Aulonokara nyasa is sometimes called the queen of nyasa. There is a reason for this. Namely, the magnificent coloration of males of this species, which becomes even more vivid and inimitable during spawning.
Therefore, Aulonocara nyassae can be safely called not only the most beautiful fish of Lake Malawi, but also one of the most beautiful cichlids.
Description of aulonokara nyasa
Male aulonokara nyasa can reach up to twenty centimeters in length. But such large specimens are rare even in nature. Behind the windows of aquariums, their size rarely exceeds twelve to fourteen centimeters. The size of the females are even more modest. The body of the fish is tall, rather strongly flattened at the sides.
Males wear glossy dark-blue attire with slightly visible transverse stripes. Gill covers are light blue with turquoise coloration. The breast is orange and yellow speckled, and the dorsal and anal fins are pointed. The anal fin has so-called caviar spots or release spots. When spawning time arrives, this outfit becomes even more bright and attractive.
It is easy enough to distinguish the female from the male. As mentioned above, females are more modest in size. The attire is also somewhat more modest. The coloration of females is dominated by olive-sand tones. On a lighter background transverse striation of the body by darker stripes is clearly seen. So, no confusion should arise.
Keeping Aulonocara nyassae
It is better to keep aulonokara nyasa in small harems. For one male, it is desirable to have three or four females. Such a family can be kept in a one-column aquarium. The aquarium can be glued or frame. The material of the aquarium also does not matter much. Plexiglass or plain glass is a matter of your preference. The bottom of the aquarium should preferably be covered with coarse sand or fine pebbles.
Next, you should be concerned about organizing some shelters and hiding places. They are needed for the privacy that all living creatures sometimes need. A cichlid is also a shelter for females or weaker males from the alpha male, which is usually not noted for intelligence. Hiding places can be arranged from large rocks, putting them in small grottos, caves, or at the worst just put them in a stone ridge. Just with the role of shelters can cope with the appropriate size pottery pots, placed on the side.
The water temperature should be between twenty-four and twenty-seven degrees Celsius. The pH should be between seven and a half and eight and a half.
Filtration and additional aeration in an aquarium with aulonokaram nyasa is mandatory. Moreover, the water must be filtered around the clock. This is especially important if the aquarium is not very large. Once a week, one-fifth or one-fourth of the water should be changed into fresh, standing water with the same physical and chemical parameters as in the aquarium.
The literature recommends refilling the water with a temperature of two to three degrees lower than in the aquarium. It is claimed that this promotes the health of fish and stimulates spawning. To be honest, I did not notice a big difference. Although it is possible not too closely watched.
Feeding aulonocara nyasa
Aulonocara nyasa eagerly eats any live food. However, it prefers insects and their larvae. Since insects and their larvae are not always available in abundance, you should pay attention to more traditional foods. Among the most preferable foods are the bloodworm, the enchytreus and the Grindal worm.
Just don’t overfeed your pets and change the food more often. Ideally, you should give them a different food each day. Today a moth, tomorrow a grindal worm, the day after tomorrow an enchytray. Then anything else you can think of. For example, scraped lean beef meat.
Propagation of Aulonocara nyasa
Before spawning, the male prepares a spot for the future mating dance. When the mating spot is cleaned up, a female ready to spawn swims up to him. The mating dance begins. Fish are positioned in relation to each other, head to tail, and begin a slow rotation, often clockwise. Sometimes against.
During this dance, the female begins to hatch rather large light yellow eggs. After each such spawning, the female collects a small portion of the eggs in her mouth and swims up to the male anal fin and swallows his milk. The eggs are fertilized in the female’s mouth. Then the mating dance resumes until the next spawning of a small portion of eggs.
The eggs are incubated in the female’s mouth. Depending on the temperature, the maturation of eggs lasts from fifteen to twenty days. During this period, the female does not eat anything at all. After the eggs mature, the female releases from her mouth quite large fry. Their length can reach ten millimeters. After that, the female should be removed. But not in a common aquarium, but better yet in a separate vessel for at least two weeks. Here she will be able to rest in peace, plenty to eat and gain strength after a long nurturing the fry in her mouth, during which she, remember, did not eat anything.
From the first days the fry can be fed daphnia and small cyclops. So with the nursing of fry should not have any problems.
As you can see the fish is quite interesting in behavior and breeding. Well, its magnificent coloring was described above, and you can see it on the photo. And if you wish, you can settle such a beauty in your room lake.