This small cichlid is vibrantly colorful and extremely active, even as a young juvenile!
The Lemon Cichlid (Neolamprologus leleupi), also known as the Orange Cichlid, is a small and very active rock-dwelling cichlid that is native to the southern shoreline areas of Lake Tanganyika in Africa. It is extremely popular in the aquarium hobby. In the wild, it spawns on rocks. Its entire body is a yellow to orange in color and males are larger than females.
The Lemon Cichlid will thrive in an aquarium with piles of rocks that form some caves. Sand is the best substrate for this species. Mature fish will often claim and defend a small territory around their respective rock piles and caves. This cichlid mostly inhabits the middle and upper level of the water column, so it can often be kept (in a spacious tank) with Tanganyikan shell dwelling species that inhabit the lower areas of the water column. This species is small in size, but it is very territorial with its own kind and similar fish that enter its territory. Territoriality is typically at its peak during spawning. Dwarf shrimp and other small, delicate invertebrates should not be kept with the Lemon Cichlid. If spawning is desired, tankmates of other species should be kept to a minimum or avoided altogether unless the aquarium is of considerable size with ample cover/decor.
Feeding is simple for the unfussy Lemon Cichlid. High-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods will all be readily accepted. Quality and variety are the keys to a diet that will ensure that this fish maintains optimal health and coloration, so this species should not be fed dry foods exclusively. While it is primarily a carnivore, it also requires vegetable matter in its diet.
We are currently offering juvenile specimens of this magnificent fish!
What We Like About This Fish:
- Very popular in the aquarium hobby
- Very small size for a cichlid
- Possible to breed in the aquarium
- Compatible with many other species in a spacious tank
- Potential to be a "centerpiece" fish
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
Temperature: 73.4° - 81° F (23° - 27° C)
pH: 7.5 - 9.0
KH: 9 - 25 dKH
Minimum tank size: 20 gallons for an adult pair, 55+ gallons for a group
Diet: Mostly carnivorous. A variety of high-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods is necessary for optimal health and coloration. Some vegetable matter is also necessary.
Social behavior: Loosely social until sexual maturity. Breeding pairs are often aggressive to all other fish.
Origin: Tank-Bred, but indigenous to Lake Tanganyika, Africa
Average adult size: 4 inches (10 cm)
Average purchase size: 1 - 1.5 inches (2.5 - 3.8 cm) for juveniles