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Akars are considered fish for very demanding aquarists who have space and knowledge at the same time. Their unquestionable advantage is intense coloration and beautiful colors. Akars have a fairly expressive disposition, as do most cichlids. They definitely should not be placed in the aquarium at random. We advise what you should know about these amazing fish.
Akara – the most popular species
In home aquarium tanks, the following species of akar can be found most often:
- blue akara;
- akara marońska;
- orange akara;
- orange fin akara;
- akara red.
Individual species differ not only in color but also in size. The orange fin Akara in breeding conditions can grow up to 20 centimeters in length. In turn, red acars grow up to 8 centimeters on average.
Different species of acara come from different parts of the world – Central and South America, but also from Africa. As you can see, they represent a very diverse range of biotopes.
What is Akara’s disposition?
The nature of a fish like akara will vary from species to species. The wildly popular blue acars are considered relatively gentle fish for their size and family. As long as the tank is large enough, they can be kept with other fish that will not fit into their mouths.
The orange fin akara, on the other hand, is a very distinctive fish. Among aquarists it is considered aggressive, so you have to be very careful about the size of the aquarium as well as its equipment and cast.
Can akara live in an aquarium with other species of fish? It really depends on which species you are dealing with. Some acars are more tolerant than others. It should be noted, however, that each of them – regardless of the variety – needs a very large aquarium tank.
For varieties such as:
- akara orange fin,
- akara red,
a species aquarium is recommended, i.e. one in which only these specific acars live. The other species do not have such stringent requirements, they usually get along with other fish. However, choose those that will not fit in their mouths.
No akara should live in a tank with another cichlid. The exceptions are smaller and gentler species, such as scalars and petals.
What aquarium will be good for akara?
The optimal size of the aquarium for acara
All acara species require large aquarium tanks. There are no compromises in this regard. Each akara – both a tiny red one and a giant orange fin – requires space to swim.
The minimum size is the tank with the longest wall measuring 120 cm. At the same time, aquarists recommend a length of at least 150 cm. It is very important – fish from this group feel very bad in too small aquariums. They often suffer from various diseases, they are dull and sad. At the same time, aggression often occurs in a small space, also within the species.
Akara – plants and substrate in the aquarium
Coarse sand will be the best substrate for acara. Fish of these species have a natural tendency to rummage in it. For this reason, potential aquarium plants should have strong roots. Otherwise they will be kicked up quickly.
The aquarium can contain a variety of decorations that create hiding places. Flat surfaces, such as stones, will work well. They spawn on such acars.
Akara – water parameters
Akara is very sensitive to changes in water parameters and pollution. That is why the aquarium should be very well filtered. Regular water changes are also necessary. Replace 20 to 30% of the total once a week.
The exact temperature will vary greatly depending on the species of acara. Typically, it should be between 25 and 27 degrees Celsius. You should install a heater and a thermostat in the aquarium, as large temperature fluctuations do not suit these fish.
The optimal water parameters are:
- pH: 6,5 do 7,5 pH;
- hardness: 5 to 15 degrees dGH.
What is akara?
The feeding of all akara fish is based on similar principles. First of all, you must remember that these are carnivorous predatory fish. Their food should be high-protein.
Under natural conditions, these fish feed on insects – both larvae and adults – as well as crustaceans and other fish. The best solution is to choose a good quality cichlid food. It will work in the form of granules or flakes.
However, the diet should not be too monotonous. Be sure to spice it up with live and frozen food. Artemia or bloodworm will work great in this role. You can also serve earthworms, preferably chopped.
Akara – reproduction
Breeding acara in captivity is not easy, but under good conditions it can be successful. These fish form monogamous pairs. They lay the roe in the nest they have dug, and then take great care of it.
The fry hatch after about 3 days and begin to swim on their own after another 3 days.
Akara – summary
Akara is a beautiful cichlid that delights aquarists with its majestic appearance. Unfortunately, these fish are not recommended for beginner aquarists. They need a very large tank. At the same time, some species are quite aggressive and should not be kept with other fish.
Akars (like all other cichlids) form monogamous pairs. Their reproduction in breeding conditions is not easy. Nevertheless, fish of these species are usually quite readily available and inexpensive. To really take care of them, however, you need aquarium knowledge and space.