Auratus Cichlid Care: Complete Guide for Beginners

Auratus Cichlid is a vibrant and unique freshwater fish loved by many aquarium enthusiasts. In this beginner’s guide, we will learn how to care for these beautiful creatures, discussing their supplies, tank setup, diet, and more!

Auratus Cichlid

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Auratus Cichlid Supplies

When setting up a tank for Auratus Cichlids, it’s essential to choose the right supplies. Here’s a table of recommended materials:

Supply Purpose
Aquarium Minimum 50 gallons for juveniles, 100+ gallons for adults
Water filter Creates clean and stable water conditions
Aquarium heater Maintains the appropriate water temperature consistently
Substrate Mimics natural habitat, promotes good bacteria growth
Decorations Provides hiding spaces and territories
Thermometer Monitors water temperatures
Water test kit Ensures proper water conditions are met

Choosing an appropriate aquarium size is crucial, as these fish can become territorial in small tanks. For juveniles, a 50-gallon tank is recommended, while a 100+ gallon tank is optimal for housing adult Auratus Cichlids.

A water filter is necessary to maintain stable water conditions and ensure your fish remain healthy. Opt for a high-quality filter designed for the specific size of your tank.

An aquarium heater is vital for keeping the water temperature at a steady 72-82°F (22-28°C). This promotes the well-being of your Auratus Cichlid.

A suitable substrate, such as crushed coral or sand, creates a more natural environment for your fish. This encourages beneficial bacteria growth in the tank.

Adding decorations like rocks, caves, and plants aids in replicating your fish’s natural habitat. This provides necessary hiding spaces and territories for Auratus Cichlids.

A thermometer monitors water temperature, ensuring your heater is maintaining a comfortable environment for your fish.

Lastly, a water test kit is essential for keeping tabs on your tank’s water conditions. Regular testing helps detect any necessary adjustments to maintain a healthy environment for your Cichlids.

Before Getting an Auratus Cichlid

Research is key before bringing an Auratus Cichlid into your home. Familiarizing yourself with their behavior, temperament, and specific care requirements will ensure their well-being in your aquarium.

First, understand that Auratus Cichlids are aggressive and territorial by nature. This means they will require a larger tank with proper hiding spots to minimize clashes among tank mates.

Next, find a reputable breeder or pet store for your Auratus Cichlid. Obtaining a healthy fish should be a top priority, as it sets the foundation for a thriving aquarium.

Prepare the aquarium before bringing the fish home. Set up the tank with the appropriate size, heater, filter, substrate, decorations, and water conditions to establish a comfortable environment for your new pet.

Ensure your budget can comfortably accommodate the initial and ongoing costs of owning an Auratus Cichlid. Factor in the costs of the aquarium, equipment, maintenance, and food to prevent unexpected surprises.

Learn about the proper diet for Auratus Cichlids, as this will greatly impact their health and vitality. Predominantly herbivores, they require a diet rich in vegetable matter and specially formulated Cichlid pellets.

Understand the water parameters suitable for these fish. Auratus Cichlids thrive in water with a pH of 7.5-8.5 and a temperature range of 72-82°F (22-28°C).

Finally, consider your Cichlid’s compatibility with other fish. Be cautious when choosing tank mates, as the aggressive nature of Auratus Cichlids may lead to conflicts in your aquarium.

Appearance of Auratus Cichlid

Auratus Cichlids are relatively small fish, native to Lake Malawi in Africa. These fish are easily recognizable by their striking color patterns, with females and juveniles displaying different colors than adult males.

Females and juveniles are predominantly yellow with black stripes running horizontally across their body. The vibrant yellow coloration and distinctive striping make them appealing additions to any aquarium.

Adult male Auratus Cichlids undergo color changes as they mature, transforming into a unique, almost metallic blue or black body color. The black stripes in females and juveniles become less pronounced in adult males, creating a striking contrast between the sexes.

These cichlids are part of the Mbuna group of African Cichlids. Mbuna, meaning “rock-dwelling” in the Bantu language, is an accurate descriptor, as these fish prefer to hide in rock crevices for protection and territory establishment.

Within the Auratus Cichlid species, there may be slight color variations depending on their geographical location in Lake Malawi. These variations are generally subtle and may only be discernible by seasoned aquarists or enthusiasts.

Overall, Auratus Cichlids are known for their striking beauty, bold colorations, and remarkable transformation from juveniles to adult males. This makes them an attractive choice for many aquarium hobbyists who desire a visually stunning fish with a unique personality.

Auratus Cichlid Tank Setup

Setting up the ideal tank for your Auratus Cichlid is essential in providing them a healthy and comfortable home. Begin with an appropriately sized aquarium, as previously stated, at least 50 gallons for juveniles and 100+ gallons for adults.

Choose a suitable substrate, such as sand or crushed coral, to mimic their natural environment. This type of substrate is less likely to cause injury and allows the fish to move around without difficulty.

