Dragon Blood Peacock – Aulonocara baenschi

Dragon Blood Cichlid

The Dragon Blood Peacock is a stunningly beautiful bright red bodied and red headed specimen in the Peacock family. Peacock Cichlids come in a wide variety of colours and patterns (there are 23 Aulonocara species.) They make great additions for a cichlid setup for their bright colours and minimal aggression in the aquarium.

Common Name(s) : Dragon Blood Peacock, Firefish

Sexing Dragon Blood Peacock Cichlids
Sexing Dragon Blood Peacock Cichlids

Family : Cichlidae

Genus Aulonocara

Species : Aulonocara baenschi

Maximum Size : 15cm / 6 inches

Lifespan : 10-12 years

Aggression Level : Moderately Aggressive / Slightly Territorial (7/10)

PREFERRED WATER CONDITIONS

Tank Size : 60 Litres +

PH : 7.5 – 8.5

Hardness : Moderate to Hard

Temperature : 23 – 26°C / 73.4–78.8 °F

TANK SET UP

Peacock cichlid inhabit the sandy areas of Lake Malawi, therefore they are not demanding many special needs within an aquarium. Coral Sand with some rockery is best to emulate their natural habitat.

SUITABLE TANK MATES

  • Other African cichlids (of similar size)
  • Clown Loaches, Featherfin Catfish, Cuckoo Catfish, Bristlenose Catfish, Plecos, Ghost Knives
  • They can also sometimes live with barbs, American cichlids, Larger Gourami’s, Eels, Silver & Golden Perch, larger sharks, silver dollar and yabbies.

DIET

Peacocks are omnivores – in the wild they feed on small crustaceans, algae and cichlid fry. In the aquarium provide them a high quality cichlid pellet or flake (this should contain an adequate amount of yellow carotene pigments.) Most of their natural diet is meat based so ensure you also feed peacocks some frozen brine shrimp or frozen bloodworms periodically.

SEXING AND BREEDING

Sexing Peacocks is relatively easy in cichlid terms. Males certainly feature more colour – even from 4-5cm in length. Males are typically more colourful while females are drab in colour (silver and brown). But if in doubt look to the fins of these fish to determine its sex.

Males feature a “pointed” and slightly longer dorsal fin and anal fin. Females will have more rounded fins. The male may have bright egg spots on his anal fin, whilst a small percentage of females will also have egg spots.

Peacock cichlids are maternal mouth brooders; the females take care of the eggs and fry. The average brooding period is 3 weeks after which the female releases her fry.