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Blue Acara

blue acara

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Scientific Name:   Aequidens pulcher      
Min. Tank Size:   70 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful to semi-aggressive      
Temperature:   75-82°F      
pH:   6.5-8.0/5-20°dGH      
Size:   8"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept in mating pairs; can be kept with medium-sized Characins, Catfish and other peaceful Cichlids.

Blue Acara

The Blue Acara is a popular breed among new Cichlid owners because these fish are relatively peaceful Cichlids and also tend to be fairly inexpensive. Blue Acaras are South American Cichlids and can be found in parts of Venezuela, Columbia, Trinidad and Tobago. These fish have adapted to a variety of environments, inhabiting both murky slow-flowing waters and clearwater rivers and streams. Though many captive-bred specimens are pale in comparison to wild-caught specimens, the Blue Acara is named for its steel-blue coloration. The bodies of these fish are typically ornamented with 5 to 8 dark vertical stripes in addition to several iridescent blue spots. In some specimens, the fins are tipped in orange or red.

Tank Set-up

The ideal tank for Blue Acara will be lined with sandy substrate and decorated with driftwood branches and floating plants to provide both shade and cover. Fully planted tanks are not recommended for this species because these fish are avid diggers and are likely to disturb plant roots with their digging. One option is to plant hardier plants like Anubias and Java Fern in clay pots surrounded by heavier, hard to move stones. Filtration is very important for a Blue Acara tank because these fish are very sensitive to poor water quality. Compared to other Cichlids of its size, the Blue Acara is a peaceful species that can be kept with a variety of tank mates. Just make sure any tankmates are not small enough to be considered prey.


In the wild, these fish are carnivores and thus should be fed a primarily meat-based diet of bloodworms, brine shrimp, prawns and earthworms. They will, however, accept manufactured foods such as Cichlid pellets. For optimum health and coloration, feed a regular varied diet.


Blue Acaras are substrate spawners and are considered one of the easiest Cichlids in this group to spawn in the home aquarium. To increase the chances of a successful spawning it is best to purchase 6 juvenile fish and to let them pair off naturally then separate one of the pairs into a spawning tank for breeding. The spawning tank should be kept at a pH between 6.5 and 7.0 and the temperature should remain stable between 77 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal spawning sites for this species are flat stones and broad-leafed plants and, after the eggs have been laid and fertilized, the male will typically defend the spawning site while the female tends to the eggs.

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