Julidochromis marksmithi information and care sheet
Julidochromis marksmithi, also referred to as Mark Smith's julie cichlid, is a small freshwater fish species endemic to Lake Tanganyika in Africa. Only described scientifically in 2002, this dwarf cichlid is named after American ichthyologist Mark Smith in recognition of his extensive research on African rift lake fishes.
In the aquarium trade, J. marksmithi is sought after for its elegant black and white barred patterning contrasted against a silver-gray body. Its face exhibits brilliant metallic blue spotting, while the dorsal and tail fins are boldly accented in black and white. Males develop modest extensions of the dorsal and anal fins.
True to most julidochromis species, Mark Smith's julie cichlid occupies rocky nearshore regions of Lake Tanganyika. It dwells within small caves and crevices, emerging only briefly to feed on small invertebrates. Reproducing males are highly territorial.
In home aquariums, J. marksmithi does well in a species tank or in pairs provided with ample rocky hiding spots. Despite reaching just 3 inches in length, these cichlids are aggressive toward conspecifics. Water parameters should match their native lake.
With its vibrant contrasting colors and barred pattern, Julidochromis marksmithi is a jewel-like addition to a Lake Tanganyika biotope aquarium. This dwarf cichlid's specialized needs make it best suited to dedicated cichlid keepers.
Requirements for keeping Julidochromis marksmithi
Quick Facts on Julidochromis marksmithi
Common Name: Mark Smith's Julie Cichlid
Scientific Name: Julidochromis marksmithi
Species: Freshwater fish
Origin: Lake Tanganyika in Africa
Size: Up to 3 inches (8 cm)
Care Level: Moderate to high
Temperament: Territorial, aggressive
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
pH Range: 7.8-9.0
Julidochromis marksmithi for sale here when available
What is Julidochromis marksmithi?
Julidochromis marksmithi is a small cichlid species endemic to Lake Tanganyika in Africa. Commonly known as Mark Smith's julie cichlid, it is named after American ichthyologist Mark Smith for his work on African rift lake fishes. This fish has a silver-gray body with elegant black and white horizontal stripes.
What is the habitat of J. marksmithi?
In the wild, Julidochromis marksmithi inhabits rocky areas close to shore in Lake Tanganyika. They spend most of their time hiding in small caves and crevices, only emerging to feed on plankton and small invertebrates.
What does the Mark Smith's julie cichlid eat?
Julidochromis marksmithi are carnivores that feed on tiny prey like water fleas, insect larvae, and brine shrimp in their natural habitat. In captivity they readily accept live foods and protein-rich flakes or pellets.
What size tank does J. marksmithi need?
A minimum 30 gallon aquarium with ample rockwork and hiding places is recommended for Julidochromis marksmithi. Though small, they are territorial and need their own space.
What water conditions do they require?
Julidochromis marksmithi do best in clean, alkaline water with a pH of around 8.0-9.0. The water temperature should be kept between 76-82°F and moderately hard.
How big do Mark Smith's julie cichlids get?
In home aquariums, Julidochromis marksmithi typically reaches about 3 inches (8 cm) in length when fully grown and properly cared for.
There are currently 6 formally described species in this genus: