Lamprologus Speciosus: a Fearless Shell Dwelling Warrior

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Aquarium Fish, Tanganyika | 0 comments

Lamprologus Speciosus

Lamprologus Speciosus is a species of cichlid that lives in the southwestern part of Lake Tanganyika. It inhabits sandy shores in places where there are a handful of empty Neothauma snail shells.

Speciosus is a very territorial species that will aggressively defend its territory. They spend most of their time digging and cleaning their small territories around the shells, which creates little coves where the shells are sheltered. It reaches a size of about 6 cm, while the females are slightly smaller, about 4 cm. Sex is difficult to determine in young fish because the only noticeable difference is in size.

Lamprologus speciosus side

Life of speciosus in the aquarium

A pair can also live in a smaller aquarium, about 40 liters. If it is a colony or a community, a much larger aquarium is needed for fish. The bottom of the aquarium should be covered with fine sand about 6-7 centimeters thick in combination with stone. If there are several pairs, it is good to place stones between their territories to avoid aggression. Don’t let their size fool you. Speciosus are full of zeal to fight. A few snail shells per male should be added to the sand. If you want to add aquarium plants while still keeping the biotope authentic, Vallisneria Spiralis is a plant that is always available in aquarium shops, undemanding and is found in Lake Tanganyika. The water in their natural habitat is hard and alkaline. The heater should be set to 26 degrees. It is best to feed them a variety of live and frozen food in combination with dry food.

It can be combined in the community of other Lake Tanganyika fish that inhabit other parts of the aquarium. A good combination is fish that inhabit rocky parts, middle and upper parts of the water column. Ciprichromis, Altolamprologus Calvus, Julidochromis and the like…


Reproduction also takes place in the snail’s house. It is possible to raise juveniles in an aquarium community, but separation is recommended if the goal is to preserve as many fish as possible. The female will try to attract the male’s attention by dancing in front of the entrance to the house, which she will bury until only the entrance remains visible. When the male is visibly interested, the female enters the house where she lays eggs that the male fertilizes at the very entrance of the house. After mating, the male no longer has any role in raising the young and is no longer wanted in her territory. The female guards at the entrance to the house and ventilates the eggs with her fins, which hatch in about 3 days and swim away in about 10 days. Little speciosus explore the surroundings of the house little by little.

Lamprologus Speciosus back
Speciosus Fry

Youngsters, as soon as they swim through, they are big enough to feed on newly hatched artemia and micro worms. The parents will not hurt the little ones, but the other inhabitants of the aquarium will be happy to eat them.


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