Max Size: 15cm

Marliers Julie (Julidochromis marlieri)

The Marlieri Cichlid is an excellent choice for both the beginner and the advance aquarist. It is reasonably easy to care for as long it has the proper sized aquarium and the suitable tank mates. These Cichlids are somewhat peaceful, making good inhabitants for the community cichlid tank. They can adapt to a wide range of water parameters, eat a wide variety of aquarium foods, and readily breed. However, the aquarium does need regular water changes.

You can keep these Cichlids singly, in a pair, or a group of several couples alongside other Cichlids that are a similar size. They are peaceful towards those of the same species, but will not tolerate adults of their own offspring.

The Marlieri Cichlid has a most exciting swimming style. Being somewhat shy, they will stay in the rocks more towards the aquarium's back, darting out to retrieve food. They move in a determined manner up, down, and around its habitat and turn sideways between rocks or even dangle upside down under rocks.

The Marlieri Cichlid has a torpedo-shaped body with an extending dorsal fin and a fan-shaped caudal fin. Their mouth is slightly downward pointing for eating. These fish have a pleasant contrast of colour. They have a yellow or whitish background and display a checkered type pattern created by three horizontal rows of white to golden spots.

They also possess beautiful blue highlights surrounding the body. The Marlieri Cichlid is the only individual with a stripe under the eye. The fins are virtually always edged with a thin light stripe and a thin black stripe outside.

There are several slightly different colour pattern and size variations of the Marlieri Cichlid depending on the region where they are found; still, they are all lovely.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameJulidochromis marlieri
Other NamesChequered Julie, Marlieri Cichlid, Spotted Julie, Plaid Julie
OriginsBurundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Zambia
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asPairs
Lifespan5 - 8 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH7.5 - 8.5
72 - 80℉
22.2 - 26.7℃

Photos of the Marliers Julie

Marliers Julie
Marliers Julie
Marliers Julie
Marliers Julie
Marliers Julie
Marliers Julie
Marliers Julie

Natural Habitat

Marlieri Cichlids are usually found in the northern and southern areas of Lake Tanganyika in Africa. However, another population has also been located on the western shores. They inhabit rocky shorelines and can be found at the water's surface as well as in moderately deep waters, which they prefer.

Lake Tanganyika

What to feed the Marliers Julie

In the aquarium, it is more beneficial if you provide these fish with a good balance. You can offer them high quality dried food such as flakes or pellet every day regularly supplementing this with live and frozen fare such as daphnia, Cyclops, Mysis shrimp and brine shrimp as well as some vegetable material such as blanched spinach or spirulina.

It is advisable to provide these Cichlids with 2 to 5 small pinches of food daily in smaller amounts instead of giving them a large portion once a day. This will help to maintain the best water quality.

How to sex the Marliers Julie

It is relatively straightforward to differentiate female from male Marlieri Cichlids. The females have a more extended genital papilla that is more flat on the end and are usually more extensive. They also tend to have a more robust body than males.

In contrast, the male's genital papillae are shorter, angled towards the back and more pointed. The males also possess a lump-like swelling on the neck and are typically smaller than females.

How to breed the Marliers Julie

Marlieri Cichlids are egg layers that will form platonic pairs. These Cichlids are sheltered substrate spawners and prefer spawning in caves. This fish has been bred successfully in captivity, but young couples need the practice to grow into successful parents. Do not be surprised -if they eat their first batch or two.

The Marlieri Cichlids are cave spawners, so it is advisable to provide them with caves made from rocks, clay, planting pots, or slate pieces, as they adhere their eggs to the "roof" of their cave.

It would be best if you brought 6 to 10 juveniles and allow them to pair off. Once they have chosen, the male will start to mark off territories. It is at this point you should remove the others, or they will be chased off.

It is best not to move any decorations around or rearrange the rocks in the aquarium once they form territories as this can stress them out and will likely break the bond the male and female have made. This is because part of their bond is connected to the "territory" more than one another. If stressed, one of the pair will eliminate the other.

It would be best to have a separate breeding tank with moderately alkaline and medium to hard water with a pH of around 7.5 to 9.0 and a temperature between 75 - 78.8 degrees Farenheight

The males will entice the females into a cave where the pair will very secretively spawn in it. The female will then lay up to 100 bluish-green coloured eggs on the wall or the roof. It is often challenging to tell if they have spawned until the fry is seen.

Once spawning is complete, the female will tend to the eggs, and the male will guard the area around the cave. Once the eggs have hatched, you may wish to remove the parents, although they will rarely harm their offspring.

These Cichlids will spawn every 5 to 7 weeks.

Make sure there are many crevices for the young to hide in and do not use plecos in the tank, as they will consume the young during the night. The Marlieri Cichlids as parents are devoted to their young and will take it in turns guarding the babies while the other leaves to eat. The parents will allow their fry to stay in the area until they reach about 2.5 cm long, even when new batches are hatched since they will help guard their siblings.

Although the parents do great guarding their fry, only a small amount will survive. It is advisable to siphon out most of the fry for a higher yield when they are born and place them in a separate tank, leaving a few in the tank for the parents to look after.

You should initially feed the fry on baby brine shrimp until they are big enough to accept other foods. You should note that these fry are slow growers.

Other Cichlids of interest

African Butterfly Cichlid(Anomalochromis thomasi)
Banded Apistogramma(Apistogramma bitaeniata)
Blue Panda Apistogramma(Apistogramma panduro, Apistogramma pandurini)
Bolivian Ram Cichlid(Mikrogeophagus altispinosus)
Checkerboard Cichlid(Dicrossus filamentosus)
Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid(Apistogramma cacatuoides)
View all Cichlids
Date Added: 11/02/2021 - Updated: 07/12/2021 13:31:19