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PEARLY OCELLATUS (Small Freshwater Fish Care Guide)

Pearly Ocellatus
Pearly Ocellatus

Keeping Pearly Ocellatus

Pearly Ocellatus scientifically named as Lamprologus stappersi. The shell dwelling cichlids of Lake Tanganyika are among the most entertaining fish you can follow. The males actively entertain their favorite shell from envious rivals, but be sure to give these active little fish plenty of shells to choose from.

There should be more shells than there are fish. They get along fine with other fish with different lifestyles, but they will fight with other shell dwellers. To keep the peace in their colony, it is best to have a ratio of 3 females to 1 male.

Because of the water chemistry of Lake Tanganyika, it is best to house them with other species from there as many fish commonly seen in pet stores will not be able to tolerate the high pH required for the Pearly Ocellatus to thrive. They are a small fish, and a pair can inhabit a ten gallon/35 liter tank.

Origin: Lake Tanganyika
Size: 6cm /2in
Temperature: 23-27°C/ 73-82°F


This fish may not always accept prepared food even though most in shops are captive raised animals. Feed them instead of live and frozen foods.


A sandy aquarium with many empty snail shells that have apertures large enough for the fish to enter. The sand should be at least at least 6cm deep as these fish like to dig and will construct pits to raise their young. PH should be between 7.5 and 9.


The males display in front of their shell. Eventually, the female enters and lays eggs inside. After the babies hatch, they are transferred to a pit and protected by both parents…unless the colony is becoming crowded. In that case, you may want to remove the babies from the parents care or they newborns will be eaten.

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