Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons (38 Litres)
Care Level: Easy
Water Conditions: 7.5-9.0 pH and Hard to Very Hard
Temperature: 73-81 °F (23-27 °C)
Maximum Size: 2.2 inches (5.5 cm)
The Neolamprologus brevis is a small, shell dwelling cichlid. It is found only in the waters of Lake Tanganyika in Africa, and is quite popular in the aquarium hobby. While it isn’t the most colorful fish by any stretch of the imagination, it’s fascinating behavior more than makes up for its lack of colors.
Neolamprologus brevis are undemanding when it comes to their housing, and a pair can quite easily be housed in a 10 gallon (38 litre) aquarium. With that being said, it’s generally better to provide them with at least a 29 gallon tank. This species breeds regularly, and you may soon find a smaller tank overflowing with fry.
While they are a very territorial fish, their territory is limited to a small area around the shell that they claim. Because of this, they can be kept with mid or top dwelling fish, that won’t encroach on the area around their shells.
In the wild this fish primarily feeds on plankton, and while this diet can be difficult to recreate in the home aquarium, it will accept a diet composed of live and frozen foods. While some are known to accept prepared fish foods, this shouldn’t form the bulk of their diet, and many will refuse to eat dried food.
The live foods most readily accepts are bloodworms, mosquito larvae (illegal to culture in some areas), daphnia, blackworms and copepods. They will eat similar frozen foods, and will greedily accept frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia and blackworms.