Exhibit true royalty in a tank by adding an electric blue acara- the most colorful breed of the cichlid family.

Originating from the South American aquarium trade, they are one of the top choices of aquarium hobbyists.

While their family might not be the most optimal addition to a community tank, the electric blue acara doesn’t show any temperament issues.

So, what makes them great tank friends other than their aesthetic outlook? Their level of maintenance.

There is very little to keep in mind while nurturing this genus.

Hence, let us learn the nitty-gritty of caring for them in captivity.

Fish Profile

Quick Species Facts
Scientific Name Andino acara Pulcher
Other Common Names Blue Acara, Pulcher
Family Cichlid
Origin Tropical Waters of America
Lifespan 8-10 years in captivity
Size 6.3 inches
Type Freshwater fish

Origin and Habitat

Freshwater fish has some requisites for their comfortable survival. Understanding their origin and habitat assists you in creating that in the tank.

The electric blue acara was first discovered in the 20th century. Since then, they have been abundant in countries like Venezuela and Trinidad (the western area of the island).

Hence, we can cite that their place of origination is the tropical waters of America. They are also available in Colombian water (South America).

Moreover, you will also be able to find them in Indonesia and Australia.

It is found they possess a terrestrial habitat belonging to the Neotropical, Magdalena, and Orinoco ecosystems.

Because they are freshwater fish, creeks, waterways, trenches, or any other waterbody with standing or free-flowing clear waters are the greatest places to find them swimming.

Interesting Fact: During the late 20th century the electric blue acara was found in the canals and rivers of Florida, but reportedly got endangered and almost disappeared due to the low winter temperature.

Electric Blue Acara Care Guide

How Big Do the Electric Blue Acara Get?

The breed’s size is correlated to the dimension and volume of the tank. Hence, it is integral to understand it.

When it comes to the adult blue acara cichlid, they are of a very neutral and comfortable size, making them fit for any spaced-out tank.

The average size of a fully-grown blue acara is anywhere between 13-18cms.

Although, the genus found in the wild might be much larger, ranging up to 7 inches.

Physical Characteristics

The electric blue acara is often confused with other breeds. Hence, while picking out this fish, be sure to add the right one to the tank.

But how to identify it? Keep reading further to learn about their physical characteristics:

  • The beautiful blue with hints of silver accompanies well with the stocky and compact shape of the breed.
  • While the trademark color is a very obvious giveaway, some intricate details make them stand apart.
  • The green lines on the face, along with the bluish-green scales, give them the charm.
  • Although their color is highly dependent on their location and biodiversity, it can range from black, blue, and even brown.
  • They contain a very prominent number of vertical stripes and some distinctive blue spots near their fins, concluding with a black line that runs from their eye to cheek. 
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Fun Fact: The word “Pulcher” which is a part of the scientific name of this breed means beautiful in Latin.

How Long Do They Live?

Most fish parents are disheartened with the short lifespan of their dear pets. The good news is that the electric blue acara is a hardy fish with a long-lasting lifespan.

In captivity, they can easily live for 8 to 10 years.

Rendering a comfortable external environment is crucial in boosting their lifespan, which can easily extend to 12 years.

Although, in the wild, they can survive for 20 years easily. Hence, be sure to model their native place in the tank.

Sexing – Female or Male?

Understanding the difference in their gender is highly essential when breeding is in your books. 

Some key features assist you in learning about their difference, that is stated below: 

Size: Look for the length of the fish. Male electric blue acaras are relatively larger than female electric blue acaras. Moreover, a female fish will have a fuller body than a male. 

Color: While the size is the most obvious giveaway, it is helpful to learn that the female breed has a higher concentration of color than the male. 

Defining marks: A male acara will contain more spangles on their body than a female. 

Sale Price and Availability

The aquarium is the best place to turn to for discovering the blue acaras for sale. The abundance of this genus makes them very easy to access.

