Scientific Name: Melanochromis auratus
Please note – The image used above is for illustration purposes only; Size, colour and sex may vary. Many of our livestock species are sold as juveniles and have not yet reached their full size and colour potential. If you have any concerns about the size or colour of the livestock you wish to order, please contact our livestock team via our support centre before placing your order. Due to the large quantities of livestock orders daily, the livestock team will are unable to select fish / shrimp to meet specific gender or aesthetic needs.
Approximate purchase size : 4.5 - 6.5cm
All Pond Solutions will always endeavour to supply as close to the approximate size range as possible. Due to variations from suppliers on rare occasions this may not always be possible. Images used are to show the full potential of the fish when fully mature and are not always representative of juvenile specimens.
How easy are they to care for?
We would class these as a medium level of care.
How large can they grow?
Where in the world are they from?
Southern Lake Malawi - Africa
What is the ideal number to keep together?
Can be kept in groups when juvenile. As they mature Males will become less tolerant of similar species.
What water conditions do they require?
Malawi Cichlids prefer warmer, harder waters. Temperatures from 24-28 degrees Celsius and pH from 7.5 - 8.5. Higher pH levels will help promote their best colours.
What should you feed them?
In order to maintain their true colour should be fed a high vegetable content diet. Specialised Malawi pellets are preferable and grazing disks.
How compatible are they with other fish?
Should only be kept with other African Cichlids and Catfish. Males become very aggressive as they mature, and should not be kept with fish that have a similar body shape, such as Melanochromis johanii.
Can they be bred in captivity?
Commonly bred in private aquaria. Like most African Cichlids is a paternal mouthbrooder and should be kept in a hareem of 1 male to at least 3 females to divide his attention. Flat stones and open areas of sand should be provided as spawning sites. Males will prepare the spawning site prior to breeding, at which point the female will approach and deposit her eggs which she will then pick up in her mouth ready to be fertilised by the male. Females can carry eggs for up to 4 weeks, during which time they will not feed so conditioning is essential prior to attempting spawning. It should be noted, if females are removed from the tank to care for fry they may loose their position within the colony and be subject to some pecking when reintroduced.