Above: In the picture a young Premium Melanochromis Auratus Mbuna is swimming in one of our aquariums, when one of us snapped this picture. Click on each picture to see a bigger picture.
Comments: This is a fabulous fish with bright colors and a bold pattern.
Origin: Auratus are Mbunas, which is a large family of Cichlid fish that originally lived only in Lake Malawi in East Africa.
But now they live in aquariums all over the world. There are many other species of Mbunas for sale in this store.
Maximum Size: In aquariums, Auratus can grow to be about 5" long, including their tails, which is a very nice size for aquariums.
Rarely an Auratus grows even longer than 5".
Behaviors: Auratus are usually very aggressive fish and from time to time males have long energetic battles.
Compatibility: Some recommended tank mates include, other aggressive Mbuna species and Synodontis Catfish.
Click here for more about Synodontis Catfish.
Click here to read more about compatible groups of pet fish.
Temperature: Mbunas live best from about 75 to 80-degrees F. with 78 being perhaps ideal.
Click here to learn about aquarium temperature, aquarium thermometers, and aquarium heaters.
Feeding: Premium Fish Food Pellets is best to feed to Mbunas.
Smaller sized pellets when young, and larger sized pellets when bigger, is the ideal food for these fish.
Click here to learn more about and shop online for premium fish foods.
Water Conditions: Lake Malawi has hard alkaline water and that is best for all the fish, whose ancestors lived there.
But these fish can adapt to most types of water, and so as usual it's best not to try to change the pH or alkalinity.
Click here for a lot more information about aquarium water conditions.
Aquarium Size: Mbunas like this Auratus will eventually need to live in an aquarium with at least 80-gallons of water.
Each Mbuna will need at least 5-gallons of water, and Mbunas live best in an aquarium with at least 15 other Mbunas of about the same size.
Decor: Mbunas do not need gravel, and a layer of gravel more than 1/4" thick will usually fill with bits of uneaten food that will contaminate the water.
Click here for more about aquarium gravel.
Live plants are beautiful and improve the water quality, but Mbunas will usually dig plants up, so most Mbuna aquariums do not have live plants. Mbunas love rocks and rocky caves.
Aquarium Filter: Bio-Wheel Filters are highly recommended.
Most 80-gallon aquariums have room along the back for two Penguin 350B Filters, and this is sort of a minimal Mbuna set up.
Better is a 100, 120, 150, or 200-gallon aquarium with as many Penguin 350B Filters as will fit across the back.
Click here to learn more about aquarium filters.
The addition of Lava Rocks will keep nitrates in the ideal range.
Click here to learn more about using Lava Rocks in aquariums.
Life Span: Mbunas can live for several years.
Keep the water conditions excellent and feed them premium foods, and they will most likely breed and produce the next generation of fish for your aquarium.
Gender: It's difficult to tell males from females, when they're very small, but easy when they are mature, because the males change color and become a very dark blue with a bight stripe like the one shown just below.
Breeding: Auratus and all Mbunas are mouthbrooders.
A female lays eggs, a male fertilizes the eggs, and the female picks up the eggs in her mouth.
She'll brood them for about 3-weeks, then release them in the aquarium.
The babies are miniature versions of their mother and very cute!
Click here to read more about breeding mouthbrooders. the aquarium.
Click here for a lot more about breeding various tropical fish in aquariums.
Popularity: Since the 1960s Auratus and other Mbunas from Lake Malawi have been very popular fish.
Names: The scientific name for Auratus is Melanochromis auratus.
Variations: There are some variations like the Albino Auratus.
There are also several similar fish in Lake Malawi like Melanochromis parallelus, which is black and white instead of yellow.
Click here for a lot more information about keeping and caring for Mbunas, including a picture gallery.
We hope you've enjoyed reading these comments.
DrTom - 01/21/2015
All of our fish are Premium Quality Fish from the best suppliers in the world. Our fish have better health, more energy and brighter colors, as you can see in our pictures on this website.
We have 380-aquariums with lots-and-lots of popular aquarium fish plus lots-and-lots of rare fish!
We consider ourselves to be the link between the world's best sources of fish and the world's best customers. We love our work, and we are very responsible about caring for our fish and then shipping them carefully.
We also offer lots and lots of information about keeping and caring for pet fish, all from the knowledge of the Bailey Brothers, who have a combined total of 100+ years of experience as breeders, wholesalers, and retailers of pet fish!
Our fish and our customers are treated with the best of care, and we work energetically everyday to make sure every customer enjoys their new fishy friends.
When you purchase pet fish from us, you know you're receiving premium quality fish and premium quality service.
"Received my fish last night and was so pleased! They all arrived alive and appeared to be healthy.
"Once in the tank, they became very active and are now thriving in their new home.
"Beautiful fish, I asked for color and aquariumfish delivered. Processing and shipping was extremely quick."
Nevin and DrTom, the Bailey Brothers
This website is owned and operated by the Bailey Brothers, DrTom and Nevin, who've been together in the fish business for more than 50-years.
The Product Manager has been with the company for more than 35-years.
So we feel very confident that this is the fishiest crew anywhere.