Nimbochromis livingstonii

Aquarium fish: Nimbochromis livingstonii (Nimbochromis livingstonii)
Size: 25 cm
Origin: Africa
Water temperature: 24-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 250 l

Nimbochromis livingstonii (Nimbochromis livingstonii ) – a large predator, representative of the group of cichlids belonging to the cichlid family.


Africa . The species is endemic only in lakes Malawi and Malombe. Found both in shallow and very deep waters, even below 100m. Vallisneria vegetation most often seen nearby.

Characteristics and disposition

Adult specimens reach up to 25 cm in length. Body coloration can vary from silver, through yellow to blue, and is decorated with a dark contrasting, randomly connected, camouflage pattern. The dorsal fin may be colored blue with an orange or red stripe and sometimes a white line. They have pale spots on their pectoral fins and the anal fin is usually orange or red. Males , unlike females, are slightly larger, more brightly colored and have a pattern of egg-like spots on the anal fin and a slightly blue coloration in the frontal part.

Young fish are white with a brown mottled pattern. Livingston’s mouth is very similar to the Magpie ‘s mouth , but it is not so colorful and does not have the blue color of the head. It is a predatory fish, characterized by great cunning and an original hunting technique. It can lie motionless on the ground pretending to be dead, and when a smaller, curious fish swims, it catches its victim in its mouth with an instant movement of its head. For this reason, it is commonly called a “sleeper”.

Prefers open water swimming. Kept in good conditions, it lives up to 10 years.

Nutrition and feeding

The predator naturally feeds on smaller fish. In an aquarium, it is best to feed them with high-protein foods. They are not picky.

They eagerly eat dry, frozen and live ones, e.g. krill, shrimp, smaller fish. Warning! Feeding live cattle can stimulate their hunting instincts and increase aggression. From time to time, give plant foods well to balance the diet.


A 250-liter aquarium is enough for a group of young Mycenae.

These fish, however, grow quickly, and a group of 6-8 adults requires at least 500 liters. It is recommended to keep one male in the company of several females. Males are aggressive towards each other and their aggression increases especially during the breeding period. A sandy substrate will be necessary to reproduce their natural environment, and the addition of coral aggregate will help maintain a sufficiently high pH value. It should be remembered that hard and sharp surfaces can lead to cuts.

There should be plenty of free space along the length of the tank for swimming, and plenty of hiding places among stones and / or roots. Plants can be added, but only those with sturdy, thick leaves that can be attached to decorations. They require efficient filtration and high water movement. The optimal water parameters for this species are around pH 8, 6 – 10 dGH and temperature between 23 and 28 ° C. They can also tolerate a slight salinity, but below 1,0002 g / cm3.

Outside of the breeding period, they do not show aggression towards larger fish. Smaller fish will sooner or later be treated as food. It is best to keep them in a species aquarium, but a cupped mouthpiece, a knife mouthpiece (Dimidiochromis compressiceps) or other large species from Lake Malawi can be a good company.


Breeding is not easy. The breeding aquarium should be at least 120 cm long, arranged as above, with the addition of a few flat stones.

The ideal water parameters are 8.0-8.5 pH and the temperature 26-27 C. It is recommended to keep one male and 3-6 females in the group and feed high-protein animal foods. The male, ready for spawning, acquires more intense colors and chooses a place for reproduction, most often it is a flat stone or a dug hole in the ground. Spawning occurs in a manner similar to that of other cichlids. The female lays the eggs in a row and gives way to the male who fertilizes them.

Then it returns, collects the fertilized eggs in its mouth and arranges the next row. An adult female can lay up to 100 eggs. The female incubates the eggs for about 3 weeks until she releases the self-swimming fry. During this period, it does not accept food and its colors darken. If we decide to separate her from the group, we should be especially careful because she often spits out a brood in a stressful situation.

You should wait as long as possible to move, unless it is disturbed by other residents. After leaving the mother’s mouth, the fry are large enough to receive Artemia larvae. The female looks after him for the next 10 days. In case of danger, the young seek shelter in its mouth.


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