Provide ample hiding spots and territories to accommodate their territorial behavior. Rocks, caves, and durable plants are great options for adorning the tank while offering necessary privacy and security for your fish.

Be cautious when selecting plants, as Auratus Cichlids are herbivores and may nibble on them. Choose hardy varieties like Anubias and Java Fern that can withstand their foraging habits.

Ensure a proper filtration system is in place to maintain clean and stable water conditions. Opt for a filter that can handle the bioload of your tank’s size and resident fish.

A heater is essential for maintaining a consistent water temperature between 72-82°F (22-28°C). Place a thermometer in the tank to monitor temperature levels regularly.

Arrange your decorations to create multiple territories for your fish, minimizing aggression. This encourages natural behaviors and keeps tensions low among tank mates.

Once your tank setup is complete, cycle the aquarium to establish beneficial bacteria and ensure a stable environment. This process typically takes 4-6 weeks, and as a result, your Auratus Cichlids can thrive in their new home with minimal stress or health problems.

Auratus Cichlid Water Requirements

Maintaining appropriate water conditions is crucial for your Auratus Cichlid’s health and well-being. These fish thrive in water with a pH range of 7.5-8.5, which simulates the alkaline conditions found in their natural Lake Malawi habitat.

Since Auratus Cichlids originate from hard water environments, their tank water should have a hardness between 10-20 dGH. You can adjust water hardness through the addition of minerals like calcium and magnesium or by using crushed coral as substrate.

Temperature plays an essential role in keeping your fish comfortable, so maintaining a consistent range between 72-82°F (22-28°C) is necessary. Use an aquarium heater and thermometer to monitor and regulate the water temperature.

In addition to hardness, temperature, and pH, proper water filtration is vital for your Cichlid’s health. Ensure you have a reliable filter that can handle the tank size and bioload, creating a clean and stable environment.

Perform regular water tests to monitor water conditions, as this helps detect any necessary adjustments. Aim to test your water at least once a week to ensure optimal living conditions for your fish.

Regular water changes are equally important in maintaining good water quality. Change 20-30% of the water in your tank every 2 weeks to prevent the buildup of harmful toxins and pollutants.

By closely monitoring these water requirements and committing to routine maintenance, you can create a safe and healthy environment for your Auratus Cichlid to thrive. Proper water conditions will also contribute to the vibrant coloration and overall vitality of your fish.

Auratus Cichlid Diet and Feeding

A well-balanced diet is crucial for the health, growth, and coloration of Auratus Cichlids. As herbivores, they require a diet primarily comprised of vegetable matter and algae.

Offer your Auratus Cichlid a variety of high-quality, vegetable-based flakes or pellets specifically formulated for African Cichlids. These food options provide appropriate nutrients to meet their dietary needs.

In addition to commercial food, incorporate fresh or frozen vegetables into their diet. Green vegetables like spinach, lettuce, and peas are particularly beneficial, offering essential vitamins and minerals.

Occasionally provide protein-rich food, such as live or frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms, as a supplement. This should be offered in moderation, as an excess of protein may cause discomfort or health issues.

Feed your fish 2-3 times daily, providing an amount they can consume within a few minutes. Carefully monitor their eating habits to prevent overfeeding, which can lead to obesity or water pollution.

Consistent water quality is necessary, as any changes can negatively impact your Cichlid’s appetite. Maintain proper water parameters and perform regular water changes to support their overall well-being.

Watch for signs of illness, as a loss of appetite can be an early warning. Address any health concerns promptly to avoid potential complications.

By providing a nutritious and varied diet, you can ensure the health and vitality of your Auratus Cichlid. This, in turn, will contribute to the striking coloration and active behavior of your fish.

Auratus Cichlid Care Schedule

Establishing a consistent care schedule for your Auratus Cichlid is essential in maintaining their health and well-being. By adhering to the following routine, you can ensure your fish thrive in their aquarium environment.


  • Monitor water temperature: Check your thermometer daily, ensuring your aquarium heater maintains a stable temperature between 72-82°F (22-28°C).
  • Feeding: Provide 2-3 small meals per day, only offering an amount your fish can consume within a few minutes.
  • Observe fish behavior: Regularly observe your fish for signs of illness, stress, or aggression.


  • Water testing: Test your aquarium water at least once a week for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Adjust as needed to maintain optimal parameters.
  • Scrub tank walls: Clean algae buildup from the tank walls to maintain a clear view and prevent excess nutrients in the water.
  • Partial water change: Change 10-15% of your tank water each week, maintaining proper water parameters.


  • Larger water changes: Perform a 20-30% water change every 2 weeks to remove waste buildup and maintain water quality.


  • Filter maintenance: Clean or replace filter media according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, ensuring proper filtration for your tank.
  • Check equipment: Inspect your heater, filter, and other equipment for signs of wear or malfunction.

