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The Enthralling World of Uaru Cichlids: Care, Diet, and Tank Mates

uaru cichlid
<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Uaru_amphiacanthoides_Singapore.jpg">Brent Tibbats</a>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0">CC BY 3.0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons

The Uaru Cichlid, also known as Uaru amphiacanthoides, is a remarkable species in the Cichlidae family, recognized for its distinctive appearance and serene nature. This freshwater fish is native to the Amazon Basin in South America and thrives in clear streams, particularly in the blackwater and whitewater habitats. The Uaru Cichlid is a common sight in its natural habitat and is also frequently encountered in the aquarium trade.

Uaru Cichlids can live in any part of the fish tank without any problem. They are adaptive creatures, thriving both in the wild and in well-maintained aquariums. Their preference for soft, slightly acidic water, with temperatures between 82 and 86 °F, reflects their native conditions.

These fish have a varied diet, leaning towards plant-based foods. In their natural habitat, they primarily feed on plant matter, supplemented occasionally by invertebrates and freshwater sponges. To ensure the well-being of aquarium inhabitants, it is crucial to provide them with a well-rounded diet comprising vegetables, as well as occasional meaty treats like bloodworms and chopped shrimp.

Due to their peaceful nature, they are an excellent option for community tanks, but it is important to house them with species of similar size to prevent any aggressive behavior. Uaru Cichlids, which can reach a size of 10 to 12 inches, thrive in generously sized tanks, ideally with a capacity of at least 75 gallons, to cater for their impressive stature and sociable behavior.

In terms of coloration, these fish are truly a sight to behold. Their bodies generally exhibit a greenish-brown hue with distinctive blotchy black areas on their sides. Interestingly, their color can intensify during spawning, adding to their visual appeal.

Delving into the historical aspect, Uaru Cichlids have been a part of the local ecosystem and culture for ages. Not only do they make a fascinating addition to home aquariums, but they also serve as a vital source of sustenance for native populations.

Fun fact about Uaru Cichlids: they are known to be somewhat of plant enthusiasts in the tank, often nibbling on, or even completely consuming, the aquatic flora. This behavior is a testament to their herbivorous diet and should be considered when planning tank decorations.

In conclusion, the Uaru Cichlid is a captivating species, offering both visual appeal and an intriguing personality. A serene and beautiful aquatic companion can be obtained by providing them with proper care in terms of tank conditions, diet, and selecting suitable tank mates. Attention to detail is crucial for achieving this rewarding companionship.

Key Information

The Uaru Cichlid, a distinctive species of cichlid indigenous to South America, especially in the Amazon Basin, is an intriguing choice for any aquarium. While they may lack an extensive selection of color options, the subtle shifts in their coloration, particularly during the spawning season, are truly remarkable. This species is known for its peaceful demeanor, making it a suitable choice for community tanks with similar-sized fish.

PriceVaries based on size, age, and source
Common NamesUaru, Triangle Cichlid
VariantsPrimarily Uaru amphiacanthoides and Uaru fernandezyepezi
Ideal Tank SizeAt least 75 gallons, preferably 125 gallons or more
Water ParameterspH: 6-7 (slightly acidic to neutral), Temperature: 82-86°F (27-30°C), Soft water up to 5°dH​​​
Lifespan8-12 years, some may live up to 15 years with optimal care
Full Size10-12 inches in aquariums, up to 14 inches in the wild​
Natural EnvironmentBlackwater and whitewater habitats in the Amazon Basin
BehaviorPeaceful, schooling, can be aggressive towards smaller fish
Habitat PreferencePrefers blackwater rivers with soft, slightly acidic water
Aquarium DecorationWell-planted with driftwood, rocks; live plants may be eaten​​​
Ideal Tank MatesMedium to large Cichlids, other similar-sized peaceful fish
Fish to AvoidSignificantly smaller or overly aggressive species
Best Foods/DietMainly herbivores; prefer plant-based diet supplemented with occasional meaty foods like bloodworms and chopped shrimp​​​
DiseaseResistant to most diseases; can be prone to ich and hole-in-the-head disease​
Sex-SwitchNot applicable
Gender DifferencesSubtle; males slightly larger with more elongated fins, females rounder especially when carrying eggs​
Care LevelIntermediate; requires attention to water quality and diet
Breeding LevelModerate; open breeders, parents care for eggs and larvae​

Ideal Tank Mates

When selecting ideal tank mates for Uaru Cichlids, it’s crucial to consider their peaceful nature, size, and environmental needs. Uaru Cichlids thrive in a community setting with other similarly-sized and temperamentally compatible fish. They are generally peaceful and do well with species that are not overly aggressive or small enough to be considered prey. Moreover, since Uaru Cichlids are found in soft, slightly acidic water environments, their tank mates should also thrive under these conditions.

Here are 15 ideal tank mates for Uaru Cichlids, along with explanations for their compatibility:

1. Angelfish (Pterophyllum sp.)

Angelfish are a popular choice for community aquariums with Uaru Cichlids. They share a similar preference for water conditions and are generally peaceful, making them compatible with the tranquil nature of Uaru Cichlids.

2. Discus (Symphysodon sp.)

Discus fish, known for their striking colors and patterns, are another ideal companion. They require similar water parameters and are also peaceful, making them suitable tank mates for Uaru Cichlids.

3. Severum (Heros severus)

Severums are large, peaceful cichlids that can coexist well with Uaru Cichlids. They share similar water parameter needs and are not overly aggressive, ensuring a harmonious tank environment.

4. Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus)

Oscars are larger cichlids that, despite their size, have a generally peaceful demeanor. They can be a good match for Uaru Cichlids, provided the tank is sufficiently large to accommodate both species comfortably.

5. Geophagus sp.

Geophagus, a group of eartheater cichlids, are known for their peaceful nature and interesting behavior. They are compatible with Uaru Cichlids due to similar water preferences and their non-aggressive behavior.

6. Green Terror (Andinoacara rivulatus)

Green Terrors can be suitable tank mates for Uaru Cichlids in larger aquariums. They are relatively peaceful towards similarly sized fish and share similar environmental preferences.

7. Jack Dempsey (Rocio octofasciata)

Jack Dempseys are robust and can coexist with Uaru Cichlids when given enough space. They share similar water condition needs and are typically peaceful with larger, non-aggressive fish.

8. Electric Blue Acara (Andinoacara pulcher)

This stunning cichlid is known for its vibrant blue coloration and peaceful temperament, making it an excellent companion for Uaru Cichlids in a community tank.

9. Bristlenose Pleco (Ancistrus sp.)

Bristlenose Plecos are peaceful bottom dwellers that can coexist with Uaru Cichlids. They help keep the tank clean by feeding on algae and are not competitive with Uaru Cichlids for food.

10. Silver Dollar (Metynnis sp.)

Silver Dollars are peaceful schooling fish that can be a great addition to a Uaru Cichlid tank. Their size and peaceful nature make them unlikely to be bullied or to bully Uaru Cichlids.

11. Corydoras Catfish (Corydoras sp.)

Corydoras are small, peaceful bottom dwellers that are excellent for community tanks. They do not compete with Uaru Cichlids for territory and are great for keeping the substrate clean.

12. Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus)

Clown Loaches are peaceful and active bottom dwellers. They are compatible with Uaru Cichlids due to their peaceful nature and similar water parameter requirements.

13. Festivum (Mesonauta festivus)

The Festivum, also known as the flag cichlid, is a peaceful species that can coexist well with Uaru Cichlids, sharing similar water conditions and dietary needs.

14. Blood Parrot Cichlid (Hybrid)

Despite being a hybrid species, Blood Parrot Cichlids are known for their peaceful nature and can be a colorful and compatible tank mate for Uaru Cichlids.

15. Rainbowfish (Melanotaeniidae sp.)

Rainbowfish are active, colorful, and generally peaceful, making them suitable tank mates for Uaru Cichlids. They add a splash of color and activity to the aquarium without causing stress to the Uarus.

When introducing any new fish to a tank with Uaru Cichlids, it’s essential to monitor their interactions initially to ensure compatibility and to avoid potential territorial disputes. Additionally, providing a spacious tank with adequate hiding spots and maintaining optimal water conditions is crucial for the well-being of all the inhabitants.


How do Uaru Cichlids interact with live plants in the aquarium?

Uaru Cichlids are known for their tendency to eat or damage live plants in the aquarium. This behavior is due to their natural herbivorous diet. It’s often recommended to use sturdy plants or consider alternatives like artificial plants or decorations that can withstand their nibbling.

Can Uaru Cichlids coexist with invertebrates in the tank?

While Uaru Cichlids are generally peaceful, their compatibility with invertebrates like shrimp or snails depends on individual temperaments and sizes. Larger invertebrates may coexist peacefully, but there’s always a risk with smaller species, as they could be seen as food.

What are the signs of stress or illness in Uaru Cichlids?

Signs of stress or illness in Uaru Cichlids include lethargy, loss of appetite, faded coloration, and abnormal swimming patterns. Physical signs like white spots or lesions can also indicate disease. Maintaining optimal water conditions and regular health checks are crucial for their well-being.

How does the social structure of Uaru Cichlids affect their tank placement?

Uaru Cichlids are schooling fish and prefer to be kept in groups for their social well-being. A solitary Uaru might become stressed or aggressive. It’s recommended to keep them in groups of at least six for a harmonious tank environment.

What specific water flow conditions do Uaru Cichlids prefer?

Uaru Cichlids originate from slow-moving blackwater rivers, so they prefer low to moderate water flow in the aquarium. Strong currents can stress them out, so it’s important to replicate their natural habitat’s calm water conditions.

Are there specific lighting requirements for Uaru Cichlids?

Uaru Cichlids do not have specific lighting requirements, but they thrive in conditions that mimic their natural habitat. Moderate lighting is suitable, with some shaded areas provided by plants or decorations to offer refuge.

How do Uaru Cichlids respond to changes in their environment?

Uaru Cichlids can be sensitive to sudden changes in their environment, including shifts in water parameters, tank rearrangements, or the introduction of new tank mates. Gradual changes and acclimatization are key to keeping them stress-free.

Is there a particular breeding season for Uaru Cichlids in captivity?

In captivity, Uaru Cichlids do not have a specific breeding season and can breed year-round under the right conditions. However, factors like water temperature, diet, and overall tank environment can influence their breeding behavior.


  1. A-Z Animals: “Uaru Cichlid Fish Facts | Uaru amphiacanthoides”
  2. AquariumNexus: “Uaru Cichlid Care: Complete Guide for Beginners”
  3. Wikipedia: “Uaru amphiacanthoides”
  4. Fish Laboratory: “Uaru Cichlid (Uaru amphiacanthoides): Ultimate Care Guide”
  5. Wikipedia: “Uaru”
  6. AquariumDomain: “Uaru Cichlid”
  7. FishAcademia: “Uaru Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More”
  8. Learn the Aquarium: “Uaru Cichlid: The Ultimate Guide to Keeping These Unique Fish”
  9. Encyclopedia of Life: “Uaru Cichlid articles”
  10. Wild Explained: “Caring for Uaru Cichlids: A Comprehensive Guide”
  11. Animal-World: “Uaru Cichlid”
  12. Meet the Pet: “Uaru Cichlid Care Made Simple: Size, Tank and Feeding”

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A long-time freshwater fish enthusiast with a passion for sharing knowledge about this fascinating hobby. Over the years, Michelle has dedicated countless hours to studying, learning, and experiencing firsthand the joys and challenges of fish-keeping.

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