- Scientific name: Acarichthys heckelii
- Common name: Thread-finned Acara, Threadfin Acara
- Synonyms:Acara heckelii, Acara subocalaris, Aequidens subocularis, Geophagus thayeri
- Group: Cichlids
- Habitat: South America; Guyana, Brazil, Peru
- Size: 22 cm.
- Biotope: Found in shallow, clearwater ponds and rivers over a mix of sand and peat substrates. It also moves into flooded areas during the wet season.
- Social behavior: Territorial, the animals are relatively quiet and peaceful.
- Diet: Omnivorous; All types of live food (aquatic insects and their larvae, large daphnia, tubifex, earthworms). After acclimation the animals also accept beef heart, shrimp and tablet food. They preferring to feed from the substrate.
- Breeding: Hard
- Tank: Minimum 300 litres.
- Population: 1 pair for 300 litres
- Decoration: Build some caves out of stones, provide plenty of shelter and hiding places out of roots. The roots can extend up to the water surface. Leave enough swimming space too. Use sand as substrate. Regular partial water changes are important.
- Temperature: 22-27°C
- pH: 6-7
- Hardness: 5-15 NK°
- Lifespan: 6-8 years
Description: The Thread-finned Acaras have a base color of tan to gray, with slight, vertical banding and gold to green, iridescent scales on their flanks. They also have a darker spot into the middle of their flanks on either side. They have a pointed snout, rounded caudal fin and pointed dorsal and anal fins. The dorsal, caudal and anal fins has extended rays, more evident in males, giving it their common name. They also have iridescent gold to green patterns on their operculum as well as a variety of blue-green, gold and red markings on their fins. Like other Geophagus species, the Threadfins will continuously sift through sand and other substrate in search of food.
The females are somewhat fuller at spawning time, while males have longer finnage and are more vibrant in colour. A strong bond forms between the breeding parents. It is best to start off with a group of 6 or 8 young fish in order to obtain a pair. Once a pair forms it's best to remove the other fish, as they'll consider the entire tank as their territory. After a sometimes intense courtship, spawning occurs in a cave. Normally the spawn is laid on the celling of the cave. The white eggs are always laid in groups of 5-6 with free spaces in between; there are several hunded eggs. Larvae hatch after about 3 days and become free-swimming after an additional 3. They then have a length of about 4 mm. The female stays in the cave, and the male defends the opening of the cave, and the territory. Feed the young with Artemia nauplii, crumbled flake food and egg yolk.
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(Blue tetra, Cochu's Blue Tetra)
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