Aulonocara sp. "lwanda"
Regular price $25.00
Aulonocara "lwanda" is a mouthbrooding cichlid from Lake Malawi in Africa. Aulonocara species, also known as Peacocks, are colorful, active fish. Occasionally, this fish is sold as Aulonocara "Red Dorsal" and I have seen this fish sold as Aulonocara lawanda or Aulonocara sp. "lawanda", too.
This fish is a member of the Aulonocara jacobfreibergei complex whose members are generally considered darker colored than the other groups. Aulonocara "lwanda" is currently undescribed. Scientists may move it to a new species or definitively classify it as a variant of the Jakes. Whatever the case, it is a large peacock and it is nice looking. Male Aulonocara "lwanda" get up over five inches and have a blue face, yellow collar and blue body. All of the fins, with the exception of the pectoral fins, are edged in yellow or yellow-orange. Females, like most peacock species, are drab and smaller, maxing out at about 3.5 inches.
Two locations associated with this fish are Hai Reef and Chiwindi.
Aulonocara "lwanda" is found in the shallow, intermediate habitat of Lake Malawi between three and ten meters. According to Ad Konings, it is a cave dweller.
While peacocks are generally not considered difficult to keep, Aulonocara "lwanda" may be one of the more challenging species due to intraspecific aggression. My experience is that they are tough on females. Provide a sand or fine gravel substrate and lots of caves and other hiding places. A tank temperature of 76-78F and neutral to hard water is ideal. Do not keep this fish with any other Aulonocara species as it may interbreed.
In the wild, Aulonocara "lwanda" feeds on invertebrates found in the sand. In the aquarium, the fish accept a variety of prepared foods. I fed Spectrum, HBH Graze, HBH Cichlid Flakes, HBH Soft and Moist and the occasional treat of blood worms or frozen brine shrimp.