Red Fin Shell Dweller Cichlid (Lamprologus caudopunctatus) CareSheet

Buy Red Fin Shell Dweller Cichlid Lamprologus caudopunctatus, commonly known as the spotted cichlid or Chaitika cichlid, is a small freshwater species endemic to Lake Tanganyika in Africa. As their name suggests, these fish are characterized by their spotted pattern consisting of rows of white spots over a grayish-blue colored body.

In the wild, L. caudopunctatus inhabits rocky regions of Lake Tanganyika staying close to the lake bed. They tend to occupy crevices and caves, venturing out mainly to feed on invertebrates and small prey. Males are highly territorial and will aggressively defend breeding sites.

In an aquarium setting, provide plenty of hiding places for this fish using rock structures. Despite its small 2-3 inch size, the spotted cichlid needs ample personal space. A species-only tank of 20 gallons or more is best to limit aggression. Recreate the alkaline, moderately hard water conditions of their natural habitat.

While demanding in terms of environment, Lamprologus caudopunctatus is a colorful and active cichlid perfect for experienced aquarists seeking a Lake Tanganyika species. Their spotted pattern glows under aquarium lighting. With proper care, the spotted cichlid can thrive for many years.

The Red Fin Shell Dweller is a fuss-free feeder. Flake food, freeze dried plankton, and live meaty items of high quality will all be welcomed. This species should not be fed dry items entirely since quality and diversity are the keys to a diet that will guarantee that it maintains maximum health and color. It eats largely eggs, smaller fish, and fry in the wild. It will also benefit from a diet rich in vegetable matter.

Requirements for keeping Lamprologus caudopunctatus

Temperature: 75° - 81° F
pH: 7.5 - 9.0
KH: 8 - 25 KH
Minimum tank size: 15 - 20 gallons for an adult pair.
Origin: Idigenous to Lake Tanganyika, Africa
Average adult size: 3 inches

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Species spotlight Lamprologus caudopunctatus


What is Lamprologus caudopunctatus?

Lamprologus caudopunctatus is a small cichlid species endemic to Lake Tanganyika in Africa. Also known as the spotted cichlid, it gets its name from the distinctive rows of white spots on its grayish-blue colored body.

What is the natural habitat of L. caudopunctatus?

In the wild, Lamprologus caudopunctatus inhabits rocky areas and beds of shells in Lake Tanganyika, staying close to the lake floor. They tend to occupy crevices and small caves.

How do spotted cichlids behave?

Male L. caudopunctatus are highly territorial, especially when breeding, and will aggressively defend their territory and eggs. Females provide sole care of eggs and fry.

What does the spotted cichlid eat?

Lamprologus caudopunctatus are carnivores that feed on small invertebrates like water fleas, insect larvae, and brine shrimp in their natural environment. They can be fed meaty foods in captivity.

What size tank do they need?

Due to their territorial nature, Lamprologus caudopunctatus should be housed in a species-only tank of at least 20 gallons with ample hiding spots.

How large do spotted cichlids grow?

In home aquariums, Lamprologus caudopunctatus typically reaches about 2-3 inches in length when fully grown and properly cared for.