Profile - Aulonocara Stuartgranti "Ngara Flametail"
Name: Aulonocara Stuartgranti (Ngara)
Trade name: Flametail, Ngara, Mdoka
Habitat: Provide rocks, sand and caves
Diet: Ominivore. A. stuartgranti readily accept most foods: flakes, frozen, pellets, and live.
Potential size: 4"-5" in captivity
Gender differences: Males as pictured. Females are a silvery grey color with vertical barring.
Minimum recommended tank size: 30 gallon tank for a group of four
Minimum recommended group size: Trios do quite well
Recommended group ratio: 1 male to 3-4 females
Breeding: Maternal mouth brooder
General comments and observations:
The Ngara Flametail is one of the most beautiful of the "peacock" cichlids in Lake Malawi. Males exhibit a deep metallic blue coloration on their bodies with a red/orange (depending upon local) color starting at their shoulder and going through the tail. Hence the "flametail" designation. Females tend to be rather drab and exhibit a brownish to silvery grey color with vertical barring.
They are a peaceful fish and generally tolerate other fish in the aquarium without issue. During breeding, they can be mildly aggressive to females. Generally speaking, a good ratio is one male to 3-4 females in a breeding setup. Several males can be kept together in a show tank type setup without females.
Breeding is rather easy with this fish. Provide rockwork and a cave or two and it should take care of itself. Female Ngara will hold eggs in their buccal cavity for approximately 28 days. At that time, fry are free swimming and can be fed a variety of small or crushed food. Clutches usually run from 8-20 fry. it should be noted, males can continue to be aggressive to females post spawn so it is essential to provided adequate cover for the holding females.
All in all, the Ngara Flametail is a wonderful fish and is one I highly recommend to anybody interested in keeping cichlids.