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Acarichthys heckelii
Thread-Finned Cichlid

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Thread-Finned Cichlid - Acarichthys heckelii

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acarichthys1.jpg (20kb)
Photo Credit: Luciano Takahashi

Name: Acarichthys heckelii
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: Amazon
13 cm 150 L 7.2 25C


Several years ago I owned a single male Acarichthys heckelii, wildcaught in Rio Negro, Brazil. This was a mighty guy. When I got him he was about 10 cm. After 5 years he was grown up to 26 cm (without the threads) in length. He was intensively colored red and sparkling blue-spotted, with extremely long red threads at the end of his dorsal fin. It really was a dream fish! Eventually my A. heckelii died of "Hole in the Head" disease. These fish need very good biologically-filtered water, GH max. 4, KH 2, pH ~ 5.0-6.5. A. heckelii is a cave breeder and needs stones and wood assembled as a "grotto" in the tank. This species belongs to the Geophaginae and is related to the Eartheaters.

Contributed by Jo Koenecke

I own one 13 cm male and it is the most aggresive fish I have ever seen. It is in my 200 L tank with a 12 cm tiger oscar, a 6 cm blue gourami and a 13 cm black shark, and it has tormented the oscar so close to death I have had to fence it off. However being the head of my tank it is also one of the best looking fish out. It also does a great job at cleaning my sand.

Contributed by Sellars

We recently added two of these beautiful fish to our aquarium. They are very colorful, displaying bright red and blue fins with dark black stripes across their body. Also excellent cleaners, these active fish are constantly shoveling through the gravel. We have them in a tank with many other cichlids, and they get along great. Extremely friendly, we would recommend them to anyone who can find these beauties!

Contributed by a visitor

This is truly an awesome fish. Mine doesn't bother the other fish in my tank but will not be pushed around. He does dig holes while searching for left over food in the rocks. All in all its a great fish for a semi aggressive tank.

Contributed by Derek Lowe

I recently purchased my Thread-Finned Cichlid. It's about 6 cm long and is a great addition to my community tank. This fish spends a lot of its time digging through the gravel so smooth, small stones are advisable. Out of the other 10 fish in my tank, this is by far the most attractive and fun to watch.

Contributed by Ross Stowe

One of my most favorite cichlids. My first experience was a pair in the LFS that I worked in, they had a 'cave' in their tank and proceeded to breed. I got 2 of the fry. A very inoffensive, but assertive fish. They have a grace and courage that has to be experienced to be appreciated.

Contributed by Robert Young

I bought a pair of these beauties and put them with four tiger oscars. They are about 10 cm each and I was lucky, since the pair was a breeding couple. The female layed hundreds of eggs in a hollow tree branch and within three days they hatched. The parents are very territorial when their little ones swim, and act as sheepdogs guarding them. They even swallow their youngsters and spit them into the group if they run away of the school. A couple, if cared for, can give hundreds in your aquarium.

Contributed by Mahmoud Salam

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