วันอังคารที่ 17 กันยายน พ.ศ. 2556

Fish Data : Sunshine Peacock

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Quick stats:

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: Maximum of 5 inches (12.7 cm)
Tank: 60 gallons.
Strata: Mostly middle, but will go to all levels
PH: 7.5 to 8.5
Hardness: Hard to very hard. 10 - 18 dGH
Temperature: 71°F to 79°F (22°-26° C)

Classification:
    Order: Perciformes
    Family: Cichlidae
    Subfamily: Pseudocrenilabrinae
    Genera: Aulonocara
    Species: baenschi


Common name:
    Sunshine Peacock, Benga Peacock, Baensch's Peacock, Yellow Peacock Cichlid, Yellow Regal Cichlid. 
     
The Sunshine Peacock Aulonocara stuartgranti "Maleri" is a relatively small sized Peacock cichlid from Lake Malawi, Africa. It only reaches about 5 inches (13 cm) in length. It is a striking yellow in color highlighted with icy blues, especially on the dorsal fin. Captive bred color morphs can also be orange.

This cichlid is a member of a very small group of fish from Lake Malawi, Africa known as the Peacock Cichlids, and they are very popular with aquarists. The Peacock Cichlids are placed in the Aulonocara genus which contains only about 28 species, but with many subspecies. It is the brilliant colorations of blues, reds and yellows that give this group the well deserved name of "Peacock".

The Sunshine Peacock is one of the well known varieties of the Flavescent Peacock Aulonocara stuartgranti. This bright sunny variety is also commonly known as Aulonocara stuartgranti "Maleri", Orange Peacock, and Yellow Regal Peacock. It is widely distributed in Lake Malawi and there are a number of natural color forms.

The color forms of this variety are distinguished from one another by the place where they are found, and then named accordingly. They include the Aulonocara Stuartgranti "Maleri" (Chidunga Rocks), Aulonocara Stuartgranti "Maleri" (Chipoka), Aulonocara Stuartgranti "Maleri" (Maleri Island), Aulonocara Stuartgranti "Maleri" (Nakantenga Island), and Aulonocara Stuartgranti "Maleri" (Nankoma Island). Captive bred varieties have also been developed for particular colors. These will often be called by descriptive names such as Aulonocara stuartgranti "Marleri Gold" and Aulonocara stuartgranti "Marleri Red Flash".
The Aulonocara Peacock cichlids, along with the Utaka Cichlids Copadichromis and other non-Mbuna's, are members of the Haplochromis group. Haplochromis is a 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.

Along with their beautiful colors these cichlids will quickly adapt to the aquarium, thus making them a desirable pet. They will eat a meaty diet and have an almost puppy like excitability when being fed, thus adding to their appeal. Provide open space for swimming and a lot of caves for them to hide and sleep in, and for breeding. Frequent water changes will help in keeping this cichlid.

The fish pictured above is captive bred and has a more orangish coloration than wild caught varieties. Due extensive inbreeding, captive bred fish also tend to have more blue than the pure species. The fish shown here has lots of blue in its dorsal fin while pure breeds just have an ice blue edging on the top of that fin. This variety was also intentionally bred to enhance its orange color.

Like all Peacocks cichlids, the Sunshine Peacock may be so inbred that true strains can be hard to find unless the specimen is wild caught (and they are not currently being collected) or from a reputable dealer. Be careful not to confused this fish with the Nkhomo-benga Peacock Aulonocara baenschi, which is also sometimes called the Sunshine Peacock. Although both these peacocks have a strong yellow body coloring, the Nkhono-benga Peacock can be distinguished by the solid bright blue coloring on its head.

Food and feeding

Sunshine Peacocks prefer live foods like brine shrimp and blood worms but will accept quality flakes and pellets.

Origin

Sunshine Peacocks originate from Lake Malawi, Africa.
Aquarium Care
Peacocks are hardy fish, but like all Malawi Cichlids, they will deteriorate under poor water conditions. The Malawi fish are usually kept at a higher pH, which means that ammonia is more lethal, so regular water changes are a must. They are also a messy fish because they eat mostly protein foods, which puts an additional biological load on the filtration system. The tank will need water changes of between 20 - 50% a week, depending on the bio load.
  • Water Changes: Weekly - Suggested water changes of 20-50% a week, as these are messy fish producing a heavy bio load.
Aquarium Setup

The streams that flow into Lake Malawi have a high mineral content. This along with evaporation has resulted in alkaline water that is highly mineralized. Lake Malawi is known for its clarity and stability as far as pH and other water chemistries. It is easy to see why it is important to watch tank parameters with all Lake Malawi fish.

