Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Julidochromis regani

Julidochromis reganiJulidochromis regani
Photos by Andy Rapson


Julidochromis: Taken from marine wrasse "julidini"; also from Greek, ioulis = a fish dealing with genera Coris or Thalassoma.

General Notes:

J. regani is a very aggressive and territorial fish particularly towards its own kind. The pair bond between male and female is quite fragile and over disturbance during tank maintenance may cause fighting amongst even well established pairs with the male almost always coming off worse. Keep only one pair per tank unless the tank is very large and has at least two separate rocky reefs. J. regani can be kept with other non-competing fish from different niches in Lake Tanganyika such as shell dwellers or open water species like Cyprichromis. They are not suitable for a general community tank due to the water chemistry of a very high pH and mineral rich water that J. regani needs in order to thrive. J. regani will come out in to the open more than other species of Julidochromis but they still claim a rocky environment for their territory and spawning site.


Good quality flake or granular food as a staple supplemented with lots of suitably sized live or frozen food.


Difficult to sex but adult females tend to be larger than adult males.


J. regani doesn't require any special preparation. Well cared for fish will pair up, claim their territory and spawn of their own accord. They are so secretive that you may not even realise that they have spawned until you see Juli fry swimming around their parents territory. They make excellent parents and their territory is normally quite inaccessible so even in a community tank most fry will survive. However once they reach a certain size they will be regarded as competitors and intruders and attacked. When removing some well grown fry it is very important not to disturb the pairs territory or you risk splitting the pair bond of the adult fish. Only remove the fry which become accessible. Once a pair begin spawning they are very prolific and it isn't uncommon for them to spawn whilst still caring for very small fry from the previous brood.

Wild status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists J. regani as 'least concern' the fish is widespread throughout Lake Tanganyika and no major threats have been identified. Most fish offered for sale will have been captive bred rather than wild caught.

Information at a glance

pH: 8.6 - 9.5
dGH: 11 - 17
Temperature: 22 - 25°C (72 - 77°F)
Diet: Micro predator
Size: 13cm (5in)
Min tank size: 100 litres
Difficulty level: Difficult
Aquarium type: Species, community
Swimming level: Close to rocks but more open than most other species of Julidochromis.

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Julidochromis regani

Origin: Africa: Endemic to Lake Tanganyika

Habitat: Rocky reefs


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Cichlidae
Genus: Julidochromis
Species: J. regani Poll, 1942

Common name:

Synonyms: Julidochromis regani regani, Julidochromis regani affinis