Neolamprologus kungweensis

Neolamprologus kungweensis is a small Tanganyika cichlid. They are not shell dwelling!

Neolamprologus kungweensis

Often people think Neolamprologus kungweensis is a shell dweller but actually it isn’t. This species lives above hard muddy soil at a depth of 10 to 40 meters. They dig tunnels into this mud. In our aquariums we usually do not provide mud so they create alternative hidings. They dig away some sand or choose a snail shell to shelter in. They can only be found at the east side of Lake Tanganyika.

Synonym: Lamprologus kungweensis.


Males can reach a maximum total length of around 6 centimeters, females stay a bit smaller at 4 centimeters. Neolamprologus kungweensis can best be kept as a pair. Only in large aquariums with lots of hiding spaces you can keep them in a group. They do no create a colony but will occupy a small territory. Unlike most other shelldwellers they will allow other species to enter their territory.

If you have a large aquarium and have plans to keep both shelldwellers and sanddwellers (not advisable) this species will probably be the better choice than shelldwellers.

They are very curious. If there is uproar or changes in your aquarium they will immediately explore the situation. Probably to see if a better territory has been created.


Lake Tanganyika, inhabits the shores from Kungwe Bay in Tanzania to the north towards Bjumbura then south towards Kalemie in Democratic Republic Kongo.


Every specimen needs some space to find or dig multiple hidings. Sand and shell are much appreciated.


They will eat any form of small carnivorous food, living, frozen, flakes or granules.

Breeding Neolamprologus kungweensis

Every Neolamprologus kungweensis lives in its own cave or shelter. The female deposits a couple of eggs inside. The male enters the shelter and fertilises the eggs. The eggs hatch after around one week. The female protects the eggs and fry.



Patrick de Pijper

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