Brichardi Cichlid (Neolamprologus brichardi): Ultimate Care Guide

Common Name(s)Fairy cichlid; Princess cichlid; Lyretail cichlid
Scientific NameNeolamprologus brichardi
Originthe rocky shorelines of Lake Tanganyika
Temperaturebetween 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit
SizeUp to six inches long
Minimum Tank Size15 Gallons
Food & DietOmnivore
Lifespan8-10 years
Water pH9
Tank MatesCyprichromis and Synodontis catfish
BreedingCave breeders
Common DiseaseIch

Neolamprologus brichardi, also referred to as the Brichardi cichlid, is a graceful fish with a lyre-shaped tail and white spots on its fins. This resilient species is simple to breed.

The Bruchardi Cichlids are gorgeous. Their bodies are light brown, and the area around the tail is yellow. This species’ delicate, yellow fins feature a blue border. In addition fish having bright blue eyes, they also have an eye-catching pattern of blue lines that runs from the lip to the gill covering. From the eye to the gill covering, a broad, horizontal black stripe can be seen. Above the bar, the gill cover features a bright yellow or gold patch.

A tiny cichlid, Brichardi Cichlid inhabits the rocky shorelines of Lake Tanganyika. They are found in both shallow (10 feet) and deep (82–98 feet) seas. These delicate fish travel in enormous shoals, sometimes numbering over a hundred fish.

Its original name, the “Princess of Burundi,” was given to it when it was initially imported in the early 1970s. The Fairy Cichlid, Brichardi Cichlid, and Lyretail Lamprologus are its more well-known modern names. Princess cichlid, Brichard’s Lamprologus, and Brichard’s Lyretail Cichlid are a few more frequent names with descriptive meanings.

Brichardi Cichlid
Brichardi Cichlid (Neolamprologus brichardi)

Brichardi Cichlid Care

Described as moderately hardy the Brichardi Cichlid is resilient and not difficult to care for. Brichardi Cichlid is a great choice for the beginner hobbyist because it is quite simple to maintain.


It is advised to keep the temperature between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. This breed cannot endure temperatures over 86 F or below 68 F for an extended amount of time.

Water pH

Lake Tanganyika’s water is alkaline. Since the water in your tank needs to be extremely hard, it should have a pH of 9 and a dGH between 12 and 14.

Brichardi Cichlid Size

In the wild, these tiny species grow to be about 4 – 5 inches long, but in home aquariums, they can grow to be up to 6 inches long.

Food and Diet

Brichardi Cichlids are omnivores. They feed on small crustaceans and invertebrates found in the biofilm of the rocky substrate in their natural habitat. They also enjoy the swarms of plankton that float in the water.

Brichardi Cichlids are not picky eaters, so feeding them is simple. They will typically accept fresh, live, and flake foods. It would be beneficial to maintain a well-balanced diet by providing them with high-quality flake food or pellets on a daily basis.

It is best not to feed your Brichardi Cichlids only dry foods if you want to ensure their health and wellbeing. We recommend a diet rich in high-quality live meaty foods, as well as frozen and dry foods.

To improve the food of these tiny fish, give them daphnia or brine shrimp, either alive or frozen.

Include some vegetable material, such as spirulina or blanched spinach. Giving them dried foods too frequently is not a good idea.

It might be advisable to give these fish smaller amounts of food more frequently. Instead of one big meal once a day, give them two to five little pinches of food throughout the day. This procedure will manage the waste, stop the water from becoming tainted, and prolong the preservation of water quality. Fasting once a week might be advantageous for Brichardi Cichlids as well.

Brichardi Cichlid
Brichardi Cichlid (Neolamprologus brichardi)

Brichardi Cichlids Lifespan

With quality care Brichardi Cichlids can live eight to ten years in your tank.

Tank Size

If only Brichardi Cichids are in your tank a minimum size of fifteen gallons is required. If they are part of a community tank a fifty gallon tank is recommended.

Tank Setup

The primary characteristics of the Brichardi Cichlid’s natural biotope, which is typically in coastal waters, should be reflected in the aquarium. Its natural habitat should be simulated as a rocky maze with sandy patches and some flora.

