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Sunshine Peacock (Aulonocara baenschi)

Photo of: Sunshine Peacock (Aulonocara baenschi)
 

Scientific Name(s): Aulonocara baenschi

 

Common Name(s): Sunshine Peacock, Benga, Benga Yellow, Yellow Regal African Cichlid

 

Family: Cichlidae

 

Species Type: African Cichlids, Lake Malawi

 

Maximum Size: 5 inches

 

Life Span: 10 years

 

Natural Habitat: East African Lake Malawi

 

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

 

Tank Region: All over

 

Possible Tank Mates: Haplochromis species, Yellow Labs, Synodontis catfish

 

Description: An elongated, high backed cichlid. This Peacock has large lips and eyes. The pelvic and pectoral fins are elongated. Four color morphs are occasionally available to the hobby. The first and most common is the blue-yellow morph from Chipoka. Its head is usually indigo blue and 6-8 indigo blue vertical stripes can be found on the rear part of the fish. The first is located around the mid-section of the fish, while the last is at the base of the caudal fin. The body, from the gill cover to the stripes, including the forehead, is yellow. The fins, except for the pectoral, are yellow with the tail also having a marbling of blue. The pectoral fins are transparent. A popular, new color morph from Nkoma/Benga is all yellow except for the lower half of the head and the pale 6-8 blue stripes. It is known as the Yellow Regal Cichlid, as the Yellow Peacock Cichlid, and as the Sunshine Peacock Cichlid. The morph from the Marleri Islands has a blue head. The forehead is yellow as are the anal, dorsal, and pelvic fins. From the base of the pectoral fin and back are 13-16 vertical bands that alternate in color from blue to white. Overlaying these stripes are pale yellow scales. The caudal fin is orange with and over-laying pattern of horizontal blue stripes. The final variation, the Usisya morph has a yellow body and a blue head. The vertical stripes that are found on the other morphs are very pale on the Usisya form. The fins, except for the transparent pectoral fin, are deep blue-almost black. The caudal fin is yellow with 8-12 blue horizontal stripes. All these color morph are very hard to describe, but the pictures will do them justice.

 

Temperature Range: 72°F - 80°F

     
60°F
65°F
70°F
75°F
80°F
85°F
90°F

 

pH Range: 7.4 - 8.6

     
pH 5.0
pH 6.0
pH 7.0
pH 8.0
pH 9.0

 

Hardness Range: 10° - 25°

     
10°
20°
30°
40°

 

Breeding Information: 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 79-84F (26-29C). 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 foods.

 

Sexing Information: Males are larger and much more colorful

 

Diet: Carnivorous - prefers live foods such as blood worms, snails or brine shrimp, but will generally accept frozen, flake or pellet foods.

 

Temperament: Semi aggressive. Generally peaceful but may become territorial, particularly while spawning.

 

Common Diseases: None specific to species

 

This Sunshine Peacock profile has been viewed 13308 times.

 



African Cichlids, Lake Malawi


Author

Keith Pardee

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