Cichlid Index: How To Breed Aulonocara Maylandi “Sulferhead”

Aulonocara maylandi

  • Description: Males are a dark bluish purple color with a yellow blaze on their face and yellow in their dorsal fin. Females stay a silvery color.
  • Common names: Sulferhead and sulfer crested.   (This species is different from the Aulonocara kandeense “Blue Orchid” due to the maylandi having a yellow blaze and yellow in the dorsal fin and the kandeense has a blue blaze and blue in the dorsal fin.)
  • Locations collected from: Eccles Reef and West Reef south of Makanjila Point.  (Eccles Reef is more commonly seen in the hobby.)
  • Approximate size: Males reach an average size of 4-5″ with females averaging 3-4″.
  • Food: Not a picky eater.  Readily accepts most foods including flake, pellet, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, and freshwater zooplankton(Daphnia).
  • Water Conditions: Fairly tolerant of conditions ranging from 7.5pH – 8.5pH and a temperature range of 75 degrees – 82 degrees F.
  • Breeding Behavior:  Mouthbrooder with adult females having large spawns(up to 75+ fry per spawn).  Males and females get along fairly well until they get close to spawning, then the males tend to be more aggressive towards the females.   Males dig a spawning pit and will aggressively defend their territories so it is better to keep quite a few females.  They are rock-dwelling fish and enjoy a lot of rock work.
  • Care of the Fry:  Newly released fry can eat crushed flake food, baby brine shrimp, and other small foods.  My fry was not picky about their water conditions.
  • TankmatesCan be kept in groups by themselves or with some Victorians and calmer Malawi cichlids (Labidochromis caeruleus, Psuedotropheus socolofi, and Placidochromis electra are a few.)  Can also be kept with some Tanganyikans (adult Lamprologus species, Neolamprologus leleupi, brichardi, daffodil, sexfasciatus and young frontosa).

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