Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid
Alternative Name(s): Crested Dwarf Cichlid
Scientific Name(s): Apistogramma cacatuoides
Category: Cichlid
Maximum Size: 9cms
Minimum Tank Volume: 60 litres
Minimum Tank Size: 24" x 15" x 12"
Water Temperature Range: 24-28°C
Water pH Range: 6.0-7.0
Water Hardness Range: 4-10 dGH

General Information: A striking Cichlid so named because its dorsal rays resemble the crested feathers on a Cockatoo. A small colourful fish. The body has a silvery grey base and a long black horizontal line that runs the length of the lateral surface with a matching diagonal line emanating from the eyes along the ventral surface. Available in a number of varieties: single, double and triple, which describe the number of coloured fins. A triple red (pictured) having a red dorsal, caudal and anal fin.
Tank Requirements: Bogwood, roots and leaf litter replicate their natural home, however they do well with the addition of plants if preferred. Dim lighting suits them best. Prefers a pH of 6.5 and soft water, though the limits above are acceptable.
Diet Requirements: A varied diet should be given to ensure good health and colour, a base of flake and cichlid pellets supplemented with twice weekly treats of live/frozen bloodworm and brineshrimp etc. Wild caught specimens usually refuse flake initially.
Compatibility: Due to its small size the Cockatoo Cichlid can be housed in a community with smaller fish such as Tetras. Can be aggressive to other Cichlids and males of its own species. Keep a ratio of 1 male : 2 female. Aggressive when spawning - even to the second female in a trio so provide good cover.
Recommendations: Provide plenty of caves and plant cover for the females. This particular species of Apistogramma is the most commonly tank-bred in the UK and is therefore the bet suited to beginers with Dwarf Cichlids.
Common Problems: All Apistogramma are sensitive to poor water quality, though it is accepted that the Cockatoo Cichlid is somewhat hardier than others of this genus.
Similar Species: Other Apistogramma such as A.agassizii, A.eunotus, A.macmasteri and A.nijsseni to name just a few. Water parameters vary between species so individual research is required.
Sexing: Females are easily identified by more subtle colouration, smaller dorsal ray extensions and a general smaller size. Dorsal rays are usually black and red, will display bright yellow spawning colours.
Breeding: Cockatoo Cichlids will pair for breeding and harem breeding is also possible. Cave spawners so provide plenty of hide-aways for the females.
Author(s): Goldnugget, Anon, Fishlady | Photo: Goldnugget | Views: 41090
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