Electric Blue Acara Species Profile: Size, Care, Tank Mates & Lifespan

Author: Hasty Fish

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The Electric Blue Acara is irresistibly growing within the aquarist community. So, what is so unique about this freshwater fish?

The answer lies in its awe-inspiring beauty, which often makes observers question the authenticity of its images and leaves them astounded when witnessing it in person.

Additionally, they are relatively simple to care for, and their placid nature distinguishes them from their fellow cichlids. Consequently, if you are seeking an aesthetically appealing, easy-to-care-for fish, the Electric Blue Acara should be on your list.

This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge necessary to ensure a thriving life for this colorful fish in your tank.

Electric Blue Acara Stats
OriginSouth and Central America
Lifespan8-10 years
Size6-7 inches
Minimum Tank Size30 gallons
Ease of CareEasy
Water Temperature78°F to 82°F (26-28°C)
Water Hardness6-20 dGH

An Introduction to the Electric Blue Acara Species

Electric Blue Acara

Belonging to the diverse Cichlidae family, the Electric Blue Acara (Andinoacara pulcher) enjoys increasing popularity among aquarium enthusiasts thanks to its striking blue hue.

Native to South and Central America, these fish inhabit slow-moving waters such as rivers, deep streams, and lakes, typically near tributaries, just like many of their cichlid relatives.

The Electric Blue Acara is the most well-behaved member of the family, recognized for its tranquility and compatibility with a myriad of tank mates, which we will delve into later.

Life Expectancy

In captivity, the Electric Blue Acara typically boasts a lifespan of 8-10 years. However, in the wild, they can live even longer.

Factors such as substandard living conditions, poor water quality, and high-stress environments can detrimentally impact their lifespan. Proper care and consistent maintenance of their habitat can ensure longevity, offering you ample time to bond with your new aquatic friend.

Appearance, Colors, & Markings

The Electric Blue Acara’s name paints a fitting picture of its vibrant appearance. Their shiny, neon-blue bodies exhibit a subtle variety of shades, mainly consisting of light and bright blues, adding depth to their shimmer.

A pale yellow hue typically adorns the front half of their bodies, while the edges of their dorsal and caudal fins feature a striking yellow-orange line, significantly enhancing their aesthetic appeal.

Their scales, highly visible due to their bright blue bodies, add an intriguing patterned appearance to their sides, capturing observers’ attention.

The blue fades into a dark gray patch on their forehead, starting from their dorsal fin and extending down to their upper lip. Their body structure aligns with the standard cichlid form, characterized by long bodies of average thickness.


On average, Electric Blue Acaras measure between 6 and 7 inches in length, making them ideal for most standard aquariums.

Electric Blue Acara Care & Habitat

Electric Blue Acara Habitat
Photo Credit: John R

Caring for Electric Blue Acaras is relatively straightforward, irrespective of your level of experience as an aquarist. However, adherence to certain care guidelines is crucial for their overall health and happiness.

Optimal Tank Size

A 30-gallon tank is ideal for a single Electric Blue Acara, providing ample space for swimming and exploration.

Keeping multiple Electric Blue Acaras requires additional space – approximately 15 gallons per additional fish. Thus, a pair would require a 45-gallon tank, and three fish would necessitate a 60-gallon tank, and so on.

Ideal Water Parameters

While these robust fish can withstand a range of conditions, maintaining excellent water quality and sticking to the recommended water parameters is essential for the overall health of your Electric Blue Acara.

Here’s what you should aim for:

  • Water temperature: 78°F to 82°F (26-28°C)
  • Water hardness: 6 to 20 dGH
  • pH levels: 6 to 7.5

What To Put In Their Tank

Electric Blue Acaras are low-maintenance, but designing a habitat that closely mirrors their natural environment can significantly enhance their comfort and well-being.

They prefer a substrate they can explore without injury, so ensure the substrate you use is soft and non-abrasive, like sand. You’ll also want to provide ample hiding spots to give them a sense of security and reduce stress. Floating plants, such as hornwort and dwarf water lettuce, mimic their natural habitat, adding to their comfort.


Providing an optimal water temperature between 78°F to 82°F (26-28°C) is critical, necessitating a quality heater. This temperature range promotes active behavior, stimulates appetite, and boosts metabolism and immunity.

