Should you remove cichlid fry?

33g long aquarium containing Julidochromis dickfeldi and ‘Lamprologus’ ocellatus. Photo by the author.
 
Yes and no. Answers to that question depend on several factors. However, for one example of why you should not allow a breeding pair of cichlids to have multiple broods in the same tank, look no further than Julidochromis dickfeldi. Many species of cichlids can get along just fine with multiple generations of their own offspring, especially shell dwelling species. However, some adult cichlid pairs consider an older brood a threat to the newest brood and will treat the older brood(s) accordingly.

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Fish keeping myth series

Because I’m always thinking about new content for the blog, I’ve decided to start a series on fish keeping myths. This will be posts about various myths that propagate in the hobby. They can be anything from inaccurate claims about tank maintenance to outright misinformation about species and everything in between. There are a lot of myths floating around out there, so this series could get pretty long.

The first post in the series, Myth #1, will be about rinsing filter sponges in tap water. Stay tuned!

Dr. Alex Jordan interview

Dr. Alex Jordan on Lake Tanganyika. Photo by Jakob Guebel.

If you follow the blog, you know I have interviewed all kinds of cichlid enthusiasts, from business people to scientists to hobbyists. Because I have a fondness for Lake Tanganyika cichlids, it’s always a treat when I get to interview someone who’s dived the lake and can provide first-hand knowledge of some of the lake’s species.

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Observations on Julidochromis dickfeldi

Julidochromis dickfeldi pair outside breeding cave. Photo by author.

Julidochromis dickfeldi is not only one of the smaller Julie species, but I find it also one of the easiest to keep and breed. A beautiful little lamprologine, dickfeldis are reasonably mild mannered but are very protective of offspring, even when juvenile offspring are 1/2″. A pair doesn’t need a large tank to spawan by any means. I’ve bred them in a 20g long and in a 33g long. I’m sure they would spawn in a 10g as well. 

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Friggin’ fry on the move!

33g long tank containing Julidochromis dickfeldi and ‘Lamprologus’ occelatus. Photo by the author.

In my last post, I talked about the J. dickfeldi fry that I accidentally vacuumed up during a water change. It didn’t register with me at the time, but one of the dickfeldi pair seemed to be spending an inordinate amount of time toward the center and even right end of the tank. I couldn’t understand that because the rocks are on the left end of the tank (see photo above). So it seemed natural that is where the fry should be. 

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Friggin’ fry!

Julidochromis dickfeldi fry. Photo by the author.

I’m posting this one about fry because there are a couple of interesting observations from my 33g long. This is the tank that has (or had) three Julidochromis dickfeldi and five ‘Lamprologus’ ocellatus. I lost a couple of occies from what I think was aggression – one male and one female. I now have two males and a female. The deceased female was a bit of a runt, and I had been concerned about her for a while. Out of the original five, she was by far the smallest. She just never grew much. She got ostracized, and I think one of the paired dickfeldi got her. 

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First time cichlid keepers

Newbie sticker. Image from https://virtualrealestateinvestor.org/.

Hopefully, if you’re reading this, it’s because you’re doing some research before embarking on a cichlid keeping journey. Also, I hope you’re not just now beginning with fish keeping. If you’ve SUCCESSFULLY kept tropical freshwater fish before, keep reading. If you’re brand new to fish keeping, you know very little about them, and you’ve already purchased some cichlids, keep reading and you’ll understand why you’ve made your first mistake. 

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