Snail cichlids are fascinating animals. They have chosen empty snail shells – in Lake Tanganyika there are large accumulations of empty shells of snails of the genus Neothauma – as their center of life. Neothauma snails are with a diameter of 4-5 cm relatively large snails from the relationship of the mystery snails. However, in the aquarium snail cichlids are also satisfied with other snail shells of comparable size, e.g. Roman snail shells, which can be bought in the grocery store at any time. Here in the photo session we used the house of an Asian apple snail (Pila sp.).
There is disagreement about the genus of Lamprologus brevis. Some scientists assign only the species of the lower Congo to the genus Lamprologus and put all species of Lake Tanganyika in Neolamprologus (and other genera), others think this is nonsense and leave especially the snail cichlids (there are several species) in Lamprologus. For us aquarists it doesn’t matter, you should just know that Lamprologus brevis can also be found under the name Neolamprologus brevis. Both are the same species.
Lamprologus brevis was already described in 1899 from the area of Albertville, Congolese shore of Lake Tanganyika. Males grow to about 5 cm long, females remain somewhat smaller. Both partners inhabit the same snail shell. The area around their home snail shell is vigorously defended, but otherwise these small fish need little space because of their “house-hopping” habits. They will eat any common fish food. Both parents take care of the brood and often there are floor broods where the fry of several clutches live together with the parents in the same snail shell until the parents eventually chase the offspring away.
For our customers: the animals have code 542001 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer