Rod Tropheus

 

     Original genus Lamprologus was divided into genera Altolamprologus, Lepidiolamprologus, Neolamprologus, Lamprologus and Variabilichromis. Genus Neolamprologus is definitely the most numerous one. It includes further 45 carnivorous species. Most of them are litofilous cichlids which lay eggs into various rock shelters. A few of them have chosen, during their phylogenetic evolution, empty shells of Neothauma tanganicense gastropods as their shelters.
      The fish usually  live in pairs. Both parents look after their offspring for a few months. Egg evolution lasts approximately for 70 hours before embryos hatch from them. For  further 6 – 7 days, larvae consume the yolk sac. After absorbing it, they start consuming exogenetic food and start hunting for prey. Most species are territorial. That´s why it is advisable to breed fish in pairs, or in a group which corresponds the size of the tank to avoid fights, which may lead to  killing of a weaker fish.
 

 
Neolamprologus buescheri 
     N. buescheri- This species lives in a few forms in southern part of the lake in the depth of 20 – 40 metres.
    There is rather a small number of offspring from a spawn ( 10 – 20 fish ) if the spawn stays with the parents. However, fish lay many more eggs. For example, I once found 65 hidden eggs in a shelter when cleaning the tank. I put the eggs on a mat into the  element tank so that their parents should not eat them, as I had moved the stones. I managed to breed all the offspring. Parents seem to reduce the number of eggs and larvae to the reasonable level. It is, nevertheless, not true about multigeneration breeding from a single pair. In such a case,  there are about 100 offspring of different sizes swimming aroud the parential pair.    
 

     

 

Neolamprologus savoryi

       

 

Neolamprologus longicaudatus

     N. longicaudatus has got two known forms which are named after the area where they live. These are Kavalla and Ubwari forms. Both of them live in a rocky biotope about 20 metres bellow the surface. Ubwari males, which I breed, usually grow up to 12 cm  of length.whereas females grow up to  9 – 10 cm. The fish started to spawn  as late as at the age of 3. At that time,  I was starting to think about whether I should include them among the species I failed to propagate  or not.  Each time, I managed to breed 30 – 50 fish from one spawn.

             


Neolamprologus nigriventris

     N. nigriventris – I have been breeding this species for many years. Unfortunately, I cannot say I have found the proper way to reproduce them. It is true that I have had some breedings, but I am not able to specify what makes them spawn. That is the fact which makes me continue to  study this species. They grow up to 10 cm  of length and they are well known for  their inner species aggressiveness. Therefore it is really necessary to breed them in pairs in a larger tank with, at least, several shelters. To breed them in a group, a breeder needs a 2 metre long tank. However, he will not be able to avoid cases in which a weaker fish is killed.

              


Neolamprologus pectoralis

     N. pectoralis is one of the lake´s jewels, but it is one of the most dangerous killers at the same time. These are the reasons why the species is rather rare in breeders´aquariums and on offer lists of importers. It lives, as N. nigriventris, in deeper rocky zones of the lake. The size of adult fish is 10 cm. My longest male was 13 cm long, female 11. Large fan shaped pectoral  fins are the most beautiful feature of the species. It is necessary to use a tank long enough with enough shelters  to breed the fish in.

                 


Neolamprologus furcifer

     N. furcifer is a very interesting fish belonging into the genus. It lives in the whole lake in areas formed by huge rock blocks.  Males grow up to 17 cm of length, females 13 – 14 cm. It is essential to consider the fish size when chosing the tank ( It should be 400 litre and larger). This species tends to suffer from problems with their gas vesicle ( mainly when transported ). As a result, we can often come across a fish swimming in a strange way.

     

   


Neolamprologus sexfasciatus

     N. sexfasciatus  - Genus consists of 3 colour forms. There are two northern yellow fish - one of them living by western Congo bank of the lake,  the other by eastern Tanzanian  bank. The third  fish is blue, lives in the south and is known as „Sambia“. The speciality of this species is  a high reproductivity of yellow forms while the blue form has not been reared in aquarium conditions yet. Despite the fact that it has been imported for almost 25 years.