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Lemon Cichlid

lemon cichlid

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Scientific NameNeolamprologus leleupi    
Min. Tank Size:   50 gallons     
Personality:   Mildly aggressive     
Temperature:   75-82°F     
pH:   7.5-9.0/10-25°dGH      
Size:   4"      
Diet:   Carnivore     
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept in a biotype tank with other medium-sized Lake Tanganyika Cichlids; best kept in pairs.

Lemon Cichlid

Also called the Gold Cichlid or Gold Leleupi Cichlid, the Lemon Cichlid is endemic to Lake Tanganyika in Africa. These fish are only found in the southern portion of the lake where they tend to inhabit the rocky areas near the shoreline. Lemon Cichlids are named for the vibrant yellow or gold coloration exhibted by many specimens, though some are more orange or reddish in color. These fish have elongated bodies and rounded caudal fins - the fins of this species are typically yellow.

Tank Set-up

Lemon Cichlids are one of the most popular Lake Tanganyika Cichlids in the aquarium hobby but they can be difficult to keep in the home tank. These fish are very sensitive to poor water quality and they can also become very aggressive toward conspecifics. This species can usually be kept with other small or medium-sized Lake Tanganyika Cichlids but should not be kept with more aggressive species like Mbuna Cichlids.


These Cichlids are carnivorous by nature and are likely to accept a variety of live and frozen foods. Lemon Cichlids can be fed dry foods on occasion and should also be given fresh vegetables or algae flakes. Foods that are high in carotene may help to enhance the natural coloration of this beautiful species.


Breeding Lemon Cichlids is fairly easy as long as the pair is kept in a separate breeding tank. Lemon Cichlids are cave spawners and should be kept in a breeding tank decorated with plenty of rockwork. The pH in the tank should be kept between 8.2 and 9.0 and the temperature should remain stable around 77 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The average brood size of this species is around 150 and the female will typically lay her eggs secretely in a cave. After spawning, the female will tend to the eggs while the male guards the nest until the eggs hatch 3 to 4 days later.

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