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Blue Acara
(Aequidens pulcher)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Easy
Temperament: Semi-Aggressive
Maximum Size: 7"
Minimum Tank Size: 45 gallons
Water Conditions: 74-84° F, pH 5.5-7.0, KH 1-5
Diet: Omnivore
Origin: Central and South America
Family: Cichlidae
Species: Aequidens
Aquarium Type: Cichlid-New-World
Species Information
Aequidens pulcher, also known as the Blue Acara, is a very attractive and hardy species that originates within still to slow moving waters in Central and South America.
Blue Acara are often confused with their more aggressive relative, the Green Terror (Aequidens rivulatus). They have a tannish base color with vertical, dark striping on the body. The most beautiful and distinctive feature of the Blue Acara is the electric, blue-green, iridescent markings over their operculums (gill covers).
They have metallic, gold-green hued scales on their flanks that become translucent at their fins. Their caudal and dorsal fins end with an orange outline. A male Blue Acara will have more elongated dorsal and anal fins than a female.
Aquarium Care
Blue Acara require an aquarium of at least 45 gallons and should be provided with a fine substrate and multiple places where they can find shelter (driftwood, rock structures, or dense vegetation).
While they appreciate the pressence of live plants in the aquarium, they have been known to dig while breeding and can cause some uprooting. Although they are generally considered to be a peaceful species and have been successfully kept in Community aquariums, the Blue Acara can show aggression; even more so during breeding.
Blue Acaras will bully small fish and eat the tiny ones, therefore, tank mates should be considered carefully and should be comparable in size.
Feeding & Nutrition
The Blue Acara is an omnivore and should be fed a variety of foods, such as frozen or freeze-dried brine shrimp, bloodworms, blackworms, flake food, and Cichlid pellets.
They relish live food and should occasionally be provided with live brine shrimp, guppies, minnows, shrimp, worms, and crickets.
Breeding Information
Blue Acara are dimorphic, egg layers that practice brood care. To induce breeding and sustain the ideal breeding environment, the water temperature should be raised to and maintained at about 86° F.
The female Blue Acara will lay from 150-250 eggs in a carefully cleaned and selected location (driftwood, rocks, stones, slate, large plant leaves, etc). The eggs will hatch in 2-3 days and the fry should be swimming around within a week. A pair of Blue Acara will continue to breed every two weeks if the fry are constantly removed shortly after they hatch.
The newly hatched fry can be fed a diet of baby brine shrimp and then moved to other foods as they mature.
Additional Photos