As needed:

  • Prune plants: Trim plants in your aquarium when they become overgrown, ensuring optimal growth and aesthetics.
  • Clean substrate: Gently stir or siphon your substrate to remove waste and debris as needed.

By adhering to this care schedule, you can create a healthy environment for your Auratus Cichlid, allowing them to thrive and display their vibrant coloration. Regular care also helps identify health concerns at an early stage, ensuring prompt intervention.

Auratus Cichlid Health Problems

Auratus Cichlids can experience several health problems if not provided with proper care and living conditions. By recognizing symptoms early and taking necessary measures, you can prevent potential complications.


Ich is a common parasitic disease in aquarium fish, characterized by small white spots on the fins and body. To treat Ich, gradually increase the water temperature to 86°F (30°C) for 3-5 days and consider using over-the-counter medications.

Fin Rot:

Fin rot is a bacterial infection that causes fins to become ragged and discolored. Address fin rot by improving water quality, performing regular water changes, and potentially using antibiotics if necessary.

Malawi Bloat:

This condition affects African Cichlids and is caused by a high-protein diet and poor water quality. Signs include lethargy, swelling of the abdomen, and loss of appetite. To prevent Malawi Bloat, provide a vegetable-based diet and maintain proper water parameters.

Parasites and Fungal Infections:

Parasites, such as flukes, or fungal infections can occur when water conditions are unsuitable or new fish are introduced. Proper quarantine procedures and water quality maintenance can help prevent these issues.


Aggression and territorial conflicts within your aquarium can lead to stress in your Auratus Cichlid. Providing hiding spots, adequate space, and peaceful tank mates can mitigate stress and prevent detrimental health effects.

Maintaining proper water quality, a well-balanced diet, and minimizing stress are essential in preventing health problems in your Auratus Cichlid. Regularly observe your fish and attend to any symptoms promptly to ensure their health and well-being. Consult with a veterinarian specializing in aquatic animals if you are unsure of a treatment plan.

Auratus Cichlid Tank Mates

Selecting appropriate tank mates for your Auratus Cichlid is crucial due to their territorial and aggressive nature. By choosing suitable companions, you can minimize conflict and create a harmonious environment within your aquarium.

Ideal tank mates for Auratus Cichlids include other African Cichlid species of similar size and temperament, such as Yellow Labs or Red Zebras. These fish can withstand the aggressive behavior of Auratus Cichlids and require similar water conditions and diet.

Other Mbuna species may also be suitable, provided they have a similar temperament, size, and color. Overly similar colors or patterns can lead to increased aggression due to the territorial nature of African Cichlids.

Avoid housing your Auratus Cichlid with peaceful or smaller fish, as they can become victims of aggression or potentially eaten. Additionally, fin-nipping species should also be avoided.

Introducing dissimilar species to the tank can be advantageous, as these fish may be less likely to see each other as territorial threats. Consider adding catfish, such as Plecos or Cuckoosynchus catfish, which are compatible with most African Cichlids.

When adding new tank mates, increase hiding spots and rearrange existing decorations to disrupt established territories. This provides an opportunity for all fish to establish new territories, reducing aggression during introductions.

Community tanks housing Auratus Cichlids will inevitably experience some aggressive behavior. However, by choosing appropriate tank mates and providing ample hiding spaces, conflict can be minimized, ensuring a healthier and more balanced tank environment.

Auratus Cichlid Breeding

Breeding Auratus Cichlids can be an exciting and rewarding experience for aquarium hobbyists, as this species exhibits interesting behaviors during the process. Create an optimal environment for breeding by following these guidelines.

Begin by providing optimal water parameters: a pH of 7.5-8.5, temperature between 72-82°F (22-28°C), and water hardness of 10-20 dGH. Maintain a clean environment through regular water changes and filtration.

Provide plenty of hiding spaces, including caves and rock formations, to allow fish to establish and defend territories during breeding. This is essential for the fish to feel secure and comfortable.

Ensure a balanced diet, including vegetable-based food and occasional protein supplements. A healthy diet contributes to the growth and reproductive health of your Auratus Cichlids.

Mature Auratus Cichlids, around 3 inches (7.5 cm) in length, can begin breeding. A male’s intense coloration signals spawning is imminent. The fish will engage in a unique mating dance, trying to lure females into their territory.

Female Auratus Cichlids are mouthbrooders, meaning they carry their fertilized eggs in their mouth for protection. After approximately 21 days, the female will release the fry, which can then be fed finely crushed fish food or baby brine shrimp.

Separate the mother and fry from adult fish to minimize predation risk. Ensure proper nutrition and care for the growing juveniles.

Breeding Auratus Cichlids in your own aquarium can be a rewarding challenge. By fulfilling their environmental, dietary, and social needs, you can witness and support their fascinating reproductive behaviors.


This comprehensive guide has covered essential aspects of Auratus Cichlid care for beginners, ensuring a healthy and thriving aquarium environment. Now, it’s time to put these tips into practice! Let us know about your experience in the comments below.

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