This profile was written by Elizabeth an active contributor to the site.




Nimbochromis Venustus


    They are common in the hobby primarily due to its popularity. I deem this fish to be one of my favorites of all African cichlids because of its large size, it’s incredible beauty and mostly because after owning them I was really impressed with how entertaining they are. The Nimbochromis Venutus belongs to the Haplochromis flock, it is a ambush predator like its near relative the popular and commonly called Nimbochromis Livingstoni.

Quick stats:

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: Average adult size: 10″ (25 cm) in captivity, larger in nature.
Tank: Min. Tank requirements: 48″ inches in length
Strata: Bottom , middle
PH: PH recommendation 7.5 to 8.6
Hardness: Hardness: 12-30 dH
Temperature: 78°F to 84°F (25°-30° C)


Order: Perciformes
Family: Cichlidae
Sub family: Pseudocrenilabrinae
Genera: Nimbochromis
Species: venustus

Common name:

Giraffe cichlid 

    ,Giraffe hap, Venustus



     Endemic to Lake Malawi .

General Body Form:Generally the look is a large, oval-shaped fish. Nothing out of the ordinary

Coloration:The male is striking, with its’ intense yellow on the head and very blue coloration on face, the body is light golden-yellow with random brown splotches. Females and juveniles have the big blotches of brown and yellow over their entire body with a hue of yellow coloration around the face.

Maintenance:N. Venustus is fairly easy to keep, they appreciate hard water and do best in temperatures of 76°-80°F. A group of 6-8 would require an aquarium of at least 100 gals of water. A tank of 125 gal of water would be ideal. They are semi aggressive and easy to care for, mine get along great with their tankmates. The most they will do is stand up for themselves if being chased or harassed but I have never had one be the troublemaker. Individual fish do have their own unique personalities, so keep a look out for aggression with yours. Like many predators that live in sandy habitat they are strong swimmers that love a sand or small stone substrate with plenty of open area for moving.

They accept frozen foods and cichlid pellets and should include plant matter in their diet. They are a ambush predator in the wild, after spotting a small fish it will plow slightly into the sand and remain motionless for up to several moments awaiting for the prey to come in reach once the prey is within reach it darts quickly out of the sand to snatch it. This fish should be housed in an aquarium with other large haps of similar size. This fish is an eye catcher and absolutely stunning and I would not have a hap tank with out including the N.Venustus.


    Found at depths averaging 40 feet (15 meters) in the sandy substrate of lake Malawi

Breeding:Maternal mouth brooders,female cares for young fry for 10 days taking them back in her mouth every night or at the first signs of danger.. They can have up to 120 eggs taking about 3 weeks for fry to develope. They need to be 4-5 inches before they can breed.

The female cares for the young fry for 11 days. Every night or when frightened the fry will return to the safety of females mouth, after 11 days the fry are too big to fit in females mouth and the female should be taken away at this time and fed healthy and plentiful diet to regain her weight lost.

    • Breeding N.Venustus-

    • Males will spawn prior to obtaining full adult color-to identify look for a longer yellow streak down the nose and egg spots on the anal fin
    • Females respond better to colored males
    • If you move a juvie N.Venustus to a tank containing females with a fully colored male expect trouble.
    • I recommend you start with a group of 6-8 and grow them up together.
    • The fish need to be 1 to 1.5 years old to breed
    • Provide a flat stone or slate as a breeding site
    • Position the stone away from strong currents in the tank as eggs are externally fertilized.


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