Nimbochromis livingstonii, Livingston’s cichlid or (locally) kalingono, is a freshwater mouthbrooding cichlid native to Lake Malawi, an African Rift Lake. It is also found in the upper Shire River and Lake Malombe. They are found in inshore areas of the lake over sandy substrates.
Its color pattern is highly contrasting, with prominent dark blotches on a yellow, silver, or bluish background. Coloration variable but typically mottled brown and white. The dorsal fin may also show blue coloration while maintaining an orange to red band and sometimes a white line. Adult males frequently “color up” in response to changing conditions and rapidly change from spotted camouflage to brilliant blues and greens and may even exhibit a pale golden tone. Breeding males turn a dark blue which almost completely obscures their blotched pattern. The anal fin is usually orange to red. Females are similar but usually lack the yellow “egg spot” markings on the anal fin. Juveniles display a brown and white spotted pattern. Gender: Males are generally more colorful. The fin edges are often red in color. Males also have brighter egg spots.
The German name for the Livingstoni Cichlid is the ‘Sleeper’. The Livingstoni Cichlid is a very tricky fish. It is an ambush predator that will ‘play dead’ and snatch unsuspecting small fish!
Common Names: Livingston’s Cichlid, Livingston’s Hap, Livingstonii
Scientific Name: Nimbochromis livingstonii
Origin / Habitat: Lake Malawi, Africa
Care Level: Intermediate
Adult Size: Male 10 inches, 25 centimeters : females reach 20 centimeters
Life: 10 years
Tank Size: 125 gallons (473 L)
Water Parameters: the pH of 7.5 up
Water Hardness: 36 – 268 ppm
Temperature: Between 74°F-82 °F or 23-27 °C
Feeding: Will accept flake floods, pellets, and live foods such as bloodworms and daphnia.
Nimbochromis: currently five recognized species
- Nimbochromis livingstonii
- Nimbochromis venustus
- Nimbochromis fuscotaeniatus
- Nimbochromis polystigma
- Nimbochromis linni
Livingston’s Cichlid in Aquarium
This is a great fish for both the intermediate and experienced cichlid keeper. Although it is highly predatory in nature, it is one of the more peaceful cichlids of its own kind. It needs a good-sized aquarium and the aquarists must be willing to do frequent water changes and provide appropriate tank mates. In the proper setup, it will easily adapt and readily accept prepared foods.
The suitable aquarium is a community of Malawi with other large inhabitants of the sand or open waters. A minimum tank of 70 liters works when small, but because they grow fast and have an aggressive nature, 125 liters is suggested. The water must be fairly hard, alkaline (pH 7.5 or higher), well-oxygenated, and with minimal nitrogen compounds. The ideal temperature is 25-27 °C. For furniture you need open sand or gravel with some rocks and, if you want, the Vallisneria plant. Nimbochromis livingstonii occupies the bottom area of the aquarium. There are no limits on the number of specimens to be kept together in compliance with the normal rules of setting up an aquarium. Nimbochromis is very peaceful for its size. For Livingston’s cichlid, you need a large furnished tank with a fine sand bottom and some heaps of rocks on the sides and the rear glass of the aquarium, it is a fish that can also be bred alone but the best thing would be to introduce a group formed. from one male and 2-3 females. The Nimbochromis Livingstonii has a not very aggressive behavior and slow swimming should therefore be combined with other large and calm representatives of the “Utaka” group of Lake Malawi remembering that everything that swims in the tank can enter its mouth is considered food.
Diet & Nutrition: Omnivore; does well with flakes and pellets designed for African cichlids. Diet should be supplemented with live foods such as insect larvae, aquatic insects, fish, earthworms, tubifex worms, and crustaceans or green vegetables such as romaine lettuce, spinach, peas, or zucchini.
Malawi Cichlids will deteriorate under poor water conditions. Water changes of 10% to 20% a week depending on bioload. Malawi bloat is a typical disease, especially if over-fed, and there is a lack of some herbivorous foods that are high quality.
Behavior in the aquarium: For Livingston’s cichlid, you need a large furnished tank with a fine sand bottom and some heaps of rocks on the sides and the rear glass of the aquarium, it is a fish that can also be bred alone but the best thing would be to introduce a group formed. from one male and 2-3 females. The Nimbochromis Livingstonii has a not very aggressive behavior and slow swimming should therefore be combined with other large and calm representatives of the “Utaka” group of Lake Malawi remembering that everything that swims in the tank can enter its mouth is considered food.
Breeding & Spawning
Since polygamist breeders are best kept in groups of one male and several females l (three or more), they will attack and kill any other males of the same species in the tank during spawning unless the tank is large. If overstocking is used as a form of aggression reduction, care should be taken to do several partial water changes a week.
Egg layer, mouthbrooder, and forms matriarchal families. Like a flat stone or slate to lay the eggs on. The female will lay up to 100 eggs until they hatch, and the fry becomes free swimming, much like the Astatotilapia burtoni, which is of the same tribe.