Comments: This is a slender piscavore with an interesting pattern showing highly contrasting marks.
Origin: Nkamba Bay at the southern end of Lake Tanganyika, which is in East Africa.
Maximum Size: In aquariums males can grow to be about 6" long, including their tails, which is a nice size for aquariums with at least 80-gallons of water. Females are somewhat smaller.
Behaviors: This species is usually very aggressive and can be even more aggressive to each other, and when getting ready to lay eggs and then protecting their babies.
Compatibility: Some recommended tank mates include other Tanganyika Cichlids but not Cichlids from Lake Malawi nor from Lake Victoria.
This is often kept with Synodontis Catfish, but Synodontis will eat baby fish.
Click here for more about Synodontis Catfish.
Click here to read more about compatible groups of pet fish.
Temperature: This species lives best from about 75 to 80-degrees F. with 78 being perhaps ideal.
Click here to learn about aquarium temperature, aquarium thermometers, and aquarium heaters.
Feeding: Premium Fish Food Pellets is a good food for Cichlids to eat. It's best to feed them small pellets when they're small, then gradually increase the size of the pellets, as they grow bigger.
In their natural habitat this species eats fish, but they do not seem to need to eat fish in aquariums.
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Water Conditions: These fish can adapt to most types of water in North America, and so as usual it's best not to try to change the pH or alkalinity.
Click here for a lot more information about aquarium water conditions.
Aquarium Size: This species will eventually need to live in an aquarium with at least 75-gallons of water. Each of them will need at least 6-gallons of water.
Decor: They do not need gravel, and a layer of gravel more than 1/4" thick will usually fill with bits of uneaten food that will contaminate the water.
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Live plants are beautiful and improve the water quality, but most aquariums with this species do not have live plants.
Aquarium Filter: Bio-Wheel Filters are highly recommended.
Most 75-gallon aquariums need at least two Penguin 350B Filters, and this is sort of the minimum set up for this species.
Better is a 100 or 120-gallon aquarium with as many Penguin 350B Filters as will fit across the back.
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The addition of Lava Rocks will keep nitrates in the ideal range. Click here to learn more about using Lava Rocks in aquariums.
Life Span: They can live for several years. Keep the water conditions excellent and feed them premium foods, and they'll most likely breed and produce the next generation of fish for your aquarium.
Gender: Males from the same brood are usually a bit bigger and have a slight bump on their heads above their eyes.
Breeding: This species lays eggs in a cave and will carefully protect their eggs and then their babies.
Click here for a lot more about breeding various tropical fish in aquariums.
Popularity: This Cichlid is rare and has not yet had a chance to become a popular aquarium fish.
Names: The scientific name is Lepidiolamprologus nkambae.
Scientists who examined only preserved specimens thought this was just a color variation of L. kendalli, but recent DNA analysis has shown small differences. So this is apparently a separate species that's very closely related to L. kendalli.
Variations: This species occurs in the southern region of Lake Tanganyika in Nkamba Bay.
Click here for a lot more information about keeping and caring for Cichlids, including a picture gallery.
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