Flavescent Peacock Cichlid (Aulonocara stuartgranti)

Flavescent peacock cichlid

The flavescent peacock cichlid (Aulonocara stuartgranti / Tropheops chilumba) fish can be found in Lake Malawi as well as Lake Malombe and has been spotted in areas of the Middle Usambara Mountains in Tanzania. The flavescent peacock cichlid will grow to be about seven inches long and will have an average life span of about five years with proper care and maintenance.

The flavescent peacock cichlid is a member of the Cichlidae family, popularly known as the cichlid fish or African cichlids, a popular and colorful species of freshwater cichlid fish native to Lake Malawi in Africa, but it’s also commonly kept as an aquarium pet around the world because of its beautiful appearance and its peaceful demeanor with other species of fish and plants.

Here’s everything you need to know about caring for the flavescent peacock cichlid in your own home or office!

Origin and description

The Flavescent peacock cichlid is a relatively new species of cichlid to the hobby but has quickly become one of the more popular fish due to its striking coloration. Native to Lake Malawi in East Africa, this species is found exclusively among rocky reefs with moderate water flow and low turbidity. They are usually found at depths between 20-60 meters below the surface.

Females have longer fins than males; their anal fins extend as far as their pelvic fins while males’ anal fins only extend up to their pelvic fins. Their diet consists primarily of small invertebrates such as crabs and shrimp which they find among the rocks on which they live.

Species profile

Flavescent peacock cichlid

The flavescent peacock cichlid is a beautiful species that was discovered in Malawi, formerly known as Nyasaland. This landlocked country is located in Southeastern Africa. Mozambique borders the south, east, and west of the country, Zambia borders the west, and Tanzania borders the north and northeast.

Labeotropheus fuelleborni (Fuelleborni Cichlid)

A part of the genus Aulonocara, it is a popular fish for aquariums and ponds. The flavescent peacock cichlid is not as aggressive as some other African cichlids and can be kept with other cichlids of similar size.

These fish are omnivores and will eat both plant-based foods and meaty foods. They also require a lot of space to swim. Although they can be kept with other large peaceful cichlids, they may still become territorial if there isn’t enough room for them to establish their own territory.

When deciding on what type of food to feed your fish, you should always make sure you buy high-quality flakes or pellets specifically formulated for freshwater aquariums because this type of food contains all the nutrients necessary for healthy growth.

Scientific name

The scientific name of the flavescent peacock cichlid is Aulonocara stuartgranti.


Originally from Lake Malawi in Africa, the Flavescent Peacock Cichlid is now found all around the world. Meyer-Riehl described them in 1985 and they are found mostly in the area surrounding the lake, mainly along the south-eastern coast between Ruhuhu River and Ntekete, the northwestern coast between Kande and Ngara, and areas in the southern part of Africa.

Typically, they live in freshwater lakes or tropical deep-water lakes in small groups with similar cichlids. Females usually live in small groups, while males live in caverns among rocks scattered over the sand. As long as the water is hard and alkaline in nature, the fish can also be kept captive in an aquarium or fish tank.

Flavescent Peacock Cichlid size and weight

Flavescent Peacock Cichlid grows up to around 11 to 19 cm (4.5 to 7.5 inches) long and can weigh about 100 g (0.22 pounds).

Flavescent Peacock Cichlid tank size

Although they prefer a tank size of at least 55 gallons (208 liters), they are peaceful and will do well in a smaller tank of around 40 gallons, as long as it is densely planted with lots of hiding places.

Yellow Tail Acei Cichlid (Pseudotropheus acei)

Flavescent Peacock Cichlid tank mates

The flavescent peacock cichlid is an aggressive fish. It prefers to live in a tank with other larger and less aggressive fish. They are also territorial and should not be put with other peacocks because they will attack each other.

The best tank mates for this species are fish such as Rainbow sharks, Synodontis catfish, Plecos, Peaceful Haplochromis cichlids, Red tail sharks, and African red eye tetra.


