Good evening dear colleagues. Another representative of the Cichl family today will be described on the blog and it is called Aulonokara Bensha.
This cichlid from Lake Malawi prefers to stay at great depths (up to 15 meters) among the rocky bottom and sandy soil.
The body of the fish is very flattened on the sides and greatly elongated. The head has angular outlines. The mouth is small with purple lips.
The forehead and body of the males are painted bright yellow, the gill covers and fish cheeks are the same color. On the body of the fish, you can also notice up to 10 vertical purple stripes, and the border on the scales creates a feeling of a plain pattern.
The iris of the eyes has a yellow border. On the dorsal fin you can see the alternation of orange-blue strokes, and the fin itself has a white edging.
Anal fin with the same blue strokes. The adult female is painted dark brown with 9 transverse dark stripes.
The maximum length of the fish is no more than 12 centimeters.
Aulonokara Bensha is also considered a peaceful and calm cichlid, which, despite its preferences in nature, tries to stay in the upper or middle layers of the aquarium. It is recommended to keep these fish in long aquariums (over 1 meter) with the same habits and size of their neighbors. It is better that they were cichlids of the same temper.
I would also like to note that Aulonokara Bensha without any problems intersects with fish of the same color and from a different species. If the neighbors at aulonokar are nimble and lively, then the fish will be oppressed and will try to hide in a shelter.
And as you already know, tsikhlidnik without the proper number of shelters is simply unthinkable.
In addition, in the tsikhlidnik should be flat large stones, which, as a rule, are attached ferns. Mandatory condition tsikhlidnika – good filtration and aeration.
Also, every week, we substitute about 30% of the water for fresh. The aquarium water in the can with aulonocars should have the following parameters:
- temperature: 25-27 degrees;
- hardness: 8-20;
- active reaction environment: 7.5 – 8.5 pH
If you, along with Bensha aulonokara, keep other Cichl representatives and you have plans to plant them, then carefully monitor the acidity of the aquarium water. Practice shows that even taking into account the good adaptability of cichlids to acidic water, breeding fish in such water almost always ended in failure.
The optimum water temperature is desirable 26 degrees, but it was noticed that the fish feels great at a temperature range of 22-30 degrees.
I would like to warn you that if your tank is alkaline, then as a result of nitrification ammonia will form in the water. From this point on, you should regularly remove from the aquarium the waste products of fish and the uneaten food.
Some experienced tsikhlidniki advised to add to the aquarium salt or sea salt, supposedly it is good for fish. Preferred aquarium plants for cichlid with aulonocars: Vallisneria spiral and giant, limnofila aquatic, hygrophil.
The fact is that the leaves of these plants quickly become flabby and the fish feed on them perfectly. There is practically all aulonokara, but it is better to feed it with live food and sometimes diversify the diet with good substitutes for live food and food of plant origin.
Half-mature fish becomes 8-10 months old. The breeding process can proceed both in a separate spawning and in the general aquarium. The volume of spawning should be at least 100 liters, in which shelters in the form of caves and flat stones are installed.
Filtration and aeration as always without fail. In addition, it will be necessary to change the water once a week in the spawning aquas.
For spawning several females and one male are selected. Pairs of fish form just before spawning.
At a time, the female can sweep up to 70 eggs, as a rule, the clutch is located on a flat stone.
At the end of the spawning season, the female collects all the eggs in her mouth and goes to the shelter of her choice. After three weeks, the fry will begin to leave a reliable mother’s mouth, but at night they will still hide in it for the first time.
To try to preserve the offspring, the eggs can be sent to the incubator, if there is one, or the female can be transplanted. As soon as the fry begin to swim independently, they begin to be fed with nauplii of cyclops and artemia.