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
the images above.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
flake food and freeze
dried blood worms, which
are actually mosquito
larvae. Both of these
foods are available in
most stores that sell
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
The Cichlids of Lake Tanganyika
The books shown below are listed on Amazon.com. You can click on the title or on the image of a book to go to the page at
Amazon.com, where that book is listed and discussed. In some cases you can preview several of the pages in that book.