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Neolamprologus signatus
by Robert De Leon

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Male L. signatus have distinctive vertical barring. The females, on the other hand, lack the barring but have a brightly colored area around the abdomen. Describing the color can be difficult, as it seems to change depending on lighting. It is however mostly yellow with some blue, pink and green mixed in. Both males and females have yellow and blue on the top of their heads. Male L. signatus are larger than the females and reach a size of about 2.5" with the females about 2".

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They don't do as much digging as other shelldweller species, but they do move/reposition shells to suit their needs. The females seem to be more active than the males. Often, the two females often meet each other over no-man's land for a little lip-locking before returning to their respective sides. For the most part, the males seem uninterested in each other.

Both pairs were fed combination of flake and Cyclop-eeze. Within a few weeks of this diet, one of the pairs managed to successfully spawn. There were 6 pinhead sized fry on the first spawn. They were extremely fast and very brazen. Despite their small size and young age, the fry venture very far away from the parents. Perhaps the lack of other fish species in the tank made them feel at ease. As the fry developed, they moved into the middle of the tank as I had hoped. I did not witness whether this was a result of the parents pushing them away to make room for new fry or if the young fish decided to leave home on their own.

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Lamprologus signatus are not very demanding and easy to take care for. Since the males weren't aggressive toward each other or their females, the tank was very peaceful. Like mentioned earlier, the only aggression was between the two females toward each other. Both parents were active throughout the day but stayed close to their shells. Fortunately, they don't spook easy and disappear into their shells. Since L. signatus does not dig and rearrange their tank as much as other shelldwellers, they do make a better species for anyone with plants. Once they've found their shells and moved them into place, there wasn't many changes to the landscape.
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