Electric Blue Acara Care Guide: Types, Diet, Tanks, Tank Mates, Breeding

When researching and choosing the best freshwater fish for a home aquarium, you might come to learn that many aquarists love the Electric Blue Acara. Not only are they beautiful, but these fish are popular because they’re relatively easy to take care of. Their peaceful nature makes them the perfect fish to place in a community tank.

Electric blue acaras are also very adaptable to various environments, so that they can handle much more than the most sensitive freshwater fish. With proper water parameters, a healthy diet, and friendly tank mates, your electric blue acara can live a long and healthy life and provide you with the companionship you need.

As much as they are easy to care for, you still need to consider specific requirements to keep them happy and comfortable.

If you want to know more about how to take care of these freshwater fish, you’ve come to the right place.

Species Overview

Electric Blue Acaras are beautiful freshwater fish from the cichlid family. Interestingly, these fish are a man-made hybrid of the common blue acara. They come from breeding blue rams and blue acaras. You’ll likely find them in slow-moving waters like streams in south and Central America.

electric blue acara swimming

Some electric blue acaras are also found in Rivers in Venezuela and Trinidad as many of these locations are filled with plants and thick vegetation. These areas are also infested with other invertebrates like worms, insects, and crustaceans, which are excellent protein sources for these acara.

Despite living in murky conditions, these fish can live very long lives, up to 20 years in the wild. In captivity, however, this fish can live for around 8 to 10 years. While this is more than most freshwater creatures like bettas, they still need a lot of care and attention to reach this lengthy lifespan.

Here’s a quick fact breakdown of these freshwater fish: 

  • Scientific name: Andinoacara pulcher hybrid
  • Origins: Central and South America, Columbia 
  • Size: 6-8inches
  • Lifespan: 10-20 years
  • Diet: Omnivorous 
  • Temperament: Peaceful 
  • Care level: Easy

Appearance and Size

The Electric Blue Acara is a beautiful freshwater fish that is primarily a striking bright blue. Their dorsal fins are a bold blue color that gets darker around the edges. You might find some fish with yellow tones on their scales and pectoral fins on their body. They grow to be between 6-8 inches by adult age, so they’ll need a larger tank to live in.

When it comes to identifying the gender of these fish, it isn’t easy because they look similar. If you pay close attention, you’ll find that the males will grow longer than the female and have a more pointed dorsal fin. The female is wider and shorter than their male counterpart. If the appearance of their body changes to grey, this indicates they are likely sick or breeding. Stress could also be the cause of their fading blue color. 

What To Look For When Buying Electric Blue Acara

The best way to choose a healthy electric blue acara is by selecting a reputable online or physical fish store to purchase them from. This way, you will reduce the chances of taking sick fish home. Here are some of the things you should look out for when buying an electric blue acara:

  • Deformities in their gill covers
  • Unusual swimming patterns
  • Fading body color
  • Lethargy

Some signs of an illness can appear much later in their life, like the inability to maintain a healthy weight. You should monitor their behavior to get them the help they need sooner.

Where To Buy Electric Blue Acara

These are some of the more popular freshwater fish, so it’s easy to find them online and at most local pet stores. While the prices may vary, these fish will go for around $7 to $12, depending on their size, age, and coloring. Here are some online stores where you can buy an electric blue Acara from:

  • Aquatic Arts
  • Imperial Tropicals
  • Petsmart
  • AZgardens.com

Choosing a store that deals with reputable breeders is the best way to ensure you get a healthy electric blue acara.

Electric Blue Acara Care

As mentioned above, caring for these freshwater fish is simple. Not only can they quickly adapt to new environments, but the conditions they are accustomed to in the wild make it easier to replicate an ideal environment in a home aquarium. If you want to know more about taking care of this bright blue freshwater fish, read on to learn more:

Tank Requirements 

Providing your electric blue Acara with the right tank is essential for their health and growth. These fish grow to almost 8 inches, so from an early age, you need to give them enough space in their tank to swim. The right tank will prevent stunted growth and ensure that your fish isn’t stressed, which can cause several other issues like diseases and aggressive behavior.

Tank Size

The minimum tank size for these large fish should be at least 30 gallons. You’ll need a larger tank of more than 30 gallons to keep a pair of electric blue cichlids in a home aquarium. This is only the minimum tank size because you’ll need to add decorations, plants, and tank equipment like filters. A longer tank is best for these fish because they can’t have enough room to swim in all tank areas.

