Hello dear readers of my aquarium diary. In today’s article we will continue to meet with representatives of the Cichlov family and on the agenda we have silver Akara or Akara Mehta. In nature, this cichlid is found in the Meta River and its multiple tributaries, the basin of which is located on the territory of Colombia.
As you already understood, the name of the fish was due to its habitat.
Akara Meta is painted in silver-blue color, and in rare cases on the body you can see a beige or purple hue. In view of the presence of a beige shade, the fish is also called silver acara. Fish scales have dark edges, which creates an interesting net pattern on the fish’s body.
It is extremely rare that a black stripe runs along the entire side of the fish, but mostly there is a dark spot with an orange border instead.
Also on the body of the fish you can see orange stripes, which become especially bright when the cichlid is caring for its offspring. The same stripes can be seen above the eyes and on the forehead of the aquatic animal.
There is also a dark spot on the upper lobe of the caudal fin. On the gill covers there are long spots that are surrounded by mother-of-pearl stripes and dots.
The fins of the fish are brown with blue dots other than the anal, on which there are no spots and dots. As they grow older, the males acquire a fat cone. Females are smaller than males and they do not have such a bright color.
Under natural conditions, Akara Meta grows in length to 20 centimeters, but in conditions of bondage she rarely exceeds the 12-centimeter mark.
The volume of the aquarium for the content of silver cancer must be at least 150 liters. As neighbors to Akara, only large and active fish can be hooked, for example, large barbs and other cichlids of similar size.
It is not recommended to be hooked to the Akars of the vualic and sedentary fish, because its temper can be quite aggressive. The fish is not picky about the chemical parameters of water, it can perfectly feel itself in water with a hardness of 5-15 degrees, an acidity of 6.5-7.8 pH and a temperature of 20 to 27 degrees.
Do not forget every week to make water changes for fresh in the amount of 1/3 of the volume. In the aquarium with acaras, it is better to plant hard-leaved aquarium plants (Anubias Nana, Apono-Hedge-leaved, Bolbitis Gedeloti, Lagengen Meebold, Thailand Crinum) so that the fish do not nibble their leaves.
Potted plants are also welcome, because cichlids like to swarm in the soil, and this often causes plants to be uprooted from the substrate. In view of this feature, the aquarium soil should be without sharp stones and preferably large.
Filtration and aeration in the aquarium is a must.
The presence in the aquarium of all sorts of shelters of snags and large stones is welcomed. Feed fish can be granulated special food, live food of small size, pieces of fish and squid.
Akars especially love small fish, worms and insects along with larvae.
Mature silver akara becomes at the age of 10-12 months of life. Cichlids can breed in a separate spawning, and in general aqua.
The minimum amount of spawning aquarium should be 50 liters. In spawning should be a large number of broad-leaved aquarium plants, and the role of the substrate can perform large flat stones. Spawning is stimulated by the replacement of 1/3 of water and an increase in its temperature to 28 degrees.
Before spawning, both parents carefully prepare a place for their offspring. This may be plant leaves or a large flat stone.
The surface of the substrate for spawning, they are cleaned of fouling and dirt. If you use sand as a soil, then fish will dig holes in it.
Often, after the first and second spawning, producers can eat all the eggs. Over time, this cannibalism passes and Akars become caring parents. If spawning occurs in the general aquarium, zealous care for the offspring can be costly for the cancer neighbors.
During spawning, the female can sweep up to 400 eggs, of which the fry will hatch in 5-7 days. After another 10 days the fry are already swimming around the aquarium under the supervision of their parents.
Starter feed for fry: cyclops nauplii and live dust. After a few days you can try to give Nauplii Artemia.