Uaru amphiacanthoides



    I have been keeping Uaru A. for about a year now, and they have wormed their way into my top three favorite fish. They are very good natured cichlids and are a pleasure to keep. They grow quickly, and become very attentive to their owner. These guys are really a great fish, and deserve much more recognition than they have received thus far.


Quick stats:

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: 8-12″ (20-30cm) in captivity, however Uaru A. over 14 inches have been found in the wild.
Tank: 75 gallons for a pair is bare minimum.125 gallons or larger is preferable.
Strata: All over but tend to stay in the middle or bottom of the tank.
PH: 6.5-8
Hardness: Soft to medium. dH range: 5-12
Temperature: 80°F-85°F (26°- 30°C)


Order: Perciformes
Family: Cichlidae
Sub-Family : Cichlasomatinae
Genus: Uaru
Species: amphiacanthoides

Common name:


    South America, in the middle and lower Rio Negro in Brazil and Guyana. In their native habitat, Uaru are a food source for the people along the Amazon river basin.


    Uaru are not commonly available at your LFS, but are fairly easy to find if you’re willing to order them online. Most Uaru A. in the hobby come from German and Indonesian commercial breeders.


      • Uaru A. is mainly a herbivorous cichlid. Feeding should consist of vegetable matter (aquatic plants, cichlid staple, romaine lettuce, spinach, cucumber, peas, and spirulina pellets), but should also include some protein. Uaru A. love bloodworms, earthworms, pond snails, beefheart, and live foods to supplement their mostly vegetarian diet. Driftwood is also required, Uaru graze on it. Little is known about the role driftwood plays in their diet, but it should be available to them, as it may aid the digestive process. They grow very quickly if fed properly.

Tank setup:

      • Tank should have a gravel or sand bottom, driftwood, and real plants. The uaru will graze on the plants, however if you choose fast growing plants, they will usually do just fine. I would advise against using plastic plants, as uaru will bite the leaves anyway, and the pieces of plastic are potentially hazardous.

Tank mates:

      • Uaru prefer warmer water than many other tropicals, and do well with rummynose tetras, some plecos, severums, corydoras, altum angels, rams, and geophagus to name a few.

Temperament:Very aggressive feeders, though fairly shy the rest of the time. Uaru A. are schoolers, and prefer to be in the company of their own kind. Uaru A. are hardy cichlids, and very easy to keep.




    Mature males can develop a fatty hump behind the head. It is also thought that red eyes occur almost entirely in females, though both males and females can also have orange eyes. Neither of these are foolproof, though. The only certain way to get a pair of Uaru A. is to buy 6-8 juveniles, and let them pair off on their own, or by venting.

Breeding:Uaru A. are notoriously hard to breed, though some hobbyists report spawning them in soft and hard water, with ph values between 6.5-8 ph. Uaru will lay 100-800 eggs at a time. They are substrate spawners, and will lay eggs on the bottom of the tank, a piece of slate, or in clay pots.


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