The genus Nimbochromis is probably best known to the aquarists through the “sleeper”, N. livingstonii. All species of Nimbochromis have a Camouflage pattern from irregular, brown spots. N. livingstonii uses this to mimic a decomposing fish, because fish carrion looks very similarly patchy. So the sleeper lies on his side on the ground and plays dead fish. Unsuspecting young fish, who want to eat from the carrion, are attracted and end up in the stomach of the sleeper.
The beautiful giraffe cichlid (N. venustus) is also a predator and lurks for prey in a very similar way, but it does not lie on its side but only sinks to the ground and remains motionless here. It swims only an attack, if a prey comes into its immediate proximity.
With almost 25 cm of final-length, the giraffe cichlid belongs to the bigger cichlids from Lake Malawi, besides, it is one of the most aggressive. One can recommend it therefore only for really big aquariums where these characteristics don’t fall so much into the weight. Nimbochromis venustus is, like almost all cichlids from Lake Malawi, mouth-breeder in the female sex.
For our customers: the animals have code 534303 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer