Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid Apistogramma cacatuoides | PicturesSynonyms: Apistogramma
marmoratus, A. U-2 Physical description: Males have highly developed fins.
The dorsal fin's first three to five rays are
elongated and stand out among the others.
The dorsal tip comes to a sharp, elongated point.
The caudal fin is forked and the anal
fin's tip comes to a point.
Females, by contrast, have less elaborate fins.
The male's coloring depends on its population,
and thus can be varied.
The most common variety has a brown to gray body coloring.
The belly is golden-brown as are the
anal, pelvic, and dorsal fins.
The anal fin is edged with a blue-green fringe, as are the pelvic fins.
The pointed dorsal rays are tipped with
orange, that become green before reaching the main part of the fin, which is gold.
The body is marked with one lateral
stripe that extends from the eye to the caudal fin.
Below this stripe are three shorter lines.
Depending on the mood of the fish, five
to seven broad bands are visible on the upper back.
The eye is marked with a stripe that extends down to the corner of
the gill cover.
The tail green with a series of red spots on the upper lobe.
Females are much drabber in color.
Size/Length: Males to 3.5" (9 cm), females to 2" (5 cm)
Similar species: Banded Dwarf Cichlid (
Habitat: Shallow, still to slow-moving bodies of water with leaf litter as a substrate.
species inhabits clear and white water bodies of water.
South America; Yavari River along the border of Brazil and Peru.
Aquarium: The tank should measure around 32" (81 cm) with a capacity of 30 gallons (114 L).
a cover of floating plants to diffuse the lighting.
The substrate should be dark.
The tank should be heavily planted with
many hiding areas among rocks, wood, and roots.
Cover the tank well.
Water chemistry: pH 6.2-7.7 (6.7), 5-16 dH (10), 75-81°F (24-27°C)
Social behavior: A territorial fish that can be combined with other
Apistogramma species, catfish, and schooling
fish of the upper swimming levels.
Males form harems, thus one male should be kept with several females.
are pugnacious during the spawning season and may attack other fish in the tank-including the females.
Suggested companions: Corydoras
, tetras, pencilfish, hatchetfish, Loricarids,
FOOD: Live; crustaceans, insects, insect larvae; flakes; pellets; tablets; finely chopped
SEX: Males develop the characteristic 'peacock' crest, are larger and more colorful.
male's caudal fin is forked.
Breeding techniques: Use water with a pH from 6.8-7.2, a water hardness of 10 dH, and a temperature 79-84°F
Each female should be provided with a cave or over-turned flower pot to defend.
females lay up to 100 eggs on the ceiling of the site.
The female guards the eggs, while the male guards the harem territory.
eggs hatch after three to four days.
Start feeding with roftiers, after a week or two, the fry can be fed
As the fry grow, they may change from one mother to another.
Breeding potential: 7.
Breeding is fairly difficult.
Remarks: The Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid requires frequent partial water changes in order to prosper.
different color variations have been exported including a popular red-spotted form.
Well-maintained water leads to the beautiful
colors that this fish is known to develop.
Difficulty of care: 5.
The Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid is among the hardiest of all