FAQs on Julidochromis, J.
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Overcrowding J. marlieri juveniles to minimize aggression
I wrote very recently regarding keeping panther crabs together with J.
marlieri. Thanks again Bob for your help there.
I've decided to separate the two for the safety of the crabs, but now
what to do with the Julies? One of them is a real bully and keeps the
other two hanging near the top of the tank so the 10 gallon is clearly
too small for them.
<Yes; best to move it... if no room, float it in a "breeding trap/net"
or plastic colander...>
I have a 30 gallon tank but I can't quite justify giving three tiny fish
so much real estate! I do however have three other J. marlieri, about
1-2 cm bigger than this group and I'm wondering if I could put all six
in the 30 gallon tank until a breeding pair forms.
<With decor (rock, plants, wood...) I think this is your best plan>
I know the larger fish will pick on the smaller ones until the latter
get a bit bigger at least, but if I add a fake rock wall with caves and
three or four distinct rock piles, plants to break up lines of sight,
Danios (which I also happen to have already) to give the larger Julies
an extra outlet for their aggressive behaviour,
<Yes; good dither fish>
would that keep the aggression at a manageable level?
<I do think this will work. Have seen Julidochromis cultured, kept in
such settings several times successfully.>
Re: Overcrowding J. marlieri juveniles to minimize aggression
Thanks for such a swift response.
I'll go ahead and do that then. Which brings me to my next two
If a breeding pair forms, I know I'll have to promptly remove all the
other fish from the tank.
<Mmm; maybe not so promptly>
But again, it seems like a lot of tank space for just two fish.
<Wouldn't be two for long eh? Is there a local market (fish stores,
clubs...) for your African Cichlids?>
I just recalled reading somewhere that a Julidochromis mating pair can
be kept in a 20 gallon.
<Yes; a long vs. a tall format better>
But a 20 gallon would be too small for growing out six juveniles with
<Mmm; no; it might well work>
And secondly, could I keep the Danios in the breeding pair's tank or no?
<If they're smart, yes... such that they'll keep out of the way. May be
an issue with eating young>
<Welcome as well. Bob Fenner>
Re: Overcrowding J. marlieri juveniles to minimize aggression
Thanks again Bob. Will try to find a cheap 20 gallon then.
Adding Julidochromis to existing tank 5/12/18
I have an established tank (about 5 years old) with Neolamprologus
multifasciatus colony (total 9 fish). Do you think I can safely add pair or
maybe even single Julidochromis transcriptus or other similar Julies
species. Photo of my 20 hexagon tank is below.
<It is going to be dicey, to be honest Mark, but not impossible. Julies operate
strictly in terms of surface area, not depth. So they'll be expecting a certain
amount of real estate somewhere among the rocks. Your 20 gallon tank (assuming
that's what it is) will be taller rather than wide, which puts a premium on the
types of habitat the Julies will be after. Your little Neolamprologus work much
the same way, albeit favouring shells or burrows. If you can rearrange the tank
in such a way there are a nice mix of shells towards the bottom, and a raised
mountain of rocks up the back, say, where the Julies can make their territories,
you might be okay. You'd want one of the smaller Julie species of course, simply
of the size of the tank, and bear in mind all Tanganyikans are sensitive to
water quality issues, so you can't compromise in this regard. Of course both
kinds of fish are zooplankton feeders, so in that sense at least you shouldn't
have too many problems. Cheers, Neale.>
Julidochromis... stkg./sel. 1/17/11
Bob / Neale,
I have a 29-gallon sitting empty right now. I am thinking of populating
with a species of Julidochromis. Common internet wisdom is get 6
juvies, let two pair off, rehome the other 4.
<Correct. Julidochromis are hard to sex, but once paired off, pairs
are extremely intolerant of other pairs.>
I am leaning toward J. dickfeldi if I can find some.
<A lovely species.>
1) Is the tank big enough?
<Actually, the tank size is not key, but the amount of rockwork. If
you have rocks with lots of caves going up to the top, yes, this tank
should be fine.>
If the answer to #1 is yes,
2) If I create several territories separated by rocks can more than two
be kept instead of rehomed?
<Don't bank on it. They *may* cohabit, but in a tank this size,
I doubt that they will.>
3) What sort of bottom-feeder is a good choice to go with Julies?
<Almost anything, depending on water chemistry. Tanganyikan
Synodontis like S. multipunctatus or S. petricola are the classic
companions, but in medium hard water something like Ancistrus would be
fine too. Stupid and gentle tankmates such as Corydoras would probably
be harassed though, so be sensible.>
<As it happens, I had a piece published on this genus on a UK site,
A fine genus of fish, and by far my favourite of the "Tangs".
