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Aulonocranus dewindti

Aulonocranus dewindti

Scientific name: Aulonocranus dewindti

Common name: N/A

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 12 - 14 cm (4.72 - 5.51 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 7.8 - 8.8

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 10 - 20°N (178.57 - 357.14ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 24 - 26 °C (75.2 - 78.8°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: Africa

Temperament to its own species: aggressive/territorial

Temperament toward other fish species: aggressive/territorial

Usual place in the tank: Middle levels


Aulonocranus dewindti originates from Lake Tanganyika where it inhabits the sandy substrates rather than being a true rock dweller. It spends most of it’s time searching the substrate for food.

Short description

Aulonocranus dewindti belongs to an exclusive group of African cichlids that are commonly known as featherfins which becomes obvious due to their flowing finnage that resembles bird’s feathers and has to add to their appeal. They are usually referred to by their common name “dewindti cichlid” and are not classed as an overly aggressive species.In the home they do require plenty of swimming space and they are not recommended for beginners to keeping African cichlids due to their requirements. Adult specimens should reach a length of around 5 inches but do not let this average size fool you into thinking they will be happy in smaller aquariums.


The expected lifespan for Aulonocranus dewindti if cared for correctly is between 5-8 years.

General care

Unlike most African cichlids you can keep more than one male per aquarium but they will need to be given space to set their own territories, you should also keep to the ratio of three females per each male housed. The minimum size aquarium that you should house these fish in should be at least 4 feet in length (120 cm), but as expected with cichlids the larger the better so use this minimum guide as the smallest space for these fish.Hiding places should also be added to the aquarium by the use of rocks or wood and you should also include some terracotta pots laid on their side as the males will use these as nest when spawning is to commence. The temperature of the water should be set between 25-26°C (77-79°F) and cichlids are high waste producers so make sure that the filtration system is rated for the water volume of the aquarium. Weekly water changes of at least 10% should be performed.


It is important to vary the diet of Aulonocranus dewindti to keep them interested in their food and keep them healthy. Suitable sized cichlid pellets or a quality commercial flake can be offered but vary this with treats of live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp or blood worms. They will also appreciate treats of spirulina flake.


Mature males tend to grow larger than the females and will develop extended finnage.


Aulonocranus dewindti are maternal mouth brooders. The male will prepare a nest and entice the female in where spawning will take place. The male will fertilise the eggs as soon as they are deposited and once fertilised the female will take the eggs into her mouth for incubation. Once hatched the female will hold the fry until they are large enough to be released, once they are out of the mouth they can be fed on newly hatched brine shrimp until they are large enough to accept larger foods. It is very important not to stress a holding female as this can cause her to release the eggs or fry too early and the batch will be lost.

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