Black Acara (Cichlasoma portalegrense)

From Pet Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Black Acara
Cichlasoma portalegrense
Black Acara (Cichlasoma portalegrense)
Name Black Acara
Name Lat. Cichlasoma portalegrense
Synonym Aequidens portalegrensis
Family Cichlids
Family lat. Cichlidae
Order Cichlids
Order lat. Cichliformes
Origin South America
Habitat Rivers, lakes, ponds
Diet Omnivore
pH 6.0-7.0
Behavior Semi-aggressive
Keeping Pair
Care Level Moderate
Reproduction Substrate spawner
Breeding Simple
Life Span 6-10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 10 cm
Temperature 18-24 °C
Hardness 2-10 °dH
Aquarium ~ 200 l
US Units
Size 4"
Temperature 64-75 °F
Hardness 36-178 ppm
Aquarium ~ 50 gal

Distribution and habitat

Striped cichlids are distributed in the tributaries of the Laguna dos Patos and the Rio Tramandai in the province of Rio Grande do Sul (southern Brazil). They live in the coastal lower reaches of rivers, where they mostly stay in still water, as well as in lakes, drainage canals and ponds with soft mud and sand bottoms


They require a well-structured aquarium with robust perimeter planting, branches and roots that provide hiding places and some shallow river pebbles (spawning areas), as well as free swimming space. A soft, sandy substrate for burrowing and subdued light (floating plant cover) is ideal.

No ammonia, ammonium and nitrite should be detectable, the nitrate value should not exceed 100 mg/l. To ensure the water quality and oxygen content, a filter and heater adapted to the aquarium size is required, as well as lighting for the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals.


The food supply consists of live or frozen daphnia, artemia, mysis, tubifex, red mosquito larvae, etc., supplemented with some vegetable food as well as commercially available, frozen special food mixtures. Also high quality sinking dry food (pellets, chips, granules) for cichlids is accepted without problems

Only as much should be fed as is eaten immediately (in a maximum of 10 minutes). Regular and varied feeding promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

They should be kept in pairs. Especially at spawning time these relatively peaceful cichlids defend their territory very emphatically against conspecifics and other fish with similar appearance. Several pairs can only be kept together in a much larger and richly structured aquarium. Socialization with fish of similar size is well possible. Fish that are too small are considered prey. Basically, only compatible fish species with similar demands on water condition and water temperature may be socialized.

Sex dimorphism

Males have a longer and more pointed dorsal and anal fin. With some experience, the sexes can be distinguished by their genital papilla, which is pointed in the male and ends flat in the female.

Reproduction and breeding

They spawn on shallow stones or roots (open brooders). Both parents perform brood care and defend the territory (parental family). After about 2 days the fry hatch, which are then usually housed in a bottom pit until they swim freely after 5-7 days. Often the  young fish are still guarded by the parents for some time and are led to the feeding places in the aquarium.

Fry must be fed several times a day with special rearing food (Artemia). Breeding is hardly possible in community tanks, where the fry are easy prey.


They like to burrow and often damage plants in the process. With sufficient feeding with plant food, the aquarium plants are spared.

The well-being of the fish should be checked regularly. Temperature should be checked daily, pH, hardness and nitrate levels at least every 14 days. A regular partial water change is recommended, even if the pollutant load has not yet reached the upper limit. Sudden changes in water quality should be avoided. Newly introduced fish must be accustomed slowly to the water in the aquarium.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Werner Winter; Image: petdata

Source: BMELV (1998): Tierschutzgutachten - Haltung von Zierfischen (Süßwasser); RIEHL & BAENSCH (2006): Aquarien Atlas Bd. 1, Mergus Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF