Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid (Apistogramma cacatuoides), Tank-Bred
This very colorful dwarf cichlid is the nominal form of the Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid (Apistogramma cacatuoides) and is a great feature fish for almost any aquarium!
The Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid (Apistogramma cacatuoides) is one of the most beautifully colored and most popular dwarf cichlids in the freshwater aquarium hobby. Males are particularly colorful, boasting incredible blue and tan body coloration and vivid orange, yellow, and violet on the ample dorsal fin as well as the tail and anal fin. Other colors can also be present as the fish reaches maturity. As with most dwarf cichlids, females are less colorful, but still have an attractive appearance and plenty of personality.
The Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid will thrive in an aquarium with a sandy substrate and plenty of refuge such as clay pots, driftwood, and rock formations. It is an excellent candidate for the planted aquarium, but it also needs a fair amount of open space. This cichlid is generally compatible with other peaceful fish as long as it has plenty of space. Territoriality is typically at its peak during spawning. Dwarf shrimp and other small, delicate invertebrates should not be kept with the Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid, but more durable, larger shrimp and snails could possibly make good tankmates in a large enough aquarium. If spawning is desired, tankmates of other species should be kept to a minimum or avoided altogether.
Feeding is simple for the unfussy Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid. High-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods will all be readily accepted. Quality and variety are the keys to a diet that will ensure that this fish maintains optimal health and coloration.
- Beautiful multi-coloration, especially in males
- Hardy with plenty of personality
- Possible to breed in the aquarium
- Compatible with many other species in a spacious tank
- Thrives in the planted aquarium
- Temperature: 72° - 84° F (22° - 29° C)
- pH: 6.0 - 7.0, tank-raised specimens are more flexible regarding pH level
- KH: 2 – 15 KH
- Minimum tank size: 15 - 20 gallons for a pair, but a larger tank is required for a group
- Diet: Carnivorous. A variety of high-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods is necessary for optimal health and coloration.
- Social behavior: Congregates loosely in groups. Males can be territorial when attempting to spawn and females are very protective of their eggs during spawning.
- Origin: Tank-bred, but indigenous to South America
- Average adult size: 3 inches (7.5 cm) for males, 2 inches (5 cm) for females
- Average purchase size: 1.5 - 2 inches (3.8 - 5 cm)