Kigoma Shell Dweller Cichlid (Lamprologus ornatipinnis) CareSheet
The Kigoma Shell Dweller (Lamprologus ornatipinnis "Kigoma") is a tiny shell-dwelling cichlid endemic to Africa's Lake Tanganyika's deep coastal sections. It has grown in popularity in the aquarium hobby in recent years, although it is still quite uncommon owing to its sluggish growth rate and tiny spawn size. It eggs in the empty shells of Neothauma tanganyicense snails in the wild. When in full breeding form, this fish has white and brown/tan mottling, plenty of pearl spotting, and blue and yellow highlights. Males are bigger and have more vibrant colour than females when they reach maturity.
The Kigoma Shell Dweller will flourish in a minimalist aquarium. It should be given with multiple empty shells, which do not have to be of the Neothauma tanganyicense species, since it is a shell-dweller. It will most likely battle other shell-eating species, but in a large enough tank, it may be housed alongside Tanganyikan rock dwellers that live higher up in the water column. Mature fish will often claim and defend a small region around their home shells. Because this cichlid enjoys digging, a deep sand substrate bed should be supplied if feasible. This species is modest in size, yet it is very territorial when it comes to its own kind and related fish. During spawning, territoriality is usually at its height. The Kigoma Shell Dweller should not be housed with dwarf shrimp or other tiny, sensitive invertebrates. If spawning is desired, other species should be kept to a minimum or avoided entirely unless the aquarium is large enough with enough of cover and aquascaping.
For the unfussy Kigoma Shell Dweller, feeding is a breeze. Freeze dried plankton
, vegi flake food
, frozen, 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.
Requirements for keeping Lamprologus ornatipinnis
Temperature: 75° - 81° F
pH: 7.5 - 9.0
KH: 8 - 25 KH
Minimum tank size: 10-15 gallons for an adult pair.
Origin: Indigenous to Lake Tanganyika, Africa
Average adult size: 2 inches (5 cm) for males, females are smaller
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What is Lamprologus ornatipinnis?
Lamprologus ornatipinnis is a small, brightly colored cichlid species endemic to Lake Tanganyika in Africa. Also known as the lyretail cichlid, it is named for its uniquely shaped tail fin that resembles a lyre musical instrument.
What is their natural habitat?
In the wild, Lamprologus ornatipinnis inhabits rocky coastal areas of Lake Tanganyika, spending most of its time hiding among rocks and within crevices. They may also be found in areas with sandy or shell substrates.
What is their diet and behavior?
Lamprologus ornatipinnis feed on small worms, insect larvae, and crustaceans in their native habitat. Males are highly territorial, especially when breeding, and will aggressively defend a sheltered territory.
What size tank do they need?
In captivity, Lamprologus ornatipinnis requires a tank of 20 gallons or more with plenty of rocky shelters and hiding spots. Their aggressive nature demands ample personal space.
Do they have any special care needs?
Lamprologus ornatipinnis does best in clean, alkaline water conditions matching Lake Tanganyika's parameters. The temperature should be kept between 76-82°F.
How large do lyretail cichlids grow?
In home aquariums, Lamprologus ornatipinnis typically reaches about 4 inches in length when fully grown and cared for properly.