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Hecq’s shell-dweller - Neolamprologus hecqui

Hecq’s shell-dweller - Neolamprologus hecqui

Scientific name: Neolamprologus hecqui

Common name: Hecq’s shell-dweller

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 8 - 9 cm (3.15 - 3.54 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 7 - 8.4

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 8 - 28°N (142.86 - 500ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 22 - 27 °C (71.6 - 80.6°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: Africa

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: aggressive to smaller

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels

Food and feeding

Hecq’s shell-dwellers will accept quality flake or pellets but these should not make up their staple diet. Offer on a regular basis meals of live or frozen foods.


Africa; Hecq’s shell-dwellers are endemic to Lake Tanganyika.


Mature males are larger than the females, observing the swimming pattern will help as the males will display to the females.


Neolamprologus hecqui are shell brooders so add plenty of large snail shells to the tank to provide spawning sites. Add 3-4 females to one male as they are harem breeders and the male will try to breed with all the females. When spawning is complete the eggs should hatch after 3 days and a few days after this the fry should be free swimming. At this stage the fry should be fed on newly hatched brine shrimp or micro worms.


The expected life span for Neolamprologus hecqui is 5 years.

Short description

Hecq’s shell-dwellers like to dig in the substrate so use sand which should be at least 2” deep. Always add more shells to the tank than fish and add rockwork to create hiding places.


Bought by from

Hecq’s shell-dweller picture

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