Other than that, leaning toward specialist shops and aquarium clubs is a better choice because you’ll end up learning a lot.

Technological advancement has made purchasing this breed as easy as a click. On any fish forum or pet shop, they are available at a standard rate of $4.5, making them pocket-friendly.

One of the most popular aquariums that keep this breed is the Aquarium Madrid zoo in Spain.

Care Sheet Table

Care Points
Care-level Easy
Socializing Territorial
Temperament Calm
Food Habit Omnivore
Breeding Process Easy

What to Feed Them?

Electric blue acaras will be the last breed to show any fuss when it comes to food. They are omnivores and exhibit a wide variety of preferences.

Feel free to indulge them in all kinds of food – dry, fresh, or frozen. Although, it is highly suggestive of mixing the type to provide the most optimal nutrition.

This breed will even happily feed on:

  • Crustaceans
  • Worms
  • Insects
  • Brine shrimps
  • Pellets
  • Blood worms

Overfed blue acaras are more prone to diseases, and it is best to avoid it.

Expert Tip: Feed them in small portions rather than one large portion.

General Behaviour

The electric blue acara is one of the few cichlids that show little to no aggression.

However, with certain species, they might get possessive about their territory.

You will find them swimming at the bottom of the tank and don’t appreciate any intrusion.

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Moreover, they don’t prefer breeds with the same form of behavior.

Any externalities that don’t comply with their social requirements can result in them being aggressive.

Even though they are an extremely easy breed to care for, it is best to leave them undisturbed while breeding. This can cause stress for them and lead them to be aggressive.

How do the Blue Acaras Breed and Mate?

Ideal Mating Conditions

The difficulty level of breeding the blue acara is elementary. Although to elevate the probability, some conditioning factors can assist you in acting as a catalyst.

  • Firstly, it is essential to know that this specie breeds in captivity, so be sure to set up credible hiding places such as caves and plants.
  • The water parameter is the most essential characteristic in conditioning. Hence for breeding the blue acara, keep the temperature set at 28 degrees C.
  • The tank should be more acidic, and setting it at a PH of 6.5 is optimal.

Spawning

Since an externalization takes place, you will know they are spawning. To carry out that procedure, both the male and the female clean out a rock, which becomes the spawning area.

While it is the mother acara who releases the egg on the substrate, both genders are involved in the spawning procedure.

Hatching

After the female lays the egg, it is the male acara that further fertilizes it. The mother and father then be sure to protect it until it hatches.

It may take 2-5 days for the egg to hatch.

Usually, a worrisome factor is a parent eating the fry, but in this scenario, the parents tend to place them in their mouths to protect them from any form of potential threat.

Even after the fry is born, the parents take care of it for a few weeks.

Pro Tip: It is best to keep the blue acaras in pairs, this boosts the procedure without any form of complications.

Diseases – Do they Fall Ill?

The electric blue acara can fall sick. Usually, they are prone to certain diseases due to external factors such as overcrowding, overfeeding, or even lack of tank mates, leaving them lonely.

Keep a thorough check on their activity and physical appearance. In any form of a discrepancy, visit the closest Vet.

Research suggests that this specie is prone to the following diseases:

  • White Spot Disease
  • Costia Disease
  • Turbidity of the skin
  • Bacterial infections

Tank Set-Up       

Quick Tank Facts
Minimum Size 250 liters
Water Temperature 22-29 degrees C
Water Hardness 5-15 GH
Water Ph Level 6.5 -8 PH
Water Current Slow-moving
Min. Population Atleast 4

Ideal Tank Size

The tank size must comply with their mobility and length to enable a comfortable lifestyle for the blue Acara.

The optimal dimension of the tank must be at least 100cms with a water capacity of at least 66 gallons.

While they can easily survive in a 39 inches tank, 48 inches is perfect for their captivity.

What to Include in the Tank?

Plants & Decoration

A freshwater fish needs a high volume of vegetation. Hence, imbibe a high amount of plants and decoration in the tank.

