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Akara turquoise – fish with a complex character and caring heart

Many aquarists know this fish as a “green terrorist” or “blue horror” aquarium, but many people owe it to their addiction to breeding American cichlids. This is Akara turquoise (Andinoacara rivulatus) – a bright, beautiful and very characteristic fish, which can hardly be called a cute baby.

Why does this large (up to 30 cm), massive and big-headed fish enjoy unchanged popularity while continuing to wear such menacing nicknames?

Albert Karl Ludwig Gotgelf Günther (1830-1914) – German zoologist, known to all aquarists for his work on the creation of an 8-mitomnik catalog of fish (“Catalog of fishes”), for the first time gave a full description of the turquoise acre back in 1860

In the chapter on the “green terrorist”, he clearly attributed this fish to the cichlid family – Cichlidae, and said that the fish came to Europe from South America, where it freely lived in the rivers of Peru and Ecuador, preferring to rocky-sandy, poorly pierced by the sun. shallow waters. Hiding under large stones and dark snags, this iridescent aggressor attacked the larvae, insects, small invertebrates and other smaller fish.

In his writings, Albert Günther made no difference between an acre of turquoise Andinoacara rivulatus and an acre of the blue-spotted Aequidens pulcher, attributing them to one species.

For novice fish farmers, these differences are so insignificant that it is not worth dwelling on them in detail.

It is worth emphasizing such a detail: on the aggression scale, “blue horror” received as many as 80 points out of a possible 100, but cichlid lovers found ways to tame such a tough acre by choosing the right content for the fish and the right neighbors for it.

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What makes this fish a decoration for home aquariums is, in fact, a great protective coloring for its natural habitat. Shimmering turquoise-silver scales, bright yellow-orange-red edging along a rounded tail and pointed dorsal fin, striped “tiger” on the face and gill covers – there is no better masking in the dark, flowing water, mottled with thin sun rays. In the variegated play of the waves and sunbeams, the fish trapping its live prey is almost imperceptible, even such large and wide as turquoise akara.

The dark, irregularly shaped spot in the center of the bluish-turquoise corps of this cichlid suggests a properly trained commando, who has already shaved his face with dark paint, trying as much as possible to merge with the environment.

In females, the pattern on the face is continuous, but in males the lines are separated by dark stripes.

Sexual dimorphism is expressed very clearly. Not only is the male larger and brighter than the female, it is also endowed with a special decoration – fatty growth on the high dome-shaped forehead.

The female “wears” the forehead gently sloping, and her anal fins do not go into her braids with age. The older the male, the larger the bump on his forehead, and with good care, these fish are quite down to 10-12 years of age.

The younger generation of Akara of turquoise does not strive for excesses: everything is completely in blue glitter, without any “bells and whistles”. It is possible to determine the sex of a fish only after half a year, when young people begin to break up into pairs, trying to get offspring, and then the males will begin to grow their “battle horn”, and the females will become unusually expressive and aggressive, a sort of beauty, charm and harsh tyranny towards all other inhabitants of the aquarium.

In normal cichlids, females are timid, relying entirely on the protection of their chosen one, the female Akara clearly makes it clear to everyone around her – “she’s the same mother” and “you — here — not — stood”!

With such a behavior of a “mysterious” couple of “green terrorists”, one should try to create the most comfortable conditions for them to “nest”.

The size of the acara turquoise depends on the volume of the aquarium. If the blue horror movies are still young, you can put them in a 100-liter jar.

If you purchased a fish that grew to 20 cm and more, then without a 250-liter capacity is not enough.

Creating a habitat for a couple of cancer (more than one aquarium and not needed!) Try to give it a familiar “home” atmosphere for these fish:

  1. a couple of snags,
  2. spawning flat stone
  3. and a couple more large stones for shelter,
  4. a ground, without sharp corners, a ground where Akaras could fumble for their pleasure,
  5. coarse sand,
  6. unpretentious rigid plants with a strong root system so that the “green terrorists” inadvertently do not undermine weak roots,
  7. Mandatory filtration and aeration devices in the stagnant aquarium water.

Now, when everything is collected, all this must be properly fixed, because Akara fish is not small and can arrange everything at its discretion in the shortest possible time.

Since this cichlid has a high level of metabolism (quickly dirts the water), you will have to change 30% of the water weekly and maintain the temperature to 22 * ​​C.

The rest of turquoise akara is not very demanding, and if you have friendly relations with your neighbors, you will behave calmly, even phlegmatically.

You can hook up to a couple of black-striped tsihlazom (only not redheads!), Severiums, parrots, get along well with catfish, if they are more than 10 cm, the exception will be only Clarias, red-tailed catfish, pseudoplatistom.

Small aquarium fish, such as an angelfish, should not be moved in: you want to breed fish and not feed one species to another!

Here, there will be no problems with food: Akaras are voracious and “toss” everything, here you have to make sure that you don’t overfeed your meat.

When it comes time to acquire offspring, Akara turquoise becomes even more beautiful and brighter, the blue tint of scales is filled with neon light. It happens by the age of 8 months.

Having taken a fancy to the flat stone, the male begins to stimulate the female to breed by pushing him, pushing her to the “nest”, telling her with all his behavior that breeding is an urgent matter and it’s time to start.

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