Species Article: Lake Malawi

Melanochromis auratus

by Greg Steeves

The Melanochromis auratus is a mean, nasty little critter and careful selection of tank mates is a necessity. Any of the more docile cichlids will be torn apart if they get in a territorial dispute with these dudes. Females of this species are even aggressive, often killing a subordinate of their own species. Lots of rock work with many caves will help to curb the aggressive nature of these cichlids. It is advisable to keep a male-female ratio of 1:5. More than one male often leads to trouble also. This fish spawns readily, and the brilliant color makes them popular despite the problems associated with their aggressive nature.


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