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The Fairy Cichlid Neolamprologus brichardi (previously Lamprologus brichardi) was one of the first African cichlids imported for the aquarium hobby. This is a hardy cichlid with an enchanting, wispy appearance. Its light creamy body is adorned with a lyre shaped tail and fins tipped in white with long flowing filaments. A school of these beautiful fish makes an elegant display for both the novice and long time cichlid keeper.
When first imported in the early 1970’s it was originally called the ‘Princess of Burundi’. Today it is more commonly known as the Fairy Cichlid, Brichardi Cichlid, and Lyretail Lamprologus. Other descriptive common names include Brichardi Lyretail Cichlid, Princess cichlid, and Brichard’s Lamprologus.
The Fairy Cichlid is almost identical in appearance to its popular relative the Daffodil Cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher. However the Fairy Cichlid has bluish gray fins and can be identified by the black stripe running from the eye to the gill cover and a yellow spot just above it. These markings are absent in the Daffodil Cichlid though it has the two crescent shaped markings behind the eye, and its fins are yellowish.
This cichlid is moderately easy to care for as long it has the proper sized aquarium and the right tank mates. They it will adapt to a wide range of water conditions and will eat a wide variety of aquarium foods. This cichlid has a very pleasing coloration and is not shy about swimming out in the open. But they do like an aquarium with lots of rock formations creating caves for retreating. A sandy substrate is best because though they are not avid diggers, they may dig out spawning territories around decor. Plants are not essential but if you should include them they won’t harm them.
With its color, form and adaptability, this cichlid is a great choice for both the beginner and advance aquarist. They are a schooling fish that pair off only to breed, so are actually best kept in a group. They are generally peaceful and non aggressive with their own kind. They are not inclined to quarrel with others except when spawning, and then are very territorial. They are best kept in a species tank, or a group of these fish can be kept in a good sized aquarium with other similar types of Lamprologine Shell-dwellers. Other good tankmates are a large school of Herring cichlids of the Cyprichromis genus like the Sardine Cichlid Cyprichromis leptosoma, as well as the Goby Cichlids, Julidochromis species, and Tropheus species.
Though these cichlids spend a good deal of their time spawning, they are a secretive shelter spawner. You may not even know they have spawned until you see small fry darting about. A pair will spawn again and again. The older fry will help protect the younger ones, thus various ages of fry will be present in the same tank. This is an example of “stepped breeding”.
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Video of Fairy Cichlid (Neolamprologus brichardi)
Infographic of Fairy Cichlid (Neolamprologus brichardi)
Stocklist of our Tropical Fish / Aquarium Fish / Ornamental Fish (Click the picture below) :