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Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > The Cichlids > Blue Acara
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This page will give a completely detailed profile of the selected fish, from A to Z. The profiled fish will be chosen randomly by Badman, and will come from the complete genre of tropical fish. New profiles are added on a regular basis. If you would like to submit a profile for the site please contact me. Don't forget to let us know you experiences with this fish by filling out the

central america


Blue Acara

Aequidens Pulcher


    An extremely beautiful, hardy and interesting fish to keep. Some say they are aggressive and others peaceful, either way a specimen in fine condition can be one of the most beautiful members of your tank.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: 8 in (20 cm)
    Tank: 36 inches
    Strata: All
    PH: 6.5 to 7.5
    Hardness: Soft to hard
    Temperature: 72 to 82°F (18 to 23°C)


    Order: Perciformes
    Suborder: Percoidei
    Family: Cichlidae
    Genera: Aequidens

Common name:

    Blue Acara, Blue Cichlid

Image gallery:

    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    Central and Northeast South America in the countries of Venezuela, Columbia and Panama

General Body Form:
    When looking at the Acara from the side or profile angle the fish is oval in shape. Looking at the fish from the front shows a very broad forehead area that tapers down to a compressed rear area. In the males, the ends of the dorsal and anal fins are very elongated. The dorsal fin can even reach over the caudal fin. They can reach a length of about eight inches and have been known to breed at half that size.


    A very beautiful fish! The sides have a base color of Yellow to Brown with hints of Green or Blue in it. The belly area is also this color but of a paler hue. The back looks to be an army Green in color. The scales of the Acara each have a shinny Blue or Blue-Green spot that give the whole body an iridescent view. The sides are marked with a series of five to eight up and down bands with the forth band having a large Black blotch in it. The iris in the eye is Yellow. The gill covers and cheeks have many metallic dots in same sheen of Blue or Green as the scales. The caudal or tail fin is mostly clear with a hint of Red in it. The other fins all have a Blue Green sheen, with the dorsal being outlined in Red. The lips are a pale Blue in color. During breeding the sides are marked with a series of six to eight side to side rows of Green to Golden dots. The females are generally the same color overall, without the extended fins.


    Typical to most Cichlids the Blue Acara is a Hardy and easy to care for fish if their needs are met. They are omnivorous and will accept all types of food and relish anything live. The tank should be large and have plenty of caves and nooks to hide in. driftwood, rockwork and Live plants are also helpful. Provide good filtration and do frequent water changes, as they do not do well if the water conditions deteriorate

    Found in still and sluggish waters of the local river basins.

    Said to be Very easy. Temperature should be 75°F to 82°F . The eggs are small and adhesive. The Female will lay 150 to 250 eggs in the selected place, which may be in the open in a carefully prepared place on bottom of the tank, on a flat stone or a big leaf of a plant . The eggs hatch in three days and the fry will be free swimming after one week. Both parents will take care of the fry and can become very aggressive towards other fish. They should be fed with artemia (baby brine shrimp) for first 7-10 days. A single pair will spawn several times a year sometimes even when still caring for a earlier brood of young.


Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Susan
I have a pair of electric blues that bred and produced 50 babies. The mother held the eggs in her mouth until they hatched. They were doing very well and the I cleaned their tank and they all died?? This is the first time they ever bred and I've had them for a couple years. I wonder will they keep breeding now that they have done it once.
From: Sarah
I bought three 2" Blue acaras in hopes I would get a pair. I had 2 pair up they spawned 3 times till I had to separate them. Every time they would spawn after 12 hours they would fight over who would care for the nest. I wanted a pair so I would have a happy peaceful tank. With my luck I ended up with a pair they turned on each other. Now after the 3rd spawn the female beats up the male when ever she sees him. She is a very mean fish. The male is nice. I had a male with a keyhole and Ram in a 36 gal tank just till I found him a new home. Well the blue acara harassed my little ram to death. Then when he got bigger he started to pick on my Keyhole. Lucky I found my blue acara a home before he killed my keyhole. They should not be kept with small cichlids IMO. Cichlids don't read the books they do what they want. I was very disappointed that what should have been a happy family turned into so much drama. They are in a 55 gal with no other Cichlids. You never really know what these fish will do. Cichlids are a strange fish with a mind of their own. That's why we love them I guess.
From: Stephen
I have bred Blue Acara for about three years then stopped breeding them and then on the fifth year I started again. The largest batch I had was on the fifth year, about 160 babies. They are the only batch of babies that I have fed them baby food like brine shrimp and I fed them that for some weeks. They also had an over supply of algae on the bottom and walls of the tank. The colour and shape of my Blue Acara has defiantly been improved by the type of food I fed them from babies to full grown. They have gained perfect health and physical form from great food such as Cichlid floating pellets that focus on colour enhances to bring out their natural colours of blues and greens and or increased growth rate and treats of frozen/dried blood/live worms. It was really interesting when the Blue Acara were around 1-3cm long and the 2 parents would have a security schedule like one parent down each end of the tank to watch for danger and then they would swap ends, especially in the afternoon. If you have over 150 babies it is ideal for you to have at least 3 tanks of 121cmL x 38cmW x 37cmH and a smaller tank. At the moment my largest Blue Acaras are 7cm long and even at 3-4cm long they can be very territorial. To defend their territory they puff out their gills which you can see the red inside and or tail slap the other fish away. I have 2 large catfish that eats algae and cleans all the walls of my tanks, requiring then to have some large drift wood in the tank for them to hide under as they like to come out at night. Having drift wood and clay pots and large rocks is a good idea. Cleaning the tanks is required at least once a week or several times a week because Blue Acara love clean water. The bright blue dots on their gills look great and lower fins also when in breeding or normal. Depending on their mood the Blue Acara sides can look blue/green or black striped and blue. Blue Acara are Fantastic fun fish to own!
From: Josh
I recently bought two Blue Acara, which, luckily were a male and female. I did not realize this until they had seemed to have become territorial over the spot beneath the filter. It was about a week later that I realized that they had probably been breeding there and were defending their young. I had a closer look and spotted a large group of fry swimming around. Unfortunately the next morning the adults had bought the young out into the open where they became a quick, easy snack for the catfish, despite the parents trying to defend them. I moved the pair of acara into a separate tank containing a few flat rocks, some fake plants and a flower pot. Within a week the pair had produced more eggs, in the flower pot. The Blue Acara is an amazingly interesting and colorful fish and in the 12 years I have kept tropical fish I would say that these were my best buy. I would not call them an aggressive cichlid but they do become mildly territorial during breeding, but not causing damage to the other fish.
From: Susan
We have had a mating pair of three inch blue acaras in a 75 gallon tank mixed in a community of two full grown green severum, a large pleco, and multiple species of gouramis The acara initially had an unhatched batch of eggs this past fall/winter then had a successful batch of eggs in March of which we now have 11 one inch thriving blue acaras doing exceptionally well with their watchful parents. The interesting observation is that we were told by a local aquarist that they would soon eat their young after birth but the small fry are well over an inch long and we cautiously observe the behavior of the entire community on a continual basis for this behavior. Today it is noted that the male will not allow the female near the fry and we have not seen any aggressive behavior towards the small ones by either parent acara yet. These intelligent fish seem to have a personality similar to the green severum in their community and have been unusually devoted to their young, demonstrating times of turning away the full grown eight inch male severum and it's mate from their established territory. When cleaning the tank both will attack the vacuum attempting to drive it away. This will be repeated if a hand is place near them while restoring driftwood to it's original place after cleaning. They seek hiding places under driftwood and in plants for the protection of their young. During feeding they are often observed taking food and spitting it to the youth. They also have proven to be an exceptionally hardy fish having lived untouched through an extremely bad algae outbreak which occurred during a vacation in which the filter was unknowingly turned off by an overeager fish sitter for two weeks followed by an extremely high ammonia spike. An absolutely desirable fish.
From: Victoria
Over 25 years ago I got what I call the true Blue Acara's. This is a fish that is oval in shape and has olive blue green body color with a total of 8 blackish stripes from head to tail. His center dot is black with metallic blue speckles in it. All the fins are of a bluish maroon color and hue with with blue metallic in the dorsal and some in the tail and anal fin,not much tho. The dorsal is lined at the top with a maroon strip as well as the tail. Both the male and female have long fins,with the males being longer reaching over to the tip of his tail fin,where as the females would stop shorter and were rounded with a sharp tip to them. During breeding time both fish take on a dramatic darker colors and are quite beautiful. They will do their lock jaw dance to see if they were compatible even tho they've known each other for years. I found that the female is more aggressive in breeding times than the male. Mine attained a good 6 to 8 inches long. I found that I could sex male from female when they were just two inches long. I bred blue Acara's for over 15 year's and discovered that when a male is around two inches long,from where his dorsal fin begins on the top of his head,it will have a straight line from where the dorsal begins to a few centimeters and then it goes into a fairly good slope to his mouth. Where as the females starts at the beginning of the dorsal and rounds out to a smooth slope to her mouth. Other than that sexing blue acara's would be done when they were about 3 inches or bigger. Now 30 something year later I believe what we are seeing in and on the market is a bunch of sub species,who come with a white line on the dorsal fin,or an orange line on the dorsal fin and there's even a yellow line on a dorsal fin. With each of these fish the body color and fins are changed somewhat as to what color they are and how brilliant or drab they can be when in breeding colors and out of breeding colors. I have raised these fish in community tanks with full grown pearl gourami's,kribenses and rams. I don't put them in with their cousins the green terror,but obviously it been done and I would love to see one. They love tubifex worms, live foods and will even come and take food from your fingers. They should be housed in nothing less than a 20 gallon long and if so either one by it self as there's not much room to run and that's one thing acara's can do. As far as personality The Blue Acara has a great one he can be gentle,or hard headed and fight with ever fish you have including guys twice his size. The only down side to own one of these fish is they are hard to get sometimes in pet stores as baby blues are not as colorful as they are when they are adults. Other than that the species is a fine fish for any tank with appropriate tank mates. Hope this helped you guys :)
From: J. Jerabeck
Just bought two Acaras the other day. They are very aggressive and territorial with each other. This fish loves big rocks.

From: Grubbavitch
I have 2 Blue Acaras that swim happily amongst my Zebras, Saulosis, Electric Yellow, Electric Blue, and my Sulphur-crested Lithobates. They are tough fish, and take as good as they get. I had to remove an Auratus from my tank as he and my female Acara were slowly killing each other. These fish do well with African cichlids.





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