electric blue acara

Electric Blue Acara 101: A Cool Fish That Everyone Can Keep

The Electric Blue Acara is an increasingly popular freshwater fish that’s not only beautiful to behold, but also quite manageable to take care of. It’s from South and Central America and you can find it in slow-moving waters like a lot of cichlids. Despite being a cichlid, the Electric Blue Acara is surprisingly peaceful and won’t cause any issues with tank mates. With a lifespan of 8-10 years, this fish makes for a great companion and is great for anyone interested in owning an aquarium.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about Electric Blue Acara Care, Tank Mates, and Breeding. 

Electric Blue Acara
An image of a single Electric Blue Acara swimming amongst lush plants and rocks, surrounded by bright neon colors

What is the Electric Blue Acara? 

The Electric Blue Acara (Andinoacara pulcher) is in the Cichlidae family and becoming increasingly popular among aquarists. They originate from the rivers, deep streams, and lakes of South and Central America which provide them with slow-moving waters. Surprisingly, they are not as aggressive as other cichlids, making them a great choice for those looking for a fish that won’t cause any trouble in the tank. 

One thing that sets the Electric Blue Acara apart from other fish is its extraordinary blue coloring. This fish’s body glows with a light yet vibrant blue shading. The top edge of the dorsal fin has an electric yellow/orange hue that really stands out against the rest of the blue body, while a faint yellow hue is seen closer toward the front side. Combined with their scales, these fish really pack a punch when it comes to appearance. 


That electric appearance isn’t the only impressive thing about this fish, its lifespan isn’t bad either! In captivity, the Electric Blue Acara can live for up to 10 years. In the wild, this lifespan can be extended to a cool 20 years. 

Like other aquarium pets, the Electric Blue Acara’s lifespan can be affected by water quality, living conditions, and stress. Taking proper care of them will ensure that your fish lives a long and healthy life. 

Electric Blue Acara Care 

When it comes to Electric Blue Acara Care, you don’t need to be too worried. These fish don’t require a lot of hassle when taking care of them, which makes them great for those that are just getting into the hobby. 

Tank size is the first thing to consider. The recommended tank size for an Electric Blue Acara is 30 gallons, which allows them enough space to swim around and be active. If you’re looking to keep multiple fish in the same tank, add 15 gallons per extra Electric Blue Acara. 

Water parameters also play a huge part in Electric Blue Acara Care, so you’ll want to make sure all your requirements are met. You’ll want the pH level to be in the range of 6.0-7.5 and the temperature to sit between 68-79℉ (20-26℃). A water flow of around 2X the size of the tank will prevent stagnation. 

Tank Mates 

One of the major perks to Electric Blue Acara is that they are generally peaceful and get along with most tank mates. However, there are some fish you should avoid putting together with these cichlids for the sake of their safety and health. Here is a list of safe and unsafe tank mates for Electric Blue Acara:

Safe Tank Mates:

  • Angelfish
  • Discus
  • Geophagus species
  • Plecostomus species
  • Other South American cichlids such as Green Terror, Jack Dempsey, and Firemouth
  • Other peaceful community fish like tetras, rasboras, and gouramis

Unsafe Tank Mates:

  • Other cichlids such as Oscars, Convict Cichlids, and Texas Cichlids
  • Other territorial fish such as Arowana, Bichir, and Pufferfish
  • Slow-moving or long-finned fish like Guppies, Siamese Fighting Fish, and Bettas
  • Shrimp and other small invertebrates

It’s important to provide plenty of hiding places, rocks, and caves in the aquarium for Electric Blue Acara to retreat, and to also provide plenty of swimming space. Electric Blue Acara should be kept in a minimum tank size of 50 gallons and housed with similarly sized fish to reduce aggression.


If you want to get into breeding with your Electric Blue Acara, then you can do so quite easily. You’ll need to make sure the tank is well-maintained, and if possible try to mimic their natural environment as much as you can. 

The female will lay eggs on plants or in rock crevices, while the male will adopt a more protective stance and guard them. Within 24 hours, the eggs will hatch and become fry. The parents, however, may not always stick around to look after them so you’ll have to take on this role yourself. 

Electric Blue Acara Diet 

The Electric Blue Acara is an omnivorous fish that does well on high-quality flake, frozen or freeze-dried food. Meaty foods like brine shrimp, black worms, and bloodworms should also be added to their diet. It’s important to remember to feed them more than once a day, but in small amounts and avoid overfeeding. 

Vegetables and fruits like spinach, zucchini, and cucumber are also accepted by the Electric Blue Acara. 

Water Changes 

Water quality and water changes play an important role in the health and well-being of Electric Blue Acara (Andinoacara pulcher). Proper water maintenance helps to maintain a stable and healthy aquarium environment for your fish.