Since broken coral and aragonite sands dissolve much more quickly than salts, purchasing the sand used for saltwater aquariums is advised. This will enable you to manage the tank’s pH level, which is essential for the welfare of these tiny fish.

To make lots of caverns and crevices for the Neolamprologus brichardi to explore or hide in, you’ll need to gather a lot of rocks. It would be preferable to properly arrange the stone piles when creating the caves. To make sure they are securely in place on the aquarium’s bottom, press the rocks for the base firmly into the substrate. If the fish dig around the piles to make a spawning place, this will stop the piles from falling over onto the fish.

Brichardi Cichlid likes to move around the aquarium a lot, so when setting up the caves and adding plants, make sure to leave plenty of open swimming space. While this species is not as active as other cichlids, it will occasionally dig in substrates and uproot plants. African Water Ferns and Anubias are therefore good choices because they can be attached to the rock surface and thrive.

The Brichardi Cichlid enjoys swimming in a strong current the most. Since Lake Tanganyika has clear water and a lot of oxygen, it would be advisable to install a powerful filtering system.

Brichardi Cichlid Breeding

Brichardi cichlids are among the most simple cichlids to breed in an aquarium. These fish spawn in caves. If you want to keep producing them, you must provide caves for them to lay their eggs within the tank. You could also keep flowerpots for spawning purposes.

Either purchase an adult Brichardi Cichlid pair that has already formed a bond or add a school of at least six to eight juvenile fish to the aquarium. A group of them will swim together before splitting up to spawn. They establish solid ties and are monogamous. The couples carry on breeding and raising their broods together for the rest of their lives. They take good care of their young and protect them for several months.

Are Brichardi Cichlid Mouth Brooders?

Brichardi Cichlids are not mouth brooders.  They spawn in a cave and the female takes the duty of minding the eggs while the male guards the territory.

Brichardi Cichlid Male or Female

Males have a modest size advantage over females. The fin rays of males are longer than those of females. The skulls of the females are slightly more slender.

Brichardi Cichlid Disease

In an aquarium that is properly cared for, Brichardi Cichlids are fairly resilient. These cichlids are prone to common fish diseases, especially in stagnant, poorly filtered, and oxygenated water. Ich is a typical issue. The treatment involves raising the tank’s temperature to 86° F (30° C) for three days. The fish must be treated with copper if that does not cure the Ich (remove any water conditioners). For Ich, a number of copper-based fish medicines are available. Follow the recommendations from the manufacturer to ensure that copper usage stays within the recommended ranges. The right amounts can also be maintained with a copper test. You can also raise the temperature while receiving an Ich medicine.

Like most fish, they are prone to bacterial infections, fungal infections, and infections from worms, protozoa, and other parasites. It is advised to educate yourself on the typical tank ailments. It makes a significant difference to recognize the symptoms and to detect and treat them quickly.

Brichardi Cichlid Tank Mates

They are good residents for the community cichlid tank because they are relatively calm. Brichardi Cichlids can eat a wide range of aquarium meals and adapt to a wide range of water conditions.

Are Brichardi Cichlids Aggressive?

Brichardi Cichlids are a peaceful fish in your community tank, and mix in well with the other cichlids. They can be territorial when protecting their eggs and young.

Compatible and Incompatible Tank Mates for Brichardi Cichlids

The Brichardi Cichlid can be kept alongside other Tanganyikan shell-dwelling species that are bottom-dwellers if you have a large tank because it spends most of its time in the intermediate and higher layers of the water column. A colony of tiny to medium-sized cichlids, like Cyprichromis and Synodontis catfish, could be kept in a roomy tank.

It is also feasible to keep other rock dwellers like Julidochromis or Altolamprologus if your aquarium is big enough. Different breeds can coexist harmoniously in distinct regions if the layout is carefully thought out to include hiding places and broken lines of sight.

However, keeping the Brichardi Cichlid in the same tank as dwarf shrimp and other small, sensitive invertebrates is not advised.

Where can I find Brichardi Cichlids for sale?

Brichardi Cichlids can be purchased on marketplaces such as Kijiji, from online aquarium stores, or from select pet stores. The price of Brichardi Cichlid varies from 10 USD to 20 USD.