Master hiders

Julidochromis marlieri juveniles, approximately 8 weeks old. Photo by the author.

Weekly water changes are part of my maintenance routine. I typically do them on Sundays. However, I got behind this week so did them today. For the tanks with lots of rock work, I completely remove the rocks monthly. I don’t remove all the rock at the same time, but rather all the rocks in half of the tank one week and all the rocks in the other half another week.

Because I noticed some fry (Julidochromis marlieri) several weeks ago on the left-side of the tank, I chose not to disturb that side until they grew a bit. I recently noticed that some of the now juveniles are nearly 3/4″ long, so I decided to go ahead remove the rocks from the left and vacuum thoroughly.

OH MY! I knew there were some juveniles because I had seen at least four or five. When I removed the rocks, there must have been at least three dozen. To be honest, I was stunned. I have bred Julies before, but this was my first spawn of marlieri and I was not expecting so many to have survived. Why? Because this was my pair’s first and maybe second spawn, and they’re in a 75g Tang community tank (see this post for the occupants – the tank doesn’t look the same now, though), I counted on a small, initial brood and most to get eaten. Based on the various sizes of the juveniles, I’m almost certain they’re two different broods.

A handful of them sought out the left, front corner during the water change, which is why they’re clustered there in the photo above.

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