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Umbrella Dwarf Cichlid

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The Cockatoo Cichlid Apistogramma cacatuoides is one of the most colorful of all the dwarf cichlids. It is also known as the Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid or Crested Dwarf Cichlid. These common names are derived from the male having its first several rays of the dorsal fin extending higher than the rest, giving it a ‘cockatoo’ or ‘crested’ look.

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Description

Umbrella Dwarf Cichlid

The Cockatoo Cichlid Apistogramma cacatuoides is one of the most colorful of all the Umbrella Dwarf Cichlid . It is also known as the Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid or Crested Dwarf Cichlid. These common names are derived from the male having its first several rays of the dorsal fin extending higher than the rest, giving it a ‘cockatoo’ or ‘crested’ look.

These fish are some of the easier dwarf cichlids to keep. They do not have the acidic water needs of other dwarfs and can be kept in up to a 7.8 pH. Their eggs will not hatch at that pH level, but the Cockatoo Cichlids themselves can be happy and thrive. They are also easy to breed when their tank parameters are met.

The Cockatoo Cichlid is considered a community fish that can be kept with other non cichlids. Fish that are not large and aggressive will make the best tank mates. Tetras are a great choice. Provide a substrate of fine dark sand along with rocks and pots to create plenty of caves, one for each female’s territory.

They do enjoy densely planted aquariums and floating plants will help to diffuse the lighting. Make areas for them to “defend” by having natural divisions in the aquascaping. They can be easy to care for if water changes are performed frequently. If water quality is ignored, as with all cichlids, disease and death can occur. Just a little dedication will reap pleasurable results from this little fish.

Though the wild caught fish are less dramatic, with today’s selective breeding a variety of attractive color forms are readily available. Some of the specifically bred out colorings are called Sunset, Red, Double Red, Triple Red, and Sun Spot. Some of the triple red couples can produce 3 different color variations. This interbreeding for color has contributed to spinal malformations in the Cockatoo Cichlid. This defect should be watched for and all such fish humanely destroyed. Breeding a wild caught with a captive bred helps to keep the lines healthier.

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