Blue Acara (Andinoacara pulcher)
Native Location: Venezuela and Trinidad
Maximum Size: 16 cm (6.3 inches)
Temperature Range: 22 – 30℃ (72 – 86℉)
Preferred pH Range: 6.5 – 8
Minimum Aquarium Size: 113.50L (30 gallons)
Potential Tankmates: Other Cichlids (not dwarf cichlids)
Care Level: Easy
Blue Acara are perfect for beginners with their tolerate nature and peaceful temperament. A part of the Cichlidae family. They will rarely cause any disruptions to your tank or with other tank mates if cared for right. Known as peaceful little fish in captive environments. It surprises some to learn that in the wild, they are vicious predators. (As "vicious" as you can be for a 16cm long fish.)
At the core of their diet is meaty foods, like bloodworms and shrimp. But diversify their diet with premade fish food, like pellets and dry leafy foods. Ensure they get all the nutrients their little bodies require. You can and should keep Blue Acara together in pairs or groups of at least six. Because of their peaceful disposition, they are a compatible species. Keep large or aggressive fish in a different tank from these little guys. Also, try pairing with bottom-dwelling tankmates. Keeping any non-fish inhabitants is a matter of size, try small non-aggressive shrimps. Blue Acara have low chances of developing any severe illness. The key being, consistent water changes, a good diet and a stress-free environment.
These are curious fish and will enjoy a planted aquarium. It may look like they are playing hide and seek with the amount of time they spend tucked away and then out in the open. They enjoy sandy substrate but, also have a love for digging. If this is a bother, try using rounded gravel or larger grains of sand. Have plenty of hiding places like clay pots, driftwood or rock formations. Your ornamental plants should be safe from these fish. Make sure they have enough room to swim around.
The dorsal fin is more rounded on females and males tend to be larger-bodied. Blue Acara are one of the easiest Cichlids to breed, and females will have a strong maternal sense. This instinct is uncommon in fish species. Put a pair in a separate tank with substantially larger grained sand and flat rocks. They spend most of their time swimming around the bottom, rearranging substrate for their eggs. Females will lay 150 – 200 eggs. Both the male and female will stay to protect their eggs and then fry. The male will swim somewhat further away from them