Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlids (Apistogramma Caucatoides)
Native Location: South America
Size: 5 – 9 cm (2 – 3.5 inches)
Temperament: Semi- aggressive
Temperature Range: 22 – 29℃ (79 – 84℉)
Preferred pH Range: 5.0 – 6.0
Minimum Aquarium Size: 76 L (20 gallons)
Potential Tankmates: Tetras
Care Level: Intermediate
Cockatoos Dwarfs are popular cichlid fish, perfect for mid to larger aquariums with intermediate hobbyists.
Cockatoo Dwarfs are carnivorous predators and will require a variety of nutrition to live a healthy lifestyle. They will enjoy insects, larvae and worms, but for balance will need flake and pellet foods. Cockatoo Dwarfs are peaceful unless in their breeding season, or they feel threatened by other fish in their environment. So fish of a similar size and temperament are most suited to inhabiting the same space. When around more aggressive or active fish, they can become stressed and shy. While female and male Cockatoos can live well together, you should limit the males living amongst themselves, one male to every 5 – 6 females.
Cockatoo Dwarfs, even in their most optimal conditions, can be prone to parasitic, bacterial and viral infections. Diseases can be managed by consistently checking water parameters, avoiding temperature fluctuations, and conducting water changes. In their tank, Cockatoo Dwarfs will need a fine substrate, as bottom dwellers, gravel, or larger stone substrates will cause damage to their soft bellies. Dark substrates will mimic their wild amazon inhabitants. These fish will also enjoy densely planted tanks along with caves and driftwood for hiding places and breeding spots. They will need a tank large enough to accommodate all of these needs.
Male Cockatoos are slightly larger than their female counterparts and have more forked fins. Males also have more vibrant colours in healthy conditions and during breeding seasons to attract mates. Cockatoo Dwarfs will spawn eggs in caves which can make the process of breeding a little more complicated. The males job is over once the eggs are fertilised; females will protect their eggs until they hatch.