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Sunshine Peacock – Aulonocara Baenschi


Common name: Sunshine Peacock, Benga, Benga Yellow, Yellow Regal African Cichlid

Scientific name: Aulonocara baenschi

Average Adult Fish Size: 14cm / 5 Inches

Place of Origin: Lake Malawi

Typical Tank setup: Rocky Malawi tank with plenty of open swimming space

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 200 Litres

Compatibility: Combine with other malawi hap and Aulonocara species

Temperature: 23-28 Deg C / 73-82 Deg F

Water chemistry:  pH 7.6-8.6

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

Sexing: Males are larger and much more colourful

Breeding: 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 foods.

Additional Information: 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.