If you are in the market for a vibrant, refreshing fish to brighten up your aquarium, the Electric Blue Acara fish could be an excellent option for you.
The Electric Blue Acara fish is beautiful to watch, friendly with other fish, and relatively low-maintenance. Also, their electric color stands out against other freshwater fish.
If you would like to learn more about this one-of-a-kind fish, keep reading to find our full guide below.
About the Electric Blue Acara
The Electric Blue Acara’s scientific name is the Andinoacara pulcher. They are apart of the Cichlidae family. They are freshwater tropical fish that originate from the rivers and lakes of Central and South America.
Although the Cichlidae family has some of the most aggressive fish, this one is actually very peaceful. Therefore, they are very popular among aquarium hobbyists, and they are commonly seen in many variations of community tanks.
They typically grow to around 7 inches in length. Their lifespan is approximately 10 years if taken care of properly. In the wild, they can even live up to 20 years. Hence the name of this species, they are an electric blue color that will illuminate any aquarium.
They are freshwater fish, so they can only be kept in freshwater tanks. But, they prefer planted aquariums because they like to have somewhere to hide and swim through.
Alongside their peaceful nature, the Electric Blue Acara also has a playful side. They are curious fish that like to explore. They have been seen to dig into the substrate. This shouldn’t be an issue for your tank. Just make sure that your substrate has at least 2 inches of depth.
Since they love to dig into the substrate, you will usually find them at the lower and mid-levels of the tank. They rarely swim up to the top, but this can sometimes happen. So, make sure to have a sturdy lid on the top of the tank to avoid any fish from jumping out — not just this species!
Additionally, they love to swim and hide in plants and rocks. Therefore, it is best to have lots of plants in your aquarium. A planted aquarium will give them a better opportunity to put their playful nature to good use. Aquarium rocks with holes going through them could be a great thing to have as well. This will allow them to hide behind them and swim through them.
As far as their appearance goes, they are usually a blue color. They have a gradient effect to them that makes them like no other species. Their body is mostly a light blue and green mixture. The fins have an electric blue color that stands out. On the sides of their body, they can have white or black spots.
Their scales are densely packed and perfectly defined which only enhances their appearance. Their body is usually very thin. Their eyes are usually red or yellow with a dark pupil. They are very large and stick out further from their head.
Benefits of Having an Electric Blue Acara
Low-maintenance – The Electric Blue Acara fish is one of the most low-maintenance fish out there. They are resilient and are tolerant of any diseases that might be easy to catch for other fish. They are omnivores, so a plant-based diet is optimal. A plant-based diet is super easy to feed your fish.
Peaceful – This fish works great in community tanks. Its peaceful and calm nature makes it easy for them to live alongside other fish. Although, they prefer to live with fish of their own species (usually in pairs).
Easy to breed – The Electric Blue Acara fish is one of the easiest fish to breed in the group of Cichlids. Breeding tanks are normally simple, and they usually breed within a week. We will get into more of the details below in the section about breeding.
Easy for beginners – Because of the low-maintenance that this fish requires, it is a perfect fish for beginners. There aren’t a ton of factors to caring for it properly. As long as the research is done to ensure the fish is being cared for correctly, there should not be many issues.
Visually appealing – The electric colors of this fish make this fish awesome to look at. Their tails are a bright neon blue color that illuminates the tank. Their tankmates also make the tank look vibrant and alluring. Also, its playful nature makes it a fun fish to watch. They swim all around through holes and plants, and they hide behind rocks. Additionally, they burrow in the sand which is also interesting to look at.
Maintenance for the Electric Blue Acara
Even though this is a fairly low-maintenance species, there are still some things that must be done in order to ensure your fish is cared for properly.
First, let’s go over some requirements for the Electric Blue Acara.
- The temperature range should be between 68 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. But, keeping it around 75 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.
- The aquarium water’s pH levels should be between 6.0 and 7.5. It is best to keep it towards 7.0.
- The minimum tank size for this fish should be 30 gallons. For each Electric Blue Acara that you add to the tank, you should increase the tank size by 15 gallons.
- You should have a healthy ratio of swimming space and plants. They love plants and rocks to hide in and swim through, but they also need space to swim freely.
- Use a substrate that is rounded and not sharp. As we mentioned above, these fish love to dig into the substrate. In order to avoid any damage from occurring, it is best that you get a substrate that is not sharp in any way.
- In terms of lighting, make sure that it resembles a natural lighting cycle. This can be done with an aquarium light timer (preferably a ramp timer).
