Trade name: Pseudotrophues
Natural habitat: Sandy beaches
Food in the lake: Feeds on small
invertebrates that live in the sand bottom.
Food in the aquarium: A mix of
quality pellets, flakes, krill, artemia, etc fed sparingly.
No mammal meat!
Behaviour in my aquarium: The
intraspecific aggression of the livingstonii was rather low.
They did what every other mbuna did when they felt
threatned: run for cover between the rocks! They didn't even
bother about the shells that I gave them.
Tank mates: Can be kept with other
mid-sized Mbuna with preferably another colour pattern to
reduce mutual aggression.
Aquarium: At least a tank of
>300L with only sand and shells? They'll be very happy
in a "regular rocky" mbuna tank too! pH between 7.5 - 8.5,
temperature about 25°C
Maylandia livingstonii in my 1000L
aquarium where a group feeds on the algae that grow on the
Maylandia livingstonii is a
mbuna that intrigued me for a short while. It is the
shell dweller from Lake Malawi that normally breeds
in abandoned Lanistes nyassanus shells and lives in
the sandy habitat where it feeds on invertebrates
that are sifted from the sand. In the lake the
carrying time of this species is shortened from
about 21 days to 16 days because of the adaptation
to their environment: the shell delivers further
protection for the fry. Most geographical variants
don't get larger than 6cm. According to my
experience the natural behavior from this Mbuna
fades away in a normal mbuna tank and although
shells are provided for their use, they are barely
used. Most probably they need a biotope that
resembles nature very strictly: a mix of only sand
Lanistes nyassanus shells in my
aquarium. Here a carying female swims between them,
but in reality they were only colonized by a serious
amount of algae.