Leleupi vs. Longior
By Keegan Armke (7-97)

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          One of the most commonly kept Tanganyikans is Neolamprologus leleupi. The appealing color and hardiness of this fish has helped it become a mainstay in the hobby.
          We have bred three different color morphs of N. leleupi and found the males to be pretty hard on their mates, as we have lost two breeding females due to injury.
           This situation doesn’t seem to apply to Neolamprologus longior. About 4 1/2 years ago we located eight young F1 longior with the promise that the fish had extraordinary bright yellow coloration.
          We had to pay a premium for the fish and were somewhat skeptical, but later concluded they were “the real thing”. They were placed in a 75-gallon aquarium with very little structure. The fish grew rapidly for Neolamps and I soon concluded there was only one female among the eight fish. I must have vented each longior three times trying to “create” another female, but to no avail.
           The lone female and three of the males were eventually moved into a 180-gallon community tank with ample structure, and a pair soon formed. For spawning, they selected a breeding cave made of a plastic egg which we had acquired at a local auction.
           After spawning regularly for a period, they apparently stopped and haven’t spawned in at least four months.
Neolamprologus longior, formerly listed in books as Neolamprologus leleupi longior, differs from leleupi in that it is a smaller species and, when mature, noticeably more slender in the body and head. It also seems to be a much more peaceful fish.
           The extra males in our commuity aquarium (about 3.5") frequently stay in close proximity to the mated pair (female about 2.5") without much harassment. This would not be the case with leleupi I have kept.
           The adult longior do have an especially brilliant yellow coloration—brighter than the leleupi we’ve kept. However, as we’ve never seen other longior, we don’t know if this coloration is common to the species, or just to a geographical race. We’ve seen a picture (Aqualex) of a Kabogo Point longior that looks identical to ours, but we can’t be certain of the origin of our longior.
            N. longior is a great fish for hobbyists who have a taste for something different, but still crave bright colors.
Conveniently, it is a fish which can be kept in tanks of almost any size and with either a gravel or sand substrate.
Longior doesn’t shy away from open areas of the aquarium, so extensive rockwork is not a must, but is probably appreciated.

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