Uaru Cichlid – Care, Habitat, Tank Mates and Full Details!

The Uaru Cichlid (Uaru amphiacanthoides) offers a delightful spectacle for those who dare to take on the challenge of creating an environment mimicking the fast-moving Amazonian waters.

Prized for their striking aesthetics, Uaru Cichlids not only add elegance to your aquarium but also engage their caretakers with their smart and gentle temperament.

Renowned for their unique oval to disc-shaped bodies, Uaru Cichlids boast tan-to-blue tones adorned with intriguing black patches. The mature fish reveal captivating yellow eyes, providing a vibrant contrast to their dark pupils.

Their significant size, coupled with their peaceful nature, necessitates a spacious habitat and a mindful selection of tank mates.

This comprehensive guide is here to assist you in understanding the specific care needs of these wonderful creatures.

Quick Stats About Uaru Cichlid

Scientific Name Uaru amphiacanthoides
Family Cichlidae
Common Names Uaru fish; uaru cichlid; triangle cichlid
Ease of keeping Easy
Lifespan 10 years and more
Tank size 250 liters (62 gallons) and more
Temperament Peaceful
Tank type Community of large fishes
Diet Omnivorous
Temperature 28-30 °C (82,4-86 ºF)
pH 5.8-7.5
Water hardness 6–20 dGH
Size Up to 14 inches (35 cm)

The Uaru Cichlid, or Uaru amphiacanthoides, is a captivating and unique addition to any aquarium collection.

This guide will delve into the distinctive features of this remarkable species and offer expert insights into its natural habitat, origins, and distribution, as well as its growth, size, and lifespan.

Uaru Cichlid Appearance

The Uaru Cichlid is an enigma of the aquarium world. Its unconventional beauty lies in the distinctive oval or disc-shaped body that lends the fish an unconventional grace.

The fish is clad in a charming blend of tan-to-blue hues, offering an alluring contrast to the bright yellow eyes and black pupils.

Mature Uaru Cichlids feature black blotches along their sides, reminiscent of ink splotches on an artist’s palette. This uncommon pattern adds another layer of intrigue to this already unique fish.

The charm of the Uaru Cichlid extends beyond its mere appearance, as the species is known for its intelligent and friendly personality.

Natural Habitat of Uaru Cichlid

The Uaru Cichlid is an extraordinary fish native to the fast-flowing streams of the Amazon. Its natural habitat is adorned with a plethora of underwater plant life, a feature mirrored in the Uaru’s preference for heavily planted aquariums.

This unique cichlid thrives in warm waters, displaying an affinity for temperatures between 80°F and 85°F.

Life in the Amazon has instilled in the Uaru a love for slightly acidic to neutral water, with a pH range from 5 to 7.

The choice of substrate in your aquarium should therefore reflect this preference, with materials that increase alkalinity, such as crushed coral, avoided.

Origin and Distribution of Uaru Cichlid

Uaru Cichlids originate from the diverse ecosystems of the Amazon Basin. This geography gifts them with an adaptive lifestyle, as they thrive amidst the swift currents and rich biodiversity of their natural habitat.

Given their Amazonian roots, it’s not surprising that Uaru Cichlids are seen as a food fish in their native locales, often sold in local markets.

The Uaru’s distribution is broad, although they remain a rarity in the aquarium scene, particularly in the United States. Despite this, they can be a rewarding choice for hobbyists ready to meet their special care requirements.

They have a penchant for company and are most content when paired together in large tanks, underscoring their social nature.

Growth, Size, & Lifespan of Uaru Cichlid

The growth of the Uaru Cichlid is a journey that unfolds gradually over time, with the species typically reaching an aquarium size between 10 to 12 inches.

In their natural habitat, they can grow even larger, with recorded sizes up to an impressive 14 inches. Their size underscores the need for a sufficiently large aquarium to cater to their needs as they mature.

Uaru Cichlids lead a fulfilling life with an impressive lifespan of 8 to 10 years in aquarium settings.

This is contingent on excellent care, including a spacious aquarium, well-filtered water, and a nutrient-rich diet.

Uaru Cichlid Behavior and Temperament

The Uaru Cichlid showcases a wonderful blend of intelligence, curiosity, and sociability. This fish is calm and peaceful, tending to shy away from conflicts.

Their social nature means they love having company and are most content when kept in pairs or groups.

The Uaru is also notably playful and will often be seen engaging in delightful antics around their tanks.

Setting up Tank for Uaru Cichlids

Preparing a comfortable home for your Uaru Cichlid is crucial to their wellbeing.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you create an ideal environment for these fascinating fish.

Tank Size

Given the size of the Uaru Cichlid (10-12 inches in captivity), they need plenty of room to swim. A minimum tank size of 75 gallons is recommended for a single Uaru Cichlid.

If you plan to keep a group, a tank size of 150 gallons or more is advisable.


The Uaru Cichlid prefers a soft substrate, which replicates the sandy riverbeds found in their natural habitat. Sand or fine gravel is an excellent choice as it also facilitates the growth of bottom-dwelling plants.

