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Aulonocara: what to house with them


Noddy65
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Hi all

Im going to expand my malawi collection over the next few months...Ill be getting a few species/races of pure Aulonocara and housing them in 3 x 2 x 2 tanks.

I was hoping to house at least one other genus with them...What do people suggest?

Copadochromis?

Mike

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All male or not?

Your combo will work although the Copadochromis get big.

Hi all

Im going to expand my malawi collection over the next few months...Ill be getting a few species/races of pure Aulonocara and housing them in 3 x 2 x 2 tanks.

I was hoping to house at least one other genus with them...What do people suggest?

Copadochromis?

Mike

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Hi Mike,

A 3 x 2 x 2 is a fair sized tank for 6 Aulonocaras. In my experience Aulonocaras don't get the recognition they deserve and can be difficult to sell.

I would put them with something that isn't going to dominate them, is very unlikely to cross-breed and will sell relatively easily - yellows!

Msobos are also a relatively quiet mbuna and they work well with Aulonocaras. I've also had success with Mainganos and Aulonocaras in the same tank.

Cheers,

Lee.

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Hey there, I agree that if they are own their own it's best. Make sure you have seperate tanks for them because they will interbreed. Yellows are always a good addition if you really want something else with them, they won't interbreed with peacocks and the fry are easy to sell, although In tanks that size I wouldn't add anything else with them. I'll also add they I have kept copadichromis species with them, with no interbreeding but I assume they could interbreed. I wouldn't keep copadichromis in tanks that size either though. I'm a bit picky when it comes to stocking though.

Edited by mathobes
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I currently keep my Aulonocara in a 6x2x2 with a frontosa colony and a red empress colony, with no interest in cross breeding at all, this is not a long term plan but at the moment I've run out of space. Similar to what Lee has mentioned I plan to put maingano's, blue's or yellows in with them, in a 4x18x2 once I have sorted all my tanks properly.

What kind of Aulonocara where you thinking of?

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I actually used a colony of wild caught peacocks as target fish for my demasoni colony for a time - in a 4x2. Some people will be horrified at the thought no doubt.

However as has been mentioned, fry were tough to offload but I liked the colony. They went surprisingly well too. Slowed up breeding initially (but could have been the move itself) but continued like clockwork after that, and never (outwardly) showed any negative effects.

I would ideally house them with a less aggressive mbuna - yellows = ideal and look cracking too :)

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Some of my first cichlids were Aulonocara, I loved them then and still do.

I would agree they are a bit hard to move as they don't colour till they are larger, and 50% of them stay brown.

I also think we have so much more choice these days compared to 5-6 years ago when hongi and afra cobwe where $80 fish and people were falling over themselves to pick some up..

Mike, would be great to get these going, I used to keep lwanda, ngara, eureka reds, maulana...cannot rememeber the last time I have seen any of these for sale?

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Some of my first cichlids were Aulonocara, I loved them then and still do.

I would agree they are a bit hard to move as they don't colour till they are larger, and 50% of them stay brown.

I also think we have so much more choice these days compared to 5-6 years ago when hongi and afra cobwe where $80 fish and people were falling over themselves to pick some up..

Mike, would be great to get these going, I used to keep lwanda, ngara, eureka reds, maulana...cannot rememeber the last time I have seen any of these for sale?

Thanks Grant

Ive got lwanda now and am looking around for other rarer nice fish

Mike

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Mike,

I have kept Nkhomo reef's with maingano, yellows, afra's and msobo. Nkhomo's are very slow growing and very passive. The trouble that I found was that the maingano's were stealing the eggs and terrifying the girls so they didn't hold. The Benga's felt safest with the Yellows (they are a similar colour) and temperament and aren't breeding with the msobo in the tank. I have found like Aussie mentioned they breed better by themselves. Also raising the fry is a time consuming task and they are better by themselves as well.

cheers

rosco

Edited by rosco
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The only issue with Mbuna with Peacocks will be the different dietary requirements. As long as you don't hammer the tank with a heap of protein and give them plenty of veg you will be good.

Ant

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Some of my first cichlids were Aulonocara, I loved them then and still do.

I would agree they are a bit hard to move as they don't colour till they are larger, and 50% of them stay brown.

I also think we have so much more choice these days compared to 5-6 years ago when hongi and afra cobwe where $80 fish and people were falling over themselves to pick some up..

Mike, would be great to get these going, I used to keep lwanda, ngara, eureka reds, maulana...cannot rememeber the last time I have seen any of these for sale?

I have some Ngara fry I'm growing out, Lwanda are definitely around, quality eureka reds I'm not sure about, there are a few brevinidus, kandeense, maylandi, banschi and Lwanda around... also the koningsi are starting to impress me, wouldn't mind getting my hands on a few of them...

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Just to add my experience......

I have a colony of A.Lwanda breeding nicely in my 4 footer and they live alongside a host of various Africans.

All together they get along fine and breed without any problems.

In the tank i have a breeding bunch of yellows, a single maingano, a BIG male red top zebra, a gorgeous male Red empress with his female partner and a BIG Cobalt Blue male, and obviously the A. Lwanda peacocks.

It sounds like a lot of fish but all is well within the group and the slight overcrowding keeps the aggro down.

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Thanks for the replies everyone...its been great

Some of the newer wild caught species/varieties look great as well

On an aside....Ive recently seen some A. sp firebird juveniles but the males were really dark...almost black....is this normal for this variety?

Mike

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I keep 1 male and 3 female aulonocara ngara flametail in a 4x2x2 with electric yellows and phenocilius placidochromis (white lips) - no probs so far. The peacocks breed regularly..infact at soem stage I woudln't mind buying a few more females to add to the colony.

I also have about 6 juvie aulonocara koningsi (from my adult colony which I sold a while back) and am thinking of maybe keeping them in a tank at work.

They are great looking fish.

Shirley

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Great to see a thread with so many reply's about aulononcara. I think in a pure strain (as pure as poss these days anyway) that the males are 1 of the best fish around. I've only kept them for a couple of years (with great enjoyment) but they seem to have been most popular in the early 2000's. It took me ages to get the selection I wanted for a display tank due to lack of breeders. I have a 6 x 2 x 2 display tank with red shoulder, ngara, maylandi, maulana, Lwanda, benga, koningsi, eureka red, red rubins (all male & all coloured to changing degrees) with some larger haps, some rusties, yellows & blues.

It appears the ventusus breed all the time amongst themself. I think the rusties & yellow may cross a little as both constantly have mouthfuls but not sure as 2 x rusties have survived and look pure. After watching 'the dance' of the peacocks, red empress and the blues I can say they definetly cross. The fry are just protein for adult fish & no fish ever leave the tank so I'm not worried about the crossbreding.

So long story short - follow the laws of shape, colour & how closely related they are, & you should be right. If there is ever any concerns that they may have crossed don't sell the fry and go back to a species tank. Bring back the peacock!

Jake

Did I just preach out loud?

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Thanks everyone

Theres NO way Ill be housing two species of peacocks together and the fry tanks will always be clearly marked

Im thinking about getting some wild caughts in to make sure theyre pure but the price MAY be out of my league (now that IM a dad) but maybe if I save up :)

There is some data out there on sex determination so I might do some experimenting to increase the number of males produced

Mike

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I house my Aulonocara ethelwynnae with my Cyp. lepto Jumbo Kigoma and they do beautifully together. I also have Aulonocara stuartgranti "Maulana", which I keep with my Euchilus colony without hassle.

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