A Question about Aulonocara in the wild

BigBeardDaHuZi

Feeder Fish
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Sep 10, 2020
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I have read conflicting reports about Aulonocara in the wild. The Jacobfreibergi are said to keep a territory and prefer a cave. The Stuartgranti complex... some say they are free rovers... others say that they will keep a territory in the wild. Does anyone know anything definitive about this?
What about the assorted Aulonocara like the Kandeense, Hueseri and Maylandi?
 
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Stephen St.Clair

Aimara
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There are numerous YouTube videos available showing under water footage of Lake Malawi.
The ones I've viewed depicted Aulonocara to behave similar to what one would expect a North American Sunfish to act, living in a big clear rock bottom reservoir.
In general they loosely hover over rock formations.
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

Feeder Fish
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Sep 10, 2020
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Ok, from what I've been reading, what Stephen St.Clair Stephen St.Clair was saying is very apt. Males will make their little circle pits. Females and juveniles will roam in groups, or occasionally solo, scouring the sand for tasty tidbits, and occasionally visiting a good looking male.
The males will make their pits, but just like the sunfish back home, the pits are often very close to each other. They will guard their little place vigorously, but they are used to having close neighbors. Some of the stuartgranti's like to nest in caves, but gentle slopes in the transition zone are very popular. Slopes that have good nutrients (crunchy bits) are best.
Where the slopes are can make a big difference in the population as well. A. "Usysia" and A. "Kande Island" are both sold as the Flavescent peacock, and they are both pretty much the same (part of the Stuartgranti complex where color and size are the biggest difference between them). The Usisya are bigger than the Kande's in the wild, by a few centimeters. Their location has a lot better nutrition. In the aquarium, with good feeding, they both grow to about the same size.

For a very fascinating read, try

https://www.malawi-guru.de/malawise...ight=WyJhdWxvbm9jYXJhIiwiYXVsb25vY2FyYSdzIl0=

You can switch the site to English.

What I still find confusing, however, is that Aulonocara are hunter-grazers. They scour the sand beds looking for - sensing - movement in the sand. They feed a lot on little invertebrates that they find. This works out just fine for the females and juveniles, but what do the males do? There can't be much to eat in their little pit.
They must leave to eat every day and then come back to reclaim their spot. I don't know. I haven't found an answer for that.
 

Stephen St.Clair

Aimara
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Jul 2, 2017
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Sunfish are only on their nests during season, not year round. Aulonocara probably are no different.
During the down time Aulonocara are likely omnivores. Opportunistic eaters, feeding on insects, crustaceans, fry & algae. Once fueled up, back to the nest. Lol.
 
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