1. Water temperature

Electric Blue Acara prefers a water temperature between 74-82°F (23-28°C). Maintaining consistent water temperature is important to prevent stress and disease.

2. pH level

A pH level of 7.0-8.0 is ideal for Electric Blue Acara. Rapid changes in pH levels can be harmful to the fish, so it’s important to maintain a stable pH level.

3. Water hardness

Electric Blue Acara prefers a water hardness between 8-12 dKH. Water hardness should be consistent to prevent stress and disease.

4. Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels

Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels should always be kept at 0 ppm. High levels of these toxins can be lethal to fish.

5. Water changes

Regular water changes are important to maintain a healthy aquarium environment. A water change of 20-30% every 2 weeks is recommended to keep ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels at 0 ppm and to prevent the buildup of harmful waste products.

6. Dechlorination

Before performing water changes, it’s important to dechlorinate the tap water to remove any chlorine or chloramines that can be harmful to fish.

7. Gradual water changes

It’s important to perform water changes gradually to avoid rapid changes in water parameters that can be stressful to the fish.

8. Water conditioner

Using a water conditioner to remove harmful chemicals and add essential minerals to the water is recommended.

In conclusion, water changes are an essential part of proper aquarium maintenance and should not be overlooked. Regular water changes, along with monitoring and maintaining consistent water parameters, will help keep your Electric Blue Acara healthy and thriving.

Biological Filtration 

The Electric Blue Acara will do best with a strong biological filtration system. You can either choose to use a hang-on filter or get a canister filter. Make sure the filter is powerful enough to handle the size of the tank and keep it clean. 


Plants can make for great tank decorations and provide areas for the Electric Blue Acara to hide from others.

1. Amazon Sword (Echinodorus Amazonicus): Amazon Sword is a hardy and fast-growing plant that is well-suited for the Electric Blue Acara aquarium. It provides hiding places for the fish and helps to reduce nitrates in the water.

2. Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus): Java Fern is a low-light, slow-growing plant that is ideal for the Electric Blue Acara aquarium. It is easy to care for and does not require a lot of maintenance.

3. Anubias (Anubias barteri): Anubias is a low-maintenance plant that is well-suited for the Electric Blue Acara aquarium. It is a slow-growing plant that is ideal for aquariums with low-light conditions.

4. Vallisneria (Vallisneria americana): Vallisneria is a hardy and fast-growing plant that is ideal for the Electric Blue Acara aquarium. It provides hiding places for the fish and helps to reduce nitrates in the water.

5. Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum): Hornwort is a floating plant that is ideal for the Electric Blue Acara aquarium. It provides shade and shelter for the fish and helps to reduce nitrates in the water.

6. Cryptocoryne (Cryptocoryne species): Cryptocoryne is a slow-growing plant that is well-suited for the Electric Blue Acara aquarium. It provides hiding places for the fish and helps to reduce nitrates in the water.

7. Water Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis): Water Wisteria is a fast-growing plant that is ideal for the Electric Blue Acara aquarium. It provides shade and shelter for the fish and helps to reduce nitrates in the water.

By adding these live plants to the Electric Blue Acara aquarium can provide a natural and attractive environment for the fish.


Bright lighting will help bring out the vibrant colors of the Electric Blue Acara and also helps simulate natural conditions. Aim to have a 6500K LED light installed over the tank and replace the light bulbs every 6 months to ensure you’re getting the best from your aquarium.


The Electric Blue Acara does not require any special heating requirements. An adjustable aquarium heater set to 78°F (25°C) should suffice to keep the tank at the desired temperature. A thermometer should be used to monitor the water temperature. 


Electric Blue Acaras should not be kept with smaller fish as they may prey on them. However, they get along well with larger, similarly-sized fish like Barbs, Catfish, Gouramis and Plecos. It’s best to avoid any aggressive species that may pick on the Acara. 


When bringing home a new Electric Blue Acara or adding new fish to the tank, acclimatization is key. Introduce the fish to the tank slowly by floating the bag in the aquarium for 15-30 minutes before releasing it. This helps the fish to adjust to its new environment with minimal stress. 

Tank Maintenance 

Regular maintenance of the tank is vital to keeping the water quality high. Vacuum the gravel and remove uneaten food and waste from the tank, and perform water changes weekly. Algae growth can become an issue in aquariums, so be sure to scrub away any algae buildup whenever necessary. 


Taking the time to cycle the aquarium before adding the Electric Blue Acara can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. The nitrogen cycle allows beneficial bacteria to break down toxic fish waste, turning it into harmless substances. This can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks to complete, so make sure to give it enough time.


The Electric Blue Acara is an excellent fish if you’re looking for something that’s both peaceful, attractive, and easy to take care of. With a lifespan of 8-10 years, you can build a strong bond with this cichlid that you won’t get with shorter-lived fish. With proper care and tank mates, you can easily create an aquatic paradise in your home.