Julidochromis dickfeldi is a species of family Cichlidae living in the southwestern regions of Lake Tanganyika.

They are one of the common Julies in the aquarium hobby. We dug details about the stats and collected information from professional fish keepers on how to take care of Dickfeld’s Julie in the aquarium.

This article is a one-stop place for everything you need to know about these Julies as a fish enthusiast.

Quick Stats

Common names Dickfeld’s Julie, Brown Julie, Blue Julie, White top, and Midnight Blue
Distribution Southwestern side of Lake Tanganyika in Africa
Fish Size 4.3 inches | Females are usually larger after maturation
Aquarium Temperature 73 to 80 F
Tank Compatibility Tanganyikan cichlid tank only
Aquarium Hardiness Moderately Hard, alkaline conditions | pH: 8.0-9.0, dH: 15-25 degrees
Aquarium Size At Least 20 gallons

Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Cichlidae
Genus Julidochromis
Species dickfeldi

What Are the Body Forms and Colors of this fish?

If you are interested in having these African Cichlids in your aquarium, you must be keen to know about their body forms and colors. With an elongated slender body, the Julidochromis dickfeldi size reaches a maximum of 4.3 inches with a pointed snout and a large dorsal fin at the front. Like other Cichlids, they have one nostril on each side to smell the water.

The color of their body ranges from silver to golden or light brown, and blue. Each side has three horizontally dark stripes with three small horizontal lines on the forehead as well. With proper care, the Julidochromis dickfeldi lifespan can reach up to seven years.

  • Body shape: Slender, elongated body with large dorsal fin and snout
  • Color: silver, golden or light brown, blue; horizontal stripes on sides and forehead
  • Lifespan: seven years with proper care

Julidochromis Dickfeldi Breeding

One of the most important things to learn for fish enthusiasts is about successful tank breeding. For starters, your tank’s environment should be moderately hard with alkaline water of a pH of around 8.5 – 9.2, dGH of 8 – 14 degrees, and temperature between 77-79 F.

Dickfeld’s Julie becomes capable of breeding after one year. They prefer cave spawning and form monogamous pairs to lay eggs.

The easiest way to get a good breed is to put a few young Brown Julies in the tank and wait for them to form pairs and practice spawning. As mentioned above, the Brown Julies are cave spawners, so you can put rocks or planting pots to make caves for them to breed.

Interestingly, you will notice that the male will mark territories once the pair is formed. It is necessary to keep this territory intact for the pair as their bonding is more connected to the territory than each other.

If you have a smaller tank, you can remove the extras to avoid breaking bonds between the pair. The male and female spawning in the cave will give 35 to 50 eggs that will attach to the cave’s roof.

  • Temperature for breeding: 77-79 F
  • The average number of eggs: 35-50
  • Spawning needs: Intact territory, caves, bonding between male and female

Difficulties of Keeping Tank Mates

Although keeping Brown Julie is very easy even for beginner fish keepers, it is not a very friendly fish to breed in the presence of other tank mates, even of its genus and species. The care of the parents and fry in the same tank becomes a difficult task if the tank size is not large enough and the aquarist needs more breeding in the tank.

So keep in mind to shift the younger fry to a separate tank when they grow up to let the parents spawn again. The baby fry needs brine shrimps as food and some crevices to hide in the tank. Do not be too quick in shifting the baby fry as they are slow growers and need about four months to reach the size of 1 inch.

But remember, you have to be very careful while removing the babies as the nets can damage them.

Julidochromis dickfeldi are not at all comfortable with other Julies that look different from them. However, they can live with similar-sized Tanganyika Cichlids as tank mates.

  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Compatibility:
  • Same Species: can live in pairs
  • Slow Swimmers and Eaters: consider them as a threat
  • Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: consider them as a threat, so it becomes aggressive
  • Plants: feels safe with plants in the tank

How to Take Care of Dickfeld’s Julie in the Aquarium?

– Optimum Aquarium Setup:

Optimum setup of the aquarium is essential for proper care of the Brown Julie. The Dickfeld’s Julie is an active community cichlid that swims in the bottom of the aquarium. The average minimum tank needs are 20 gallons of moving freshwater with efficient filtration. You have to set up bubblers running day and night to create Lake Tanganyika’s oxygen-rich environment.

