By Jeffrey Burke
Neolamprologus ocellatus is a personable little shelldwelling cichlid from Lake Tanganyika. These feisty little cichlids will hold there own in a Lake Tanganyika Community tank with fish five times their size and even spawn under those conditions.
The spawning tank (if you can call it that) is 30 gallon tank. Filtration was achieved by means of a Fluval 202 Canister and a back up sponge. Substrate was gravel and crushed coral. Rainbow shale was stacked up 2/3 the back and formed caves. Placed on top of the rocks were 3 PVC pipes twelve inches long and four in diameter where the catfish called home. Their tank mates were 5 Neolamprologus cylindricus, 4 Atalamprologus compressiceps, a pair of Synodonis multipunctatus and another pair of unidentified Shelldwellers.
The pair of Ocellatus each had their own shells which happen to be at opposite ends of the tank. Non–Spawning times the male would chase the female. Spawning time they would share and defend the shell even from the much larger Synodontis. The funny thing is that they would spawn in either his shell or her shell. After 10–15 days of the pair sharing a shell I would remove the shell and empty the fry out of the Shell. The fry would still have egg sacs. The fry are easy and undemanding to raise. Even with a busy tank with larger tank mates these little Shelldwellers will flourish and even spawn.