The auratus cichlid, Melanochromis auratus, is a freshwater fish of the cichlid family. It is also known as golden mbuna and Malawi golden cichlid. It is endemic to the southern region of Lake Malawi, particularly from Jalo Reef southward along the entire western coast down to Crocodile Rocks. This cichlid is found in rocky habitats and prefers a pH range of 7.0–8.5 and a temperature range of 22–26°C.
Auratus cichlids are small, elongate fish that can grow up to 11 cm. Juveniles and females are bright yellow with black and white stripes on the upper half of the body. Adult male coloration is drastically different with dark brown or black body and light blue or yellow stripes on the upper half of the body.
Like many other cichlids from Lake Malawi, auratus cichlids are mouthbrooders. Females hold their fertilized eggs and fry in their mouth for a few weeks before releasing the fry.
The auratus cichlid is one of the most popular mbuna cichlids in the aquarium trade. Juveniles of this fish have a striking coloration and are commonly available in most pet shops. However, auratus cichlids, especially the males, are territorial and highly aggressive, even on the mbuna cichlid standard. In most cases, it is best to keep one adult male with many females. In aquarium stores, there will usually be one dominant male that is colored black, the rest will display the submissive “female” coloration of yellow. If this male is sold, the next dominant male will take on the black color. Their tank should be set up with a lot of rocks with caves and hiding places. Auratus cichlids natural food source is algae but those in aquariums will usually take whatever food that is fed to them.
背鳍上也有一条黑色条纹。成年以后的雌鱼依然保持着这种体色，雄鱼则变成了深蓝黑色体侧有一条发出金属光芒的浅蓝色条纹从腮盖后缘到尾柄末端。这种鱼的领地观念很强。幼鱼期可混养，雄鱼时常争斗所以混养需要较大的水族箱和较多的水草、岩石等隐蔽场所供弱势鱼躲藏。成鱼应单养。本种鱼为口孵鱼类。因此繁殖很简单。亲鱼性成熟年龄为6个月，雄鱼有婚姻色， 体色变成灰黑色，背鳍黄色，体侧黑带泛有浅蓝色；雌鱼腹部膨大，体色略淡。繁殖水温27~29 ，水质弱碱性或中性，可选用50X30X35厘米的鱼缸，将亲鱼放入。雌鱼产卵后，将受精卵含在自己口中，然后受雄鱼臀鳍上的伪卵吸引，嘴巴靠近雄鱼的臀鳍，从而使口中的卵受精。卵经约三天孵出仔鱼，在孵化期间，雌鱼不能喂食，以便它不断地鼓动双鳃，以增加口中氧气。当仔鱼游水后，若有险情，雌鱼立刻将仔鱼含入口中游离。1~2周后仔鱼长大，这时可将雌鱼捞出。雌鱼每次产卵30~60粒。
PH:8.1 H:22 T:27c L:20cm V:200L