Decorations and Hiding Spots

These fish love hiding spots, so add plenty of rocks, driftwood, and live plants to your tank. These elements not only add to the visual appeal of the aquarium but also provide comfort and security to the Uaru Cichlid.

Water Parameters

The Uaru Cichlid prefers warm, slightly acidic to neutral water. Maintain a temperature between 80°F and 85°F and a pH level between 5 and 7.

Regular monitoring of water conditions is a must to ensure the health and comfort of your fish.

Filtration and Aeration

A powerful filtration system is necessary to keep the water clean and well-oxygenated. Uaru Cichlids produce a significant amount of waste, so a high-quality canister filter is recommended.


Uaru Cichlids aren’t particularly demanding when it comes to lighting. Moderate lighting levels are fine, as long as there are enough shaded areas within the tank for them to retreat to.

Tank Mates

As a peaceful and sociable species, the Uaru Cichlid can coexist with a variety of tank mates. They do well with other large, non-aggressive species such as angelfish, tetras, or other types of cichlids.

However, smaller or more aggressive fish might not make good companions.


Uaru Cichlids are omnivorous and enjoy a varied diet. High-quality flake food, pellets, frozen food, and fresh vegetables should all be included in their diet. They’re also fond of fresh fruits, a trait that separates them from many other cichlids.

The Uaru Cichlid is a charming and sociable fish that can be a joy to keep in your aquarium.

Providing them with the right tank conditions and a balanced diet will ensure they live a long, healthy, and happy life.

Tank Maintenance of Uaru Cichlid

Ensuring that your Uaru Cichlid has a clean and healthy environment is pivotal to its well-being.

Here’s a breakdown of some essential tank maintenance tasks.

Regular Water Changes

Regular water changes are critical in maintaining the water quality in your Uaru Cichlid’s tank. Replace 20-25% of the tank water weekly.

This helps to remove waste products, uneaten food, and harmful chemicals that can build up over time. Remember to treat new water to remove harmful chlorine before adding it to the tank.

Cleaning the Tank and Decorations

Over time, algae can grow on the walls of your tank and on decorations. Use an algae scraper or pad to clean the tank’s sides. Rinse decorations in warm water and gently scrub off any algae or debris.

Avoid using soap or detergents as they can be harmful to your Uaru Cichlid.

Filter Maintenance

Maintaining your filter is key to ensuring clean and healthy water. Rinse or replace filter media as per the manufacturer’s instructions, usually every 3-4 weeks.

Remember, never clean the filter with tap water as it can kill beneficial bacteria necessary for breaking down waste.

Monitor Fish Health

Regularly observing your Uaru Cichlid is an important part of tank maintenance. Look for signs of stress or disease, such as changes in eating habits, unusual swimming behavior, or physical signs like spots, bloating, or discoloration.

Early detection can make treating any health issues much easier.

To sum up, a clean tank is a healthy tank. Regular water changes, cleaning, filter maintenance, and monitoring your fish’s health are all critical components of tank maintenance.

With these steps, you can ensure that your Uaru Cichlid enjoys a healthy, happy life in its aquarium home.

Acclimating Uaru Cichlid

Acclimating your Uaru Cichlid to its new environment is a significant first step to ensure a healthy and stress-free fish.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Float the bag: Begin by floating the sealed bag with your Uaru Cichlid in the aquarium for about 15 minutes. This helps equalize the water temperature inside the bag with that of the tank.

  2. Mix aquarium water: After that, open the bag and add a little bit of the tank water. Repeat this every 5 minutes for about half an hour. This step gradually acclimates your Uaru Cichlid to the new water chemistry.

  3. Release the fish: After this, gently net the fish out of the bag and release it into the aquarium. Make sure to discard the water from the bag, as it can contain pollutants.

Remember, don’t rush this process. Taking the time to properly acclimate your Uaru Cichlid to its new surroundings will help reduce stress and promote healthier fish.

Uaru Cichlid Diet and Feeding

Uaru Cichlids have unique dietary needs that must be met for them to thrive.

A balanced diet is critical, and here’s how to ensure that:

Balanced Diet

  • Plant-based foods: Uaru Cichlids have a strong preference for plant-based foods. Their diet should primarily consist of high-quality vegetable-based flake foods, spirulina, and algae wafers.

  • Live and frozen foods: They also enjoy live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. However, these should be given as treats and not as a primary food source.

  • Fresh vegetables: Offer fresh vegetables like lettuce, peas, spinach, and zucchini. These can be lightly blanched to make them easier to eat.

Feeding Frequency

Feed your Uaru Cichlids 2-3 times a day. Be careful not to overfeed; a good rule of thumb is to offer only as much food as they can eat in two minutes.

Special Dietary Needs

Young Uaru Cichlids have a higher requirement for protein. You can meet this by offering them more live or frozen foods.

In summary, meeting the dietary needs of your Uaru Cichlid is not complicated. A balance of plant-based foods, the occasional treat of live or frozen food, and fresh vegetables will keep them happy and healthy.