- A normal filter on a medium flow-rate is best for this species. They are not too delicate that a high flow-rate will put them in any danger. But, they do not produce tons of waste compared to other fish, so a high-flow rate is not exactly necessary. Therefore, medium flow-rate is the best option.
Electric Blue Acaras are resilient fish that can stand up to harsh conditions. So, they rarely form severe sicknesses. If they do incur damage, their bodies are good at helping them heal quickly. Regardless, there are still some things that are important to caring for this fish properly.
The most important aspect of maintenance for any species of fish is maintaining the water. Good water quality will prevent illness, and it will help your fish to have a longer lifespan. To have a good quality of water in your tank, you should renew 20% to 40% of the water weekly. This, of course, depends on the size of tank you have.
Also, it is crucial that you are cleaning the substrate. Over time, the substrate can build up bacteria and dirt that can damage your aquatic life and the water in your tank. This is especially true for the Electric Blue Acara fish because of their love for burrowing in the substrate. On average, you should be cleaning the substrate every month or so.
As far as their diet goes, they are omnivores so they have a plant-based diet for the most part. However, because they are predators in the wild, you should also feed them some meaty foods. This can include worms, shrimp, etc. Giving them these will ensure they get all of their nutrients.
A great option for other foods for their diet is fish food. Buying fish food with natural ingredients is going to ensure that they are getting all of their vitamins and minerals needed to improve their health.
As for their plant-based diet, you can incorporate healthy plants within the tank that they can eat off of. Ideally, leafy greens are often the best option for other plant-based foods.
The Electric Blue Acara should be fed twice a day, and they should eat an amount of food that is able to be eaten in 2 to 3 minutes. One problem that this species of fish has is overeating. Therefore, if you keep feeding them, they will continue to eat without knowing when to stop.
If you notice that the fish is swimming to the side or leaning over, they most likely ate too much. This is a sign that you should be feeding them less. Excessive eating can cause multiple health issues such as skin irritation or disorientation.
Tank Mates and Compatibility
The Electric Blue Acara fish is very peaceful and calm, so they do great in community tanks. Due to their natural environment, these fish interact with a multitude of different species meaning they will do great will most popular community tank species.
Fish that are typically not a good match for the Electric Blue Acara fish are fish that either larger than them or very aggressive. If the fish is larger than them, competition will be created. This can result in the harm of smaller fish that are not aggressive. Additionally, this can mean that smaller fish can become prey if there is competition in the tank. So, it is probably a good idea to just stay away from larger species.
Some fish that get along great with Electric Blue Acaras are fish from the group of South American Cichlids. This is because they are already used to interacting with these fish in their natural habitat. The Characidae family also has some fish that work well with the Electric Blue Acara.
Specifically, some fish that have good compatibility with this species include Corydora Catfish, Plecos, Velvet Cichlids, Zebra Cichlids, and Moga Cichlids. They are very peaceful and calm around the Electric Blue Acara, as they have similar energies and characteristics. Also, these combinations of fish will make your aquarium look astonishing.
Some species to definitely stray away from include Dwarf Cichlids and Angelfish.
As far as keeping multiple Electric Blue Acaras together, it is good to keep them in schools of six or pairs. This will avoid any aggressive behaviors or competition.
Breeding Electric Blue Acaras
Out of the Cichlids, the Electric Blue Acara is definitely one of the easiest ones to breed. The breeding tank should be at least 20 gallons (if not, larger). The substrate recommended is large-grained sand covered with flat rocks with absolutely no sharp edges.
The water temperature and pH levels is the same as the conditions for a regular Acara tank, but they are more strictly enforced with breeding tanks in order to ensure that the environment is safe and healthy to promote breeding. Water temperature should be approximately 77 degrees Fahrenheit and the pH levels should be 6.5 to 7 pH.
Male and female Electric Blue Acaras will remain towards the bottom of the tank by the rocks when breeding. The female will produce around 150-200 offspring at this time, and they will be on the rocks. The females typically stay by the offspring at all times in order to protect them. The male fish swims further away to protect the juveniles.
After this, the incubation time period usually lasts for around 2 to 3 days. After this amount of time, you will notice that the juveniles will begin swimming and searching for food on their own. It will take a couple of days for the offspring to be independent and leave the mother’s side.
Electric Blue Acara fish are some of the best and most popular fish among both beginners and experienced fish tank owners — and for good reason! They are beautiful, easy to care for, and peaceful among other fish.
They are able to have a variety of different tank mates which increases the diversity and appearance of the tank. There is no doubt that this fish will allow you to build your optimal freshwater aquarium.