Lamprologus stappersi
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Lamprologus stappersi

Common Names: Meleagris Shelldweller
Pearly Ocellatus
Synonyms: Lamprologus meleagris
Family: Cichlidae
Category: Cichlids
Distribution: Africa; Lake Tanganyika, particularly the coast around the Republic of Congo
Main Ecosystem: Rift Lake; Sandy, muddy shellbeds
Temperament: Territorial; Particularly aggressive when breeding but strangely easily stressed by large, boisterous tankmates; retiring and quiet much of the time
Diet: Ominvore; Primarily carnivorous in nature, feeding on tiny aquatic life, but willing to eat nearly anything in captivity.
Care: With hard, basic water, shells, and some space, these fish will be quite content. In a species tank with sand to dig in and live food, they'll be ecstatic. Allow time for fairly slow growth and space for territorial squabbles, feed well and watch for the inexplicable and extraordinary body thinning (to paper-thin in extremity) that's a sure sign of stress if the fish are being kept with other cichlids.
Pairs, or, in larger tanks, harems are the best setup for this fish. Multiple males are unlik
7.6 - 8.4
24°C - 28°C
75°F - 82°F
8 dH - 20 dH
Potential Size: Male: 7cm (2.8")
Female: 7cm (2.8")
Water Region: Middle, Bottom; They mainly stick to the floor but are quite willing to look above for dangers or food
Activity: Diurnal; Diurnal
Gender: Sexing juveniles is not easy. The disparate sizes of fish from the same spawn are not definitive, but males are usually larger. Males will often have better color and a more distinctly-marked caudal, but again none of these are concrete.
Breeding: The female will lay her eggs in the shell, often after some significant digging and redecorating beforehand, and the male will fertilize them. The first sign of a spawn in most cases is the tiny eye-and-tail fry poking out of the shell. They can raise themselves on the parents' scraps but will grow faster on live foods.
Comments: The common name, "Pearly Ocellatus" is because this is a member of the "ocellatus" group of shelldwellers, and bears white "pearls" (as in Pearl Gourami, not pearlscale goldfish - these are flat white dots) covering the fish. The other two popular members of the ocellatus group are L. ocellatus and L. speciosus, the "Black ocellatus."
Main Colours: Brown
Markings: Mottled
Mouth: Upturned
Tail: Flat
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Image Credit: ;LittleMousling
Submitted By: littlemousling
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