Tank Setup

There are a lot of options when it comes to what to add to an Electric Blue Acaras tank. But one of the most important ones is substrates because they like spending most of their time digging for food. The best substrate option should be soft and sandy because a hard substrate could injure these freshwater fish. You should go for a dark-colored substrate because it will contrast nicely with their blue shimmer bodies.

Like in their natural habitat, an electric blue Acara tank needs plenty of vegetation and plants. In the wild, most of the substrate is covered by plant matter, so you can add some dried leaves to the bottom of the tank to make it look more natural for these fish.

Some of the decorations you can include in the tank are rocks and driftwood because they love to hide.

Live plants are also a great option to add to these freshwater fish tanks because they provide cover and shade, just like in the wild. Though, you should be careful because it could likely affect the live plants when they keep digging and burrowing into the substrate. To take care of this issue, you can opt for floating plants which will still provide the much-needed plant cover and shade for these fish. Hornwort is a great option to keep your electric blue acaras comfortable and feeling at home.

When it comes to lighting, these fish don’t like too much of it. 

Filters and heaters 

Filters are essential for any fish aquarium to keep the water clean and healthy, and for the Electric Blue Acara, it shouldn’t be any different. These fish are big and will excrete more waste than many other freshwater fish, increasing the ammonia levels in their tank.

Since they are tropical fish, they require warm water to be comfortable. If your home aquarium is in a cold part of the house or you live in some of the colder parts of the world, installing a heater in the tank will help maintain optimal water parameters and prevent any stress or shock to your fish.

Tank maintenance is also crucial when taking care of these fish. Regular cleaning and partial water changes are essential to keep them healthy.

Water Parameters

The right water quality and temperature are essential to these freshwater fish’s health and comfort. If you want them to thrive, you need to ensure the tank water is clean and warm. Failure to do this will lead to stress and other health complications that will make taking care of these creatures much harder than it should be.

Although these fish are known to be hardy, below are the parameters that you should strive to maintain while they are under your care:

  • Water temperature: 72°F to 82°F
  • PH level: 6- 7.5 pH
  • Water hardness:: 6 -20dH

It’s recommended to perform a 15-25% water change when keeping these tropical fish. Clean water helps keep the nitrate levels low and increases the tank’s oxygen. Poor water quality can affect your electric blue acaras health and lifespan. If you properly maintain their tank, they will be a part of your life for a long while.

Food & Diet

With all fish species, you should ensure that you’re giving them a healthy diet and feeding them as often as possible to keep them active because these freshwater fish are omnivores. You can provide them with a mix of plant matter and meat to bring out their vibrant colors and keep them healthy in the long run.

So what should you feed your blue Acara? These fish survive mostly on meaty proteins like insects and worms in their natural environment, so you need to replicate this in their home aquarium. A good balanced diet for these fish includes the following:

  • Frozen foods I.e Brine shrimp
  • Blood worms
  • Earthworms 
  • Flakes 
  • Cichlid pellets

For an electric blue Acara cichlid, it’s best to feed them 2 to 3 times a day. You can give them small amounts that they can quickly eat to prevent overfeeding. Overfeeding is dangerous for most freshwater fish because it can lead to digestive problems and other health issues.

Common Diseases

Like most freshwater fish, changes in their immediate environment will affect these fish’s immune systems and expose them to health issues and diseases. The electric blue acara is very active during the day, so something could be wrong if you notice a decline in their energy levels, and they aren’t spending most of their time digging in the substrate.

Here are some of the common diseases these fish are likely to face: 


This is a common disease among most freshwater species and is caused by protozoan parasites. Some noticeable symptoms of your fish suffering from this disease include rapid breathing, white spots on their body and gills, and fish flicking against solid surfaces. To treat the disease, you can quarantine the bad electric blue Acara, get the help of a vet and use over-the-counter remedies to help your fish. Increasing the tank’s temperature will help alleviate some of the symptoms and help your fish feel better.

Skin Flukes

Skin flukes is also another disease you should watch out for when keeping an electric blue Acara in your freshwater aquarium. These tiny parasites embed themselves into your fish’s gills or body. You should watch out for some noticeable symptoms, including excess mucus on the skin, rubbing on the substrate or the tank’s swell, difficulty breathing, and red skin or gills.

Fungal and bacterial infections

Fungal and bacterial infections are also very common with these freshwater fish. Some common symptoms of a fungal infection include white cotton spots on the body. The best way to deal with a fungal infection is to quarantine your fish and treat the water as soon as possible. This helps prevent the infection from spreading. An antifungal remedy will also come in handy to help your electric blue Acara fight off the disease.

