Malawi Golden Cichlid (Melanochromis auratus)

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Malawi Golden Cichlid

Male Malawi Golden Cichlid

Melanochromis auratus

170 Litres (45 US G.)

7.6-10.2cm (3-4 ")




7.5 - 8.5

22 -26 °C (71.6-78.8°F)

15-20 °d

1:3 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

5-8 years



Additional names

Auratus, Malawi Golden Cichlid, Golden Mbuna

Additional scientific names

Chromis aurata, Chromis auratus, Pseudotropheus auratus, Tilapia aurata

Origin[edit | edit source]

Endemic to Lake Malawi.

Sexing[edit | edit source]

The male and female Auratus have completely different colouration. The female is slightly smaller and her body is a golden yellow with black/brown lateral stripes which are bordered in white. The fins are also yellow. The mature male's body is black/brown in colour with a yellow stripe running the length of the body. The top of his body is a mustard colour which is followed up through the dorsal fin.
It must be noted that this fish has the capability of changing sex, in an environment devoid of males, a female will switch sex. It's less common for males to switch to female.

Tank compatibility[edit | edit source]

An aggressive fish, keep this fish in an African Cichlid set up only. Recommend having 1 male to every 3 females.

Diet[edit | edit source]

Will take most foods including pellet, flake and live/frozen foods. The Auratus will also graze on algae and supplementing their diet with spirulina is beneficial.

Feeding regime[edit | edit source]

Feed once or twice a day.

Environment specifics[edit | edit source]

Prefers rockwork décor with hiding places. Does best in hard alkaline water. Good substrate choices could be Dolomite or crushed coral to aid in buffering the water.

Behaviour[edit | edit source]

An aggressive and territorial fish.

Identification[edit | edit source]

See sexing. The fish is fairly elongated with the anal and dorsal fins being fairly rounded, whereas the caudal fin is more triangular.

Pictures[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]