Melanochromis auratus golden
Melanochromis (Melanochromis sp.) Is a genus of freshwater ray-finned fish from the Tsikhlov family. They are endemic to the southern part of Lake Malawi, Africa. Melanochromises belong to the Mbuna group. Swahili terms "Mbuna" - literally "dweller of the rocks". And "Utaka" means "life in open water". Swahili is one of the official languages of Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya (where Lake Malawi is located).
Among cichlidophiles, it is believed that melanochromis are, albeit small, but the "most evil" Mbuns. Capable of nightmare even large fish. To one degree or another, all Malawian cichlids are aggressive. But the entire Mbuna group - despite the fact that they are predominantly herbivorous - are more aggressive. All "Mbuna" live in shallow water - and their "personal territories" are relatively small and well visible. Therefore, "mbuna" are extremely territorial. And the group "Utaka" - although predominantly predators - but live at great depths among the stones - and have large personal territories, where opponents are very hard to see. And therefore, in general, they are more peaceful towards their own kind and less territorial.
But the problem is that according to scientific calculations, all types of Malawian cichlids are descendants of ONE ancient species! The formation of new species occurs in our time - but genetically all Malawians are very close to each other. And they do not always distinguish individuals of their own species and arbitrarily interbreed naturally in the most unimaginable variants. Therefore, they are either kept in species aquariums, or bred only at the "landing" in spawning grounds - when the owner selects producers himself, excluding spontaneous spawning in the general aquarium.
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The golden parrot, also known as melanochromis auratus (Melanochromis auratus), is so nicknamed because of its bright color. The resemblance to a bird is given to it by a slightly curved downward, beak-like nose. The size of the fish is up to 11 cm.
Fish are kept in aquariums with many crevices and hiding places. Males are territorial and aggressive towards rivals, it is better to keep one male and several females in one aquarium - a harem. At the same time, it is highly undesirable to keep several males in one aquarium because of the constant fights between them, which in most cases end in the death of one of them. Most of the time the fish swim in the middle layers of the water. An aquarium for a flock of auratus should have a volume of at least 200 liters.
Comfortable water parameters for the content of gold melanochromis: 24 - 28 C, dH 8 - 20, pH 7.2-8.5, weekly water change, aeration, filtration are required. If you are planting live plants in the aquarium, then only hard-leaved plants with a good root system should be taken. The thing is, cichlids can easily redesign your original Zen style into their own HiTak style in an aquarium. It will be difficult for living plants to exist in such conditions. As a recommendation, you can recommend decorating the aquarium. anubias, cryptocorynes, echinodorus.
You can easily use plastic aquarium plants, for example, often in pet stores, you can surprise plants from Laguna company, which are perfect for decorating an aquarium with large cichlids.
The problem here is that Malawian cichlids are not really predators. They are herbivores. In Lake Malawi, they scrape stones with their mouths, collecting algal growth. Therefore, keeping live plants in the cichlid is problematic, the fish slowly but surely hamster them.
As with any other fish, a high concentration of poisons is unacceptable: ammonia, nitrite and nitrate... Every conscientious aquarist should always have a set of drip tests on hand, at least for nitrate and phosphate. Fortunately, they have now become inexpensive, there are no problems with their assortment and purchase. For example, with a clear conscience, we can recommend cool drips that have been tested on ourselves. UHE testsbut they are only sold online. In stores in your city - offline, you can find inexpensive Vladox tests.
The problem of nitrogenous and phosphates is the scourge of any cichlid. A normal cichlid is 300 + liters. Weekly water changes are routine. If you are a beginner cichlidophilus, we recommend immediately buying a garden hose and pouring and pouring water through it. Otherwise, even if you change 100 liters (10 buckets) of water by hand, then by the end of the year you can definitely fly to Paris and work as a Quasimodo-animator at Notre Dame de Paris without a suit.
A very good helper in solving this problem is Tetra EasyBalance... The drug instantly binds phosphates (PO4) into an insoluble precipitate and gently removes nitrogenous compounds by biological means. This mechanism reduces the number of water changes. You can use it on an ongoing basis, or you can use it periodically, stopping, for example, after a water change, the remaining excess of harmful substances. EasyBalance is a working thing, tested on its African cichlids. Recommended.
Melanochromis auratus golden males
Taking into account the gastronomic preferences of the Mbunts, it is also worth noting that their diet should mainly consist of plant-based ingredients. You can feed them protein foods, but in moderation. The main base should be made up of feed such as, for example, Tetra Malawi Flakes, which rearranges itself into a balanced mixture of algae: spirulina, nori and chlorella.
It should be noted that when buying any dry food, you should pay attention to the date of its manufacture and shelf life, try not to buy food by weight, and also keep the food closed - this will help to avoid the development of pathogenic flora in it.
Breeding melanochromis. Melanochromis is golden, males have a dark body with blue, sometimes yellow stripes, and females are yellow with dark stripes. Golden melanochromis reaches its sexual maturity by the age of one year. Spawning can occur both in the general and in the spawning aquarium. Several plastic or ceramic tubes of a suitable diameter should be placed at the bottom of the aquarium. After spawning, the female swims inside the tube and then it is very easy to transfer her to another aquarium. In the process of spawning, the male takes care of several females at once. The female lays eggs in a hole previously dug by the male in the ground, or on a large flat stone. One female spawns from 20 to 80 eggs. Immediately after spawning, she collects eggs in her mouth, at this time her goiter hangs down strongly.
The eggs are incubated for 3 weeks. So that the female does not eat her eggs, she is not fed or disturbed at this time. After the fry emerge from the mother's mouth, they immediately begin to swim and feed. During this period, they begin to feed them with small cyclops and brine shrimp. It should be noted that the maternal instinct in the female quickly disappears. After a while, it can pose a potential danger to the fry and should be transplanted. The lifespan of Melanochromis golden in aquarium conditions is about 10 years.
Video with melanochromis auratus +
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