Nimbochromis Livingstonii

Scientific NameNimbochromis Livingstonii
Common Name(s)Living Stone | Living Rockfish
Geographical OriginAll around Lake Malawi
HabitatShallow muddy habitat
DietCarnivore
Aquarium TemperamentAggressive | Do not keep with Mbunas
Gender DifferencesDimorphic | Males will get blue collor; while females
will retain the brown spots.
BreedingMaternal Mouthbrooder
Maximum Size~ 11 inches | 27 cm
pH7.8 – 8.6
Water HardnessHard
Temperature 78 – 82°F | 25 – 27°C
Recommended Aquarium~ 100 Gallons | 350 Liters
Aquarium Notes These are one of a kind predators.
Even if you feed them often, if you keep them with Mbunas there will
be incidents and fish will disappear.
The Males become very nice only after ~1 year when they start getting
mating colors, that is when they will also increase in aggressiveness.
Can be kept with other Haplochromines.
DO NOT keep it with other members from Nimbochromis as they
will inevitably hibridize.
  • Nimbochromis Livingstonii – The Living Rockfish
  • This is one of the most interesting cichlids in lake Malawi due to its unique behavior. Being a carnivore cichlid preying on fish, it was developed a unique fishing method where it plays dead in order to lure fish to an easy meal but instead ending themselves as prey. This unique behavior can be noticed in aquariums also if you have paired them with small mbuna. Even if you feed them very well, they will still hunt and exhibit this behavior, since it is encrypted in their DNA.
  • This is why we do not recommend to pair Nimbochromis Livingstonii with Mbuna or any other small fish since accident will be bound to happen.
  • Nimbochromis Livingstonii are mouthbrooders but compared to other species, the eggs are fertilized on the substrate and then taken into the mouth.
  • The spawning males will lose the mottled brown and white pattern and develop a blueish cast all over the body.
  • It is recommended that you remove mouthbrooding females since males can become very aggressive and will often want to mate again in the aquarium.
  • You should also keep only one species of Nimbochromis in your aquarium as hybridization can occur.

Special thanks goes towards people that provided pictures and videos to make this article possible:

AD Konings who did all the reasearch and gave us a wealth of information for all us aquarium enthusiats.

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