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Auratus Cichlid (Melanochromis auratus)

The Auratus Cichlid or Melanochromis auratus is a freshwater fish from Lake Malawi in Africa.  Also known as the Malawi Golden Cichlid, this fish is born a bright yellow color with the juveniles having two black stripes on their sides, and one on their dorsal fin.  As the fish begins to mature these lines will turn more blue.  The males of this species will become black with golden stripes, almost the opposite of their female counterparts.

Auratus Cichlid are often kept in an aquarium setting, but need a lot of room and they can be quite aggressive.  They will accept most aquarium foods and are considered to be quite hardy.

This species of Cichlid is a maternal mouthbrooder, which means that the mother will actually keep the baby fish in her mouth protecting them from potential predators.  The fry will occasionally come out of the mouth, but still stay close to the mother just in case they need to run back in.  This occurs for a period of about 4 weeks.  You can see this mouth brooding in action in the video below.

If you have any additional information about the Auratus Cichlid please leave us a comment below.

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