The cockatoo dwarf cichlid (Apistogramma cacatuoides) belongs to the cichlid family. Its natural habitat are the manageable waters of the Amazon of Brazil and South America. The keeping and care in the aquarium is relatively simple.
What distinguishes the cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid?
Especially the males, with their special colour and shape, are among the most beautiful fish in an aquarium. Breeding in captivity has resulted in numerous new colours that cannot be found in the wild form. Remarkable is the high red content in the fins.
Another special feature is the interesting courtship and breeding behaviour. The dwarf cichlid tends to form harems and needs at least 2 or more females beside it.
The appearance of the Kakadu Dwarf Cichlid
The dwarf cichlid has a silvery yellow basic colouring. A black stripe runs from the head to the caudal fin. The fins shine in a strong orange, red or yellow colour.
In the male the first rays of the dorsal fin are strongly elongated and stand clearly apart. They look a little bit like the spiny hood of a cockatoo, that is why the fish got its name. He can put up the fin and use it as a threatening gesture to impress the female, both when feeding enemies and during courtship. The typical perch mouth is distinctive and has bulging lips.
The male cockatoo dwarf cichlid differs from the female in shape, size and colour. In contrast to the female, with a length of just 8 cm and a dainty physique, the male, with a length of 10 cm, is considerably larger and also stronger.
The female dwarf cichlids show a simple colouring. On the other hand the male is much more colourful and intense.
The dorsal fin of the male is also more pronounced and stands out more from the body. In addition the first two fins are noticeably longer.
Housing conditions for the cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid
In a species-appropriate aquarium with cockatoo cichlids there are at least two females in addition to the males. If several males live in a tank at the same time, rival fights occur, which can lead to severe injuries and even death of the animals.
Basically, cockatoo cichlids are calm and balanced fish. They stay mainly near the bottom and like to retreat into hiding places.
Water values for the cockatoo Dwarf cichlid
The Kakadu dwarf cichlid can also cope in harder and slightly alkaline water. The conductance in the areas of origin is about 400 µS.
- Temperature: 24 to 29° C
- PH: 6 to 8
- GH: 8 to 12° dgH
- KH: 0 to 12° dKH
Food and nutrition for the cockatoo dwarf cichlid
In the wild, the dwarf cichlid feeds on live food. In the aquarium some fish also accept live or frozen food:
]The feeding of an adult fish shall be carried out once a day. The correct amount of food is consumed within about 3 minutes.
The ideal aquarium for the dwarf cichlid
For a species-appropriate keeping the fish needs sufficient retreat possibilities and breeding places. Suitable hiding places are caves, created by roots, opened coconuts and stones. The objects also serve as territorial boundaries for the male. A dried beech leaf heap offers the ideal hiding place.
Thesocialization succeeds with other balanced co-inhabitants like: Guppies, neon fish, catfish and shrimps.
The size of the aquarium should have at least 150 litres capacity. Since the aquarium inhabitants do not tolerate water pollution, a weekly partial water change and a powerful filter are advisable.
Special features of the cockatoo dwarf cichlid
A cockatoo dwarf cichlid has a maximum life expectancy of 2 to 3 years. It is fully grown with about one year. If a breeding is planned, young animals should be taken into consideration when purchasing.