Electric Blue Acara: Lifespan, Behavior, Care, & Breeding

Electric Blue Acara is an attractive, colorful freshwater fish from the Cichlid family. It originates from tropical waters of South America, mainly Venezuela and Trinidad & Tobago. It can be found in both standing waters and flowing streams. Blue Acara is a beautiful looking cichlid; it’s unique colors will make it stand out from the crowd (it’s latin name “pulcher” literally means beautiful when translated into English). On top of that, it’s a relatively peaceful & hardy, medium-sized fish which makes it very flexible and beginner friendly. They also form pairs with other fish from their group and take great care of their eggs. For all these reasons, it’s a fairly popular option in many aquariums across the globe. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at Electric Blue Acara.

Electric Blue Acara lifespan & Size

Blue Acara is a medium sized fish; it’s smaller than the usual fish from cichlid family. In its natural habitat, it can grow up to 8 inches, but in captivity, it usually grows up to about 6 inches at best. It prefers similar medium-sized tanks and environments. They are known to live up to 10 years of age within aquariums.

Behavior & Characteristics

Blue Acara is very much flexible, hardy fish that can adapt to most environments & conditions. Compared to others in their family, they are relatively peaceful and won’t cause too much trouble. This makes it the ideal fish for beginners who are looking to get into keeping Cichlids in their aquariums. Electric Blue Acara prefers peaceful communities of medium to large-sized fish. They are not aggressive but can sometimes display territorial behavior and will fight to defend their chosen territory. Make sure you keep them away from smaller, nano fish (like neon tetras for example) because they may be aggressive towards them.

One of their most unique characteristics is their tendency to dig the bottom below them. They are a digging species so it would be a good idea to provide some fine sand substrate and strong, hardy plants in the mix. They prefer densely planted environments with moderate water flow. Although they are relatively peaceful, make sure you give them enough space by providing slightly larger tanks and give them some spots that they can use as cover when they get stressed.

They are often confused with Green Terror cichlids, who are larger and way more aggressive.

Green Terror Cichlids Side Profile
Green Terror cichlids Source

Perhaps the best thing about this fish is it’s unique body features.

Dazzling Colors

Their name says it all. Electric Blue Acara displays magnificent, iridescent colors that stand out from afar. Their bodies are oval shaped with soft, sharpened, awesome-looking fins. It is covered with mainly blue colors with shades of grey, brown, black & orange stripes all over it. Their colors are truly a thing of beauty, and if you’re looking for some pretty additions to your community, Electric Blue Acara’s are a must-have.

Feeding & Nutrition

You should know that feeding your Blue Acara won’t be a hard task in most cases. They are very flexible when it comes to their food. They are carnivores by nature, so it’s a good idea to provide with a lot of live, frozen, dried meaty food to satisfy their needs.

Here are some options when it comes to feeding them:

  • Bloodworms, Earthworms
  • Brine Shrimp
  • Insects
  • Larvaes
  • Small intervertebrates
  • Cyclops
  • Flakes
  • Pellets

Make sure you feed them at least twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Keep their meals moderate so they don’t overfeed and pollute their tank.

Electric Blue Acara Care, Housing & Tankmates

When it comes to housing and creating the best tank environment for your Blue Acara to thrive, you shouldn’t be having many problems. They are hardy, adaptable, flexible fish that can handle most conditions. They’re suitable for beginners and actually make a very good starting, medium-sized fish. One thing to note is that they really prefer pure, clean water conditions so make sure you renew their water often and provide good canister filters for your tank. When it comes to aquarium settings, try something like this:

  • Tank Size: 30 gallons or more, they’re medium sized so they prefer to have some space
  • Temperatures  of 72–82 °F (22–27 °C)
  • pH levels of 6.0 to 7.5
  • Moderate lighting
  • Moderate water current
  • Renewable, filtered water (Polluted water really stresses them out)

These settings should make your Blue Acara relatively happy. On top of this, it would be great to have densely planted environments with lots of hardy plants, rocks, driftwood, and some hiding spots. They can use it to hide when stressed out and it also comes in handy when they attempt to breed. Additionally, since they’re digging species, give them some fine & soft substrate such as sand so they can dig easily & safely. Make sure your plants are well planted because they may uproot them when digging their way through.

Tank Mates

When it comes to their tank mates, try to keep it in line with the golden rule: similar sized fish. They prefer peaceful communities of medium to large-sized fish. Just make sure you keep them away from small, nano fish as they may display aggressive behavior towards them. Some good tank mates for Blue Acara would be:

  • Cichlids such as Firemouth cichlid, Angelfish, Jaguar Cichlid)
  • Catfish such as Plecosmus, Leopard Pleco, Pictus Catfish)
  • Other medium sized fish like Red Eye Tetras, Rainbow Fish

Electric Blue Acara Breeding & Reproduction

Electric Blue Acara is one of the easiest species to breed in captivity. When they reach the size of about 4 inches, they are able to breed and spawn eggs. They usually don’t require any special conditions, although some options are more preferred than others. Ideally, you want to have a secondary, breeding tank set up before you begin. The temperature should be around 75 °F. Slightly saltier water is also preferred.

When you see a pair of them staying together for longer periods, that’s a good sign that they want to breed. The males are usually more colorful and a little bit larger than females. When you notice this behavior, transfer them to a breeding tank. They will begin cleaning up their spawning spot, and in a short time, the female will spawn her eggs and male will quickly get to work and fertilize them. This process repeats until all eggs have been spawned and fertilized. In about four days, you should see those eggs hatching. The parents will remain guarding the nest until the fry are fully grown.

Electric Blue Acara is a monogamous, pairing species. They stay in couples for life, and unlike many other fish, they display great parental care towards their fry. They will make sure to protect their nest and keep their eggs safe from any incoming threats.  The reason you want the secondary tank is to keep them away from any fish that might disturb them, this will also help avoid unnecessary fighting.


Overall, Electric Blue Acara is a beautiful, flexible, peaceful and easy to take care of fish that’s suitable for most beginners. It’s unique and will surely provide a lot of entertainment for your viewing pleasure. Be sure to give them a shot, and they won’t disappoint you!