Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons (38 Litres)
Care Level: Easy
Water Conditions: 7.5-9.0 pH and Hard to Very Hard
Temperature: 73-81 °F (23-27 °C)
Maximum Size: 2.2 inches (5.5 cm)
The Neolamprologus brevis is a small, shell dwelling cichlid. It is found only in the waters of Lake Tanganyika in Africa and is quite popular in the aquarium hobby. While it isn’t the most colorful fish by any stretch of the imagination, it’s fascinating behavior more than makes up for its lack of colors.
In Lake Tanganyika, it inhabits relatively deep water along the shoreline and is always founds in areas with soft substrate and plentiful snail shells. Due to the extremely hard and alkaline waters of Lake Tanganyika, snail shells break down very slowly, leaving the bottom of the lake littered with thousands of shells.
Because of the plentiful shells, many shell dwelling fish, or shells as they’re called in the hobby, inhabit these shells. Neolamprologus brevis are one of these species, and they both inhabit and breed in shells.
Neolamprologus brevis stay relatively small in the home aquarium, and most will grow to a maximum of 2.2 inches (5.5 cm) in the length. The males are always larger than the females, and most females will only grow to about 1.6 inches (4 cm) in length. A well-cared-for Neolamprologus brevis can live up to ten years, though eight years seems to be the average.