Symptom of bacterial infection in these fish includes reddening of the skin, cloudy eyes, and in some cases, skin ulcers.

Behavior and Temperament

If you’re looking for a freshwater fish that’s easy to take care of, don’t be afraid to choose the electric blue Acara just because they’re from the Cichlids family. While the members of this family have an aggressive reputation, electric blue Acaras are very peaceful fish and interact calmly with other fish in a community tank.

These peaceful fish are bottom dwellers and will occasionally be found in the middle section of the tank swimming and minding their business. Most of their time is spent digging in the substrate, hiding in caves and plants and swimming around the tank to explore their environment. Like most freshwater fish, they will be active during the day and sleep on the substrate or some hiding places like caves at night.

While this fish digging in the sandy substrate is fun to watch it can become cumbersome when you need to take care of the live plants in your home aquarium. Their personality is also captivating and with their blue colored body, you’ll love spending time watching these colorful fish swim.

Although they’re very peaceful it doesn’t mean that they won’t be territorial once in a while, especially when breeding.

Suitable Tank Mates

Because these fish are peaceful, it’ will be ‘s relatively easy to find friendly tank mates to keep them company in your home aquarium. If they aren’t too big or too small, you can keep other freshwater fish with the electric blue acara and not worry about fights or one fish eating the other.

Here are some ideal tank mates for your electric blue acara you can consider: 

  • Pearl Cichlids 
  • Ursula Cichlids 
  • Zebra cichlids
  • Plecos
  • Oscars
  • Moga Cichlids
  • Angelfish 
  • Corydoras

Some tank mates you should avoid putting in a tank with the electric blue acara include: 

  • Amani Shrimp
  • Dwarf Crayfish
  • Nerite Snails
  • Dwarf shrimp

It’s best to avoid keeping shrimp and other small creatures because they can become your electric blue Acara‘s next meal. Very big fish, on the other hand, cannot only be aggressive but will also stress your acara out, so that shouldn’t be an option either. You should get the best electric blue acara tank mates, especially if you keep them in a community tank.


Although these fish can breed at around 4 inches long, you should probably wait until they’re older. In general, it’s relatively easy to breed electric blue Acara‘s because they’re sexually mature once they reach 2 to 3 inches in length. This is usually around 8-10 months old. They will lay their eggs and deposit them on flat surfaces in their tank, like rocks or the substrate.

If you keep a male and female fish, they are more likely to spawn multiple times during the year. You notice when they’re ready to breed because the male and female fish will display their fins to each other more frequently. When the blue color also gets very intense or the color starts to fade, they are likely preparing to breed.

Tips on breeding electric blue acaras 

  • Ensure that the breeding tank is at least 20 gallons.
  • The water temperature in the breeding tank should be between 73 to 79°F to promote healthy breeding. Warm water temperatures are ideal for spawning electric blue acaras.
  • Fill the tank with soft substrate and flat rocks because these fish require flat surfaces where they can deposit the eggs after laying them.
  • The female will lay between 150 to 300 eggs and are very maternal and protective until they hatch.
  • The female electric blue Acara will also look for food for the fish fry after they have hatched, which takes about 2 to 3 days.
  • You don’t have to separate them from the female blue Acara because they would prefer to be around their mother for the first couple of weeks while the fry is still young.


Are blue acaras aggressive?

No, these fish aren’t aggressive. Electric blue acaras are generally peaceful fish but can become territorial when breeding.

Do Blue Acaras eat other fish?

Yes. If there are small fish species, don’t be surprised if your electric blue acara eats them. As long as they can fit in their mouth, smaller fish are at risk of being a meal for these colorful fish.

What’s the difference between a blue acara and an electric blue acara?

Because of the names and the fact that the electric blue acara is a hybrid, most people assume they are different. But they aren’t. The only difference between these fish is their color.

Do electric blue acaras dig?

Yes. You are very likely to find these fish at the bottom of the tank digging in the substrate. They could also end up destroying the live plants in the process.

Should you keep an electric blue Acara in your home aquarium?

Electric blue acaras are great freshwater fish that most aquarists would love to have in their home aquarium. They have interesting personalities, play well with others, and you can stare at them all day.

While they look very beautiful, you need to take extra care of them to ensure they live as long as possible. Luckily, taking care of them isn’t rocket science. All they need is a balanced diet, warm water, and plenty of decoration like substrate and rocks to be happy.

Their bright blue bodies make these beautiful fish a great option for any fishkeeper looking to add color to their community tank.

If your considering other freshwater fish, here are 10 best freshwater fish to own you can try.

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