Common Electric Blue Acara Diseases: What To Look Out For

While there are no ailments exclusively associated with the Electric Blue Acara, they are susceptible to various common fish diseases. As a responsible aquarist, it’s essential to recognize the signs of these illnesses to ensure the well-being of your marine creatures.

Two frequently observed health issues in the Electric Blue Acara are Ich and skin fluke.

Ich, scientifically known as Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, is a parasitic skin disease. It manifests as white spots on the fish’s body and gills. Affected fish will often rub their bodies against rough surfaces, display lethargy, have reduced appetite, and exhibit abnormal hiding behavior.

Skin flukes or flatworms are common parasites in freshwater environments. They feed on the outer layers of skin and gill tissue and can be spread through improper quarantine, substandard feeding, or inadequate water quality. The most common culprits are Gyrodactylus spp. and Dactylogyrus spp. Symptoms of a skin fluke infection include itching against rough surfaces (flashing), loss of scales, cloudy skin, lethargy, and diminished appetite.

These diseases might sound intimidating, but with the right knowledge, they can be managed effectively.

The Ideal Diet for Your Electric Blue Acara

A carefully planned diet greatly influences the health of your Electric Blue Acara. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand their natural feeding habits to successfully replicate them in an aquarium environment.

Electric Blue Acaras are omnivorous, primarily feasting on live creatures in their natural habitat. As such, their diet should be protein-rich to fulfill their nutritional needs. Preferred food items include bloodworms, brine shrimp, small insects, and earthworms.

For those who wish to avoid the fuss of procuring these live treats, protein-rich pellets and flake fish food are acceptable alternatives. However, ensure these food items are nutritionally sufficient to maintain the health of your Acaras.

Don’t forget variety is the spice of life, even for fish. An entirely protein-based diet is not advisable, despite their carnivorous inclinations. Your Electric Blue Acaras need some plant-based nutrients as well, mirroring their diverse diet in the wild.

And, of course, you want to avoid overfeeding at all costs. As a guideline, restrict their meals to twice a day and only serve quantities they can finish within a few minutes. If your fish take longer than five minutes to eat, they’re likely being overfed.

Temperament & Behavior

Electric Blue Acaras break the stereotype of aggressive cichlids. Unlike their infamous relatives – the African cichlid, Oscar fish, Jack Dempsey, and Jewel cichlid – the Electric Blue Acaras display a peaceful, easy-going nature.

They interact well with a variety of tank mates and rarely cause any commotion within the tank. Their docile temperament, coupled with their relatively easy care, makes them an ideal choice for novice and experienced aquarists alike.

The Electric Blue Acaras are active explorers and often rummage through different areas of the tank. They display digging behavior, which might disrupt any rooted plants in the tank. Although they’re primarily peaceful, they may occasionally exhibit shy or playful behaviors, such as darting around, exploring, and digging.

Electric Blue Acara Tank Mates

The Electric Blue Acaras’ peaceful demeanor allows for flexibility when it comes to choosing tank companions. They generally get along with most fish species in a community tank and prefer peaceful coexistence over hostility.

However, avoid pairing them with notably aggressive fish or species significantly larger or smaller than them. Ideal tank mates are peaceful species of similar sizes, though there can be exceptions.

Some of the best Electric Blue Acara tank mates include:

  • Angelfish
  • Bristlenose Pleco
  • Cory catfish
  • Discus fish
  • Emerald Green Cory
  • Moga cichlids
  • Oscars
  • Otocinclus
  • Pearl Cichlid
  • Rainbowfish

This list is not exhaustive; any peaceful fish that can thrive in similar water parameters might be suitable. If in doubt, keeping Electric Blue Acaras with their own species is a safe choice. For harmony in the tank, keep them in even numbers to avoid any single fish becoming a target.

A community of Electric Blue Acaras creates a breathtaking display that might sway aquarists against a single-species tank. Seeing a group of these stunning fish in one tank is a sight to behold!

Breeding Electric Blue Acara

Photo Credit: Pumpkin45

Breeding Electric Blue Acaras is straightforward, making it an achievable goal even for beginner aquarists. Once these fish reach a size of 4-5 inches, they are ready for breeding. Pairs are monogamous, staying together for life, which means no shuffling of partners post-breeding.

