When it comes to stocking an aquarium, you might be wondering about Livingstonii vs Venustus, and if so, you may want to know more about both of these kinds of fish, what they are like, and how they behave. This will help to ensure that you make the right choice about whether to get one or not.
Both Livingstonii cichlids and Venustus cichlids look quite similar; they are large fish that can reach around 10 inches long in some situations. Venustus cichlids often have blue on their heads, which Livingstonii usually lack, and they are both omnivorous fish that like water between 73 and 82 degrees F.
How Do These Fish Behave?
It is important to understand how the Livingstonii and Venustus fish are going to behave when you add them to your aquarium. Both are popular fish in the trade and have beautiful patterning, so you may well want to add one or the other to your aquarium.
Livingstonii are omnivorous fish that will eat smaller fish in the aquarium if they get an opportunity. They are not community fish, and prefer to be kept alone, as they are solitary predators. They are fairly aggressive, and they will attack and even kill other males if you try to keep 2 in the same tank.
This is particularly problematic if they are kept in conditions that are too small for them. If you give Livingstonii enough space to thrive, they will generally be fairly placid and shouldn’t attack other fish on a regular basis. You still should not put them in tanks with smaller fish, though, as they may eat them.
Venustus cichlids are also quite aggressive fish and do not fare particularly well in community tanks. They will often attack and harass other fish, and during their mating season, they can become extremely aggressive indeed.
It is possible to keep Venustus cichlids alongside other cichlids of a similar size, but you need to make sure that they have plenty of room to swim around and separate themselves to minimize aggression. Venustus cichlids are energetic specimens and they will not fare well if they are kept in a tank that is too small.
Many people keep Venustus cichlids in a species-specific tank, rather than combining them with other fish. This may help to keep aggression levels down. The most important thing, however, is making sure that they have enough space. Crowded Venustus cichlids will always become hyper aggressive and difficult to deal with.
Overall, therefore, both of these species can be tricky to keep and you need to make sure they have enough room to swim and engage in natural behavior. Both will bury themselves in the sand to hunt other fish, ambushing them by dashing out and grabbing their prey to eat it.
How Big Do Livingstonii Cichlids Get?
Livingstonii cichlids grow to around 10 inches long in some cases, so they are a pretty large tank addition. Some will not reach this size, but if fed well and given a suitable environment, it is perfectly possible for them to do so.
The absolute minimum tank size that you should put an adult Livingstonii cichlid in is a 70 gallon tank, but they will do much better with more room, and most hobbyists would recommend using a 125 gallon tank.
This will give them the space that they need to remain placid, and should reduce (although may not eliminate) the risk of aggression between individuals. Remember that if you are keeping more than one Livingstonii cichlid, more space will be needed. Overcrowding the tank is a sure way to make your fish stressed and get them sick.
How Big Do Venustus Get?
Venustus cichlids also grow to around 10 inches at the most, making them another large fish to consider keeping. Again, the ideal tank size for one of these fish is around 125 gallons and you should not keep one in more cramped conditions than this, or it may die. Because it increases the aggression levels so much, it may also harm other fish in the aquarium.
If you don’t have a large tank, you should not consider keeping Venustus cichlids. They are too big and too aggressive for a small aquarium.
Is Venustus A Predator Hap?
Yes, a Venustus is a predator hap, and it will ambush and eat any smaller fish that it can find. These fish frequently pretend to be dead, lying against the tank bottom or on rocky surfaces, and luring in small fish.
The small fish will approach to inspect what they think is a corpse that may provide them with food. When they get close enough, the Venustus will suddenly launch into action, snatching the fish up and devouring it.
This is coupled with the behavior of lying half-buried in the sand, which can also attract fish for the Venustus to eat. If you are going to keep a Venustus, you need to make sure that your other tank inhabitants are suitable and the same size or larger, or the Venustus is likely to devour them all.
Overall, Venustus are probably suitable for intermediate or experienced hobbyists, rather than beginners. This is partly because they are hunters, and partly because of their aggression levels. In terms of care, they are relatively easy, but they do need proper conditions and they are only semi-hardy fish.
You should therefore only get a Venustus if you are already reasonably experienced in keeping fish, and believe that you can handle one of these hunters. Make sure your tank is suitable for them and don’t add them if you have lots of smaller fish, because they will simply pick them off and eat them.
Both Livingstonii and Venustus cichlids are interesting and colorful fish to add to an aquarium, and they are closely related and share a lot of similarities. However, they are not easy fish to keep; they can be aggressive toward each other and other fish in the aquarium, and they are large and need plenty of space.