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Aulonocara hansbaenschi



The Aulonocara Nyasa, or the red-shouldered peacock cichlid as it is also called, naturally inhabits the southeastern part of African Lake Malawi. The fish live in the intermediate areas of the lake, at the boundary between the sandy bottom and the rocks along the shores, at depths of 3 to 6 m.

Males of Aulonocara hansbaenschi are larger and more colourful than females. Males are blue with a red stripe extending from the head to the abdomen, which is why the fish is called a red-shouldered peacock. The females are grey-brown with weakly contrasting transverse stripes on the sides. The size of the fish is 9-12 cm.

Aulonocara hansbaenschi

Male Aulonocara hansbaenschi have a relatively peaceful disposition. Moreover, all their fury they throw on fish with a similar body pattern, and therefore should choose fish, which is planned to contain in a common aquarium with them, with caution. There should not be more than 1 male in one aquarium. The most suitable content: 1 male and 4-6 females in an aquarium of 150 liters.

As ground can be used only sand. The perimeter of the aquarium can be planted aquarium plants: wallisneria, anubias and other undemanding shrubs. Large stones, grottos and ceramic pots should preferably be placed at the bottom.

Aulonocara hansbaenschi

Water parameters: temperature 24-29° C, hardness dH 10-25°, pH 7.4-9.0. Requires filtration, aeration and weekly replacement of 1/5 of the aquarium water with fresh. Due to the relatively high water hardness required, it is advisable to use filter elements consisting of materials that increase the water hardness.

The Aulonocara hansbaenschi take food only from the bottom by sifting sand through the gills. Under aquarium conditions, their menu consists of daphnia, artemia and bloodworms. You can train fish to eat dry flakes and granular food containing spirulina. Feed the fish 3-4 times a day in small portions.

Reproduction

If conditions are suitable for the fish, they will spawn periodically in the aquarium. During the spawning period, the male selects a place for the future nest and after he finishes clearing it of debris is engaged in courting the female. When the female responds to his courtship, she swims to the nest and hatch 25-40 eggs. She then collects all the eggs in her mouth. The male fertilizes the eggs in the female's mouth.

The female incubates the eggs in her mouth for 3-4 weeks. During this time, she does not eat anything. The male does not care about the future offspring and immediately after spawning the female loses any interest in her.

Once the fry begin to swim, it is desirable, to preserve their numbers, put in another aquarium. The fry are fed with artemia nauplii 4 times a day. The sex of the fish can be determined at around 4 months of age.

Aulonocara hansbaenschi

Aulonocara hansbaenschi has a lifespan of about 5 years under aquarium conditions.

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