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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently added 12 of these lovely fish to a 4 x 2 x 2 foot tank.

They are about 1.5" long and have already started to lay eggs in cracks and crevices.

Has anyone ever kept these fish? There is very little specific information online, besides the perfunctory stuff.

I feed NLS cichlid formula (ground into smaller particles), Tetra Pro flakes, Tetra Min granules and live brine shrimp.

Are there any MUST NOT DOs/MUST DOs I should be aware of?

Water Pet supply Organism Fish supply Plant

Nature Organism Bedrock Terrestrial plant Vegetation

Organism Plant Bedrock Wood Outcrop


Thanks.

Chris
 

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I heard that when you move them...use a container and not a net so they are never actually out of the water. FWIW.
 

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Never kept these before. But, I have kept other WC Killifish species collected from Central America, with Belonesox belizanus, (Pike killifish), being an interesting favorite.
  • Killifish are notorious jumpers! Easily startled in the aquarium, they will head straight up (and out!) if you are not careful. Tight fitting top lids for the aquarium are a must, and floating plants or other things will be appreciated by these fish to help keep them a bit more comfortable. And, floating artificial/silk plant lily pads and other such things, will give them something relatively soft to bounce against in the water (instead of knocking themselves out against the aquarium glass lid) , when they inevitably go into Killifish 'launch mode'.
  • If you want to breed them, you will have to maintain a separate species-only group aquarium of these fish, away from the other Cichlid denizens of your tank (I see Julidochromis in the background of that photo). The eggs scattered down into those rocks, are pretty easy to get for a determined Cichlid species like your Julies to predate on.
These Killifish are just beautiful when some adult size and maturity is attained. Be careful though that these very peaceful fish aren't getting bullied or badly harassed in your aquarium by the Cichlids in with them.
 

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First a side note: Belonesox is a livebearer, not a killifish. It's the Pike Livebearer.

On to Lamprichthys: They do not appreciate floating plants. These are open water swimmers, what they need is a lot of space. The fact that they are the largest species of African Lampeyes just points out how much space they need. That 4 foot tank will be barely adequate by the time they are 4 inches, and they can exceed 6 inches at full maturity. Pam Chin has posted videos and photos on Facebook of massive schools (hundreds) of these fish in open water in Lake Tanganyika.

As you have found, they are not particularly picky eaters, but they are predatory. An artificial breeding substitute for rock crevices is a very long spawning mop with bands around it every 2-3 inches so as to keep the strands tight together. They can force the eggs into the tight spaces of the mop much as they would the rocks. If yours are spawning at 1.5 inches, they've been stunted, which is not uncommon with tank raised specimens.

The older they get, the more sensitive they are to being moved. They are quite sensitive to dirty water conditions and poor chemistry. They will eat their fry, one of the reasons to use removable mops for spawning.

It is one of the most beautiful of the Lampeyes, and a school swimming together is an impressive sight. A challenge, but well worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all, some good advice there.

I have a 3D background and just couldn't remove all Julies. The fry that are left can stay there for another 6 months, they are mostly only half an inch.

There is a pair of occelatus and caudopunctatus, 7 Syno lucipinnis and tomorrow I will add a group of Paracyprichromis nigripinnis so the plan is for a peaceful tank, let's see?

I couldn't comment on whether they are stunted or not but they have laid a good few eggs. They go about 1cm inside the cracks in the background, then they swell which keeps them firmly in situ.
With all of the Julie fry lurking none of the eggs have disappeared yet.
It seems the eggs take over a month to hatch which is surprising.
I will try to get some pictures, some are close to hatching, I can see movement.
 

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These are very beautiful and interesting fishes, but challenging. First and foremost, scrupulous attention to water chemistry. Large-scale water changes can be problematic, not because a 30-40% change is bad per se (assuming the water parameters are right), but because these fishes are so easily spooked that removing that much water from their tank is likely to stress them considerably. My water change schedule for these fishes is generally ~15% at least once a week in a relatively lightly stocked tank. Speaking of stocking, a 48" tank is not going to be large enough for 12 full grown Lamprichthys, let alone for the other inhabitants you mentioned. IME the best way to keep these fishes is in a tightly-covered species tank in a quiet corner of the fish room that does not see much traffic. A diet of high quality flakes supplemented with frozen food should keep them healthy, and under these conditions they will produce abundant fry. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again all.

I have seen numerous accounts of how easily these fish die. Can anyone share specifics?

Are they that delicate that any time they are stressed they might succumb?

Is it advisable to have specific medications on hand considering they are so delicate?

I find them a joy to watch, especially when laying eggs and courting, so I have taken all above advice and am trying to put it in place (while I tip toe around their aquarium) 😉
 

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FWIW as mentioned at the beginning, I have heard they are stressed by moving and you can mitigate by lifting them in a bowl of water rather than net/exposure to air.

Mr. Chromedome also mentioned risk of moving. He and sir_keith have mentioned other ideas...such as 72" tank and no tank mates and extremely careful water changes etc.
 

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Something I forgot to point out. The eggs are not "dropped" into crevices, they are shoved in so deep that the abundant small cichlids in the wild can't get to them. Shoving eggs into crevices/root tangles is a common breeding tactic in African fishes for some reason. I can't think of any SA species that does the same.

Once the eggs hatch, the fry must have a method in the wild for avoiding predation. In the aquarium I would guess that they are more susceptible.
 
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