Golden julie

Aquarium fish: Golden julie (Julidochromis ornatus)
Size: 8 cm
Origin: Tanganyika
Water temperature: 23-27 ° C
Aquarium volume: 70 l

Golden julie (Julidochromis ornatus ) – freshwater aquarium fish from the cichlid family, inhabiting rock crevices.


Endemic species, only found in Lake Tanganyika in Africa. Mostly found in the northern part of the lake, except for one variety in the south. It lives in rocky areas along the coast.

Characteristics and disposition

Adult specimens reach up to 8 cm in length.

The shape of the body is elongated, cylindrical with a high dorsal fin and thick, soft lips. The basic coloration is golden-yellow, in the case of the southern breed – golden-greenish. The form of albino is also known. There are three dark brown stripes running along the trunk. Belly fins edged in blue.

Gender difficult to distinguish . With age, the male develops a fatty hump, and his genital wart is elongated and sharper. Adult females are usually slightly larger. Territorial and quite aggressive species, especially during the breeding season. They do not change the area chosen once and the choice of a partner.

They form pairs and create multi-generation communities. The dominant male is distinguished by a darker color. They spend most of their time near the bottom or between crevices. They have a specific style of swimming, directed with their belly towards the rock surface, sometimes they freeze, giving the impression of being stuck, often upside down.

Nutrition and feeding

The main ingredient in their diet should be live or frozen foods, less often dry and plant foods can be given, such as flakes with spirulina or shredded spinach.


A 70-liter aquarium with a soft, sandy base, equipped with rock decorations, arranged so that there are as many gaps and nooks as possible is recommended for a pair of decorative chambers. There must be enough hiding places for each individual. Otherwise, there will be frequent fights between them. The decoration of the tank should be well thought out because these fish do not tolerate its changes. They require good water quality, necessary weekly changes (approx.

25%) and efficient filtration. In larger aquariums, they can be successfully kept with small or medium-sized cichlids from Lake Tanganyika, which inhabit other zones of the reservoir, such as shells ( multi- ringed ) or Cyprichromis fish. However, you should avoid combining with other rocks (territorialism, crossing species) and, if you plan to raise your offspring, with armors.


Reproduction is easy but requires patience . Breeders recommend buying a group of young fish and raising them together until the steam clears naturally.

This usually takes over a year. After pairing, the rest of the fish should be caught. The purchase of an adult pair is usually doomed to failure and the male often kills the female. The spawning tank should be at least 75 cm long. Water in the range of 8.2 – 9.0 pH and temperature 26 – 27 C.

Curly shells are wiping out hidden between the rocky recesses. An adult female is able to lay up to 100 eggs, but usually less. The roe is placed on the walls or the ceiling of the cave. The roe is looked after by the female. The male patrols the area and guards the territory.

It’s hard to spot the moment of breeding. We usually find out about breeding only when the young start to emerge from the hiding place. The female takes care of the eggs. Hatching takes place after 2-3 days. We start feeding the fry as soon as we notice that there are no more yolk sacs.

The larvae are large enough to accept brine shrimp larvae or micro nematodes right away. Parents care for their offspring for quite a long time and can stay with their young until they reach about 2.5 cm in size.


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