Name: Neolamprologus brichardi
Origin: Lake Tanganyika (Africa)
Oh, what a FEISTY fish! These are my very favorites of the African cichlids. When we had one, we would move his territory from one area of the tank to another to try and reestablish a pecking order, but it didn't work. This guy's 'house' was his 'house', and it did not matter where it was located within the tank! They are easy to feed, and enjoy live foods and flake. They grow to around 10 cm or so, and the males & females are only slightly sexually dimorphic. The males have longer 'streamers' on their fins & tails. In females these same 'streamers' will be noticeably shorter. When they spawn, the babies should be allowed to remain with the parents for awhile, and then the males should be removed because the father will kill the males in the brood so he has less competition. Also, if there are siblings from previous spawnings present, they will help take care of the brand new babies. They have incredible teeth for being such a small fish! When they are fully grown, you can see the teeth clearly, and you'll be amazed at the size of them. The Brichardi also goes by the name Fairy Cichlid, which is an apt common name for them. They are very beautiful! The Brichardi should be given many caves and hidey holes to claim as its territory since they are HIGHLY territorial and become almost ferocious when defending it.
Ahh..the princess cichlid. One of my favorites. They will need their space, especially when breeding, but they will thank you with their natural behavior of breeding brood after brood which coexist peacefully. Feed them flakes, mosquito larvae or even small feeders. Give them rocks and caves to explore and use as a base. If you use live plants, get ones that can take a bit of tugging. They will do fine with average pH and temperature (25-28°C). You can tell the sex by the longer tailfins on males. This is a good choice for people starting out in cichlids.
I have four of these Brichardi fish in my tank living with some blue rams, bumblebee Gobi's, and a Pictus cat. They are easy to take care of and really easy to breed. I really didn't do anything special to breed them. I just put a pair in my tank with the other fish and a few months later there were about twenty fry swimming around near the parents. The parents are real good and protective. So I will recommend them to any one, from the beginners to the experts.
An excellent choice for the beginner and the experienced keeper. A good hardy fish, not difficult to breed at all. Does seem to prefer the company or competition of similar size fish, but is not over aggressive. In one tank I have 5 brichardi in with 4 lamprologus compressiceps, and when the larger brichardi pair spawn the other 3 help protect the nest site and even protect the fry when they spawn again like a colony. But in another tank where I have 6 brichardi and 5 juliochromis marlieri there is no family bond and when a pair spawns it's every fish for itself. In short, a very interesting fish. A must have for the tanganyikan dwarf community set up.
My Papa Brichardi went on a rampage one day and gorged on all the male (I assume) baby Brichardi. He ate so much he was at least twice his normal girth. He did nothing for two days but lay around lazily, then finally died. In his killing spree he also tore a large chunk of flesh from the Mama Brichardi as she tried to protect her fry. There were about 40 fry inhabiting the tank when this happened. Watch out.
I have been breeding these fish for almost 1 year. I bought a pair and they have spawned numerous times. They began with broods of 20, and after much research and experimenting I figured out how to increase the amount of fry and wanted to share it. In each breeding tank (180 L) I keep 5 long fin danios. They act as great target fish and I purchase the long fin so that after my pair picks on them, they are still well enough to heal. I feed them mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, krill and blood worms, three times a day. I keep the pH around 8 and do water changes and gravel cleaning once a week. When the fry are free swimming I remove the danios. I then remove all the fry except 10, when they reach 1 cm. Within a week after that there is another batch ranging from 60-100. I wanted to share my tips for those who may be interested. These fish are unlike any other in the world, you will notice this after they breed, so I thought I should share some great tips on breeding to get you started!