Julidochromis Marlieri

Julidochromis marlieri is a fun, torpedo-shaped rock-dwelling cichlid from Lake Tanganyika. Members of this genus are affectionately known as “Julies.” Julies make a great addition to almost any rift lake setup. They are fairly tolerant of most water conditions and play well with others, with the exception of conspecifics. J. marlieri has a truly endearing personality. They are like little remote-control subs. They swim sideways, hang upside down, and move in such deliberate motions. The way they move up and down through the rocks is reminiscent of a little hummingbird.

In the wild, J. marlieri inhabits the rocky shores of Lake Tanganyika where there are steep to medium dropoffs of 5-30 meters. They spend most of their time in the caves and crevices of these rocks hunting for food or seeking protection. It is also within these rocky crevices that they spawn and lay their eggs. In captivity, Julies are somewhat shy, sticking to the rocks in the back of the tank and only dash out for food if they feel safe doing so. Needless to say, they require lots of rockwork.

Even though J. marlieri is relatively shy, they can be aggressive towards their tank mates while guarding their territory. One thing that sets Julies apart from most other Cichlids is that as they begin to mature, they will pair off. Julies are not polygamous; instead these pairing relationships remain intact for their entire lifetimes.

Once a pair has formed, it is strongly advised not to change the arrangement of the rocks because these mark the boundaries of the territories of both the male and the female. It is also rumored that any change in decor stresses them out and the stronger of the two will kill the other.

When selecting your first set of Julies, it is best to purchase somewhere between six and ten juveniles. All should be from the same locale (Magara, Halembe, Kala, Katili, Samazi, Kambwimba, Isanga, Cape Tembwe, or Katoto) and from as many different sources as possible in an effort to avoid hybridization. Eventually, a pair from these will form, at which time all others should be either moved to another tank (where more pairs may develop) or sold off. Once a pair is formed, males will aggressively chase off any other females, and the female will chase off other rival females and all other males. Therefore, to minimize aggression, it is best to remove any remaining fish from this same species.

Spawning will begin after pair formation. The dominant male will become more aggressive as he starts claiming territories and defending them. The male will pick a dark cave in a secluded part of the tank. After enticing the female to enter, she will lay her eggs on the ceiling of the cave and the male will pass over them, depositing his milt. The eggs tend to be scattered and not grouped as might be expected. They are much smaller than the eggs of mouthbrooding cichlids, being about 1.2 mm in diameter and are bluish-green in color. Typical spawns number between 50 and 100 eggs. J. marlieri will continue to spawn every five to seven weeks.

Julies are excellent parents, and will guard their young from any intruders or potential threats. When it comes time to eat, one of the two parents will always stay back to guard them. While Julies take excellent care of their young, you might find that only about 10% will survive the first couple of months. If they are removed and given special care (such as baby brine shrimp), you can expect a survival rate closer to 100%.

These cichlids grow rather slowly. After two months, fry will measure about 2 cm long. Unlike the Mbuna and many other cichlids from Lake Malawi, females of this genus are typically longer and more robust than males. Females usually grow to 14cm in length, while males only grow to 12cm. Males also possess shorter, more pointed genital papillae, angled caudally. Females’ genital papillae are longer and more flat on the end than males’, probably for attaching eggs to the surface.

In the wild, J. marlieri is primarily predatory, preying on mostly small snails, although they do need some vegetable matter in their diet. In the aquarium environment, live or frozen Cyclops and Daphnia are recommended. For larger individuals, the European Shrimp Mix, Mysis, and Brine Shrimp are the best foods. Mysis should be fed sparingly, however, because of its high fat content (30%).

The minimum tank size should be a 15-gallon aquarium for a single pair, but if more than one pair are kept in the same aquarium, 75 gallons is the smallest recommended size. As mentioned previously, these fish require lots of rockwork to create plenty of hiding places. If kept without sufficient shelter, it is unlikely that they will develop their best color and will not spawn as frequently as they otherwise would. A fine gravel or sand should be used for substrate. Fry of this species have been known to get trapped in gravel that is too large.


Endlers Livebearer Profile

Scientific Name : Poecilia wingei
Other Common Names : Endler Livebearer
Care Level : Easy to moderate Size : 1.5 inches (4cm)
pH : 7 – 7.5
Temperature : 75 – 85&dge;F (24 – 29°C)
Water Hardness : Soft to moderately hard water

Origin / Habitat : Laguna de Los Patos, Venezuela
Lifespan : 3 – 5 years
Temperament / Behavior : Peaceful, great for established community tanks
Breeding / Mating / Reproduction : Livebearers and not hard to breed. Very similar to guppies, read the breeding guppies article.
Tank Size : 10 gallon or larger.
Compatible Tank Mates : Many, as long as they aren’t being housed with fish that will nip the fins or eat the fish, like tiger barbs, some tetras, various other barbs, etc.

