M. Auratus was one of the first cichlids to be exported from Lake Malawi. The males will only defend a territory when females are present, but will leave it as soon as no females appear interested. The males are extremely aggressive towards other males and will try to kill any other male of its species. Due to the risk of hybridization, they should not be kept with other Melanochromis species. Basic coloration is bright yellow with black horizontal bars. Males have a dark brown belly.
Pronunciation: Refer to our Pronunciation Key for an explanation of the phonetic symbols.
Habitat: This is the primary location where the cichlid is found and is a generalization. This does not mean a fish cannot be found in other habitats.
Diet: Many cichlids specialize in eating one type of food; notwithstanding, some of these specialized feeders are flexible and can be opportunistic feeders.
Temperament: This describes the overall demeanor of a cichlid toward other tankmates that are of a different species. Consider that there is variability in temperament due to various factors, including aquarium size, tankmates of similar appearance, stocking levels, and order of introduction. There may even be some variability among individual specimens.
Conspecific Temperament: This describes the overall demeanor of a cichlid toward other tank- mates of the same species. Consider that there is variability in temperament due to such factors as aquarium size, stocking levels and order of introduction. There may even be some variability among individual specimens.
Maximum Size: This is in regards to total length (including the tail) of typical aquarium specimens. Wild specimens may not attain this size, or may in fact grow larger than aquarium raised individuals due to various factors. Also consider that this is the typical maximum size and there are exceptional individuals that will exceed it.
This measure is a relative value, comparing a single species against all
This only accounts for maintanence in the aquarium and not breeding
1 = easy and forgiving, 5 = extremely challenging.