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Gold Ocellatus

gold ocellatus

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Scientific Name:   Lamprologus ocellatus      
Min. Tank Size:   15 gallons      
Personality:   Mildly aggressive & territorial      
Temperature:   75-82°      
pH:   7.5-9.0/10-25°dGH      
Size:   2.5"      
Diet:   Carnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept with other Lake Tanganyika species that occupy the upper levels of the tank; will form colonies if kept with others of its own species.

Gold Ocellatus

The Gold Oscellatus is a color morph of Lamprologus ocellatus, also called the Oscellated Shell-Dweller. These fish are sometimes called "frog-faced" Cichlids because of their bulbous eyes and lips. Most specimens of Lamprologus ocellatus exhibit a light brown or yellowish gold body coloration with little other ornamentation. Males of the species may show yellow edges along the dorsal fin. The Gold Oscellatus is endemic to Lake Tanganyika where it tends to inhabit the rocky shorelines of the lake. The substrate in these areas is littered with empty snail shells which become home to these fish.

Tank Set-up

Tanks for Gold Oscellatus should be decorated with at least 2 inches of sandy substrate and plenty of empty snail shells. The water in the tank should be hard and alkaline in order to simulate the natural conditions in Lake Tanganyika. These fish are generally not recommended for beginning hobbyists because they can be sensitive to changes in water chemistry and will not tolerate large water changes.


In the wild, Gold Oscellatus are omnivores and will thus accept a variety of foods in the home aquarium. Offer Gold Oscellatus a staple diet of high quality Cichlid flakes or pellets supplemented with live and frozen foods. You should also include some vegetable matter in the diet in the form of Spirulina flakes or blanched vegetables.


Breeding Gold Oscellatus is fairly easy and is best accomplished in a separate breeding tank. The breeding tank should be kept at a pH between 8.0 and 8.5 and a temperature around 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of the tank with several inches of sandy substrate and provide a number of empty snail shells. The female Gold Oscellatus will select a shell and bury it in the substrate so only the opening is showing then she will display herself to the male. After catching the attention of the male, the female will return to her shell and deposit her eggs then will allow the male to enter and fertilize them. After spawning, the female will visciously guard her territory until the eggs hatch.

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