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AULONOCARA  BAENSCHI








AULONOCARA  BAENSCHI (top: male; bottom: spawning pair)

Aulonocara baenschi (common name: "New Yellow Regal Peacock") is a classic Aulonocara. In nature it will reach 10 cm while in the aquarium it may become considerably bigger (even 15 cm is not rare for adult males in large tanks). Needs a substrate of small pebbles or fine sand. Some tough plants may be also used in the tank, such as Anubias, Vallinserias, Cryptocorynes and Saggitaria. They thrive in alkaline, moderately hard water (pH range 7.5 - 8.4, GH > 10). It is better kept alone (in species tanks) or in community tanks without any other Aulonocara females. Cross breeds very easily mainly because the females of all Aulonocara species are almost identical. This species sometimes poses a problem for the fish keeper. Too peaceful to be housed with similarly sized mbuna, it is too small to be kept with Malawi haps (especially piscivores). Very popular due to its spectacular vivid colors.

These spectacular close up photos were taken in April 2000 by hobbyist Dale Paulter, from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Dale has been a fish keeper for 2 1/2 years and is a member of CRLCA. He currently runs 13 tanks ranging in size from 10 to 60 gallons and this is his beloved species. This pair is housed in a 60 gallon tank (one male with 4 females). This photo was taken during the fourth spawning of this particular female while the male has already produced over 300 fry all thriving at various sizes. Tankmates include three Synodontis petricola and one sailfin marble pleco.

Close-up shots: 200 ASA film, 50 mm lens (used as an 100 mm short telephoto with a 2X converter), f/11, 1/60 sec, Vivitar 285 flash unit. The camera (Minolta SRT101) was mounted on a tripod. Distance less than 60 cm.

See next page for more spectacular spawning photos. 

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