freshwater community4


Brown Julie

brown julie

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Scientific NameJulidochromis dickfeldi    
Min. Tank Size:   25 gallons      
Personality:   Aggressive      
Temperature:   75-80°F     
pH:   8.0-9.0/10-25°dGH      
Size:   3.5"      
Diet Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept in a biotype tank with other Lake Tanganyika species; should be kept in mated pairs.

Brown Julie

Also called Dickfeld's Julie, the Brown Julie is endemic to Lake Tanganyika in Africa. Lake Tanganyika is the largest African rift lake and the second largest freshwater lake in the world. Brown Julie Cichlids tend to inhabit shallow waters, especially the rocky shorelines of the lake. These fish have slim, elongated bodies and pointed snouts. Their coloring may vary from silver to brown and may also have a blue sheen to it. Most specimens exhibit three dark horizontal stripes running along the length of the body along with three smaller stripes on the forehead. The fins of these fish are typically uncolored except for blue edging.

Tank Set-up

Because these fish typically inhabit the rocky shorelines of Lake Tanganyika, the ideal tank setup should include a variety of rock formations including caves and outcroppings. Brown Julies prefer sandy substrate and highly-oxygenated water to mimic the conditions of their shoreline habitat. These fish can become very territorial, but they can be kept with other Lake Tanganyika Cichlids of similar size.


In the wild, Brown Julies are omnivorous, feeding on crustaceans picked from among the rocks and other matter floating in the water. In the home aquarium, these fish will likely accept a variety of live and frozen foods. A healthy diet for Brown Julies should also include some flake or pellet foods as well as fresh vegetables or algae. A Spirulina-based flake could be used in place of fresh vegetables. For optimum health and coloration feed a variety of these foods on a regular basis.


Breeding Brown Julies can be accomplished in the home aquarium but it may require some effort. These fish are cave-spawners so the breeding tank should be decorated with a variety of rock formations to provide plenty of selection for spawning sites. The average brood size for these fish is around 100 eggs and the female will deposit these eggs on the roof or walls of a cave. Following spawning, the female will care for the eggs while the male guards the nest until the eggs hatch 2 to 3 days later.

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