The convict julie, Julidochromis regani is a species of fish in the Cichlidae family endemic to Lake Tanganyika. Hence it is found in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia. Its natural habitat is high alkaline freshwater lakes.
Julidochromis regani is a small (10-13cm) secretive bi parental substrate spawner, retreating to caves or rock crevices for protection and breeding. It is omnivorous. Pairs are largely monogamous, though instances of polyandry, with the female taking more than one mate, have been recorded in both the wild and the aquarium.
The pale to golden yellow body is slender and elongated. Patterns is varying depending on which part of the lake the fish originates from. However, Julidochromis regani have four slender lateral black stripes that runs the length of the body. On the dorsal fin the stripes are vertical. The outer edge of the caudal, dorsal and anal fins is white, while the pectoral fins are yellow. Sexing is difficult, but males do have a small genital papilla and females are generally plumper than the male.
Julidochromis regani are popular ornamental fish and are ideally suited to the aquarium as they are small growing dwarf cichlids, easy to spawn and care for. Like all Lake Tanganyika cichlids, Julidochromis regani are best maintained in hard alkaline water, with a pH of 8.5 - 9.0 and a hardness of 12-14 kH, and in aquaria no smaller than 60 - 80 litres. Only one species of Julidochromis should be kept in any single aquarium, as the species within this genus tend to hybridize easily. The aquarium should be decorated with rocks to form caves and passageways in way of shelter. Like many other Rift Valley cichlids they tend to be territorial and somewhat aggressive. It is therefore best to keep them with other cichlids.
Fry can stay with the parents and should be fed protein-rich foods such as baby brine shrimp. Parents can sometimes be found leading their fry around the aquarium.