Metriaclima aurora, also known as the Auratus Cichlid, is a freshwater species of cichlid native to the rocky shores of Lake Malawi in East Africa. They are highly sought after in the aquarium trade due to their striking coloration and active, social behavior.
Auratus Cichlids are a medium-sized species, typically reaching a length of around 10 centimeters (4 inches). They have a deep, oval-shaped body with a distinctive coloration of black and gold vertical stripes. The males are more brightly colored than females, with a deeper black coloration and more pronounced stripes.
These fish are relatively hardy and adaptable, making them suitable for beginner and experienced aquarists alike. They prefer water with a pH range of 7.8 to 8.5 and a temperature range of 24 to 28 degrees Celsius (75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit).
Auratus Cichlids are omnivores, with a diet that consists of both plant matter and small invertebrates. They will eat algae, small crustaceans, and insect larvae, as well as commercial flake or pellet foods.
Breeding Auratus Cichlids in captivity is relatively easy, and they will spawn in a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places. They are maternal mouthbrooders, with the female carrying the eggs and fry in her mouth for several weeks until they are fully developed.
Overall, Auratus Cichlids are a visually striking and engaging addition to a freshwater aquarium. They are highly active, social, and can coexist with other peaceful species. Their unique coloration and interesting behavior make them a popular choice among aquarists looking to add some excitement to their tank. However, it's worth noting that they can be aggressive towards other cichlid species and should be kept with caution.