These are small young fish! The Cockatoo is a small colorful fish that is one of the easiest dwarf cichlids to keep. A good community fish that can be kept with other non-cichlids. A great choice for beginners. Adults are up to 5-9 cm in length
The cockatoo dwarf cichlid (Apistogramma cacatuoides )or the big mouth cichlid (because of its large mouth) is a South American cichlid and the Apistogramma species most commonly bred in captivity. The cockatoo cichlid has many colour variations such as the full red, double red, triple red, super red and orange. The Cockatoo cichlid is a member of the apistogramma (South American Dwarf Cichlid) family. It is from the streams and backwaters of the Amazon River. The bottom the of the river is usually littered with leaves and slow moving.
The Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid is a community fish. They can be kept with other fish that are not large and aggressive. They are also tolerant of their own kind. They can be kept alone, in pairs, or in harems of one male with 5 – 6 females. More than one male may be kept if the aquarium is large.
South American cichlids tend to be less aggressive than their African cousins, but space is very important.
The tank for these little cichlids should be full of aquarium plants and plenty of hiding spots for them. Unlike larger cichlids, they won’t dig up the plants in the tank. The darker the substrate, the more colorful the males will appear as well as make them feel more at home. They also like driftwood and plants with lots of roots above the bottom. These are one of the few South American Dwarf Cichlids that can tolerate alkaline water.
In the case of very large Aquariums, more males can be kept together, provided there is plenty of territory, such as wood, heavy planting, and caves. Females also can be highly territorial, not only when in brood care.
The cockatoo dwarf is one of the best suited cichlid species for the planted aquarium. But because the male is highly territorial, the fish should be kept in pairs, trios (one male with two females), or harems (one male with many females), and in the company of peaceful tankmates like tetras. In the case of very large Aquariums, more males can be kept together, provided there is plenty of territory, such as wood, heavy planting, and caves. Females also can be highly territorial, not only when in brood care. Some acceptable tank mates are; characin species like the Cardinal Tetras and the Three-Line Pencilfish, Otocinclus Catfish and Corydoras like the Julii Cory, Glowlight Rasbora (Hengel’s), Dwarf Gourami, Kuhli Loach, and Dwarf (Neon) Rainbowfish.
They can be easy to care for if water changes are performed frequently. If water quality is ignored, as with all cichlids, disease and death can occur.
See Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment at Rebel Pets for help with diagnosing and treating diseases.
|Adult Size:||5-9 cm (males)|
|Aquarist Experience Level:||Beginner|
|Minimum Tank Size:||80 litres per pair, +20 litres/add. fish|
|Temperament:||Quite peaceful except during breeding|
|Tank Level:||Mid dweller|
|Diet:||Omnivore, eats most foods|
|Lifespan:||3 – 5 Years|
|Water Flow:||Slow or Weak|
|Temperature:||24 to 29°C|
|pH:||6.5 – 8.0 slightly acidic is better|
|Hardness:||5 – 19 dGH they prefer soft water|