Blue Acara Cichlids are available in most pet stores but are sometimes mistaken for Green Terrors due to a strong resemblance.
The scientific name for the Blue Acara is Aequidens Pulcher and it belongs to the cichlid family. It is a popular fish because of its color and non-aggressive nature. This beautiful fish comes from the northeast and central parts of Venezuela, Columbia, and Panama. It prefers to live in small creeks and rivers in these areas.
The Acara Cichlid has an oval body and a very broad forehead that narrows towards its back. Males of the species have very elongated dorsal and anal fins.
The sides of the Acara Cichlid have six horizontal black bars with a black blotch around the fifth bar. The scales of the Blue Acara have a blue-green iridescent sheen giving the fish a blush tinge.
During breeding, the male develops a series of six golden spots along their sides and the female remains unchanged. The caudal and dorsal fins are tinted with hints of red.
Acara Cichlids have been known to breed at just over three inches in size.
The Blue Acara is hardy and is one of the less aggressive members of the cichlid family. It adapts well to an aquarium environment.
The adult size is approximately ten inches in length so it should be kept in an aquarium with a minimum capacity of 48 gallons.
Water conditions for the Blue Acara Cichlid can be varied and it does well in soft to hard water with a pH value between 6 and 8. The water temperature should range from 70 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Water should be well-filtered and weekly water changes of 15% to 25% should be done.
The Blue Acara Cichlid can be kept in planted aquariums without doing too much harm to the plants. The aquarium should also have rockery or driftwood in order to provide hiding places. Any type of substrate from fine sand to coarse gravel may be used.
This fish will eat many types of food, such as flakes, pellets, live foods and freeze-dried foods. It can be fed vegetable treats of lettuce and zucchini.
The Blue Acara Cichlid is great for beginners because it is easy to breed. The breeding pair should be well-fed and the water temperature should be maintained at around 89 degrees.
The female will lay about 200 eggs on rocks, plant leaves, and driftwood. The eggs will usually hatch in about 78 hours, and the fry will be free-swimming within a week. The new fry should be fed baby brine shrimp for a week.
The adults offer parental care of the eggs and fry so they don’t have to be put in a separate tank. The breeding pair can possibly spawn again while still caring for their existing brood. The parents will become aggressive toward other fish in the tank during spawning and brood care so it may be wise to have the breeding pair in their own tank.
Because the Blue Acara Cichlid is colorful, non-aggressive and hardy, it is a welcome addition to any aquarium.