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Neolamprologus leleupi

Breeding Fish Tips: Make sure that you have the necessary equipment before you start breeding fish. If you don’t have the space to keep the fry and don’t have anyone you can give them to, please don’t keep males and females in the same tank. This is especially applicable to those keeping livebearer fish like Mollies, Platies, the Guppy and the Swordtail.
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Neolamprologus leleupi is one of the cichlids of genus Neolamprologus endemic to Lake Tanganyika. The color of this fish ranges from bright yellow to deep brown depending on which area of the lake it is from. Adult length is about 10 centimeters. This relatively small cichlid is a substrate spawner (cave spawner). Its natural habitat is in the recesses of the biotope where it finds shelter from predators and feeds on invertebrates living in the rich biocover of the substrate. This fish is easily confused with the very similar Neolamprologus longior (Staeck, 1980) a fish also endemic to Lake Tanganyika.

This fish is relatively simple to keep, as long as water values are kept constant and the aquarium is more than 80 cm long and containing over 130 liters of water. It is relatively aggressive towards its own kind, and any other fish that comes into its territory. N. leleupi is dependent on rock formations to feel secure and to be able to make a home in the tank. They are omnivorous and will accept most commercial foods, live foods or home made shrimp mixtures.

The water mass in Lake Tanganyika is huge and very stable. The low exchange of water and the local geology makes the water quite alkaline and it is containing lots of dissolved salts. It is recommended to copy the local water chemistry if keeping fishes from the great African lakes. Recommended water values: pH: 8 – 9, water hardness, (dH), from 10º to 20º and temperature between 23ºC – 26ºC (74–78 ºF). Ammonia and nitrites have to be kept close to zero. It is possible to wean the fish on to tap water – treated for clorine if it does contain clorine, but this has to be done gradually and with caution.

If given enough hiding space and recesses a pair will easily spawn. A pair is easiest to get from a group of about six juveniles. After a while in the tank a breeding pair will form and defend a territory. At this time they can be very aggressive. The spawning takes place inside a cave where the eggs are laid. The parents provide some parental care.

World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (03/2007).