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Home » Uaru Cichlid: The Ultimate Guide to Keeping These Unique Fish

Uaru Cichlid: The Ultimate Guide to Keeping These Unique Fish

Close-up of a Uaru Cichlid's face, highlighting its gentle, inquisitive nature.

Cichlids are like the potato chips of the fish world: you can’t have just one. With their unique personalities, bright colors, and fascinating behaviors, it’s no wonder we can’t resist adding them to our tanks. But have you ever heard of the Uaru cichlid? If not, strap in, my fish-loving friends, because we’re about to embark on a journey of fishy enlightenment!

The Uaru Universe: A Cichlid’s Tale

The Uaru cichlid, known scientifically as Uaru amphiacanthoides, is a fascinating fish that’s perfect for those looking to up their cichlid game. With its unique appearance, intriguing behavior, and manageable care requirements, this gem of a fish is a must-have for cichlid enthusiasts. Get ready to dive into the world of the Uaru cichlid with this comprehensive guide!

Care DataUaru Cichlid
Scientific NameUaru amphiacanthoides
TypeSouth American Cichlid
Adult Size9.8-11.8 inches (25-30 cm)
Tank Size75 gallons (284 liters)
Optimal Temperature75-86°F (24-30°C)
General Hardness dGH3-10
Carbonate Hardness dKH2-5
Optimal pH range6.0-7.5
Diet TypeOmnivore
Feeding Frequency2-3 times daily
Water Change FrequencyWeekly
Can Breed In Captivity?Yes
Number of Fry300-500
Spawning TypeEgg Layer
Native RangeAmazon River Basin, Brazil
Schooling/Shoaling FishNo
Can Jump Out Of Tank?No
Average Cost (USD)$30-$50

A Fish of Many Faces: Uaru Cichlid Appearance

Uaru Cichlid displaying its full finnage, showcasing its elegance and impressive size.

The Uaru cichlid is quite the looker, sporting a unique color pattern that makes it stand out from other cichlids. In its juvenile stage, the Uaru has a dark, chocolate-brown base color with a series of irregular white spots scattered across its body. But as it matures, the spots fade, and the fish takes on a more uniform, silvery-brown hue with a faint, darker pattern on its sides. The dorsal, anal, and caudal fins are adorned with beautiful, bright blue or turquoise highlights, which give the Uaru cichlid an otherworldly appearance.

💡 Pro Tip: Uaru cichlids’ coloration can change depending on their mood, health, and surroundings, so don’t be alarmed if your fish looks different from time to time!

Males vs. Females: How to Tell Them Apart

Sexing Uaru cichlids can be a bit tricky, as they aren’t significantly sexually dimorphic. However, there are a few subtle differences between the sexes. Males tend to be slightly larger and have more elongated dorsal and anal fins, while females have a rounder body shape, especially when they’re carrying eggs. The best way to identify the gender of your Uaru cichlid is to observe their behavior during breeding, as males will become more territorial and protective.

Average Size and Growth Rate: Uaru Cichlid Quick Facts

Uaru cichlids can grow to be 9.8-11.8 inches (25-30 cm) long, making them a moderately large cichlid species. Their growth rate is relatively slow, with juveniles reaching adult size in about 2 to 3 years.

Swimming Through Life: The Uaru Cichlid Lifespan

Uaru cichlids are quite the hardy species and can live for a long time under the right conditions. On average, they can live anywhere from 8 to 12 years, with some well-cared-for specimens living up to 15 years! That’s like the Methuselah of cichlids! To ensure your Uaru enjoys a long and healthy life, provide a clean and stable environment, a varied diet, and regular water changes.

Side view of a Uaru Cichlid, emphasizing its streamlined body and captivating colors.

The Great Tank Debate: What Size Is Best?

Uaru cichlids, being the moderately large fish they are, require a spacious tank to thrive. The absolute minimum tank size for a single Uaru is 75 gallons (284 liters). However, if you’re planning to keep a group of Uaru cichlids or add tankmates, a larger tank of at least 125 gallons (473 liters) is recommended. These fish need room to swim and establish territories, so the bigger the tank, the happier your Uaru will be!

Ideal Water Parameters for Uaru Cichlids

Uaru cichlids require specific water conditions to thrive. The optimal temperature for these fish is between 75-86°F (24-30°C), with a pH range of 6.0-7.5. They prefer soft to moderately hard water, with a general hardness (dGH) of 3-10 and carbonate hardness (dKH) of 2-5.

Dinner Time: What’s on the Uaru Cichlid Menu?

Uaru cichlids are omnivores with a healthy appetite, and they’ll need a varied diet to stay in tip-top shape. Offer them a mix of high-quality cichlid pellets, flakes, and live or frozen foods. Some great options include:

Feed your Uaru cichlid 2-3 times daily, offering enough food that they can consume within a few minutes. Be careful not to overfeed, as this can lead to obesity and poor water quality.

💡 Expert Tip: Uaru cichlids have a particular fondness for plants, so be prepared for some aquatic salad-munching in your tank! It’s a good idea to provide some extra live plants for your Uaru to nibble on.

Creating the Perfect Uaru Cichlid Habitat

Uaru cichlids are native to the Amazon River Basin, so replicating their natural environment is key to their well-being. This means providing plenty of hiding spots, like caves, rocks, and driftwood, as well as live plants for them to munch on. Make sure to leave some open swimming areas, as these fish are quite active and need room to move around.

A large Uaru Cichlid swimming in a spacious aquarium, highlighting the importance of proper tank size for this species.

The Uaru Cichlid’s Behavior and Temperament

Uaru cichlids are social fish with a semi-aggressive temperament. They can be territorial, especially during breeding, but are generally peaceful with other similarly sized or larger fish. However, smaller tankmates may be seen as food, so choose your Uaru’s companions wisely!

Tankmates: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

When it comes to selecting tankmates for your Uaru cichlid, compatibility is key. You’ll want to choose fish that can handle the Uaru’s semi-aggressive nature and won’t become a snack. Ideal tankmates include:

On the flip side, there are some fish that should be avoided as tankmates for Uaru cichlids. These include:

💡 Fun Fact: Uaru cichlids are known to form monogamous pairs and display complex social behaviors, such as cleaning each other’s scales and defending their territory together.

The Art of Uaru Cichlid Breeding

Breeding Uaru cichlids can be a rewarding experience for dedicated hobbyists. These fish form monogamous pairs and will breed in captivity if given the right conditions. To encourage spawning, raise the water temperature slightly and provide plenty of flat rocks or slate for the pair to lay their eggs on. The parents will diligently guard their eggs, which hatch in about 3-4 days. The fry can be fed a diet of finely crushed flakes, baby brine shrimp, and microworms.

Beware of Diseases and Illnesses

Uaru cichlids are susceptible to common fish illnesses, such as Ich (white spot disease), fin rot, and internal parasites. To treat Ich, use a medication like API Super Ich Cure, which contains malachite green and formalin to eliminate the parasites. For fin rot, Seachem Kanaplex (containing kanamycin) is a popular choice. To combat internal parasites, Hikari Prazipro, with praziquantel as the active ingredient, is an effective solution.

Amazonian Origins: The Uaru Cichlid’s Native Range

Uaru cichlids hail from the Amazon River Basin in Brazil, where they inhabit slow-moving rivers and floodplain habitats. These fish are adapted to life in heavily vegetated, tannin-stained waters, which is why replicating their natural environment in your aquarium is so important.

Close-up of a Uaru Cichlid's scales, revealing the subtle iridescence and color gradation.

Taxonomy Time: Uaru Cichlid Relations

Uaru cichlids are part of the Cichlidae family and are closely related to other popular aquarium species, such as angelfish and discus. Here’s a quick look at the Uaru cichlid’s full taxonomy:

SpeciesU. amphiacanthoides

The Uaru Cichlid Adventure: Wrapping It Up

So, there you have it – the fabulous world of Uaru cichlids in a nutshell! These unique, moderately large cichlids make a fascinating addition to any aquarium, as long as you can provide the space and water conditions they need to thrive. Remember to offer a varied diet, choose tankmates wisely, and enjoy the intriguing behaviors these fish display.


  • Uaru cichlids grow to 9.8-11.8 inches (25-30 cm) and live for 8-12 years
  • They need a minimum 75 gallon (284 liter) tank, with a larger 125 gallon (473 liter) tank recommended for groups or tankmates
  • Optimal water parameters: 75-86°F (24-30°C), pH 6.0-7.5, dGH 3-10, dKH 2-5
  • Varied diet of pellets, live/frozen foods, and blanched veggies
  • Compatible tankmates include larger cichlids, silver dollars, and plecos
  • Breed in captivity when given proper conditions