Common Name(s)
Auratus, golden mbuna, golden cichlid
Scientific Name
Melanochromis auratus
Family
Cichlidae
Origin
Lake Malawi
Temperament
Aggressive
Maximum Size
4.4 inches
Minimum Tank Size
55 gallons
Tank Setup
Needs lots of rocks or caves. Should have a sand substrate.
Tank Region
Middle-bottom
Diet
Herbivore. Should be fed plant matter or vegetable-based foods.
Breeding
Maternal mouthbrooder.
Compatibility
Only with other aggressive mbuna that do not look like them. Don't keep with peacocks or haps.
Ease of Keeping
Intermediate
Care
pH: 7.6-8.8; Temperature: 75-82 Fahrenheit
Adult male:
Melanochromis_auratus_(male).jpg

By Vlad Butsky from San Jose, CA, USA - Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1528791

Adult female:
Melanochromis_auratus_(female).jpg

By Vlad Butsky from San Jose, CA, USA - Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1528793

Mature males are a darker color than females and juvenile males, as shown by the above pictures. Mature males, when stressed, may change back to the gold color.

Dominant males are the darkest, while subdominant males will usually be more yellow.