Fast facts on Neolamprologus brevis
Biotope: Lake Tanganyika (Africa, Rift Valley). Intralacustrine endemism and colour morphs are present but, sad to say, no details were available on my specimens (3M/3F).
Tank: Mine were housed (alone) in a 90 lt (24 gals) tank, even though a 40 lt tank will fit a small school. A layer of soft sand and empty shells at the bottom of tank is a must (see spawning), plantation is at your leisere (Cryptocorinae sp. and Anubias barteri were used).
Water chemistry: Water temp in the range 24°-26° C; pH (as high as possible) 8.0, nitrite / nitrate to be kept as low as possible (used to perform a 20% water change every two to three weeks - because of absolutely undercrowded tank - to handle nitrogen cycle). Beware of too "hot" water, at summer, in REALLY small tanks.
Spawning: They took few months, after purchase, to grow adult and, completely "relax" in their tank. Then (having been lucky enough to get 3 pairs) after having begun to mate, they were … … "no problem" at all. "Survival rate" is low (no specific foods were used); no idea on egg's number (spawning took place inside shells, see pic)
Food: Pellets, flakes, frozen food. Only a remarks: be carefull to choose really small (in size) food. My captive-born NL brevis were not fussy at eating!
Tank Mates: I kept them alone, but it's said they're no problem if mixed with other cichlids from Lake Tanganyika and almost the same in a "hard water" community tank. Those fishes are good diggers but their small size reduces the problem. Beware: void too big tankmates (i.e.: a Cyphotilapia frontosa can swollow a shelldweller with no problem and it fact, given the opportunity, they do so, being fishes coming from the same biotope, and used (C. frontosa) to feed, also, on smaller fishes.
Remarks: Once arrived to almost 50 specimens (3 breeding pairs and offsprings of many different sizes) on a sad day they (all!) were "boiled" from a heater that, once reached the target temp, refused to "turn off" (I was at work!)