Considering its size this species is peaceful and makes a fantastic addition to a large African cichlid community tank. As stated F. rostratus is dimorphic which simply means you can tell the male from the female based on color. The males are beautifully colored in a blue molted pattern with assorted colors which only get better with age.
Female F. rostratus are typically brown in color which is common with many Malawi cichlids.
While this cichlid is carnivorous it feeds on invertebrates, krill, shrimp and artemia. In the wild it’s not uncommon for them to feed on invertebrates that live in the sand and can be consumed by digging deep. This type of feeding behavior is observed with many Geophagus cichlids
which forage for food in the same manor. Fossorochromis rostratusare listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List
with a major threat of potential over-fishing but are classified as least concern presently.
F. rostratus is also known in the aquarium trade as Haplochromis rostratus
. As stated its endemic to Lake Malawi and has been found in Upper Shire, Lake Malombe and Middle Shire River. An interesting characteristic of this species relative to digging deeply in the sand for food is its ability to escape predators as a juvenile by burrowing into the sand in order to hide.