Rift lake cichlids need hard alkaline water but are not found in brackish waters. Still salt is sometimes used as a buffering agent to increase the water's carbonate hardness. Forturnately this cichlid has some salt tolerance. It can be kept in slightly brackish water conditions, however it not suited to a full brackish water tank. It can tolerate a low salinity that is about 10% of a normal saltwater tank, which means a specific gravity of less than 1.0002.

A 55 gallon aquarium is okay a single fish, but 100 gallons is suggested when keeping more than one. They do fine in either freshwater or slightly brackish freshwater but need good water movement along with very strong and efficient filtration. Gravel makes a good substate and the addition of crushed coral can help keep the pH up. Crushed coral or aragonite sands do tend to dissolves easier than salts. Keeping a higher pH however, means that ammonia is more lethal, so regular water changes are a must for these fish.

Some rock decor is good to create hiding places and areas of retreat, just be sure to leave open spaces along the bottom of the tank as well. These fish need plenty of swimming room on the bottom and in the mid portions of the tank. A nice thing about these guys is they do not damage plants as much as other cichlids, so you can add some to your decor if desired. They prefer subdued lighting.
  • Minimum Tank Size: 55 gal (208 L) - A 55 gallon tank minimum is suggested for a single fish, with 100 gallons or more for a group.
  • Suitable for Nano Tank: No
  • Substrate Type: Any
  • Lighting Needs: Low - subdued lighting - They prefer subdued lighting.
  • Temperature: 73.0 to 84.0° F (22.8 to 28.9° C)
  • Range ph: 7.7-8.6
  • Hardness Range: 6 - 10 dGH
  • Brackish: Sometimes - Salt is not found in their natural environment, but they do have a slight tolerance, keep levels below 10% - a specific gravity of less than 1.0002.
  • Water Movement: Moderate
  • Water Region: Bottom - These fish will tend to swim in the bottom areas of the aquarium.
Social Behaviors

The Sunshine Peacock are much more peaceful than other Malawi cichlids so are best kept with their own kind. Mbunas are not good tankmates for the Sunshine Peacock. If they are kept with unsuitable tankmates they may be eaten, especially the small females, or they will not get enough to eat.
This cichlid is best kept alone, or as a group of one male and two females. They are peaceful toward those of the same species as long as there are not two males. More than one male works only in a tank that is very large and can support different territories.
Try to not house with other Aulonocara species to prevent hybridization. This cichlid can be kept with Utakas that are similar in size, but avoid female Utakas that are similar in appearance to the Aulonocaras as they will cross breed. You can use dither fish such as Rainbowfish Melanotaenia sp. and/or Congo Tetras Phenacogrammus interruptus, because sometimes they can be very shy fish.
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Compatible with:
    • Same species - conspecifics: Yes - One male can be kept with 2 females in a large (100 gallon+) tank. Two males will fight.
    • Peaceful fish (): Monitor
    • Semi-Aggressive (): Monitor
    • Aggressive (): Threat
    • Large Semi-Aggressive (): Threat
    • Large Aggressive, Predatory (): Threat
    • Slow Swimmers & Eaters (): Threat
    • Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Threat - is aggressive
    • Plants: Monitor
Sexing

Males tend to be larger than the females with more coloration.

Breeding

Peacock cichlids are mouth brooders. The female will lay her eggs on a rocky surface but collect them in her mouth after fertilization. The female will mouth brood for about 4 weeks and when the fry are released they can be fed on newly hatched brine shrimp or crushed flake foods.

Lifespan

Expected life span of Sunshine Peacock is 10 years.

Fish Diseases

Malawi bloat is a typical disease for African cichlids, especially if their dietary needs are not met with quality foods. They are susceptible to other typical fish ailments, especially if water is stale and of poor quality and oxygenation. One common problem is Ich. It can be treated with the elevation of the tank temperature to 86° F (30° C) for 3 days. If that does not cure the Ich, then the fish needs to be treated with copper (remove any water conditioners). Several copper based fish medications are available for Ich. Copper use must be kept within the proper levels, so be sure to follow the manufacturers suggestions. A copper test also can be used to keep the proper levels. You can also combine increasing the temperature with an Ich medication treatment.

As with most fish they are susceptible to skin flukes and other parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.), fungal infections, and bacterial infections. It is recommended to read up on the common tank diseases. Knowing the signs and catching and treating them early makes a huge difference. For information about freshwater fish diseases and illnesses


Credits 

http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fresh/cichlid/SunshinePeacock.php

http://www.badmanstropicalfish.com/profiles/profile168.html

http://www.aqua-fish.net/show.php?h=sunshinepeacock

http://www.aqua-fish.net/show.php?h=sunshinepeacock2

http://www.aquariumlife.net/profile-images/sunshine-peacock.jpg


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