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The Aulonocara Fort Maguire Aulonocara hansbaenschi is a moderately sized Peacock cichlid that grows to a length of about 6 inches (15 cm). This is a beautiful fish that has long been commonly known as the African Peacock and Malawi Cichlid. There are a variety of different natural hues creating great combinations of oranges to reds and electric blues. Hence this cichlid is also known by several other common names that depict its bright appearance including Red Shoulder Peacock, Aulonocara Red Flush, and Firebird Cichlid.
This fish is a part of a small group of cichlids that are very popular with aquarists. They come from Lake Malawi, Africa and are known as the Peacock Cichlids. Peacocks are contained in the Aulonocara genus which has only about 23 species, but with many subspecies. It is the brilliant colorations of blues, reds and yellows that have given rise to the well deserved name of “Peacock cichlids”.
The Aulonocara, along with the Utaka Cichlids Copadichromis and other non-Mbuna’s, are members of the Haplochromis group. Haplochromis is the type genus of free-roaming browsers sometimes call “haps” or “happies”. They live in more sandy areas and open waters, and are generally larger cichlids than their Mbuna “rock-dwelling” counterparts. They also are more peaceful cichlids and should not be housed with the highly active and aggressive Mbunas.
These fish are quite hardy and easy to care for, making them an excellent first cichlid for the beginning aquarist. Being so very handsome actually makes them very desirable for aquarists of all experience levels, and they are also favored because they are easy to breed. The variety of natural hues that this species comes in gives an aquarist a wonderful choice of color. However this fish has been heavily bred in captivity, and is so inbred that true strains are hard to find unless they are wild caught or from a reputable dealer.
Provide them with a good sized tank. A 55 gallon aquarium is the suggested minimum for a single fish, but a group will do best in 100 gallons or more. They need open space for swimming and a lot of caves where they can hide, sleep, or breed. A comfortable decor and regular water changes will make for a stress-free environment and healthy fish. These are some of the most carnivorous of the cichlids so will enjoy a meaty diet. As they become comfortable with their home and routine they become very endearing. They have an almost puppy like excitability when being fed and will push to be first in line at dinner time.
Stocklist of our Cichlids Fish (Click the picture below) :
Video of Aulonocara Fort Maguire Cichlid (Aulonocara hansbaenschi)
Infographic of Aulonocara Fort Maguire Cichlid (Aulonocara hansbaenschi)
Stocklist of our Tropical Fish / Aquarium Fish / Ornamental Fish (Click the picture below) :