Fossorochromis rostratus from Lake Malawi

Fossorochromis rostratus

Fossorochromis rostratus. Photo by Elizabeth Steffen (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Fossorochromis rostratus is a large carnivorous cichlid from Lake Malawi. Commonly known as the Malawi sand diver, F. rostratus will bury itself in the sand when startled. Found in shallow waters over sandy bottoms, F. rostratus sift through the sand in small groups looking for their invertebrate meals. Mature males can reach 10+ inches.

In the aquarium Fossorochromis rostratus need lots of room. A sandy bottom aquarium is a must not only to see their sifting behavior, but because they may dive into the substrate if startled. This species is peaceful and don’t do well with overly active or aggressive fish. Best kept in small groups of 2 or 3 females per male. F. rostratus is a maternal moothbrooder with spawns of 100+ fry, although it is hard to get them to breed in the aquarium. Males will dig a large pit where spawning will take place. Check out the species article by Richard O’Brien. For discussion visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.


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