Physical Description: Also called the gold ocellatus cichlid, or the frog-faced cichlid, lamprologus ocellatus is a small fish with relatively large, strong fins. The name refers to the black ring around the somewhat protruding eyes. The rest of the fish is gold with a faint blue and/or pink coloration along the bottom of the body. Females may have paler or white anal fins and tend to be smaller than the male.
Range: Found only along the coast of lake Tanganyika in Africa, this prolific fish is heavily bred in captivity.
Care considerations: The Lamprologus ocellatus is a highly territorial and active shell-dwelling fish. It is essential that your tank have at least one appropriate shell for each fish, preferably, a few “extras” so the fish can choose. Large snail shells work best, but need to be spread evenly over the bottom of the tank as a dominant fish will command all shells within about a 6-inch radius of its “home” shell. The larger male is incredibly territorial and will defend its shell from much larger fish. The female is less aggressive, unless she is harboring fry in her shell. The fish prefer sand, but can do well with a fine gravel. Water should be alkaline, at least 7.8, to as high as 9.0 Ph. Flake food, brine shrimp, and small pellet feed is best. The fish is a harem breeder and is typically kept with 3-4 females for every male, but single pairs can also result in breeding. You can keep these cichlids with other non-aggressive fish, preferably mid- and top-tank varieties. Take care when arranging the shells once the fish have settled in—the males have been known to draw blood despite their small size.