I made an impulse purchase of sorts this past Saturday. Here is a video showcasing the exLamprologus ornatipinnis I picked up. There was a pair that was behaving favorably toward one another in the pet store aquarium, but once the net went in they became indiscernible from a third fish in the tank. So I bought all three. This pair is displaying to one another minutes after I added a few shells to the tank. I am fairly certain I will have fry within a couple of weeks.
I did not take a photo of the shell an hour later when the entrance was completely blocked with a pile of sand. I wish I had. The following day it was once again back to normal and one of the fish is inhabiting it. I believe this is a female. I suspect the third fish is also a female as the attitudes of the others are not combative toward it.
I finally had exLamprologus ocellatus "Gold" breed for me. I currently have two pair and a small smattering of fry that are quickly nearing sexual maturity themselves. As is typical of cichlids in general, the pair do not always get along. Everything is great during spawning. The female holds her own, protecting her nest and her babies when they come along. However, when the children are not in the picture things can get a little ugly.
I recently placed a pair of the gold ocellatus together in a ten gallon aquarium. Initially the tank housed only the female. When the male was added, things got hairy in a hurry. The video below shows the fish bickering. Eventually I put enough rockwork into the tank to break up the sight lines a little bit. The male still hounded the female. They will settle down and the male will allow the female to occupy a shell and work on a new batch of fry, but at present the lady is out of luck and out of a shell.
I know cichlid lovers adore shell dwelling cichlids, affectionately referred to as shellies. How do I know? Well, if you've ever attended a swap meet held by the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association you may have noticed that any and all shellies that are up for sale seem to disappear within the first thirty minutes. I sometimes sell as a vendor at these swaps and yesterday I sold three bags of exLamprologus stappersi. They were gone before they hit the table. Not literally, but you get the idea.
I took a few pictures in the fishroom today. Here are a few shots of my exL. stappersi breeders, Neolamprologus signatus breeders and the young exLamprologus ocellatus "Gold" I purchased at the meet. They are the only fish I bought yesterday - feel free to clap if you'd like.
I have been keeping exLamprologus similis for four or five years now and I have never had an individual as colorful as this young male. Granted I have recently been feeding the fish decapsulated brine shrimp eggs and this has resulted in a pop in yellows, reds, and oranges in a number of species. Still, this particular male is noticeably brighter than the rest, even his father. Below are several pictures that hopefully show the color at its max.
Below is a shot of some of the fry from one of my females. They are approximately a month old and probably one-third of an inch long.