Login

Join GCCA

Subscription Plans

Individual Member

Single (Adult or Minor with sponsor).

 

 

Why you should join?

  • Monthly Meetings featuring expert speakers (10 per year)
  • Participation in our Breeders Award and CARES programs
  • Priority registration for Swap Meets (5 per year)
  • Ability to buy fish at our Rare Fish Auction (2 per year)
  • Participation in Bag Exchanges (during Covid)
  • Members-only events such as Holiday Party, Picnic, hobby tours and more
  • Our award-winning website which includes hundreds of articles, a cichlid classifieds allow you to find local fish for sale and special members-only sections
  • Show your support for the top cichlid club in the USA
Duration: 1 Year
Price: $20.00
Family Member

Family (Spouses and children under the age of 18 & all under one roof) - roommates, relatives, in-laws, adult siblings, etc will need to get individual memberships

Single (Adult or Minor with sponsor).

Why you should join?

  • Monthly Meetings featuring expert speakers (10 per year)
  • Participation in our Breeders Award and CARES programs
  • Priority registration for Swap Meets (5 per year)
  • Ability to buy fish at our Rare Fish Auction (2 per year)
  • Participation in Bag Exchanges (during Covid)
  • Members-only events such as Holiday Party, Picnic, hobby tours and more
  • Our award-winning website which includes hundreds of articles, a cichlid classifieds allow you to find local fish for sale and special members-only sections
  • Show your support for the top cichlid club in the USA
Duration: 1 Year
Price: $25.00
Lifetime Member

Lifetime Member

A Lifetime Memebership entitles you to all the benefits of GCCA for your entire life. 

Single (Adult or Minor with sponsor).

Why you should join?

  • Monthly Meetings featuring expert speakers (10 per year)
  • Participation in our Breeders Award and CARES programs
  • Priority registration for Swap Meets (5 per year)
  • Ability to buy fish at our Rare Fish Auction (2 per year)
  • Participation in Bag Exchanges (during Covid)
  • Members-only events such as Holiday Party, Picnic, hobby tours and more
  • Our award-winning website which includes hundreds of articles, a cichlid classifieds allow you to find local fish for sale and special members-only sections
  • Show your support for the top cichlid club in the USA
Duration: Lifetime
Price: $500.00

Julidochromis ornatus

Above Julidochromis ornatus pair. Female at left. Male at right. Photo by Rick Borstein

General

Julidochromis ornatus (Boulenger 1898) is one of the more popular Tanganyikan julies. Ornatus is latin for ornate and this fish is quite beautiful indeed. Good specimens exhibit rich golden stripes, hence the popular name "Golden Julie".

Julidochromis ornatus is generally considered a dwarf cichlid. A large specimen may be up to 3.5 inches long, but generally about three inches is the maximum.

You can keep a pair in a ten gallon tank easily and raise fry. I do think this fish benefits from more spacious surroundings and will be more productive raising their fry if you provide a bigger tank.

Sexing this fish is very difficult. I believe the males are generally smaller than the females. I base this on observation of the genital papillae of the smaller fish above; it appeared pointed. The larger fish, which I presume was the female, also sported a much rounder (full of eggs?) shape.

There are multiple location variants in the hobby, but the pair I purchased was sold without designation.

One of the interesting behaviors of this fish is that multiple generations of fry can peacefully coexist in the spawning tank. This is fascinating to watch and I recommend this fish to cichlid fans who want to try their first julie.

Habitat

Julidochromis ornatus is from Lake Tanganyika. It appears almost exclusively among rocks and rocky substrates. Water conditions in the lake range from pH range 8.0 to 9.0 and a dH range 9.0 to 14.0. Water temperature is typically 72 to 77F.

Care

I found Julidochromis ornatus very easy to keep and breed. I just threw them in my lucky 20 gallon Julie tank and I had babies in three weeks.

Clean living? Probably not! It sure helps to buy a known breeding pair from GCCA's President Monica Boester! But seriously, I've bred five types of julies and they all do their thing in my lucky julie tank!

To make your own "lucky julie tank", place a 20 gallon tank in a quiet place in your fishroom on a top rack. Add a couple inches of fine gravel and lots of rock and slate to produce numerous caves.

I keep my tank at 80F and do 50% water changes every two weeks.

Feeding

Julidochromis ornatus is a little bit picky about food, not so much regarding what you feed, but the size of the food itself. You could probably deduce this yourself from the picture above. The underslung mouth indicates that this fish is a scraper which grazes the algae and small organisms covering the rocks in the lake.

I was successful feeding Tetra Cichlid Flakes, New Life Spectrum and homemade frozen food. These fish won't go to the surface to feed, although they will go after food in midwater. Floating pellets are out of the question!

Breeding

I found this fish to be one of the easier julies to breed. For best success, start with a small group of fish and grow them up to see who pairs off. Select the prospective pair and place them in your own "lucky julie tank" per above. You could offer frozen adult brine shrimp to help condition the fish.

Like most julies, Julidochromis ornatus is a secretive cave spawner. You will likely notice the fish excavating and rearranging the tank extensively. If you see the fish disappear for a while, they either laid eggs or are guarding the newly hatched fry. This is the time to start feeding live or frozen baby brine shrimp. I had decent luck with Cyclops-eeze (the adults eat it, too). The largest spawn I saw was a dozen babies, but I have read reports that up to 30 eggs are laid.

At present, I have four spawns (about 30 babies of different sizes) peacefully coexisting in my tank.

The very small fry seem somewhat sensitive to large water changes. Once the fry are a quarter-inch or so, there is not problem.

My fry took about two months to reach one-half inch in length.

I have heard that if you are moving a pair, it is best to move a few fry with them. Apparently, this helps maintain the pair bond.

Retail Price

At retail, expect to pay $12 to $20 each for 1.5 inch long fish . Fry, if you can find them, are 1$ to $2 each for one half-inch long specimens.

Availability

Julidochromis ornatus is regularly available in better pet shops and is kept by many hobbyists. We generally see some at GCCA auctions and swap meets..

Report September 2002 by Rick Borstein