Flavescent peacock cichlid

Keep two female Flavescent Peacocks and one male to maximize breeding results. Males display intense coloration in order to attract females. Cichlids are easy to breed because their parents tend to their young.

Ideally, they should have their own breeding tank. It is possible for cichlids to act aggressively towards other tankmates when they are guarding their babies. The recommended tank size is 100 gallons.

Flavescent Peacocks spawn secretly in caves, so it is difficult to see them. This species is a mouthbrooder. Eggs are laid here and picked up in the mouth by the females. In order to produce “milt” or sperm, the male is picked at the anal fin. In that way, this milt is taken into the mouth of the female, where the eggs are fertilized.

When the fries are old enough to feed themselves, she will carry them in her mouth. It is assumed that this will also take 21 days for this fish, as it does for other peacocks.

This is the time when she nibbles and eats very little. It is never a smart idea to keep fry from different strains together, as you will be unable to differentiate between them (until they are fully grown).

Maintain the purity of the bloodlines of the different species. In the absence of this, pure strains might be lost forever, unless more wild fish are caught, which would deplete our natural resources. The Flavescent Peacock’s coloring varies depending on the location in Lake Malawi. Having a variety of Cichlids and making sure that their shapes are very different will prevent cross-breeding.

Pseudotropheus perspicax (Trewavas, 1935)

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

Flavescent peacocks are semi-aggressive fish that often travel in small groups with other similar fishes in the wild. In comparison to other Haplochromis species, they are very peaceful. Fish tanks should have a 55-gallon (208 l) capacity if they are kept alone or a 100-gallon (378 l) capacity if one male and two females are kept together.

Flavescent peacock care information

Flavescent peacock cichlid

Caring for a flavescent peacock cichlid is not very difficult. These fish prefer to live in tanks that are heavily planted with lots of rocks and caves. They also require a large school of other peacocks to feel at home. It is important to note that these fish will eat any living thing, including plants, so if you are trying to keep them in a tank without any plants, be sure that it has an extra cover or lid on top.

Flavescent peacock cichlid diet

The Flavescent peacock cichlid is an omnivore. In its natural habitat, it feeds on small invertebrates like insects and crustaceans, as well as algae. In captivity, they will eat everything you put in front of them including frozen food and flake food.

Flavescent peacock tank requirements

The Flavescent Peacock Cichlid requires a tank with a sandy bottom and plenty of rocks. The water should be clean and at a temperature between 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit. They’re susceptible to ick, so they should also have a filter. They will eat flakes, pellets, and freeze-dried bloodworms as well as live brine shrimp and tubifex worms.

You’ll want to supplement their diet with leafy greens from the grocery store’s produce aisle. In order for your peacocks’ coloration to really pop, they need three hours of sunlight per day; a planted tank can provide some natural light but don’t go overboard or you’ll risk stressing out your little fish!


The lifespan of the flavescent peacock cichlid is about 5 to 8 years. They reach sexual maturity at around a year or two old.

Elongate Mbuna (Pseudotropheus elongatus)

Parasites and diseases

The Flavescent peacock cichlid is prone to Ich and parasitic infections. They are also susceptible to respiratory problems, and bacterial infections. Some of these include Amyloodinium ocellatum and Saprolegnia sp., which can affect their eyes, mouth, and gills respectively. Luckily for the flavescent peacock cichlid, these parasites are easily eradicated with antibiotic treatment.

Predators (What animals prey on them)

The Flavescent peacock cichlid is preyed upon by the following animals: Largemouth bass, Piranhas, Electric eels, and Tilapia. They are also hunted by humans.

Do they make good pets?

If you’re looking for a hardy and beautiful freshwater fish, the Flavescent peacock cichlid (Aulonocara stuartgranti or Tropheops chilumba) is a good choice.

Though they can be territorial with other Aulonocara stuartgranti, their compatibility with other species varies. It’s best to research any possible tank mates before introducing them.