Tanganyikan Lemon Cichlid

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Neolamprologus leleupi - (Poll, 1956)
Tanganyikan Lemon Cichlid

An African cichlid eyecatcher with an engaging personality and an attitude. JJPhoto.dk


The Tanganyikan Lemon Cichlid is a beautiful slender fish with an engaging personality. Its entire body, including the fins, is a deep, rich yellow. They typically have a semi-circular, thin blue line under the eye.

Family: Cichlidae

Other common name(s):

  • Lemon Yellow Cichlid
  • Leleupi

Native range:

Habitat: These fishes are found among caves and crevices in nature and should be provided similar shelters in the aquarium in the form of rockwork to form caves.

Maximum length: 10 cm (4 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 114 L (30 gal)

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

General swimming level: Bottom to midwater.


Omnivore. In the wild, the Lemon Cichlid feeds carnivorously on micro-invertebrates but will accept any of the many commercial high-protein cichlid diets intended for Rift Lake predators, as well as freeze-dried and frozen foods, such as brine shrimp and bloodworms. Their diets should also include live foods, and they will also benefit from color-enhancing foods.

Aquarium Compatibility

Start with a small group and let them pair up. They can be housed with some other Lake Tanganyikan cichlids, but belligerent encounters may happen.


Lemon Cichlids are serial monogamous, cave-spawning fishes that often form temporary pair bonds. The female lays eggs on the ceiling of a cave and tends to the fry, while the male guards the territory in the aquarium.


They require hard, alkaline water, so a dolomite or coral-based gravel substrate is best.

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