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Apistogramma cacatuoides

Picture of Apistogramma cacatuoides, male
Apistogramma cacatuoides "double red", male

Photo taken at Wharf Aquatics
© Sean Evans

Common name:Cockatoo / Crested dwarf cichlid
Scientific name:Apistogramma cacatuoides
Size:Up to 3" (7.5cm), female smaller.
Origin:South America, Amazon basin
Tank setup:Planted tank, with rock or bogwood caves.
Compatibility:More peaceful than larger cichlids, but they will become territorial when spawning. They can be kept in a general community tank setup, but allow space for territories if other dwarf cichlids are included.
Temperature:24-28oC (75-82oF)
Water chemistry:Soft and acidic, pH 5.5 - 6.8 preferred, though this species is more tolerant of slightly alkaline water than many other Apistogramma.
Feeding:Carnivorous: will usually take dry foods, but live or frozen foods such as bloodworm, brine shrimp and mosquito larvae will be preferred.
Sexing:Males are larger and have dramatically elongated rays in the dorsal fin, giving rise to the common name.
Breeding:Soft and acidic water of excellent quality required. Can be bred as a pair or a harem with several females holding small territories. Provide caves with a very small entrance. The female normally guards the fry, while the male defends the wider territory. Fry are normally free-swimming in about a week.
Comments: This is one of the most popular and commonly available of the Apistogramma species, and several colour forms are available, such as the popular "Super Red" and "Double Red" varieties.


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