques: To achieve success in spawning Julidochromis species, one must first obtain a compatible
For details please see the "Breeding of Cavity Brooders" in the introduction of Lake Tanganyika
A small, 24" (60 cm) or 15 gallons (56 L) tank can be used.
It should be arranged with caves and
other rock structures.
The water should be alkaline with a pH from 8.2-9.0, have a water hardness from 12-20 dH,
and a temperature from 75-81°F (24-27°C).
Keep a single pair in the breeding tank.
The female deposits up to 100, although
more often 10-40, eggs on the ceiling of a chosen cave.
There the eggs are fertilized by the male.
Often these proceedings can go unnoticed
by the aquariast as they usually take place deep in the cave.
The fry are very small, usually about 0.2"
(0.5 cm) in length.
They adhere to the ceiling or sides of the cave for 5-6 days.
When the young are free-swimming they
remain in the parent's territory under their indirect care.
Start feeding with
Cyclops nauplii, and later with crushed
The pair will spawn continuously and receive aide in caring for the eggs from the offspring of prior
Breeding potential: 5.
Once a compatible pair is found, spawning becomes easy in their own separate tank.
the course of a year, the pair may become very prolific with their continuous spawnings.
ornatus, like other
Julidochromis species, is sensitive to
sudden changes in water conditions.
Thus, small water changes made weekly are recommended.
Difficulty of care: 5.
A sensitive fish, aggressive towards others of its own species.
Live foods should be included in its
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated from mongabay.com operations (server, data transfer, travel) are mitigated through an association with Anthrotect, an organization working with Afro-indigenous and Embera communities to protect forests in Colombia's Darien region. Anthrotect is protecting the habitat of mongabay's mascot: the scale-crested pygmy tyrant.
"Rainforest" is used interchangeably with "rain forest" on this site. "Jungle" is generally not used.