Suggested water changes are 10-15 percent per week as the Brown Julie cannot handle drastic changes in water unless the chemistry of the new water exactly matches with the old one. Since these cichlids are sensitive to water changes, you should also be careful about the frequency of changing water.

The pH and nitrates of the tank should also be checked regularly to keep the pH above seven and nitrates under 25ppm. Also, the carbonate hardness and total hardness must be under observation. Remember not to overfeed and overstock the food in the tank.

  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons for a pair and 75 gallons for a community-type tank.
  • Lighting Needs: Normal, moderate lighting
  • Substrate Type: Mix of Sand and Gravel
  • Hardness Range: 8 – 12 dGH
  • Range ph: 8.5-9.2
  • Temperature: 73 to 80 F
  • Water Movement: Moderate

Best Diet

Commonly known as Brown Julie, the Julidochromis dickfeldi is omnivorous that feeds on crustaceans in the lake.

However, in the aquarium, you can give them:

  • Green flaky foods
  • Vegetables
  • Frozen meat diet
  • Live worms, shrimps, and fishes

Dickfeld’s Julie also needs regular supplements. Remember, these are not to be fed in single large quantities. Instead, feed them often in small pinches.

Common Diseases

As a fish enthusiast, you must also be worried about the diseases common in Dickfled’s Julie. In a water tank with stale and poorly oxygenated water, Dickfled’s Julie can suffer from typical diseases of the fish. So focus on prevention than cure to save money in the long run.

Suggested changes in water with optimal water conditions of temperature and pH can keep the fish healthy. As Brown Julie is aggressive to other tank mates, overcrowding is not preferable. Keeping an eye on the amount and type of food is also a key element in maintaining the health of Dickfled’s Julie.

If you have fresh water in the tank, you must add marine salt in water as a natural remedy for wounds and fungal infections. Itch is a very typical ailment in Dickfled’s Julie. But it can be cured with increased temperature for about three days. Adding copper or copper-based medicines is an additional therapeutic strategy for itch.

Parasitic infections and skin flukes are also common fish diseases along with bacterial and fungal infections. Therefore, you must keep an eye on the changing signs in the tank and treat the diseases on time.

  • Common Fish diseases: Itch, bacterial infections, fungal infections, parasitic infections, skin flukes, wounds
  • Treatment Options: High temperature up to 30 C, copper medicine, or both

Conclusion

We’ve detailed a lot about the Julidochromis dickfeldi in this article. Now you have a detailed guide about the habitat, lifespan, diet, aquarium needs, and breeding patterns of this African Cichlid.

Let us sum up some important points for you to help in your Julie experience in the aquarium:

  • You can keep a pair of Dickfled’s Julie in a 20-gallon small tank
  • The optimum temperature of the tank should be near to room temperature, i.e., 73 to 80 F
  • The tank needs freshwater with moderately hard and alkaline conditions. pH: 8.0-9.0, dH: 15-25 degrees
  • For breeding, Dickfled’s Julie prefers cave spawning where the male marks the territory for the pair, and you must be very careful about keeping this territory intact
  • Removing the baby fry from the parent’s tank is essential for the next breeding session.
  • However, the fry can only be removed when they have grown about one inch in size
  • Suggested water changes are 10-15 percent in moderate frequency as the Brown Julies are sensitive to significant water changes
  • Avoid overfeeding and overstocking the food in the tank
  • Keeping Julidochromis dickfeldi in a tank is difficult as they are aggressive to tank mates of the same genus and species if they are not similar in looks. But they can live with cichlids of similar size
  • With proper care, Dickfled’s Julie can have a lifespan of seven years

The Julidochromis dickfeldi can be a great addition to your aquarium, even if you are a beginner in the hobby. You can get this fish at a moderate price online or from fish stores and follow the information given in this article to set up a perfect habitat for your new fellow.

So get your hands on making an aquarium full of differently colored Brown Julies in a short time.

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