Freshwater Fish

Electric Blue Acara; the Choice of Fishkeeping Enthusiasts

The Electric Blue Acara is a very colorful freshwater fish. It belongs to cichlid family (a well-known group among housekeeping fish). It is present in freshwater habitats. The specie get its name from its appearance. The scientific name of electric blue acara is Andinoacara pulcher. It belongs to phylum chordate and order Cichliformes. The electric blue acara are flow from fresh water bodies to the lakes and rivers of Central America. The electric blue acaras found in South America from Panama to Colombia and Sothern Asia.

Appearance:

The electric blue acara has elongated body. The body is compressed on the sides and form an oval shape. They have bluish hue. The brown to black, grey and orange vertical bands are present all over the body. The blue sparkles scattered over the body that’s why it called as electric blue acara. Yellowish black spots are present on the sides. The blue color changes into grey black color in the head region. The transition of abdomen into the tail is the thinnest part of the body. They have large eyes with dark pupil enclosed in orange red iris. They have circular caudal fin and single large dorsal fin. The caudal fin is bigger than their pelvic pectoral and anal fin fins. The fins are blue in color but have orange edges. The electric blue acara show somewhat appearance similarity with green terror cichlid.

Typical Behavior:

Electric blue acara exhibits a high degree of hostility. These are the species with peaceful temperament and their care level is way much easy. The species doesn’t need much of care and feed on anything. Although they may sometimes behave as bully species but will always back down from a fight. They rarely cause any trouble due to their small size. The electric blue acara are Shy so they have to need plenty of hiding places in the tank. They can live for a long time up to 10 years in aquarium as compare to other freshwater fishes.

Swimming Behavior:

The swimming behavior of the fish is healthy. It usually found near the base and middle layer of the tank rarely swim up to the surface. In the tank, we can visualize them swimming and

navigating through the plant bushes. Electric blue acaras take good delight in swimming around the tank. It seldom go to hiding especially when feel threatened or stressed. 

Electric Color Pattern:

The Electric blue acaras differs from other aquarium. They have striking electric appearance. Their color pattern is aberrant making them different from other fishes. Their body is light blue in color but scales form dark pattern. The blue color changed into dull gray and black in the head region. The fins are blue in color but have orange color in edges.

Gender Differentiation:

The body features of male and female electric blue acara are different. The anal and the caudal fin are different. The anal and caudal fins are longer and pointier in male but in female they are shorter and rounded. The male electric blue acara have larger body than the female. The male specie has a hump around their forehead. The body color of male specie is more conspicuous than that of the female specie.

Pre-Breeding Behavior:

At the age of 10 months the electric blue acaras are mature to mate. Their body attained length of 10cm at this stage. At this stage the both male and female specie display darker body coloration. This represents that they are ready to spawn.

Breeding Behavior:

The electric blue acaras are freshwater fishes that are comfortable to breed. The electric blue acaras are a hybrid product. It derived from related fishes of South American cichlids. The pair mate on one of the big flat rocks in the aquarium. The pair first clean the breeding ground before mating. The female lays a batch of eggs.

The electric blue acara continue their breeding behavior until the female fish releases the last set of eggs. The female carry eggs in her belly.

The electric blue acaras lays up to 150-300 eggs during one spawning session. They get ready to breed again after two weeks. The male and female electric blue acaras protect their eggs. They clean them with their mouths and also fan their eggs. Fertilized eggs undergo incubation for 4-7 days almost.

When eggs are hatching they help their fan coming out of their egg shells. After 3 to 4 days they are in a free swimming juvenile stage. The electric blue acaras are more prone to aggression during breeding. The electric blue acaras are
famous for the good parental care.

Post-breeding Care:

The juvenile electric blue acaras transferred into a grow-out tank. They protected from eaten by parent fishes. The grow-out tank equipped with an air-powered filter. The tank is not decorated with plants and other items. Aquarists can feed fry with dahlia, brine shrimp, rotifer or microform.

Feeding Behavior:

The electric blue acara are super easy to feed. The electric blue acara dig into substrate and uproot plants that are not held with strength. Aquarists can feed electric blue acaras with the moderate supply of pellets, flakes, brine shrimp, earthworm, larvae, insect, tubifex, cyclops and crustaceans. They consume their feed in 3 minutes and given feed 2-3 times in a day. This kind of feeding behavior helps keeping in check the amount of ammonium nitrite and nitrate. It also prevent acaras for getting overfed. They are omnivores and are not choosy eaters. In wild conditions they are less likely to dig into substrate but in tank they are love to dig into substrate. Their feeding decides the growth of fry. In wild, the specie grow in size to 20cm but in tanks it can grow to 15cm. Aquarists can also supplement their diet with vegetables like spinach, cucumber and cabbage.

Avoid Overfeeding:

Overfeeding can disturb digestive system of electric blue acara. If fishes eating their meal for four minutes or more this considered as overeating. Allow fishes to take their meal for 2-3 minutes. Then remove the leftover food.