While calm and peaceful, I recommend having a designated breeding tank, preferably smaller than their regular tank. A 20-gallon tank with a water temperature of around 75-76 degrees Fahrenheit usually suffices. Use soft substrate, such as sand, and provide flat rocks for egg-laying.

Once the tank setup is complete, keep an eye out for increased interaction between the pair – a sign of imminent mating. They’ll clean a spot on the bottom of the tank on the rocks, where they’ll lay and tend to their eggs. Following spawning by the female, the male fertilizes the eggs.

The eggs hatch within a few days post-fertilization, during which time the usually peaceful Electric Blue Acaras may show signs of aggression, hence why I recommend using a separate breeding tank.

After the fry has hatched, their parents will relocate them to a small pit that has been excavated in the substrate. This pit serves as a shelter for the fry, who are not yet capable of swimming freely, and they remain in this protective environment for approximately four days. And at this stage, you’ll want to supply them with nourishing baby brine shrimp or microworms.

When the juveniles reach the age of approximately two months, they are ready to transition to an adult diet, and you can relocate them to a community tank.

Why Choose Electric Blue Acaras?

Electric Blue Acaras are a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts due to their striking appearance, peaceful nature, and manageable size. With their vibrant electric blue coloration, they can add a visually stunning element to any aquarium.

These fish are generally peaceful and can coexist well with other species in a community tank. Their moderate size of around 6-7 inches makes them suitable for various aquarium sizes, from medium to larger setups.

Additionally, Electric Blue Acaras are relatively easy to care for, adapting well to different water conditions and tolerating minor fluctuations in parameters. They also offer breeding potential, as they can exhibit fascinating behaviors and produce offspring with the same vibrant blue coloration.

Overall, their eye-catching appearance, peaceful disposition, manageable size, and ease of care make Electric Blue Acaras a desirable choice for aquarium enthusiasts.

Frequently Asked Questions about Electric Blue Acaras

Q1: What is the ideal tank size for an Electric Blue Acara?

A: Electric Blue Acaras generally prefer larger tanks with plenty of swimming space. For a single Electric Blue Acara, a tank size of 30 gallons is recommended. If you plan to keep more than one, you’ll want to add 15 gallons for every additional fish.

Q2: What is the lifespan of Electric Blue Acaras?

A: With proper care and in optimal conditions, Electric Blue Acaras can live for around 10 years. This can vary slightly based on the quality of care, diet, and the individual fish’s health.

Q3: Are Electric Blue Acaras aggressive?

A: Unlike many other cichlids, Electric Blue Acaras are known for their peaceful nature. They typically get along well with a variety of tank mates and are rarely the source of disturbances in the aquarium.

Q4: What do Electric Blue Acaras eat?

A: Electric Blue Acaras are omnivorous, with a preference for live critters. Their diet in captivity should include a mix of protein-rich food such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, small insects, and earthworms. You can also use high-quality pellets and flakes to supplement their diet.

Q5: Can Electric Blue Acaras live with other fish?

A: Yes, Electric Blue Acaras are great community fish. Their peaceful nature allows them to coexist well with other similarly sized and peaceful fish species. However, avoid extremely aggressive fish or those that are significantly larger or smaller.

Q6: How do I breed Electric Blue Acaras?

A: Breeding Electric Blue Acaras is relatively straightforward. Once the fish reach a size of 4-5 inches, they are ready to breed. A separate breeding tank, ideally smaller than their main tank, is recommended. The tank should contain soft substrate and flat rocks for the fish to lay eggs.

Q7: How can I tell if my Electric Blue Acara is sick?

A: Electric Blue Acaras can be affected by common fish diseases such as Ich and skin fluke. Signs of illness can include white spots on the fish’s body or gills, rubbing their bodies against rough surfaces, lethargy, reduced appetite, or abnormal hiding behavior. If you notice these symptoms, it’s essential to act promptly and seek professional advice.

Q8: How often should I feed my Electric Blue Acara?

A: You’ll need to feed Electric Blue Acaras twice a day, providing only the amount they can eat within a few minutes. Overfeeding should be avoided to prevent health complications.

Q9: Is it challenging to care for Electric Blue Acaras?

A: Not at all! Electric Blue Acaras are relatively easy to care for, making them an excellent choice for both novice and experienced aquarists. Their primary requirements include a well-maintained tank, a balanced diet, and companionship from suitable tank mates.