Neolamprologus caudopunctatus in the home aquarium of Sergey Anikstein. Photo by Sergey Anikstein.
Neolamprologus caudopunctatus can be found in Lake Tanganyika from depths of 1 to 25 meters. This small (5 - 6 cm) cichlid looks quite attractive. The pink body is plated with brilliant pearl points, the yellow - orange upper dorsal decorates its narrow body and the emerald color of the eye adds to coloration of this nice fish. I think the most attractive geographical race is "Kapampa." Neolamprologus caudopunctatus looks very similar to Neolamprologus leloupi, but the N. caudopunctatus is distinguished by a narrower body and brighter colors.
For a long time I dreamed of working with this small little known Neolamprologus. I obtained my stock from Germany, and received seven juveniles. I put them in a 200 liter aquarium where they grew up together perfectly with Callochromis melanostigma.
The tank had many ceramic pots and plastic pipes for cover, and then I realized that they only used these shelters at the moment of the spawning. They are good eaters when fed on Cyclops, glass worms, but they are not as eager with dry foods.
The conditions of the tank were standard for cichlids from Lake Tanganyika, GH 10-20, 7.5 - 8.5 pH. The fish were indifferent towards the plants, so the amount you have is really your choice.
The difference between the sexes is subtle, only the mature male has the color in the dorsal, and it appears to be brighter in relation to the females. In western literature I read, that the spawning takes place between stone plates, but also various other shelters such as broken flowerpots were used. The spawning strangely enough didn't happened until I placed a Black Sea shell in the aquarium. He repeatedly attacked even the macho-male Callochromis melanostigma, and it should be told that this too is a "fish with character."
The first spawning was rather small, only about 9 fry appeared 3 days after the spawning, and in about 6 days the fry began to free swim. I tried to feed them freshly hatched baby brine, but it was obviously too large, and it was necessary to feed them worm oat flour. About three days later they were large enough to take the baby brine. The fry grow slowly even when 5 or 6 feedings and 25% water changes are performed daily. After one month the fry are only 1 cm in length. The spawns can be up to 100 or more. They are good parents, and the fry conduct the basic pelagic lifestyle, and stay in the immediate area of the bottom of the tank or shelter.
It is possible to breed pairs in smaller tanks by themselves or in larger schools in bigger tanks. Neolamprologus caudopunctatus is an interesting fish for fans of cichlids from Lake Tanganyika or anyone interested in working with dwarf cichlids.
A special thanks to Pam Chin for reviewing this writing.