The Habitat of Fish Julidochromis ornatus in Nature - fish-hobbyist

The Habitat of Fish Julidochromis ornatus in Nature

The habitat of fish Julidochromis ornatus is located at Lake Tanganyika. If you plan on recreating its natural habitat for your fish tank, this article may help you.

Adding new fish species to your collection is certainly fun to do, from researching their behavior to their natural habitat. Julidochromis ornatus, also known as the Golden Julie, is a species of freshwater fish that many fish keepers are fond of having. If you plan on keeping them, knowing the habitat of fish Julidochromis ornatus in nature will help you set up your fish tank to make them happy.


The Julidochromis ornatus is native to Eastern Africa. They originate from Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika. Coincidentally, they are located next to each other in Africa and have similar ecosystems. In their natural habitat, the fish is often seen swimming in schools, consisting of 6 or more Golden Julie per school. A school of Golden Julie usually consists of 1 large female. This article will look further into Lake Tanganyika’s ecosystem as the Golden Julie’s main habitat.

The Nature of Lake Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika is known as the African Great Lake because of being the longest freshwater lake shared by many countries of Eastern Africa, including Zambia, Burundi, Congo, and Tanzania. It is also the world’s second-oldest freshwater lake, the second-largest volume lake, and the second deepest—making the lake to become a sanctuary for wildlife, including the Julidochromis ornatus.

This freshwater lake is made up of alkaline water with a pH of 9 and gradually decreases to 8.3 depending on how deep the water is. As for the water temperature, the range differs between the rainy and dry seasons. However, the recorded general temperature is around 24 to 29 degrees Celsius or 75 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to global warming, the water temperature is expected to continue to increase gradually, as proof that it is indeed warmer compared to the recorded water temperature in the 1950s.

Habitat of Julidochromis ornatus 

The habitat of fish Julidochromis ornatus is in the northwestern part of Lake Tanganyika, within the depths of 1.8 to 4.6 meters or 6 to 15 feet. Underwater is a rocky shore well known as the shallow rocky shore habitat.

This segment of habitat in Lake Tanganyika is characterized by the presence of many sizes of rocks, from the size of a small pebble to the size of a football, with cracks and fissures. The fish mainly look for food and stay around those rocks, as they can function as a place to hide. The rocks also provide algae which is one of their natural diets. Besides eating algae, they also eat insect larvae, mollusks, and little crustaceans. 

To recreate the habitat of fish Julidochromis ornatus, thorough research is needed. If kept well, it can grow up to 10 centimeters or 3.94 inches long. The Golden Julie can thrive in captivity with minimal upkeep if supported by the right natural environment. This includes water temperature, filtration, pH level, and diet. Use this information to help plan how to set up hiding spots in your large tank.


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