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Masked Julie (Julidochromis transcriptus)

Photo of: Masked Julie (Julidochromis transcriptus)

Scientific Name(s): Julidochromis transcriptus


Common Name(s): Masked Julie


Family: Cichlidae


Species Type: African Cichlids, Lake Tanganyika


Maximum Size: 3 inches


Life Span: 8 years


Natural Habitat: East African Lake Tanganyika


Minimum Tank Size: 40 gallons


Tank Region: This species likes to stay near caves so the middle to bottom region of the tank is preferred.


Possible Tank Mates: Best left to a species only tank.


Description: Avowed fry-eaters when it comes to other species, Julies may not be the best addition to a breeding tank if the parents are likely to allow predation. However, they make a lovely pair for the small rock-filled tank, and a stunning group for the larger tank. The bold black and white of this fish rivals that of Zebra Plecos or even saltwater species, and with the added bonus of lovely blue and/or yellow in the fins.


Temperature Range: 72°F - 80°F



pH Range: 7.8 - 8.8

pH 5.0
pH 6.0
pH 7.0
pH 8.0
pH 9.0


Hardness Range: 10° - 20°



Breeding Information: Cave spawners, the already reclusive julies may seem to disappear altogether when guarding a clutch of eggs. Relatively small groups of fry are coupled with fairly consistent spawns; the older fry often help raise and protect their younger siblings, creating a colony feel to the tank. As adolescents, however, they may be kicked out by their parents and must be removed if the tank is too small to contain the entire family.


Sexing Information: Females are often larger than males and often plumped with eggs. In adults, venting may reveal the longer genital papillae of females, but the species is basically monomorphic.


Diet: Carnivorous - does well with flake food suppliments with frozen foods such as krill or brine shrimp.


Temperament: Reclusive, aggressive, and territorial


Common Diseases: None specific to species


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African Cichlids, Lake Tanganyika


Keith Pardee

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