HOME

GEORGE RECLOS

FRANK PANIS

FRANCESCO ZEZZA

PATRICIA SPINELLI

ARTICLES

FISH INDEX

PROFESSIONALS

AQUARIUM CONSERVATION PROGRAMME (ACP)

PHOTO GALLERY

LINKS

BOOK REVIEW

AWARDS

MARINE TANK

DISCOVER MEDITERRANEAN

SIDE EFFECTS

HOBBYIST'S GALLERY

MACRO & NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY

DISASTERS WITH DAVE

MCH-DUTCH

MCH-DEUTSCH

ARTIKELN

MCH PO POLSKU

ARTYKUŁY

ΑΡΧΙΚΗ

ΑΡΘΡΑ

ΕΙΔΗ ΨΑΡΙΩΝ

ΕΠΑΓΓΕΛΜΑΤΙΕΣ

ΦΩΤΟΓΡΑΦΙΕΣ

ΣΥΝΔΕΣΜΟΙ

ΒΙΒΛΙΟΓΡΑΦΙΑ

ΒΡΑΒΕΙΑ

 

 

 

Aulonocara panorama













The Genus Aulonocara

No doubt this is the genus most often encountered in the tanks of Malawi cichlid lovers. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, all these species are relatively peaceful (compared to mbuna). Secondly, the color combinations seen in these species is really unparalleled. Commercially called African Peacocks they justify their name. Relatively small (the males may reach a final size of 13 - 15 cm) they stand somewhere between the classic mbuna and the utaka (or pelagic cichlids). Their size make them incompatible with the piscivores (they will readily fit the mouth of the adult fishes - especially the females which grow considerably smaller). Their temperament make them incompatible with the mbuna, too, since their mild temperament will never allow them to thrive in a tank filled with the more territorial and aggressive mbuna. Their overall appearance also emphasizes these differences. Hence, the males have the vivid colors seen in the mbuna males although their females have the usual dull beige coloration, more typical of the utaka. Recently, some authors examine the Aulonocaras in the same context with the mbuna, something wrong in my personal opinion. Their feeding habits, the formation of a sand nest, their location out of the rocky area, are some of the factors that clearly distinguish them from the mbuna. Since they differ a lot from either mbuna or utaka, it would be recommended to keep them on their own tank. Members of this genus will readily hybridize so it is a good idea to keep only males or species with females differing greatly as far as the color is concerned (e.g. species with orange fins). Some kind of aggression will be observed between males showing the same basic coloration (e.g. blue). Overcrowding (a favorable option with mbuna) will not work in this context. The advanced hobbyist will take extra care to choose the species that will thrive in his tank without the risk of hybridization or bullying. These fish will not eat the plants therefore a planted tank is a favorable option. In contrast, they will dig a lot which is a good reason to secure the plant's roots with rocks or big flat stone. Will breed regularly and the female will release relatively large broods (about 30 is a very common number). It should be noted that the fish is not a vegetarian and should be fed a variety of foods. Another point that needs to be addressed is that the same species may be present in the Lake in many morphs which makes a positive identification a very difficult task. Moreover, selective breeding has resulted in some very colorful hybrids which are sold under various "exotic" names, like "Sunshine Orange Peacock" etc. More often than not, these fishes have nothing to do with their wild cousins (or recognized species)

Back ] Up ] Next ]

 Page last modified on 26/02/2002  

 

Site Search 

Contact us

       

Malawi Cichlid Homepage © 1999-2006. All rights reserved.