You can get creative and add as many marsh and aquatic plants as possible.

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Floating plants create credible coverage and make a breed feel safer. Salvinia and Pitsia are some examples of the same.

This breed requires a high amount of hiding space in captivity, especially for breeding and spawning. So, the addition of driftwood, caves, and rocks will nurture their growth.

Substrate

Tropical fishes are mainly found in rivers and streams; hence they are used to a sandy substrate.

Since these deep divers spend most of their time at the bottom of the tank, a sandy humus substrate will be perfect for the tank.

Oxygen and Filtration

Freshwater fishes require a high level of oxygen in the tank to survive. Hence, it is necessary to add a filter that provides them with the same.

Anything that keeps the water current minimal is recommended as that is what this specie is accustomed to.

Water Parameters

The number one factor that depends on the longevity of a fish’s life is the water parameter. A freshwater fish has some preferred water parameters that must be considered. Else, they can be subjected to diseases that can be life-threatening.

When we talk about an electric blue acara, it is highly suggestive that these are the water parameters that you keep:

  • A tropical fish like the acara will be comfortable in the water whose temperature ranges between 71 degrees F to 84 degrees F.
  • There is no reason to overthink the acidity of the water; neutral works just fine. Setting the PH to 7 is perfect for this breed.
  • You have a broad spectrum for setting the hardness of the water, and they can easily survive in both – soft and hard water.
  • Be sure to keep the nitrate concentration lower than 50 mg/L.

Author’s Advice: Change 20-30 percent of the water regularly, this gives them a clean environment.

Tankmates – Who Can they Befriend? 

Territorial species like the electric blue acara fish might not be the most social breed in the tank. Hence, keep the correct tank mates in mind. 

This specie can be prone to loneliness, which plays a major culprit in the majority of their health issues, so be sure to include at least 4 more fishes other than them. 

Keeping other species who have a calm temperament within a territory is highly suggestive, and this ensures there is no stress generated in the tank. 

Some examples of the best tank mates for the blue acara are:

Moreover, avoid all gregarious species at all costs. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the difference between an Electric Blue Acara and Green Terror? 

The green terror and blue acara are the most easily confused creatures, and the best way to differentiate between them is by paying close attention to their anal fin. Moreover, you will find a lack of lobule on the branchial arch in the Acara. 

Is this breed harmful in any form? 

Research suggests that there have been no traces of any adverse effects of this breed on any human or ecosystem. Hence, they are an extremely safe addition. 

Am I supposed to put any constraint on the water parameters?

It is advisable to ensure that the tank’s temperature doesn’t exceed 29 degrees C. Otherwise, it can threaten this breed. 

In Conclusion – Should You Buy Them? 

What is not to like about this royalty? They are a serene addition that sits calmly in your tank while adding a tropical aesthetic. 

They show little to no issues and are extremely easy to breed when it comes to taking care of them.

Do not shy away from adding this blue beauty to your tank, even if you are a beginner. 

About the Author

Victoria Lamb

Victoria is a freshwater aquatics specialist, fish keeper, and amphibian enthusiast. She has had more than 6 years of experience caring for aquariums and keeping several fish species, and her home boasts of 3 aquariums and a garden pond. Her goal is to educate fish owners on raising healthy and happy aquatic pets.

Career Highlights:

  • Has worked with several aquarium manufacturers as a consultant
  • Organized and hosted workshops on freshwater fish keeping at retail stores, educational facilities, and libraries
  • Released content for the amphibian community through her writings

Educational Highlights:

Bachelor of Science in Animal Behavior and Welfare

  • University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK (2014-2018)

Writing Experience

Victoria has done ghostwriting for many aquarium and pet websites in the past. She has also worked for Canada's largest natural health magazine- ALIVE, with 300,000 monthly circulations as a freelancer. She had six published articles on animal behavior and welfare during her graduation for her thesis.

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