I want to tell you the experience with a couple of Neolamprologus Leleupi that I have had for about a year and a half. I got them through a purchase of some Lamprologuinos specimens.
Right now I keep them in a tank of about 240 litres with 4 Altolamprologus Compressiceps , 2 Julidichromis Gombe and a couple of Neolamprolugus Brevis. Actually, during the first months I wasn’t sure if they were a couple, but just the opposite, because they both had the same size, I didn’t have any experience in determining the gender and also one of the fishes hounded the other so violently that I thought they were two males.
Some months ago I began realising that the differences of size were quite significant, up until now when the male has nearly doubled the size of the female. At this point, one month ago I began seeing changes in the behaviour of these two specimens, these changes were only the starting point of the courtship stage. I could observe this courtship for about 10 days. After that time, the male gave up courting and swimming around the female, and she settled down next to some middle-sized shells that I put between two big stones just in case the Altolamprologus cheered up and they laid their eggs there. But apparently the female Leleupi went ahead and claimed them.
For one week I have been observing the behaviour of the female who kept being sticked to the shell and going into and out of it, and besides she moved continuously her pectoral fins when she was inside the shell.
Due to the fact that it is a tank where there are also other Lamprologinos , the expectation of a lay of other fishes is evident. At the beginning I thought that the Altolamprologus would be on the hunt, but actually I haven’t seen them to pay any attention on them. The only one who was on the hunt was a Julidochromis Gombe who has swum around the area looking for a distraction of the Neolamprologus Leleupi female. Therefore there were fightings between these two fishes that were very well solved by the Leleupi female.
During that time that lasted about one week, the Leleupi male has withdrawn from the evolution of the lay, or may be I haven’t seen him to participate in it, just a little walk around the area.
Because it is the first lay that I have observed in these specimens, I have paid a lot of attention to the events, and as soon as I detected that the fries had hatched I decided to take the shell from the female with all the content inside, which was a lot!! Furthermore as there were some more shells, I left them near the area where I took the lay, because some fries were in that area. The female rearranged again the area and looked after the rest.
Short video of the fries , with one day life.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfJWoqG4Ax4
Well, this is the result of the lay…that now are in a 30 litres tank without any external predators, so that I can continue observing their evolution closer.
Kind regards and happy new year!!