Andinoacara pulcher “Neon Blue”

28. March 2024

Exactly 10 years ago, a new star appeared in the ornamental fish sky. A beautiful sky-blue (to stay in the picture) cichlid conquered the world. It was first offered to us in February 2014 under the name “Nannacara Neon Blue” from Singapore. However, it was clear from the outset that it was not a representative of the genus Nannacara, but a cichlid from the closer Aequidens relationship. There is currently a consensus among those involved with the animal that it is a mutation of Andinoacara pulcher; the additional name “Neon Blue”, which is meaningless from a scientific point of view, has become established internationally.

The animals, which usually grow to a maximum length of 10 cm (males are usually slightly larger than females), are also recommended for planted community aquaria with certain restrictions. A maximum length of 15-17 cm is given in the literature for the parent species A. pulcher, which is why it cannot be ruled out that even very old specimens of the “Neon Blue” can reach such a length in huge aquaria. However, we have never seen such large specimens and they are not offered by our suppliers. 

The chemical composition of the water is irrelevant for A. pulcher “Neon Blue”, any drinking water is suitable for maintenance and breeding. Any common ornamental fish food is readily accepted. As a substrate breeder, the species burrows relatively little, but very delicate plants can be disturbed or dug up in the course of breeding. Although A. pulcher “Neon Blue” is generally a relatively(!) peaceful fellow by cichlid standards, both parents defend their fry very vigorously. As several broods per year are to be expected, any roommates should not be too squeamish, but should be able to take a knock. The water temperature for this fish can be in the range of 22-28°C, it will also tolerate slightly higher or lower temperatures from time to time, but this should not become a permanent condition.

For our customers: the animals have code 609521 (3-4 cm) and 609522 (4-5 cm) on our stocklist. Young animals are already colored exactly like the old ones, the pictures show 4-5 cm long specimens. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer