Aquarium Fish

Venustus Cichlid

posted: 05/15/12
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Venustus Cichlid
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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The Venustus Cichlid (meaning refined or elegant) is a large cichlid with the male having a blue face with yellow markings across the head and dorsal fin. The female is less colorful with a silver background behind a dark blotched pattern.

The Venustus Cichlid requires a large aquarium with plenty of caves, hiding spots, and places to set up territories. The ideal aquarium set-up will consist of many pieces of stacked rock with a sandy aragonite-based substrate, which is needed to maintain the necessary alkalinity. This cichlid is very sensitive to levels of nitrates, and therefore, regular water changes will be needed for its optimal health.

The female will spawn on a flat rock, and will take the unfertilized eggs into her mouth and follow closely behind the male until he releases the sperm to fertilize the eggs. The female will then incubate the eggs for approximately three weeks before releasing the fry. The fry can then be fed newly hatched brine shrimp, daphnia, or crushed flake food.

The Venustus Cichlid needs meaty foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, small fish, as well as a quality flake or pellet food containing vegetable matter.

Ideal tank mates include other aggressive Lake Malawi African Cichlids and African Catfish of the genus Synodontis.

Fish Facts

Name: Venustus Cichlid (Nimbochromis venustus)

Family: Cichlidae

Range: Lake Malawi, Africa

Size: Up to 10 inches

Diet: Omnivore

Tank Set-up: Freshwater: Extensive rockwork

Tank Conditions: 72-82°F; pH 7.8-8.5; dH 10-15

Minimum Tank Capacity: 125 gallons

Light: Low

Temperament: Aggressive

Swimming Level: Bottom to middle

Care Level: Easy

Reproduction: Mouth Brooder

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