Leloupi Shell Dweller (Neolamprologus Leloupi), USA-Bred!
This shell-dwelling cichlid is a beautifully marked nano species that is rarely seen in the aquarium hobby! These are tank bred here in the United States!
Not to be confused with the Lemon Cichlid (Neolamprologus Leleupi), the Leloupi Shell Dweller (Neolamprologus Leloupi) is a very small shell-dwelling cichlid that is native to the shoreline areas of Lake Tanganyika in Africa. It is rarely seen in the aquarium hobby. In the wild, it spawns in the empty shells of Neothauma tanganyicense snails. Overall coloration of this fish is a pearly white body with a characteristic yellow dorsal fin and beautiful blue eyes. It also develops a blue sheen across its body as it matures. Mature males are longer than females and have more intense coloration. Mature females are generally more round in appearance.
The Leloupi Shell Dweller will thrive in an aquarium with sparse decor. Since it is a shell-dweller, it should also be provided with several empty shells, which do not necessarily have to be the Neothauma tanganyicense species. It is likely to fight with other shell dwelling species, but in a spacious enough tank, it can be kept with Tanganyikan rock dwellers that inhabit higher levels of the water column. Mature fish will often claim and defend a small territory around their respective home shells. This cichlid likes to dig, so it should be provided with a deep substrate bed of sand if possible. 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 Leloupi Shell Dweller. 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 Leloupi Shell Dweller. 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.
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: 75° - 81° F (24° - 27° C)
- pH: 7.4 - 8.4
- KH: 7 - 30 KH
- Minimum tank size: 15 - 20 gallons for an adult pair.
- Diet: Carnivorous. A variety of high-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods is necessary for optimal health and coloration.
- 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: 3 inches (7.6 cm)
- Average purchase size: 1 - 1.6 inches (2.5 - 4 cm) for juveniles