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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since being here many have helped me. I bought what was thought to be ebj and was told they are maingano. After looking at specimens online I believe that to be true.
That being said around the same time I bought a fish with similar markings that looked to be mostly white with black markings…Someone saw it and said I had a problem on my hands that it was a golden auratus. Surely it turned a pretty yellow with black and white stripes. Well now over the last month and a half it had been coloring up with some blue as if a male. last night I saw it with the most blue I ever saw on it, mostly in the facemask area and it was such a pretty deep blue, yet some of its body was still colored golden…Today it was back to the golden color with slight blues…
My question is am I dealing with a subordinate male or a dominant female? I thought the coloring would have been faster than this.
 

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If male, should turn unless you have bigger males in the tank, doesn't seem like you males that could challenge. Females can imitate males.

Mouth doesn't seem large enough for a Chipokae. Not sure if pure but is as colorful as an Auratus. Not sure what you mean that it was white before. Maybe not pure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If male, should turn unless you have bigger males in the tank, doesn't seem like you males that could challenge. Females can imitate males.

Mouth doesn't seem large enough for a Chipokae. Not sure if pure but is as colorful as an Auratus. Not sure what you mean that it was white before. Maybe not pure.
when we first got the fish its yellow was sort of light…it was a little baby just past fry stage. it had the black markings, white stripes, and muted yellows…as it got bigger it turned the pretty golden colors. It’s a pretty fish even with the color changes…I just don’t want a death rampage to happen. There are more dominant fish in the tank but it’s only a 3 month old tank and I am sure things can change very fast.
 

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If you notice, the black in the caudal goes top to bottom. It is only in the top half of that fin on an auratus. What you have is Melanochromis dialeptos, a.k.a. the Dwarf Auratus. Haven't seen one of those in ages. I am uncertain how to sex, but I think it is a female.

I never had them, so I don't know what their aggression is like.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you notice, the black in the caudal goes top to bottom. It is only in the top half of that fin on an auratus. What you have is Melanochromis dialeptos, a.k.a. the Dwarf Auratus. Haven't seen one of those in ages. I am uncertain how to sex, but I think it is a female.

I never had them, so I don't know what their aggression is like.
I have so much to learn about Cichlids. This is my first aquarium. My father had aquarium’s when I was a child but all I ever learned was to dechlorinate the water. When I acquired this one I learned a lot and I’m glad I didn’t go the typical tropical fish route, still I need a lot more knowledge because these fish really are special and I do not want to put anyone in the aquarium at risk for a bad decision I made.
 

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I think you indeed have an Auratus. It’s too young to tell with certainty if it’s a male or female. Keep an eye on it for aggression. If it’s a female, it may not dominate your male Maingano, but if it’s a male it will fully color up and probably begin bullying all your other fish, in which case you will have to remove it. What size tank do you have and what is it’s length and width?
 

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I think you indeed have an Auratus. It’s too young to tell with certainty if it’s a male or female. Keep an eye on it for aggression. If it’s a female, it may not dominate your male Maingano, but if it’s a male it will fully color up and probably begin bullying all your other fish, in which case you will have to remove it. What size tank do you have and what is it’s length and width?
It's not auratus, it's dialeptos. Look at the caudal pattern. Stays smaller than auratus, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think you indeed have an Auratus. It’s too young to tell with certainty if it’s a male or female. Keep an eye on it for aggression. If it’s a female, it may not dominate your male Maingano, but if it’s a male it will fully color up and probably begin bullying all your other fish, in which case you will have to remove it. What size tank do you have and what is it’s length and width?
75 gallon 48.38 in W x 18.38 in D x 21 in H
 

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Sorry, it doesn’t look like Dialeptos to me. Dialeptos have squiggly horizontal black stripes, like the screen of an EKG heart machine, his fish has straight horizontal black stripes, as do all Auratus. Looking at the whole fish, not just the tail fin…its an Auratus aka Golden Cichlid. Could possibly be a hybrid Auratus as someone else suggested, but I vote Auratus.
 

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Seeing as you have a rather large 75 gallon tank, you will have sufficient time to intervene if your Auratus begins dominating your Maingano before any serious damage is done. This situation definitely adds some drama to your aquarium which you may or may not want. It’s up to you. Personally, I would prefer you observe and let us know how this turns out, and if you have a subordinate male or a dominant female. You can always remove the Auratus once it becomes troublesome, if it becomes troublesome (which it almost certainly will if it’s a male).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Seeing as you have a rather large 75 gallon tank, you will have sufficient time to intervene if your Auratus begins dominating your Maingano before any serious damage is done. This situation definitely adds some drama to your aquarium which you may or may not want. It’s up to you. Personally, I would prefer you observe and let us know how this turns out, and if you have a subordinate male or a dominant female. You can always remove the Auratus once it becomes troublesome, if it becomes troublesome (which it almost certainly will if it’s a male).
I do happen to keep a close eye. I dont mind the typical mbuna drama. At first it was scary because you presume the fish to be docile but as I got used to the pecking order and all of the fish were introduced within 3 weeks of each other things have calmed down to just a quick chase and back to their territory to times where they all seem to school together and swim in the current. The Auratus seems to be behaved and the coloring always ends up going to golden again with just flashes of blue in the face. He/she/they have a few favorite spots in the tank that it will surrender to only 2 others and the pleco otherwise it chases the others away. Hopefully it stays this way because it really is a beautiful specimen. I hate to break the family up. I have a 29 gallon my wife wont let me setup but if she changes her mind I may just move him over instead of trying to find a new home maybe house him with a synodintis and some snails
 
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