Mix surprisingly well with hard water community fish, too, so you can
use things like Swordtails or Killifish for open water colour. Cheers,
Re: Julidochromis 1/17/11
On item 3, What about C. siamensis?
<Why? I suppose they'd be okay given a big enough aquarium, but
this tank will be filled with rocks presumably, not plants. That being
the case, a few Nerite snails would be much more logical.
Re: Julidochromis 1/17/11
The why is because I love C. Siamensis and they are not compatible with
my other tanks. Looking for a place to keep some, but it isn't
<Oh, I see. Julidochromis generally ignore midwater and surface
fish. But stuff that shuffles across the rocks is likely to be viewed
Understand that, and choose accordingly. Ancistrus spp. are the best
bet in terms of algae-eating fish, though they dislike exceptionally
hard and basic water chemistry.>
If something else is a better match I'll go that way. I have some
Nerite snails in my Endler tank because I feared that shrimp might be
able to catch fry and eat them.
<Doubt that'll be a serious problem. Julidochromis may eat
juvenile shrimps, but as you presumably know, Julidochromis are
primarily interested in zooplankton.>
But, I'm not particularly fond of the eggs Nerites lay.
<I see. Well, nothing a bit of green and red algae won't cover!
The eggs aren't really obvious on nice holey rocks like
I expect the tank to be filed with rocks as you say, and adorned with a
little bit of probably Wisteria tucked in the corners to keep the
I say wisteria mainly because I have had good success with it in my tap
<Fair enough. Floating plants work well, and Vallisneria thrives in
Tanganyikan conditions, as well as being authentic to that
Cichlid Compatability Questions, Julidochromis,
Hi there, A year ago, I received 7 cichlids (about 4 golden Julies and
3 cichlids with blue green stripes if I remember correctly) in a small
fishbowl :(. Being new to taking care of cichlids and at the time I was
always away from home, I ended up with 1 stunted surviving golden Julie
(female, I think, without the spots). I recently upgraded her from the
fishbowl to a 2.5 gallon tank. Is it advisable to find her a mate? I
tried finding her one with a little bigger male golden Julie, but she
terrorized the living daylights out of him. My sister gave me 2 ice
blue (albino) cichlids (is this correct? they both have red eyes but no
stripes, though they are called here ice blue cichlid) a few weeks ago.
I tried putting them with the elder golden Julie, but she terrorized
them yet again :(. I ended up buying a 5 gallon tank to put the pair
and included 2 smaller ice blue cichlids. My questions are the
following, and I hope to beg your indulgence on this matter :(.
1. Are golden Julies and red eyed ice blue cichlids compatible in a 5
< Absolutely not. Each of the Rift Lake cichlids you own gets to be
3-5 inches. They are territorial and will defend their territories with
very sharp teeth. The combo you have listed should be in a much larger
Or should I find a mate for the golden Julie ( she is by her lonesome
in the 2.5 gal tank :( )
< Don't bother trying to pair her up. A pair need at least a 20
2. Is it advisable to have 4 cichlids or 5 cichlids in a 5 gal
< In a 5 gallon tank you might get away with a couple of small dwarf
cichlids. Non of the fish you have listed are suitable for a 5 gallon
I thought I was given a pair plus 2 additional female ice blues, but
being juveniles, I think what I have now are 3 males and 1 female ice
blue (though it is a bit too early to tell)
3. What other cichlids/fishes compatible with both golden Julie and ice
blue that can eat the excess food stuff but will not grow too large? I
tried a Corydoras with the cichlids and I had to have a friend adopt
him because the cichlids picked on the poor albino Corydoras
< Any fish you place in this small tank will be treated as a
trespasser and will suffer the same fate as the poor Cory cat.>
4. A nephew of mine slipped a snail in the aquarium and now it is
multiplying like crazy! Any ideas to stop the snail deluge in both the
2.5 and 5 gallon aquarium?
< Snails can be killed using Fluke-Tabs.>
5. I am currently feeding them Tetrabits. The golden Julie used to love
them but now it seldom eats them. Any ideas on how to get her to eat
<In a little tank there is very little room for swimming. Hold off
feeding for awhile and offer the food once. Remove any uneaten food in
She will eat when she is ready. Having food sit around in the aquarium
will spoil and foul the tank.>
6. I recently cleaned both aquariums and noticed some thin, white
wiggly worms after cleaning. Is this bad? What do I do to cure
< Could have come in with the snails. Fluke-Tabs will kill these
Thanks, and am hoping for your response :)Happy Holidays :)
< A 5 gallon tank is only good for very small fish. Please research
any fish you wish to put in a 5 gallon or find a knowledgeable fish
can provide guidance.-Chuck>