lemon cichlid

Species Spotlight: Lemon Cichlid | Tennessee Aquarium

The Lake Tanganyika tank inside the Rivers of the World gallery recently became home to nine juvenile Lemon Cichlids (Neolamprologus leleupi).

These new fish are noticeably smaller than the older adult Lemon Cichlids that were already on exhibit. The juveniles are only about two inches long, while the adults range from four to five inches long.

In the wild, Lemon Cichlids are found — SURPRISE! — in the southern half of Africa’s Lake Tanganyika, a rift lake bordering Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Zambia. There, they feed on invertebrates hiding in vegetation or small crevices.

At the moment, the Lemon Cichlids are being fed a diet of iced seafood supplemented by smaller foods such as Blood Worms and frozen Mysid and Brine Shrimp.

Given how much activity is going on in Lake Tanganyika, it might be difficult to spot the newcomers, despite their brilliant yellow coloration. At the moment, however, Aquarist Kimberly Hurt says they’re fairly easy to find thanks, ironically, to their desire to avoid detection.

“These guys are crevice dwellers, meaning they typically inhabit recesses and gaps among rocks,” she says. “You’ll mostly see them sticking very close to the rockwork in the tank.”

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