Cichlid Room Companion
Breeding tanks

Neolamprologus leleupi (Poll, 1956)

By , 1996. image

Classification: Captive maintenance, Lake Tanganyika.

Neolamprologus leleupi, photo by David Wong

Very few fish can rival the color of this fish. The color is a deep orange that tends to fade in captivity. Neolamprologus lelupi is a rock dweller so their tank should be covered with lots of rock work. Water conditions should be the same for all Tanganyikans, 8.6 pH and "liquid rock" water hardness. I believe that Tanganyikans do not like massive water changes and doing so tends to delay spawning. Lighting should be moderate and consistent, either leaving the lights on or having them on a timer works best if breeding is to be achieved. Temperature should be around 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When breeding any cichlid, the female should always be introduced first and let her acclimate until she starts feeding strongly. This is a good sign that she is comfortable.

Neolamprologus leleupiThe male,which can be distinguished by the more elongated head and slight hump can attain a maximum size of Five inches and the female a good three.. The fish spawned in a Fifty five gallon tank fill with other fishes from lake Tanganyika. One side of the tank was scattered with about a dozen or so three to four inch flower pots. Some standing on end whereas others would be on there sides. Make sure the "drain hole" is large enough to allow entry. You can tell spawning occurred when the female disappears for a few days in the pots. Eggs are white in color. The first time I saw the spawn I thought that they were all dead because I'm used to looking for golden color eggs. But later they hatched and you can see the parents trying to defend their fry (without much success) from the other fishes in the tank. This fish is a strange fish. Some people can breed them without trying whereas others can not if their life depended on it.

I think the main secret in breeding this fish is providing ample hiding space. Back then I used the old Epsom salt, mortons salt substitute, and baking soda. One tablespoon of Epsom, one half teaspoon of salt substitute, and half teaspoon of baking soda per gallon. Feeding this fish is simple they take all kinds of foods, but the best is Live baby brine if you want to retain the deep orange color.


Wong, David. (Nov 02, 1997). "Neolamprologus leleupi (Poll, 1956)". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on Dec 10, 2023, from: