Name: Nimbochromis livingstonii|
Origin: Lake Malawi (Africa)|
"Army" is what me and my roomates called him. A semi-aggressive cichlid when put in my 380 liter cichlid tank with Lombardois, Johanni, Auratus, Red Terrors, Brichardi, Frontosa, and some other Malawi african cichlids. Eats plants, flakes, and its favorite - brine shrimp.
Although they can grow quite large (up to 25 cm!) they are a beautiful and slightly aggressive fish. Their pattern is used for camouflage in the wild, but adds significantly to a blue and orange filled aquarium. If you are thinking about adding this species, consider its adult size and predatory behaviour, it WILL consume your smaller Mbuna.
I bought two of these 4 months ago, at a size of about 3 cm, and introduced them to a Malawi tank with similar sized tankmates. Sadly, one of them seemed to find the journey and move too stressful, and died a few days later, not bullied at all, but having refused to eat. Given the choice, I would probably not buy this species so small again, especially given it's potential adult size. The survivor is thriving, however, and has more than doubled in size - it's probably the fastest growing fish in my Malawi tank. This species is piscivorous, and seems to have a bad reputation, but so far I haven't had any problems with it at all. It's unfussy about what it eats, lively, and doesn't (so far) take part in the jostling that normally goes on in the tank. All the research indicates that it has an unusual method of hunting, lying on its side and mimicking a fish carcass until its prey is close enough...again, it's early days, but so far, so good - it's never displayed any of this behaviour yet. Overall, a very pretty and lively addition to my Malawi tank.
I also bought two of these at the same time and they were very little, about 4 cm. We put them in our 200 L cichlid tank along with our 10 cm cichlids. After a week they were hanging only with each other and only one ate aggressively. The other died about three weeks later. But the one that survived doubled in size in only 3 months. Now he hangs with the two Venustus we have and he eats everything in sight. Sometimes we give them cichlid pellets, and he'll have three or four in his mouth at the same time. Then when we put feeders in, he (livingstoni) or the bigger Venustus will get the feeders first in one swipe. Our livingstoni is only 4 months old and is 8 cm, just 3 cm shorter than our 18 month 11 cm Venustus, the biggest cichlid in the tank.
I have two of these, both male. The oldest I bought when he was about 2 cm big about a year ago, he is currently 15 cm big now. The younger one I bought about the same size, he is now about 10 cm. They are pretty laid back if they are males, UNTIL they start to sexually mature. The males lose the white and replace it with blue. When that happens, buy a new tank because they have some serious mood swings.
Lovely fish and adds contrast to a colourful tank. I recently bought a 10 cm one and put it in a 200 L tank with various African cichlids. At first he wasn't eating. I was concerned and tried all the usual food, blood worm, brine shrimp, cichlid pellets, etc, but to no avail, so I was persistent and thought he will eat soon, when he starts starving himself. Sure enough, within a few days he was eating everything in sight. So when buying one, don't be surprised to find they need a few days to settle and find their place in the tank.