My greatest regret with this fish was the day I returned a dominant female to the LFS due to its aggression. This was inexperience pure and simple. In retrospect, this was the greatest of all my fish. No one could challenge her, and she would have probably been the only beautiful fish, barring my Johanni, who could have stood up to the few heavyweights I own now. A bit of advice: over-aggression often stems from too small a tank or the wrong combinations of fish. Better to have a few extremely tough fish, who can hold their own, in a large tank, than a great number of mediocre submissives.
I have a female and a male in a 200 liter tank that is filled to the top with hiding places. This is a community tank that has held its own with these two. The male is the more aggressive of the two. He is kept at bay by the Convicts and the Jewel Cichlids that are living with him. The female lives a very strange life for a cichlid, as this is the first time I have experienced this type of behavior from a cichlid before. Basically, she has taken up residence in the bottom left corner of the tank were I have a plant butted against the back corner. She has made a little nest and does not leave even to eat. I could not figure out why. When feeding she would act as if she wanted to come out but would not. I finally started dropping shrimp pellets and some other foods down to her and she would eat that way. I finally found out why she does not leave. I was cleaning the tank and managed to scare her out of her little sanctuary by mistake. The male immediately took off after her and proceeded to pound her until she went back to the little nest she made. I have never seen this behavior before. She seems happy as far as coloring goes and is eating when I drop food down to her. She also protects her little nest area very assertively. The rest of the fish in the tank are doing well and holding their own.
BUYERS BEWARE. I picked out the meanest fish out of the auratus tank...it wasn't the biggest but it was dominating the tank which had 20+ of them in it. Took the employee 5 minutes to catch after removing the rocks, 9-10 cm long, yellow with dark blue stripes. I have 2 other cichlids that hide. The johnani runs into the undergravel filter, the other hides next to the heater. I put two oscars (same size as him) in. Oscars hide at the top of my 110 liter (one of those pentagon/vertical acrylics). The Auratus fin nipped them both, I had to take them out and have my friend care of them (he said my oscars were the most war-torn ones he ever saw). It also killed one 8-10 cm pleco. I woke up one morning to see it lying in half. My thai crab finished it off. I bought a 15 cm pleco. It's nipping its tail too. If you want a crazy fish, buy an auaratus. Otherwise don't even think about putting this guy with anything smaller!
When I first started my tank this was the first fish I got. Soon after I had a Kennyi, a Venustus, and an Electric Yellow, along with an Oscar, but he is my favortie out of all of them. He seems to be a loner, I think it may have something to do with his size, he is much smaller than the others, but he is still a good fish and is the least aggressive out of all.
One of our first cichlid purchases was a beautiful male auratus. For a year, he was one of the calmest fish in our tank, and certainly one of the most gorgeous. Then, we had the bright idea to add one female, not realizing that auratus were harem fish. Ultimately, we wound up buying another tank and setting up a single species tank for him and his new harem - he became so aggressive once a female was introduced that none of the fish were seeing any peace in the mixed tank. Now, he has 4 females all to himself, and terrorizes every one of them. I think he needs to learn some social skills, but still remains one of our favorite fish. We thought we had an exception to the rule as far as this one goes until sex came into the picture! Now, if he would just be nice enough for one of them to consider spawning with him, our mission would be accomplished!
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