Nimbochromis SP. Venustus Cichlid Tank Requirements and CareDustin Williams
The Venustus cichlid, also known as the Nimbochromis SP. Venustus or the Giraffe cichlid, is a freshwater fish from Lake Malawi. We have found from expereince breeding and raising this species that it is one of the easiest fish for any intermediate-level fish keeper to keep. The Venustus cichlid has simple care needs and dietary requirements, and with proper care, these popular fish have a lifespan of up to 10 years in an aquarium.
However, we do caution that if you fail to provide the right care, the Venustus cichlid can easily succumb to illness, especially if their dietary needs are not met with quality foods. They’re also prone to typical fish ailments if water is poor quality. Below we provide you with our comprehensive Venustus Cichlid tank requirements and care guide for a healthy fish.
How Big do Venustus Cichlids Get
The Venustus cichlid is one of the larger cichlids that hail from Lake Malawi. Its juvenile size is about two inches in length. However, juveniles can grow four to six inches long in less than three months when provided with proper care.
On the other hand, a full-grown Venustus cichlid size in captivity is about 10 inches. In the wild, the cichlid can grow up to 12 inches. To ensure your fish gets to its maximum length, offer adequate tank size and a proper diet.
Are Venustus Cichlids Aggressive
A full-grown Venustus cichlid can be aggressive. If you place this large fish in the same tank as other passive and small fish species, there may be some aggression. The giraffe cichlid will either kill or hurt the passive species.
Both the female and male Venustus cichlids have an incredible hunting mechanism. Thus, make sure to avoid small and passive fish species as tank mates. Also, note that the Venustus may demonstrate high levels of aggression during spawning.
How Many Venustus Cichlids Can Be Kept Together
The most appropriate Venustus cichlid tank mates are another freshwater Venustus. This is because the fish can be aggressive toward other species, especially the passive ones. If you intend to keep several Venustus fish in the same tank, be careful of the female-to-male ratio.
Generally, the male cichlids are more aggressive than the female ones. They are also more territorial. Thus, it would be best if you maintained a one-male-to-six-female ratio. More than one male Venustus cichlid in the same tank can lead to violence and aggression. This violence is not good for healthy and happy fish.
Other compatible Venustus cichlid tank mates you can consider include the following:
- Livingstoni cichlid
- Sunshine Peacock
- Yellow Benga
- Red Empress
What do Venustus Cichlids Eat
Venustus Cichlids are piscivores or carnivores in nature. Therefore, they thrive on a protein-rich diet. In the wild, these cichlids consume small fish. However, it is best not to offer them live small fish in captivity as they can cause parasitic or bacterial infection. Another thing to note is that the cichlids need a high-quality diet, as they can easily develop Malawi bloat or lose their patterns and coloration.
Commercially prepared and vitamin-enriched premium flake foods and pellets are excellent options for their diet. These foods will enhance the fish’s yellowish green, yellow blaze, and metallic blue colors.
The fish also consume the following foods:
- Brine shrimp
- Mysis shrimp
In some cases, the Venustus cichlid will nibble on plant leaves and accept vegetables. However, their primary diet should consist of proteins. When feeding the fish, make sure to have a regular feeding schedule. These cichlids are opportunistic predators and eager eaters. Thus, provide food at least three to four times a day.
Also, note that if your fish is suffering from constipation or Malawi bloat, they will not eat anything. Make sure to constantly monitor your cichlid’s health. Also, note that the female Venustus cichlids incubate their eggs in the mouth, so they will not consume anything while incubating.
What Size Tank for Venustus Cichlids
The Venustus cichlid tank size is one of the most important elements that facilitate a happy and healthy fish. These species are incredibly active swimmers, so you need to provide them with enough living space for swimming,
In addition, both male and female Venustus cichlid are aggressive in nature. If you intend to keep several fish, make sure to provide a large-sized fish tank. One vital thing to remember is that the cichlids grow incredibly fast.
For young juveniles, provide a 70 gallons tank. Note that the speedy growth will need you to upgrade your tank as they grow. Full-grown Venustus cichlids will need a tank size of more than 125 gallons. This large space is necessary for reduced tank aggression.
What Water Parameters are the Best for Venustus Cichlids
Apart from the tank size, the water parameters you provide your fish are also important for them to flourish. You will need to replicate the same water conditions as the cichlid’s natural environment. This replication will ensure that your cichlids maintain their stunning colors and remain healthy.
The Venustus cichlid thrives in alkaline, clear, and high mineral content water. Therefore, the best water pH is between 7.8 and 8.6, and the temperature is 78 – 82°F. Some hobbyists add salt to the water to increase the pH level and hardness. However, this salt addition increases the chances of the cichlids suffering from Malawi bloat.
Use quality cichlid salt mixture from reputable pet stores if your tank water needs hardening. In addition, add fine gravel, sand, caves, and plenty of rocks to the tank. The caves will allow the Venustus to have enough room to claim territories. They are also necessary for offering hiding places.
Summing it Up
The Venustus cichlids care process is relatively straightforward. As long as you provide suitable tank requirements and a protein-rich diet, your fish will grow healthily and happily.
At Live Fish Direct, we have an assortment of Venustus cichlids for sale, including premium males. We guarantee high-quality tropical fish at discounted prices if you buy Venustus cichlids from us in bulk. For every 3-5 fish you buy, you receive a 5% discount, while a 6-11 fish purchase has a 10% discount. If you buy more than 12 Venustus, you can enjoy a 15% discount. Place a bulk order today and enjoy our incredible discounted prices.