Cichlids / South America / Acaras / Saddle Cichlid

Saddle Cichlid, Two-spot Acara
Aequidens tetramerus

SYN: Acara dimerus, A. tetramerus, A. viridis, Chromis punctata, C. uniocellatus
PD: An oval shaped cichlid with a large forehead. The body coloration is split at a lateral black stripe. Above the stripe the coloration is dusty-brown, while below the stripe the coloration is off-white. Some populations may have broad bands on the body, while others may not. There is an obvious black spot on the upper part of the caudal penuncle, and a duller one on the cheek. The cheek may have iridescent, worm-like markings.
SIZE: To 10" (25 cm)
SS: L. viridis
HAB: Found in still and slow moving water throughout South America (Guyanas, Venezuela, Brazil, Columbia, Peru). Several different populations are known to exist.
S: bottom, middle
TANK: The Saddle Cichlid requires a tank measuring at least 48 (122 cm) with a capacity of 55 gallons (209 L). The Saddle Cichlid requires frequent, partial water changes to thrive. Provide open swimming areas with retreats and hiding places of wood, roots, and rocks. This cichlid will burrow, so only use well-rooted, hardy plants, if plants are desired.
WATER: pH 6-7.5 (6.7), dH 3-18 (6), 73-81°F (23-27°C).
SB: A territorial fish that can be kept with other Aequidens and Cichlasoma species. Pairs form nuclear families and are excellent parents.
SC: Cichlasomines from South and Central America, Pimelodids, Loricarids, Doradids, Silver Dollars, Pacus, Arawana.
FOOD: Live; fish, worms, shrimp, insect larvae; pellets; tablets
SEX: Differentiating between the sexes is difficult. Males are usually more colorful and have pointed anal and dorsal fins.
B: Use water with a pH around 6.5, that has a hardness between 5-10 dH, and make frequent partial water changes. The female lays up to 1000 eggs on rocks and roots. The parents aggressively guard the fry, which hatch after 3-4 days and are free-swimming in 3-5 more. Start feeding with nauplii and roftiers.
BP: 7. The Saddle Cichlid is not an easy fish to breed.
R: The Saddle Cichlid is eaten as a food fish in its natural habitat. Most fish available to the hobby are captive-bred, and have, as a result, lost some color. Wild-caught fish are rarely imported, but are a great find. The color of this fish depends on the habitat where it originated.
DC: 6. An aggressive cichlid that must be fed live foods.

By Rhett Butler


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