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Julidochromis dickfeldi "midnight blue"
by Robert De Leon
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Julidochromis dickfeldi is an egg-layer native to the southwestern corner of Lake Tanganyika. They make their home along the rocky shores which provide both protection and spawning sites. Julidochromis have an elongated, tube shaped body that allows them to fit into the tiny rock crevices. They are often seen hugging the rocks and even swimming upside down as they follow the contours of rock ledges.

In the wild, as well as in aquariums, Julidochromis form a life-long pair bond where both the male and female protect their fry and spawning cave. This pair bonding trait is what initially peeked my interest in this Genus. I spent a few years keeping a pair of Julidochromis regani until about 10 years ago I saw a photograph of a Julidochromis dickfeldi "midnight blue" on a stock list. Their black and iridescent blue color was very different from other Julidochromis and I set off to learn what I could about them.

At the time there wasn't much information about this new J. dickfeldi. From what I could piece together, the "midnight blue" J. dickfeldi was spawned from a regular pair of J. dickfeldi. The color was nothing more than a random mutation and it would repeat when a pair of J. dickfeldi "midnight blue" spawned. Aside from color, J. dickfeldi "midnight blue" are identical in size and behavior as regular J. dickfeldi.

I obtained a group of six juveniles which I kept in a 20gal tank. For substrate I used pool filter sand and added some holey rock and a terra cotta cave. As they grew I noticed two had claimed the terra cotta cave and the remaining young adults would hang out in the opposite side of the tank. The extras were removed leaving the tank for the pair.

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