Fish Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease – Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment
Diet / Fish Food : Flake food, frozen food, and live food. Vary the diet for excellent health, and color.
Tank Region : Middle to top
Gender : The males are a fluorescent color, while the females are a silver color.
Similar Species : Guppies and other Livebearers

Brochis multiradiatus

We again welcome back to ScotCat, author and catfish expert Chris Ralph and a look at one of his favourite members of the Callichthyidae family, the Hog-nosed Brochis.

Brochis multiradiatus is one of the largest of the Brochis group of catfish and is very popular amongst a number of catfish enthusiasts myself included. Unfortunately Brochis multiradiatus is not commonly available to the hobbyist.. When observing these catfish the aquarist is taken in by the ability of this catfish to almost “wink” at you (Brochis multiradiatus along with its close cousins the “Cory’s” can roll their eyes).

Brochis multiradiatus belongs to the family Callichthyidae from Ecuador; namely the eastern tributary of the Rio Lagartococha near the town of Garza- Cocha, in the Upper Napo river system; Peru; namely the Amazon basin Rio Samiria drainage: Quebrada Santa and Rio Yavari drainage: Benjamin Constant. Brochis multiradiatus is also documented as being found in South America namely the western Amazon River basin (which covers Ecuador and Peru) and Bolivia.

Brochis multiradiatus prefer to be kept in water which has a pH in the range of 6.0-7.2, and hardness in the range up to 15.0 dGH. This catfish is ideally suited to temperatures in the range of 21-24°C. I would suggest a tank of the minimum size of 30″ x 15″ X 12″ for a shoal of these fascinating catfish. The preferred substrate for keeping these catfish should be good quality aquarium sand such as BD Aquarium Sand, or very smooth rounded gravel in order to prevent their barbels from being damaged. The aquarium should provide some shelter in the form of rocks, bogwood and aquatic plants. As with all other species of fish, water quality and general husbandry is very important, and I would recommend that a minimum of 25% water is changed on a fortnightly basis.

The body shape of Brochis multiradiatus is triangular which is typical of most of the “Corydoras spp” within the family Callichthyidae. The body of this fish is deep, with adults having a noticeably longer snout. The dorsal fin has 15-18 soft rays; although Brochis multiradiatus usually has17 soft rays.

The base colour of the body and head varies from a dull brownish/grey to bluish or greenish metallic coloured. The lower half of the ventrolateral body scutes can be light yellow to light pink in colour. A good specimen will have a true emerald green colouration to the flanks and dorsal area, with a pinkish tinge to the ventral region. There can be a presence of colour in the fins of juveniles, but this disappears as the fish matures leaving perfectly clear fins in an adult. The pectoral fin spines are coloured.

Wherever possible I would recommend that the aquarist keep these catfish in groups of six, but as the absolute minimum I would suggest three specimens. In their natural habitat Brochis multiradiatus would be found in very large shoals. Brochis multiradiatus are quite at home with other members of the family Callichthyidae. These catfish are ideally suited to being kept in a community aquarium environment with other species of fish such as Cardinal tetras, other small catfish such as Corydoras and Dwarf cichlids such as any of the Apistogramma spp.

As far as I am aware there are no documented records of Brochis multiradiatus having been spawned in aquaria to date.

Sexual differences
The males tend to be more slender than the females. The dorsal and pectoral fins of the males tend to be more pointed than those of the females.

As with all the other Brochis that I have had the pleasure to keep over the years, Brochis multiradiatus readily accepts a mixed and varied diet. I personally feed all of my Brochis on sinking catfish pellets, good quality flake foods, granular foods, cultured whiteworm and frozen foods such as bloodworm to name but a few.

Combtail Gourami

Scientific Name: Belontia signata(GAunther, 1861); Family Osphronemidae; Order Perciformes;
Synonyms: Macropodus signatus, Polyacanthus signatus (neither are valid)
Etymology: Belontia from the native name of a similar species in Borneo; signata from Latin meaning ‘marked’;
Pronunciation: Bell-on-tee-a sig-nay-ta
Common Names: Ceylon Combtail, Red Combtail, Combtail, Comb-tail Paradise Fish, Comb-tail Gourami, Red Comb-tail Gourami

Region: Asia; endemic to the island of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon)
Maximum Size: 18 cm (7 inches) but usually smaller (about 4 inches)
pH and Hardness: prefers slightly acidic (pH 6.5 – 6.8) and soft water but, like many labyrinth fish, is tolerant of less than ideal conditions
Temperature Range: decidedly tropical; temperature range between 75 – 82 degrees Fahrenheit