Golden Julie

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Julidochromis ornatus - Boulenger, 1898
Golden Julie

A favorite dwarf species among Rift Lake cichlid fanciers. [[credit:=Rick Borstein/Photo used with permission of Greater Chicago Cichlid Assn. [1]]]


The Golden Julie is an especially attractive Dwarf Cichlid with an elongate body, wonderful contrasting coloration and a territorial attitude that African cichlid enthusiasts find fascinating and admirable.

Family: Cichlidae

Other common name(s):

  • Yellow Julie
  • Ornate Julie

Native range:

Habitat: Like other Rift Lake cichlids, this species requires hard, alkaline water that is best provided by including a dolomite or coral-based gravel substrate. An efficient biological filter is also essential, as Julidochromis spp. are extremely sensitive to poor water quality.

Maximum length: 8.5 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 76 L (20 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Bottom.


Omnivore. Not a picky eater, this species will accept a wide range of live, frozen and prepared meaty foods in the aquarium, including cichlid flakes and granules that contain vegetable matter. Color-enhancing foods containing carotene will help in maintaining this fish’s rich yellow color pigments.

Aquarium Compatibility

Purchase several and let them pair up. Pairs are highly territorial and extremely intolerant of conspecifics and other Dwarf Julies.


Julies are biparental cave spawners that form strong pair bonds. Multiple generations of young can peacefully coexist in the same aquarium.


It prefers a tank with lots of stable rockwork to form numerous caves and a few hardy plants, such as Vallisneria.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: JJ
Text credit: KW