The Electric Blue Acara is a very colorful freshwater fish in the cichlid family. This fish can be found in various freshwater habitats, ranging from standing water to flowing streams, in Venezuela and Trinidad. They can reach lengths of 16 cm. Acara have become quite popular within a short time due not only to their brilliant coloration, but due to their good temperament and ability to fit in well in a variety of aquarium environments.
They are very curious fish that love to dig into the substrate. This means that they will usually be found near the bottom or middle of the tank. Sometimes they may swim up to the surface, but that would only be on rare occasions. The swimming behavior of these fish is a healthy mix of hiding and swimming around. You will see them swimming around as well as through the plants in the tank. Maternal care in this species deserves a special mention too. The mother acts like most mammals and will bring food to give to the offspring. This is quite unusual for most other fish.
Acara will appreciate planted aquariums that simulate their native environment, but have been known to dig some while breeding which can cause some uprooting in plants that are not well established. Adult Electric Blue Acara will do well in aquariums that are at least 120 litres, which should ideally have either a rounded gravel, large even grains of sand substrate or small size gravel substrate. Since they will dig in the substrate, it’s important that it be smooth and not cut their mouths. The type of the substrate doesn’t matter as much as the shape. The tank should contain multiple places where they can find shelter like driftwood, rock structures, or dense vegetation and areas of both diffused and bright lighting.
This species needs to be kept in a pretty large planted tank, there should be a nice aeration and filtration system. We recommend a normal filter on a medium-high setting. Lighting needs depend on the number and type of plants you decide to get. Usually a normal aquarium lamp will suffice. Just make sure that the lighting does not disturb the natural cycles of your fish.
They can peacefully coexist with all but the smallest most shy fish or largest most aggressive fish, which makes them an excellent addition to most hobbyists aquariums. Be warned that they will become more aggressive during breeding. For this reason mated pairs will not be suitable for community aquariums with smaller tank mates. Acara may bully or even eat very small fish like Neon Tetras, but can be kept with most all types of community fish larger than 5 cm in length. Overall they are a hardy, colorful, moderately sized, long lived and full of personality community Cichlid species.
Electric Blue Acaras can definitely be kept together. It’s better to keep them in pairs or in groups of at least six.
Acara are omnivorous and should be fed a variety of foods, such as frozen or freeze-dried brine shrimp, bloodworms, blackworms, flake food, and Cichlid pellets. They also relish live food and should occasionally be provided with live white worms, brine shrimp or other similar items. It is best to feed 2 to 3 times a day, offering an amount of food that they will consume within a few minutes.
Acaras are pretty sturdy and rarely develop severe illnesses. Of course, there are still things you need to pay attention to.
First of all, good water quality is extremely important. Dirty water will result in sickness, so you need to make cleaning your tank a regular routine. About 20-30% of water should be renewed weekly. Clean the substrate and tank itself every 3-4 weeks too.
Second, keeping these fish in a small tank can result in problems with their digestive system, which in turn makes them seem exhausted and disturbs their natural feeding behavior. While they are not very greedy, overeating can still be a major issue if feeding is not carried out properly. If you notice fish swimming strangely (tilting to the side, or very slow) they most likely ate too much. Give them a break for a day or so to process everything.
|Adult Size:||16 cm|
|Aquarist Experience Level:||Beginner Cichlid|
|Minimum Tank Size:||120 litres, +60 litres/add. fish|
|Temperament:||Semi-peaceful, best with fish over 5 cm|
|Tank Level:||Bottom to Middle dweller|
|Diet:||Omnivore, eats most foods|
|Lifespan:||up to 10 Years|
|Temperature:||20 to 28°C, 24°C is ideal|
|pH:||5.5 – 7.0|