The "Ngara Flametail" is perhaps the most gorgeous of the so-called peacocks. This variant of the stuartgranti is found near Mdoka, Lake Malawi. Adults grow to sizes of 3-5", with males obtaining the bright metallic blue with an orange/red flush, extending from the shoulder to the caudal fin. Females remain a dark brownish-gray. Males, just before taking on adult coloration, turn a yellowish-brown color. Head, lips, and gills change color first. Their only drawback is that they are one of the slowest of the peacocks to take on adult coloration. (And of course, only males have color.)
Males from Ngara are characterized by a fire engine red while those from Mdoka have a reddish-orange flush. Each Ngara Flametail, whether from Ngara or Mdoka, are unique in that no two seem to dispaly the same degree of red or orange. Sometimes it only extends half way up the body and sometimes it will reach as far as the collar. Nicer specimens of course have a larger flush.
This species is very undemanding, as is the case with most of the peacocks. In other words, they are very peaceful, tending to ignore most other fish, and are rarely the object of any other fishes’ aggression. They also accept most aquascaping setups, including gravel, sand, rocks, or even planted aquariums. They readily accept most foods (e.g., frozen, flakes, pellets, and live food). Be sure to soak the pellets before feeding. In the wild, Aulonocara species feed on plankton and invertebrates. I recommend feeding them a combination of Spirulina flakes with an occasional frozen treat. □