FAIRY CICHLID (Neolamprologus pulcher)
Origin: Lake Tanganyika
Size: 7-9cm/ 2.5-3.5 inches
Diet: Unfussy eater. They can survive and reproduce on high quality dried food alone, but a mix of foods is always better.
This fantastic fish was once known as N. brichardi, so it and its close relatives are sometimes called by the common name Brichardi as well as the more descriptive name of Lyretail Cichlid.
Why are they amazing?
It has to do with their reproductive behavior and social life.
From where they came from? Do you know?
Fairy Cichlids are from Lake Tanganyika, and like most African lake cichlids, they can be pretty aggressive.
They should not be kept with anything that inhabits the same area of an aquarium as they do and are much better off in a species tank.
Young fish get along very well with each other at first, but once they pair off, all other tankmates should be removed.
“Pair-bonding” is very important to these fish. You cannot just buy two adults and hope they will become a mated pair.
That probably won’t happen. They insist upon choosing their partner. These pairs often remain together until the death of one of the couple.
And not only that, they will live in peace with their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren… for Fairy Cichlids, it’s all about family.
In nature, they create enormous clans with all members, no matter how small, assisting in the rearing of their younger siblings and protecting their territory.
This same behavior occurs in the aquarium as well which is why, even in a large aquarium, it eventually becomes impossible to house other fish with them.
An aquarium of 115 liters or 30 gallons is enough for a pair and a few generations. They are prolific, but not overly so.
They will stop breeding if their territory becomes overcrowded. It is best not to reach the point of overcrowding.
fish stores are usually very interested in taking some extra young Fairies off your hand’s people who keep fairy cichlids are often interested in batches of young fish to keep the genetic line of the fishes strong.
Speaking of genetics, do not attempt to keep the various related species in Neolamprologus together as they may crossbreed and ruin not only the bloodline but also your chances of selling them.
Give them a tank with a sandy bottom. They require piles of rocks, preferably cemented in place, so they do not shift, arranged to form caves.
They lay their eggs on a roof of a special cave that they often dig out under a rock near the bottom of the rock pile. The male and the pairs older children guard the area while the female stays in the cave with the eggs.