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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need your info:

Just last night I saw a video thru a link provided by a member in this forum of a livingstonii playing dead laying sideway on the sand while it was hunting for food in the wild. I have never seen a fish playing dead like this one before and it was just so so cool to watch the behavior. So I have decided that I am going today to my LFS to purchase one just because of this "playing dead" behavior.

My question is: since my 90 gal. tank is an all male peacock/hap with no fry or small cichlid in it, will the livingstonii still behave playing dead hunting for food or it only behave that way in an environment where there are fry or small cichlid for it to hunt?

Anyone owes one before and if so, what are their behavior like?

Thank you in advance.
 

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I've got a livingstoni and a venustus, neither of them have shown this behavior yet, I've tried feeder comets once but the mbuna beat them to the feeders. Haven't tried guppies or anything since then.
Have heard they will do it in a tank if there are fry around. Haven't seen it yet, but seems it would be much easier for them to eat the pellets and shrimp you toss in. But eventually instinct may kick in. Wild caughts probably would do so before any tank bred/raised fish would.
Maybe someone here has a video of this happening in their tank, I would like to see it.
 

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I have two of them in my 150 gal tank and haven't witnessed the behavior yet
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
laserblue16 said:
Yes even tank bred do this, it is natural instinct, but only if there are small enough fish to fit in the mouth.
Cool thanks. How about the size of the tank? How long should it be since it lays on its side and needs room to launch at small prey when they come nearby? Mine tank's footprint is 60x18x20, will that work?

Also, at what size will it start to behave this way do you know? Or it doesn't really matter since you mention it is natural instinct only if the environment is right? And what if I feed NLS pellets to the rest of the other fish and the livingstonii then rely on that for food and maybe not hunt, do you see that is a possibility?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
tannable75 said:
I have two of them in my 150 gal tank and haven't witnessed the behavior yet
Like Laserblue16 said, do you have any small enough fish for they to hunt? maybe try some guppies or something to see if they behavior that way only if you want to witness it yourself. If you ever decided to try, record and post back with video if possible. Have fun!
 

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I've never seen N. livingstoni do this in a tank and I've never heard anyone say they've seen it happen in their tanks. I have witnessed N. venustus stay motionless on the bottom when smaller fish are around, but have never witnessed one make the quick move to actually eat one.

The N. livingstoni would likely need a lot of space to do this, so even a 125 or 180 probably wouldn't cut it.
 

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I just caught mine doing it! I tried to make a video, but when she sees me she comes to the glass and begs. I had recently put a couple dozen feeders in (3 days ago) and some have formed a colony. The livingstoni lays down under where they usually hang out and waits. I haven't seen her actually catch one that way, but she's tryin!
 

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Post a vid when you can!

Does anyone know what kind of plants are in the sand in the wild video?
 

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SHe doesn't catch one while on camera. I don't know if she would. There are too many other fish in the tank and when they scare the school of goldfish away, she gives up. I have seen her with goldfish hanging out her mouth, but haven't seen her actually catch one playing possum.

Anyways, here is the video of her trying.

 

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Looks like she has the "lay down and act dead " part right, its the "actually get off your a.. and actually try to catch a fish " part that she doesn`t seem to be catching on too just yet !! :lol:
 

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Yeah, I think she needs some practice! She is spending about half her time doing this now. She does get some when she hides in a cave then jets out and grabs one.
 
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