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Neolamprologus sexfasciatus (Gold)


Article by Daniel Lesich

Species information

Species: Neolamprologus sexfasciatus (Gold)

Synoma: Lamprologus sexfasciatus

Common name: Gold Sexfasciatus

Origin: Lake Tanganyika Africa

Localities/Morphs: Cape Tembwe in Zaire, Kipili Tanzania, and Katete Zambia

Maximum size: males can reach 15cm and females reach 12-13cm

Natural habitat: sexfasciatus inhabit shallower sandy areas of lake Tanganyika were there are the empty snail housings of Neothauma Snails and rocks that provide shelter and spawning sites.

Natural foods/prey: small fish and snails

Water chemistry in the wild: pH - 7.8 to 8.5 GH - 7 to 12KH - 10 to 15

Predators: birds and other fish.

Brood size: 100-300

Breeding method: cave/shell spawner: egg layer

Husbandry requirements

Minimum tank size: i would recommend that a 4x18x18 be the absolute smallest tank to house a pair of these guys as they are extremely aggressive.

Sex ratio: 1m to 1f

Tolerance of conspecifics: can get very aggressive

Tolerance of heterospecifics: ok - should only be kept with fish that can hold there own. should not be kept with other shell dwellers.

Water chemistry in aquaria: pH: 7.9-8.9, general hardness 10-20 gH, carbonate hardness 9-12 dKH

Temperature range: 23-27 degrees Celsius, can tolerate slightly higher temperatures temporarily but optimum is 25

Foods accepted: omnivorous, they will take almost everything offered. Pellets, flakes, live black worm, and frozen brine shrimp.

Special requirements: no special care is required with these guys as they are quite hardy. only that the water temperature should rarely exceed 29 degrees Celsius as anything higher will be fatal and high water quality is a must.


some interesting points:

  • one of the biggest reasons i like these guys so much is there colour (gold body black bars and blue highlights) that is not very common at all. unlike there close cousins the Neolamprologus tretocephalus witch closely resemble the Cyphotilapia frontosa a common colour (blue/white body black bars).
  • the Gold Sexfasciatus are an extremely fascinating fish to watch with both there social behavior and reproductive behavior. The males can get extremely aggressive during spawning and tank mates should be carefully chosen as anything housed in with the Gold Sexfasciatus will come off second best to say the least. one last point to be made is not to confuse localities and end up with crossbreeds due to wrong selection of parenting fish. so some research is recommended before deciding to purchase any fish.
  • all else aside the Gold Sexfasciatus is not a very common species at present and all efforts should be made to preserve these wonderful and interesting cichlids. I for one really enjoy these guys and hope to keep them for many years to come.


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