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Some of the Smaller Species of
Lake Tanganyika Cichlids

  This video shows two Plaid Julies that are probably a male and a female. The smaller fish seems to be encouraging the larger fish to swim back into the cave.

Here is another video of one of the Plaid Julies living among the same pile of rocks.

  This video shows a young pair of Brichardis living among a pile of rocks. These Brichardis were about 2" to 2.5" long. They had just spawned and were tending their new eggs.

  Here is a close up of another Brichardi with at least one of its young fry, which you can see swimming below the large Brichardi in this video.
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Brichardi live among the piles of rocks in Lake Tanganyika in East Africa. Males and females form pairs, cooperate to chase other fish out of their territory, lay eggs, and raise babies. They are excellent parents and interesting to watch.

Yellow Leleupi, the Plaid Julie, and the Masked Julie are very much like Brichardi in behavior and requirements. Of course there are other cichlids in Lake Tanganyika that are quite different. Click here to read about Frontosa which is a mouth brooding cichlid from Lake Tanganyika that has behaviors and requirements that are very different from those mentioned for the fish on this page. 

Brichardi and other lake Tanganyika cichlids on sale at, an African cichlid dealer.   Here is an adult Brichardi about 3" long. This brichardi lived in our facility for many years and spawned many times under a big pile of rocks.
The Brichardi, Neolamprologus brichardi, shown above is an adult about 3" long that lived with it's mate in an aquarium in our facility for many years, where they spawned many times and produced lots of babies.

This Brichardi lived in a 15-gallon aquarium that was was positioned with the end of the aquarium with the small piece of glass facing out. This arrangement is good for many fish because they can swim back to the far end of the aquarium away from the big people-faces looking at them. The fish feel more secure and spawn more. If the aquarium had been turned the other way, they would have been much more exposed. Most experienced fish keepers and breeders know all about this.

During the time the Brichardi, shown above, and it's mate lived in our facility, we watched them raise many spawns of their fry. But we never knew which Brichardi was the male and which was the female. They were pretty much the same size, same coloration, and both had very long beautiful fins.

We were curious and watched them closely for several years, but they always spawned up inside a cave under a big pile of rocks. We couldn't see which one laid the eggs, and we never saw a physical difference in the appearance of the fish.

Finally we decided it was their secret, and it shouldn't really shouldn't matter to us. At the time this photo was taken, they had fry from several spawns around and under the rocks in the picture. We loved this pair of fish very much. They were beautiful without being brightly colored, and they were very good parents.

Click here to read some very interesting comments about breeding Julidochromis by Professor George W. Barlow.

Julidochromis marlieri at, tropical fish stores.  

This is a young Plaid Julie, Julidochromis marlieri, that was about 2.5" long when this picture was taken. Plaid Julies live among the rocks in Lake Tanganyika like all the other fish on this page.


This picture shows a young Lemon Cichlid, Neolamprologus leleupi, that was about 2" long when this picture was taken. Leleupi is a very brightly colored fish.

  Neolamprologus leleupi at, tropical fish stores.
Julidochromis transcriptus at, tropical fish stores.  

This young Masked Julie, Julidochromis transcriptus, was about 2" long when this picture was taken. This fish was born and raised in our first facility in the basement of our parent's home.




Appropriate Home
An Aquarium with an External Filter with a BIO-Wheel, a maximum of 1/4" gravel, and an Aquarium Heater adjusted to between 78 and 82 degrees F. These fish will appreciate a pile of safe rocks, and they will usually set up house keep among the rocks. Click here for more about warm water aquariums.

Cichlid Stones - Ceramic Aquarium Caves

Recommended Diet
Floating flake food and freeze dried blood worms, which are actually mosquito larvae. Both of these foods are available in most stores that sell pet fish. You can feed these fish a few live Black Worms. The ideal amount seems to be two or three Black Worms every other day for each fish. Be sure the worms are very clean and in good condition. Never feed questionable worms. Do not feed worms to Mbunas, Haplochromis, Tropheus, or Frontosa. Click here for more about Black Worms.


These species, and many closely related species, will do better if kept in a group with 6 or 8 of the same species. I mean get at least 6 or 8 Brichardi. They will eventually need an aquarium with at least 25 gallons of water; 30 is better, or even bigger. It is beneficial to have several groups in the same aquarium. In a 60 gallon aquarium you could keep 24 of these fish; say 6 or 8 fish of 3 or 4 different species. You will find that they'll pair off as they reach 2".

Unfortunately, they will chase, hurt, and sometimes kill some of the fish that bother the pairs in their territories. Try to spot the fish that are being chased around all the time and remove them. Sometimes we have kept a small Synodontis Catfish such as an Upside Down Catfish or two in the same aquarium, but catfish will often eat the small cichlid fry. Click here to read more about several other groups of compatible fish.

Size and Lifespan
Brichardi will grow slowly to about 3" sometimes a little bit smaller, and sometimes larger especially if you take very good care for them, and they can live for many years. The Plaid Julie grows to about 4", Leleupi to about 4", and the Masked Julie to about 2.5". All these fish will live for 8 to 10 years.
Books about
The Cichlids of Lake Tanganyika

The books shown below are listed on You can click on the title or on the image of a book to go to the page at, where that book is listed and discussed. In some cases you can preview several of the pages in that book.
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book.   Tanganyika Cichlids in their natural  habitat
By Ad Konings
272 pages
The Cichlid Fishes: Nature's Grand Experiment in Evolution
By George W. Barlow, Ph.D.
352 pages
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book. Lake Tanganyika Cichlids
By Mark Smith
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book. Lake Tanganyika Cichlid Aquarium
by Georg Zurlo
64 pages
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book. Guide to Tanganyika Cichlids
By Ad Konings
128 pages
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book. African Cichlids of Lake Tanganyika
By David E. Boruchowitz
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book. Success with Cichlids from Lake  Malawi & Tanganyika
By Sabine Melke
Click here for a complete list of books about Tanganyika Cichlids at
Click here now to continue on to another page in this web site that contains Customer Comments and our Replies about the some of the smaller Cichlid species in Lake Tanganyika.
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Important Aquarium Products

For excellent health, pet fish need very good food and very good water conditions. These five products are very important.

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 About our Fish ...
Almost all the photographs and videos, shown on this web site, were taken by us of our fish in our aquariums.
Compare the healthy, beautiful, energetic fish in our beautiful aquariums to the fish in our competitors pictures. Their fish often look thin with clamped fins and poor color.
We buy the highest quality fish, produced by the best fish farms or caught by the best collectors of wild fish, then we take incredibly good care of our fish in our beautiful aquariums.
If you compare the pictures on this site to our competitors pictures, you can instantly see, our fish and aquariums are better!  ;^ }
Will the fish you get from us look like the fish in our pictures? No! This is similar to buying kittens and puppies that will change as they grow to become cats and dogs.
We stock and ship fish that are the ideal size to sell. Not so small that they will not do well when shipped. Yet not so big that they have become much more expensive.
The fish in almost all of our pictures were young fish like the ones we have for sale that we raised up, and you can too! 
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This page was updated on August 26, 2014.