Blue Acara Cichlid

Blue Acara

Ftanktes“Blue Acara Cichlid” is the common name for the Aequidens pulcher species.

Adult size: 7-9 inches
Minimum tank size: 50 gallon
pH: 7.7-8.6
Temperature: 72-85°F (22-29°C)
Decor: Rocks, Driftwood, and Plants
Substrate: Sand
Lighting: 8-10 hrs/day
Diet: Carnivore

How To Keep Them
How To Breed Them
Other Information


How to Keep Blue Acara Cichlids


If you adopt Blue Acara Cichlids from a contaminated source, your aquarium may become infected. As a result, you need to ensure you only adopt ones that are kept in a healthy environment.

They can be adopted from:

Before adopting them, understand:

  • Blue Acara Cichlids have an average life expectancy of 6-10 years.
  • Blue Acara Cichlids may be identified under the common names of: Metallic Blue Acara Cichlid, Pulcher Cichlid and Electric Blue Acara Cichlid

Tank Requirements

• Tank Size & Population Density

If your Blue Acara Cichlids are in an aquarium that is overstocked, they will become stressed – weakening their immune systems – causing them to be more prone to diseases, and they won’t grow to their appropriate size. As a result, you need to follow the rule of one inch of fish per gallon of water, but keep in mind:

  • Blue Acara Cichlids must be kept in at least a 50 gallon aquarium.
  • Blue Acara Cichlids eventually grow to be 7-9 inches long.

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• Canopy & Lighting

The canopy of your aquarium ensures:

  • Your fish don’t jump out of your aquarium.
  • No contaminates enter your aquarium.

As a result, equip your aquarium with a canopy that completely covers it.

As far as lighting goes, if you want your Blue Acara Cichlids to be most comfortable, the amount of light they get needs to mimic the amount of sunlight they receive in their natural habitat. The amount of time you should leave their aquarium’s lights on to achieve this varies. If it’s in a room that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, you should turn their lights on during sunlight hours. However, if it’s is in a well-lit room, then 2-3 hours per day is all that is necessary.

Decor & Substrate

When keeping Blue Acara Cichlids, they will thrive if you decorate their aquarium with decor and substrate that mimics their natural habitat.

The natural decor for them consists mainly of rocks, so you should add plenty of them to their aquarium. In addition, you can also add decorative pieces such as driftwood and plants. When arranging these things though, you need to ensure you:

  • Place the decor so that it creates plenty of caves and hiding places.
  • Place the decor in a fashion that allows you to see them – don’t create a barrier for them to hide behind.

The natural substrate for them is sand so, you should fill their aquarium with it. With that being said though, gravel is still a suitable option for them. In either case, you need to ensure you:

  • Clean their substrate beforehand. Otherwise, the residue that is on it will make their aquarium cloudy.
  • Fill their aquarium with at least 2 inches of substrate.

Water Parameters

If the water in your Blue Acara Cichlids’ aquarium doesn’t reflect that of their natural habitat, they can become stressed – weakening their immune systems – causing them to be more prone to diseases. As a result, you need to ensure their aquarium has a pH level of 7.7-8.6 and a temperature of 72-85°F (22-29°C).

• pH
pH can be measured by using a Freshwater Master Test Kit. If you measure your water’s pH level and it needs to be altered: remove your fish, adjust the pH, then acclimate your fish back into your aquarium – since they are sensitive to drastic changes of pH.

• Temperature
To measure your aquarium’s water temperature, equip your aquarium with an aquarium thermometer.

Ammonia, Nitrites, & Nitrates

The subject of Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates tends to be very dry. In its simplest form, they are all a byproduct of fish waste (fish poop & uneaten food) and are toxic to Blue Acara Cichlids. As a result, you need to ensure their aquarium has:

  • An Ammonia concentration of 0-0.2 mg/L.
  • A Nitrite concentration of 0-0.2 mg/L.
  • A Nitrate concentration of 0-20 mg/L.

If you need to test these concentrations, use a Freshwater Master Test Kit.

If you need to reduce these concentrations, ensure proper:


Blue Acara Cichlids are primarily carnoviores, but they they do also feed on some vegetables, so their diet regimen should consist of plenty of proteins and a small amount of vegetables.

They should be fed three times per day – for a total of 21 feedings per week. For a majority of the feedings, they should be fed a staple food consisting of a high in protein flake or pellet. For the other feedings, they should be fed special foods.

During each feeding, they should be fed as much food as they can eat in 1 minute. The exact foods they should be fed varies, depending on their size:

Of course, this is just our feeding method. You are more than welcome to design your own diet regimen for your Blue Acara Cichlids. In either case though, ensure you:

Health Issues

Blue Acara Cichlids are most-commonly affected by Ich or Malawi Bloat.

Tank Mates

Blue Acara Cichlids can be kept solo or with other fish. If they are kept with other Blue Acara Cichlids, you can expect their aggression to increase when they are spawning.

Blue Acara cichlids are fairly peaceful, they do really well with other peaceful community fish. Only keep them with fish that are similar in size though, they tend to be aggressive towards smaller fish. If you are unsure about their compatibility with another species, you can use this Compatibility Chart.


How to Breed Blue Acara Cichlids

Reproduction Process

Blue Acara Cichlids are monogamous egg layers. Once they pair up, they mate with that partner for life. They reach sexually maturity when they are 6 months – 1 year old.

Before the reproduction occurs, both the male and female will display their coloration and do a little dance. Once they are ready, the female will find a flat surface/rock and lay the eggs. Females can lay up to 400-1000 eggs at once. Once the eggs have been layed, the male will proceed to fertilize them.

The eggs will be incubated for 4-7 days. Once the fry begin to hatch, the parents will often pick them up in their mouths and move them into a safer location. This is often pits that the parents dig out in the sand. 3-4 days after that, the fry will be free swimming. It is not uncommon though, for parents (especially younger ones) to eat their eggs/fry.

Our Recommended Breeding Technique

Required Aquariums:

  • 75 gallon (breeder)
  • 10 gallon (grow-out)


  • Keep 2 male and 6 females in a 75 gallon aquarium and provide them with an appropriate aquarium setting. Make sure the aquarium has plenty of flat rocks, this will make it easier for them to breed.
  • To help induce spawning, you will want to adjust the water to be warmer and slightly more acidic. The ideal breeding parameters would be a pH of 6.5-7.0 and a temperature of 75-85°F (24-29°C).
  • After the reproduction process occurs, wait 4-10 days until the fry are free swimming. Once they are, transfer them into a 10 gallon grow out aquarium. The grow out aquarium should not have any decorations or substrate, this makes it easier for the baby fry to eat. It should also have a sponge filter so they don’t get sucked up.
  • In the early stages, it is best to feed the fry New Life Spectrum Small Fry Starter.

As mentioned earlier, it is not uncommon for young parents to eat their fry. Do not be discourage if that happens to you. If it keeps occurring, then you can try removing the parents from the eggs right after the reproduction process occurs.


Other Information About Blue Acara Cichlids


The Blue Acara Cichlid is a very popular South American Cichlid, which has resulted in it being distributed worldwide. They are a medium sized species that originates from Columbia, Venezuela, and Trinidad. Their natural habitat consists of both flowing and still waters.

Conservation Status

Blue Acara Cichlids have not been evaluated by the IUCN, therefore their Conservation Status isn’t listed on the IUCN Red List.

Taxonomic Status

The Taxonomic Status of Blue Acara Cichlids was most recently published in 1897 by George Albert Boulenger as the following:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Cichlidae
Genus: Andinoacara
Species: A. Pulcher


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