Red Top Lwanda Cichlid: General Information

Red Top Lwanda Cichlid

Red Top Lwanda Cichlid General

Aulonocara “lwanda” or Red Top Lwanda Cichlid is a mouthbrooding cichlid that can be found in Lake Malawi, which is located in Africa. Peacocks, or Aulonocara species, are brightly colored and active fish. This fish is sometimes referred to as Aulonocara “Red Dorsal,” Aulonocara lawanda, or Aulonocara sp. “lawanda.”

This fish is a part of the Aulonocara Jacobfreibergei complex. In fact its members are generally darker in colour than the other groups. Red Top Lwanda Cichlid is a species that is currently undescribed.  A new species may be created, or it may be classified as a variant of the Jakes by scientists for all intents and purposes. Whatever the case, it is a substantial-sized peacock with a pleasing appearance.

Males are covered in a deep blue colour and will develop a yellow around their shoulders and pelvic region, which will finally turn a dark orange to red when they reach adulthood. The colour of the tail, dorsal, and anal fins will also change from yellow to a dark orange to red colour over time. Males begin to show their best colour around 3.5 to 4 inches. The colour of the 3-inch males is already visible, and it will only advance as the fish grows larger. Females, like the majority of peacock species, are dull and small, reaching a maximum height of about 3.5 inches.

C.A.R.E.S. Program Fish, endangered facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future.

See Related Article: Star Sapphire Cichlid: Complete Guide, Care and More

Aulonocara sp. “lwanda”

Category: Malawi Peacock Cichlids

Scientific Name: Aulonocara sp.

Common Name: Red Top Lwanda Peacock Chiclid

Place of Origin:  Hai Reef, Tanzania and Chiwindi, Mozambique. Lake Malawi

Max Size: 6.0″

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Diet: Carnivore

Water Temperature: 73-82°F/23-28°C

pH: 7.6 – 8.6

Water Hardness: Hard

Min. Tank Size: 50-90 Gal

Breed Type: Mouth brooder

Breeding Colony Recommendation: 1 Male and 8 females in a 55-gallon tank

Compatibility: Combine with other Lake Malawi hap and Aulonocara species like Victorian Haps, Malawi Haps, Malawi Peacocks, Synodontis, other Peacock and Haplochromis Cichlids, Plecos and Cuckoo Catfish. Avoid Mbunas.

Red Top Lwanda Cichlid Habitat

Red Top Lwanda Cichlid is a member of the Aulonocara Species (Peacock Cichlid). The most common is to find Peacock Cichlids in areas where the rocky shoreline transforms into the sandier surface of the lake bottom.

The fish can be found in the Lake Malawi’s shallow, intermediate habitat between three and ten metres. It is a cave dweller, according to Ad Konings.

Red Top Lwanda Cichlid


Red Top Lwanda Cichlids are an excellent addition to almost any community Lake Malawi aquarium. They get along well with the majority of other Lake Malawi species. However, they are peaceful enough to coexist with similar species in an aquarium that is large enough to contain numerous territories for each group of fish. Red Top Lwanda Cichlid cooperate well with Victorian Haps, Malawi Haps, Malawi Peacocks, Synodontis, other Peacock and Haplochromis Cichlids, Plecos and Cuckoo Catfish. Avoid Mbunas.

Tank Requirements

The minimum tank size should be 50 gallons, but ideally it should be 90 gallons and larger. There should be a lot of open water for swimming. Put a substrate of sand or fine gravel, and include plenty of caves and other hiding places in the tank. The ideal water temperature is 73-82°F or 23-28°C with neutral to hard water of 10-18 dH. It is not endorsed to keep this fish with any other Aulonocara species because it may interbreed with them.

Read Related Topic: 15 Gallon Fish Tank: Reviews and Beginner Guide, 5 Best Tanks for 2021

Red Top Lwanda Cichlid Care

In general, peacocks are not considered to be difficult to keep. However, Red Top Lwanda Cichlids may be one of the more difficult species to keep due to aggression within a specific fish, which is common in this species. So, according to observations, they are particularly harsh on females.


In the wild, Red Top Lwanda Cichlids obtain the food by sifting through sand substrate, pushing the sand through their gills, and extracting small invertebrates that have been hidden in the sand.

In addition, they are active hunters who will actively prey on small prey species that move above the substrate or if they notice movement in the sand.

Red Top Lwanda Cichlids, like the majority of African Cichlid species, they prefer to live in small groups consisting of a single male and a small number of females. Eventually, they will stake their claim to a small patch of land that provides them with sufficient feeding opportunities. Once they have formed their territory, they will aggressively defend it against other fish species of similar size and pattern. This also includes anything else that they consider to be a potential source of food competition.

In the aquarium, Red Top Lwanda Cichlids accept a variety of prepared foods, such as Spectrum, HBH Graze, Cichlid Flakes, HBH Soft and Moist. Plus, they abide the occasional treat of frozen brine shrimp or blood worms.

Red Top Lwanda Cichlid Breeding

For breeding purposes, one male with five or six females is the best sex combination. Red Top Lwanda Cichlids breeds in a manner distinct from that of other peacocks. This fish does not dig a spawning pit. The male extends his fins to entice a female to spawn, attracting her to a flat rock. She lays a small number of eggs on the rocky bottom.

You can count around 20-22 babies at the heads and tails stage at about 12–14 days after spawning. Transfer the babies to a clean, two-three-gallon tank that contained a filter and approximately 80% new, fresh clean water. After about a week, you will find the babies swimming around freely in the water.

It is great to start the fry on two feedings per day. First, in the mornings provide Cyclops-Eeze, and in the evenings the young should be fed freshly hatched baby brine shrimp. Next, add fine-grade flake foods as they grow.

After about a week, transfer the fry to a five-gallon tank to continue their growth. In about a month, the fry should be between 0.5 to 0.6 inch (1.3-1.6 cm) in length.


Red Top Lwanda Cichlids is a cichlid that is occasionally available at pet stores that specialize in tropical fish.

1 thoughts on “Red Top Lwanda Cichlid: General Information

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *