Breeding blue acara

Breeding blue acara

What you will need

  • blue acara male

    Blue acara male showing extended dorsal and anal fins

    3 foot tank hood and lights

  • coarse sand or fine gravel
  • 200w heater stat
  • some large flattish stones
  • Some hardy plants with strong roots
  • internal power filter

Blue acara general care and information

They are an attractive species that is easy to care for and easy to breed. They can grow up to 6 inches long. The male has longer dorsal and anal fins which may have a red outline. Temperature should be 75F. Water should have a hardness 15dh with a ph of 7.2 but this is not critical. Most tap water should suffice. 30% water changes with aged water is recommended because they produce a lot of waste. When not breeding they can be kept in a large aquarium with similar robust species. Feed with live food, especially chopped earthworms and a quality pellet food. Even chopped up pieces of fish are welcomed.
They mate for life so it is a good idea to buy 6 or more youngsters and raise them together. When they start to mature they will naturally self select their own mates. Breeding size is about 3.5 inches and over.

Preparation for breeding blue acara

When you see a pair of blue acaras lip locking and staying together then place the pair into the breeding tank. Feed solely with live food 3 or more times a day. Chopped earthwoms are ideal. Raise the temperature to 80F over several days, ie increase by 2 degrees per day.

Blue acara breeding behaviour

female blue acara laying eggs

female blue acara laying eggs on a flattened stone

Both parents will help clean the spawning site. They will also both defend the nest and guard the young from threats.
The female lays a batch of eggs which the male fertilises. Then this is repeated many times until the females eggs have all been laid.
They both take turns in guarding the eggs. They also both clean the eggs with their mouths and fan the eggs. They even help the fry out of their egg shells when they are hatching. Spawns are usually 200-300 in number. Both parents at this time will guard the brood with great determination. It is sometimes a good idea to have dither fish in the tank for the parents to defend against to stop them fighting between themselves.
After breeding and raising the young has finished, they can be ready to breed again after another 2 weeks.


Raising the fry

breeding pair blue acara guarding eggs

breeding pair of blue acara guarding the eggs

The eggs hatch after 4 days. The parents move them to a newly dug pit at this point. After another 4 days in the pit, the fry become free swimming.
Feeding can start with brine shrimp, microworms and daphnia.
Leave the parents with the fry for at least 2 weeks or until they stop caring for the fry. The fry are usually quite safe because blue acara are good parents.



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  1. Karen A Caruso

    I have a blue Acara that I think layed eggs. This fish had a batch in September and I removed what I thought was the male at that time. I raised the fry and then gave a bunch of them away. I kept 2, but they are still very young born the end of September. Will these eggs that the larger fish hatch? Can they be fertilezed by one of the other acaras even though they are so young. And if not fertized what will happen to eggs?

    1. admin

      No young Acara cannot breed until at least 9/10 months old. Unfertilized eggs will attract fungus and die.

  2. Kiara

    I have two blue acara’s one male(about 6″)and one I believe is a female (about 5″), I caught the male doing the spawning dance so I decided to put them both in a breeding tank. The male continue to try but the female acara seems as if she’s not interested. But I saw them glide across one another doing that spawning thing. I am not sure what to expect.

    1. admin

      Most cichlids, (including blue acaras) like to choose their own mate. Having one male and one female does not guarantee you a breeding pair. You should ideally have 5 or more acaras to increase the chance of a compatible couple pairing off.

  3. Lewis

    Do we need to separate the male and female from other fish in tank after the eggs are laid? There are other blue acaras in the tank. It’s a 55 gal tank

    1. admin

      If you can put in a divider that would be ideal because they are quite aggressive, especially when protecting their brood. It is better to remove the other fish than the parents. Disturbing the fish may spook them into eating the brood so take care.

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