Tropical Fish Site

Profiles Reviews Guides for Tropical and Marine

Auratus – Melanochromis Auratus


Common name: Auratus

Scientific name: Melanochromis Auratus

Average Adult Fish Size: 14cm / 5 Inches

Place of Origin: Lake Malawi

Typical Tank setup: Rocky Malawi tank

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 160 Litres

Compatibility: Other Lake Malawi cichlids, should be highly stock though as the Auratus is very aggressive

Temperature: 23-28 Deg C / 73-82 Deg F

Water chemistry:  pH 7.6-8.6

Feeding: Standard Mbuna diet of african cichlid flakes or pellets. Fresh vegetables such as peas and romaine lettuce also compliment the diet.

Sexing: The males is larger, has more black coloring, and has yellow dummy-eggs on his anal fins

Breeding: Typical malawi mouthbrooder. Breeding is fairly easy as long as male does not kill the females while courting.

Additional Information: Young individuals have females coloring which consists of a golden-yellow base color with three black bands. Each black band had small white stripes running parallel with it. The caudal fin is spotted and the anal, pectoral, and pelvic fins are golden. When the male reaches two inches, he begins to develop mature male colors. The female colors are reversed on the male, making the base body color black with yellow stripes. Sometimes the yellow stripes are turquoise or blue depending on the location where the fish may be found. The caudal fin is black with a few white stripes and the dorsal fin is yellow. The anal, pectoral, and pelvic fins are black and have a white fringe.