Choice of Fishkeeping Enthusiasts:

The electric blue acara is the preferred choice of fishkeeping enthusiasts. This is also recommended for beginners as they are not so care demanding. They are quiet and tolerant in nature unlike many other cichlid family fishes. Keeping them in our home aquarium does not cause any trouble. The electric blue acara can bare other aggressive fishes of cichlid family.

Habitat of the Electric Blue Acara:

The electric blue acaras found in standing as well as free floating water habitats rich in sandy river bed sand substantial vegetation. They flow from freshwater basins to the lakes and rivers which are highly planted. This environment is best and protective for acara to raise their offspring. This allow electric blue acaras to escape from predator attack. The substrate present in natural freshwater habitats are rich in feeding grounds. It contain smaller fishes and meaty invertebrates. The drifting plants present on the surface of water bodies protect electric blue acaras from sunlight. These plants also acts as a source of food.

Compatibility:

Theelectric blue acara are mildly compatible. They are compatible with othere acara, Severum, Firemoth, Terror, Blood Parrot, Jack Dempsy, Pelcostomus, Silver Dollar and Synodontis.The electric blue acaras does not pose any danger to other fishes in the tank. They can share tank with fishes of their type as well as fishes of other type. It is better to keep electric blue acara in pairs or in a group of at least six.

Tank-Setup for The Electric blue acara:

A tank with 114 liters carrying capacity is ideal for keeping the electric blue acara. The optimal condition for nutrition, temperature and water chemistry is essential for the potential growth of electric blue acara. About 20-30% of tank water should change every week to keep the water clean. The unclean water cause sickness in the electric blue acara. The soft sandy substrate created so that the fish dig without getting damaged.

Water Parameters:

The fluctuating water chemistry may disturb the electric blue acara. This may contribute to some pathological conditions in fishes. So there is compulsion to maintain following water parameters:

  • Water temperature: The temperature range required for the water environment of electric blue acara is 68-82°F. Temperature around 75-76°F is also optimal.
  • Water hardness: The ideal degree of water hardness ranges between 3Dh-20Dh. The fishes have to thrive in very soft water from very hard water.
  • pH range: An acidity ranges between 6.0-7.5pH is ideal, but keeping it closer to or above the neutral is the best.  

The lighting in the tank should not disturb the natural cycles of your fish. A normal aquarium lamp is usually sufficient. The rounded gravels and large even sand grains are recommended for substrate. The size and shape of substrate does not bother.

We can keep single electric blue acara in minimum tank size of 30 gallons. The addition of one more acara must require 15 gallons of water.

The tank is decorated with floated and potted plants but it should be densely planted. The flat rocks, caves and driftwood mixed with plants. It helps in creating the natural environment for electric blue acara in the tank. They can tolerate a wide range of temperature.

The light in the tank depends on the type of plants present in the tank. Aquarists should maintain a good ratio between decorations and free swimming space in the tank. This make your fish feel comfortable and swim without hindrance.

Best Plants for Electric Blue Acaras:

Following plants are best for the electric blue acaras:

  • Java Moss: This plant requires no care. It is also called as bullet proof plant. The plant develop lush moss beds. They are the great option for fry to feed. Java moss bare the temperature range from 59-86F. Java moss may be floating or attached.
  • Java Fern: Java fern is a low light plant. It does not require CO2, fertilizer or fancy soil. Java fern placed anywhere in the tank.
  • Anubias: The anubias species has over 13 variants. The plant is bulletproof in range of size, color and shape. The plants may attach or freely float in the tank.
  • Vallisneria: This plant has many varities. They speed up their growth in the tank with lush. It form kelp like forest for your fish in the tank.

Tank Mates for Blue Acara:

The significantly large tank mates can increase competition in tank for survival and nutrition. This increase in competence for food cause malnutrition for acara fishes. The small fishes are tempting snack for acaras so the tank mates choose from other cichlid fishes having similar size such as Banded cichlid, Pearl cichlid, Zebra cichlid. The catfishes like Corydoras, Plecos, Picture catfish and Rainbowfish is a good choice to add in the tank. They freshen up the lower layer of your tank.

Electric blue Acara Care:

Electric blue acara rarely develop severe illness but paying little attention to tank conditions is necessary. Maintaining good water quality is important. Tank should be keep in area with excessive sunlight penetration. The tank itself and substrate require cleaning after 3-4 weeks. The availability of devices like thermometer, pH meter and ammonia testing kit is necessary to maintain water chemistry. If these fishes placed in smaller sized tank it can cause problem in digestion which disturbs their normal feeding behavior. The leftover food after feeding must remove from the tank to prevent overfeeding.

Conclusion:

The electric blue acara are famous among the beautiful and fascinating Cichilds due to unususal appearance. Many fishes of cichlids family are available for community tanks. They can survive in different water conditions. The natural environment of electric blue acara is easy to build up in a tank. It allows you to build a wonderful home aquariums. They are very good choice for beginners. They are very easy to breed but this is the only time you may experience their aggression. The electric blue acaras are a good addition to any tank.

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