Origin: Lake Tanganjika, Here the fish occur between the stony banks of the lake.
Etymology: ornatus = decorated
First import: 1958
Description: See picture
Care: The fish should be kept in pairs, since they are aggressiv towards other fish of the same species. Medium hard and alkaline water is required by Julidochromis ornatus. Lots of stones, creating numerous holes in which the fish will establish their territoria, and some hardy plants like Vallisnerias will create a suitable environment for the fish. They can be kept together with other cichlids that have similar requirements.
Temperature: 22-25 degrees
Feeding: Omnivorous, all food is taken.
Size: Up to 8 cm.
Breeding: In a setup as described in the care section the fish will usually spawn, if fed a varied diet, and the temperature is raised a bit(26 degrees or more). Julidochromis ornatus will spawn in holes, up to a 100 large eggs can be laid on the roof of the hole. The female takes care of the eggs, which will hatch in 2 days, and be free swimming a few days later. After the fry are free swimming they don't leave the nest, the male will collect food, chew it up, and spit it in the hole in between the fry. If the female tries to leave the hole, she will be corrected by the male, and chased back into it. Later on, the fry will remain in the vicinity of the nest, and help the parents defend it. The fry grow fast if fed well.
Sexual dimorphism: Males are a bit larger than the females if fully grown.
Picture references: Picture 1: E. Naus.
References:Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.(click on the link to buy this book)Pinter, H.(1966): Handbuch der Aquarienfischzucht. Alfred Kernen Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.
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