AULONOCARA OR PEACOCK GROUP
Peacock Cichlids are a recent introduction to the hobby, which are rapidly becoming very popular. About 10 species have been described although several others likely exist. Peacock Cichlids usually range in size from 4-6" (10-15 cm). A tank of 40" (101 cm) or 45-55 gallons (170-209 L) is usually sufficient. It should have a rocky set-up with a number of crevices and caves. Use a coral sand substrate to keep the water alkaline.
Use a filter that creates little or no water current. Robust, thick-leafed plants that can tolerate hard water can also be used. Water changes should be made regularly.
Peacock Cichlids are used to the hard alkaline water caused by the high mineral content in the water of Lake Malawi. Most Lake Malawi Cichlids prefer water with a pH between 7.5-9.0, and a water hardness of 10-20 dH. The temperature should be between 75-81°F (24-27°C).
Unlike most other Lake Malawi Cichlids, Peacocks are relatively peaceful fish. They will set-up territories and defend them, but otherwise are not aggressive. Peacock cichlids can be combined with each other, catfish, and other peaceful, mid-sized fish in a community tank.
Peacocks are omnivorous and can easily be fed in an aquarium on live or frozen foods as: bloodworms, mosquito larvae, crustaceans, snails, and Tubifex. These fish also readily take pellets and tablets. Peacock Cichlids are ovophile mouthbrooders that form a matriarch family. The pair should be conditioned separately on mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and crustaceans. The water should have a pH from 8.0-8.2, a water hardness 10-18 dH, and a warmer temperature of 79-84°F (26-29°C).
The female spawns a small number of eggs on the rocky bottom. These are fertilized by way of the dummy-egg method. The young should be raised on newly hatched Artemia and fine-grade flake
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