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Masked julie - Julidochromis transcriptus
Scientific name: Julidochromis transcriptus
Common name: Masked julie
Usual size in fish tanks: 6 - 7 cm (2.36 - 2.76 inch)
Recommended pH range for the species: 8 - 8.9
Recommended water hardness (dGH): 18 - 30°N (321.43 - 535.71ppm)
0°C 32°F30°C 86°F
Recommended temperature: 22 - 25 °C (71.6 - 77°F)
The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning
Where the species comes from: Africa
Temperament to its own species: peaceful
Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful
Usual place in the tank: Middle levels
Africa; this species is found in Lake Tanganyika.
The expected life span for Julidochromis transcriptus is 8 years.
Masked julie’s prefer hard water, at one time it was believed that they were very sensitive to water changes but nowadays it has been proven that weekly changes do not affect them. They are one of the smallest members of this family and they can also be found with several different colour variations. They make a great species for beginners at cichlid keeping but they are classed as a timid species so plenty of hiding places should be added to the aquarium. The lighting should be on a low level and often they may only emerge when they come out for food. They do not need a large aquarium and can be housed with other cichlids of a similar size but try not to keep them with other species of a similar colouration or hybridisation can occur.
They occupy the lower levels of the aquarium and tend not to venture too far away from their preferred hiding places. Use sand or small grained gravel for the substrate but make sure that the gravel is smooth without any sharp edges.
Food and feeding
Masked julie is very easy to feed; it will accept quality flakes, cichlid pellets and brine shrimp. They will need some variation in their diet and it is best to feed them very small meals a few times a day rather than offer larger meals twice a day. This will allow them to digest their food properly as they only have small stomachs.
It is believed that the females are slightly larger than the males.
Julidochromis transcriptus are very timid fish; ensure that the breeding tank is not disturbed by human traffic in the room. Rockwork and caves must be provided as they are cave spawners. It is best to purchase a group of juveniles and let them pair off when ready, once you have a pair, remove the other fish. The parent fish once paired will stay together as long as you allow it but they will need to learn how to be good parents so initially they may eat their eggs so be patient and success will soon happen supplying you with plenty of fry. They will lay their eggs in a cave but this may not be apparent as they will be hidden. Adding baby brine shrimp to the tank will ensure that any fry can eat. Both male and female will prove to be excellent parents in time sharing the task of protecting the fry. For a higher success rate you can remove the fry once they are free swimming and able to obtain the food offered in the water column.