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Aulonocara Growth Rate

5679 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  cichlidaholic
Hey All,

I'm completely new to keeping any Malawi cichlids, and I'm working on setting up an all male Malawi tank. I'm starting out with some fairly small peacocks from my LFS store, and I'm wondering how long it will take them to grow up, color up, etc.

Since I'm buying juvenile fish, I can't be certain of their sex, and I'm sure I'm going to have to do some culling at some point. I've heard that it can take peacocks a year or so to fully color up, and that it takes them several years to grow to full size.

I was wondering if anyone could give me a little bit of a background on how quickly they reveal their sex, how quickly they get to a decent size, and how long it takes them to get to full size. I've heard that they grow really quickly in the first few months to a year up until they get to 3" or so, and then they slow down to the point where it takes them a couple years to get to the 5"-6" range.

How much truth is there in that?

Thanks in advance!
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Well with my experience, remember that there are many things that come into play with ANY fish growth rate; the two main being diet( I use NLS and Hikari) and water chemistry(including frequent water changes, I did and still do weekly). You'll be able to start sexing the fish at around 2in. Males will most often have hints of blue along the jawline. It'll take about 4 months for some good size and color.

I had a Red and an OB reach a full 6in in about a year. :)
Peacocks are very slow growing. setting up a all male tank takes alot of $ because you need to buy a lil larger fish to ensure you have all males or you are risking a big war if there is unknown females..
One of the problems I'm running into is that there is only one store in town that really ever gets good peacocks in. These guys are popular enough that when they get something good in, it's almost always juvenile, and they get picked over pretty quickly.

I find myself having to pick out the one most likely male (with the help of the guys there who are pretty good). Then, I just wait and pray for the best.

Part of what I'm wondering is how to deal with a fish that hasn't been coloring up immediately. If I get a female, I want to get her out of there as soon as possible. How big should I let the fish get to "be sure" it's a female and not a late bloomer?

I have a benga yellow, for example that's a little over an inch and still mostly pale. (He) has little hints of yellow showing up on his shoulders, and his lower fins are fairly yellow, but it's definitely not enough color to make me feel confident.

Is there a certain age / size in which all Aulonocara males should exhibit *some* good coloration?
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It can really take awhile for them to obtain and hold their male colouration. You aren't going to be able to tell much at all at an inch.

Another factor that will affect the speed that they colour up is the "intimidation" level in the tank. If you're trying to keep species that look similar to each other, you may not get fully coloured males.

By 3 inches, you should be able to tell what is what with your dominant ones.

You've got awhile (if they are all around an inch) before they begin to sexually mature enough to need to start pulling females.

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