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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi i was wondering if there are any ways to bring out the colour of a cichlid, because i noticed that my Auratus (despite the fact that he is definitely the dominant one) is mostly a dull brown and beige, but for one or two days of the week is really dark brown (almost black) with a silver stripe (not beige) going through him. Why is that?
 

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I think only the females keep the nice yellow striping. And if there's no males even the dominant female will get dark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
but I'm pretty sure its a male because it almost immediately lost its yellowness and its mostly an ugly brown, but as I said, sometimes has perfect male colouration
 

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Then when he goes almost black he's probably agitated or looking to mate.
 

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Not sure why he doesn't hold full color if male, but it is not unusual for common mass market Auratus males to look rather ugly as adults. Maybe they look better in nature, but mass market Auratus adults are usually kinda ugly and obnoxious.

If he is a he and is the alpha fish, this is how he looks. If female, she is still going to be dominant and look like that. What can you do? Nothing, except get rid of the Auratus. Or change up the tank mates, and see if things change (which might be for the worse).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok thanks I don't care enough about colour to get rid of my Auratus, I was mostly just wondering if there is a way to inhance Mbuna colouration in general and if its possible to get tham all to be nice looking, for example: my Kingsizei has perfect colouration, my Bumblebee is perfect ( but kind of on the small side, i have had it for about 4 years and it's still just under 3"), my yellow lab is perfect, my red zebra is a bit too yellow and my cobalt blue is too purple
 

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Color has to do with pecking order, genetics, and which sex. And if the genetics are not pure or fish have been breed poorly for many generations, the fish may never look like a excellent specimen. Hybrids are common, and they may not look like you expect.

Food can help some, especially with yellow- orange- red colors. But do NOT expect miracles, or listen to exaggerated claims, food can only enhance colors that the fish already has. New Life Spectrum is a common pellet food.

Clean water can help fish be healthier, and healthier fish may be better looking. Can't hurt and what should be done anyway.
pH and hardness similar to the lake may help, can't hurt, but do not expect a huge miraculous increase in color.
 
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