Aulonocara are a specious and colorful genus of Malawi cichlids; because of their brightly colored dress they are called “peacocks” in English. They are small-animal eaters that selectively ingest small chunks of food.
Another group of cichlids in Lake Malawi feeds on the algae and the microorganisms (= Aufwuchs) they contain, which grow on rocks. These cichlids are called “mbuna” after a name given to this group of fish by local fishermen. Among the Mbunas there is a phenomenon that is not yet well explained: the so-called O- and OB- forms. O stands for “orange”, OB for “orange blotch”. These extremely deviant colored animals can occur in several species and are not necessarily bound to the sex.
Although peacock cichlids and mbunas look very different, they have common ancestors. And the amazing thing is: they can even be crossed! Of course, such crossbreeding is done artificially, i.e. eggs and sperm are mixed and incubated “in the test tube”. Thereby the so called Fire Fish, Dragon Blood, O- and OB-Aulonocara were created, of which nowadays there are countless lines and at least as many imaginative names. All in all, hardly any animal is identical to the other, as it is to be expected due to the hybrid character. In feeding behavior and general body shape these animals resemble the Aulonocara species.
They are extremely colorful fish with bright colors, a real alternative for aquarists who like it very colorful, but do not want to make the effort of coral fish aquaristics. A basic requirement, however, are aquariums as large as possible, because although these animals grow only 10-15 cm long, they can develop a lot of temperament!
For our customers: the animals have code 502783 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer