Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: With Caution
General Description: Brichardi, also known as the Lyretail Cichlid and Fairy Cichlid, are endemic to rocky rubble areas of Lake Tanganyika in Africa, but the majority of specimens available in the aquarium trade are commerically produced. A relatively hardy species and a good beginner African cichlid, Brichardi have a tan body, with males developing more elaborate and long dorsal, anal, and caudal fins than females. They are best kept as a male-female pair, though most specimens are sold at a young age where distinguishing sex is more difficult. An adult Brichardi will grow to approximately 3.5″, with females averaging slightly smaller than males.
Diet Requirements: A diet made up of various high quality protein and vegetable based foods are ideal. Such options include frozen brine shrimp and blood worms, and foods containing Spirulina algae are a plus. Brichardi will accept sinking pellet foods and flake foods as a staple, but these should not make up the majority of their diet. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 55 gallon aquarium is ideal for a pair of Brichardi. This cichlid cannot be put into a biologically immature aquarium. Biweekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters up to standard (Nitrates < 30 ppm). The aquarium should have a finer substrate, driftwood and rocks for this cichlid to feel at home. Stacked rocks to create many hiding spaces and caves can encourage spawning and more outgoing behavior. African cichlid specific substrates, or even marine Aragonite substrate, are great choices because they will buffer the pH and alkalinity to levels characteristic of Lake Tanganyika that is needed for this species to thrive and spawn, if desired. Brichardi are compatible with other like Tanganyikan cichlid species, particularly Cyprichromis and shell-dwellers. There may be some territorial disputes with Altolamprologus and Julidochromis if the aquarium is not large enough. Recommended water conditions, 72-82° F, KH 10-20, pH 8.0-9.0.
Purchase Size: Small: 1” to 1-1/2”; Medium: 1-3/4” to 2-1/4”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.