Monitor their eating habits and adjust the diet as necessary. This way, your Uaru Cichlid can live a long, vibrant life.

Uaru Cichlid Tank Mates

Living in harmony with tank mates is a vital part of the Uaru Cichlid’s life. Their peaceful demeanor allows them to cohabit well with a variety of other fish species.

Here are some ideal tank mates:

  1. Severum Cichlids: These cichlids are similarly peaceful and share comparable tank requirements.

  2. Oscar Fish: They are large, like the Uaru, and can coexist peacefully when given ample space.

  3. Angelfish: These fish share a similar habitat preference and are generally peaceful.

  4. Bristlenose Plecos: Known for their non-aggressive nature, they can happily share a tank with Uaru Cichlids.

  5. Silver Dollars: These fish are sturdy and can comfortably coexist with Uaru Cichlids.

  6. Large Tetras: Larger Tetras, such as Congo Tetra or Bleeding Heart Tetras, can also be great companions.

  7. Large Catfish: Species like the Pictus Catfish can serve as good bottom-dwelling counterparts.

  8. Discus: These tranquil and colorful fish can complement the Uaru Cichlids nicely.

However, some fish aren’t suitable as tank mates.

Avoid pairing your Uaru Cichlids with the following:

  1. Small or timid species: Fish such as guppies or small tetras could be stressed or outcompeted for food.

  2. Aggressive species: Avoid fish like African Cichlids or Red Devil Cichlids which can harm the Uaru Cichlids.

  3. Goldfish: Their different temperature requirements make them incompatible.

  4. Invertebrates: Shrimp and snails may end up as snacks for Uaru Cichlids.

  5. Slow or weak fish: Slow or weak fish, such as fancy goldfish, may have trouble competing for food.

Breeding Uaru Cichlid and Fry Care

Breeding Uaru Cichlids can be a rewarding experience.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Sexing: Identifying male from female Uaru Cichlids can be tricky. Males are typically larger and possess a more pronounced forehead.

  2. Setting the Mood: Create a breeding-friendly environment with optimal water parameters and provide a flat rock or similar surface for egg laying.

  3. Spawning: When ready, the female will lay eggs on the chosen surface, and the male will fertilize them. This usually happens after a pair has formed.

  4. Guarding the Eggs: Both parents take turns guarding the eggs and fanning them to keep them oxygenated and free from fungus.

  5. Hatching: After about a week, the eggs will hatch into tiny fry.

Fry Care

When it comes to fry care, follow these steps:

  1. Food: Initially, the fry will feed off their parents’ mucus coating. Later, provide finely ground flake food or specially-formulated fry food.

  2. Water Conditions: Maintain optimal water parameters. Regular partial water changes are vital at this stage to keep toxins low.

  3. Protection: Keep an eye out for any threats to the fry within the tank. If necessary, consider a separate rearing tank for the fry.

By paying attention to these guidelines, you can encourage your Uaru Cichlids to breed successfully and take proper care of the fry.

With patience and a little luck, you’ll have a new generation of Uaru Cichlids to admire and enjoy!

Signs of Stress in Uaru Cichlids

Like all fish, Uaru Cichlids can experience stress, and recognizing the signs can be key to their wellbeing.

Common indications of stress include:

  1. Changes in Eating Habits: A stressed Uaru Cichlid may eat less or stop eating altogether.

  2. Altered Swimming Patterns: Erratic swimming or hiding in the corners of the tank may indicate stress.

  3. Faded Coloration: Uaru Cichlids may lose their vibrant colors when they’re under stress.

  4. Increased Aggression: While typically peaceful, Uaru Cichlids may become unusually aggressive if they’re stressed.

  5. Rapid Breathing: If your fish is breathing more quickly than usual, it may be experiencing stress.

Common Health Issues in Uaru Cichlids and Their Treatments

Uaru Cichlids, like any other fish, can experience several health issues.

Here are common ones and their respective treatments:

  1. Ich (White Spot Disease): Characterized by small white spots on the fish’s body. Treatment typically involves raising the water temperature and adding a commercial Ich treatment.

  2. Fin Rot: This can cause the fins to fray and discolor. Antibacterial medications can help treat fin rot.

  3. Bacterial Infections: Symptoms may vary. Antibacterial treatments and maintaining excellent water quality are the best defenses.

  4. Internal Parasites: Loss of appetite and weight, along with unusual fecal matter, may suggest parasites. Anti-parasitic medication can be used for treatment.

Additional Tips for a Healthy Aquarium

Maintaining a healthy aquarium is not only about the right tank setup but also about routine care.

Here are some additional tips:

  1. Regular Monitoring: Always keep an eye on your fish and their behaviors. Early detection of problems can often be the key to effective solutions.

  2. Proper Diet: Ensure a varied and balanced diet for your fish to keep them healthy.

  3. Tank Cleanliness: Keep your tank clean. Regular water changes and cleaning can help prevent many health issues.

  4. Avoid Overcrowding: Too many fish in a tank can lead to stress and disease. Always consider the size and needs of your fish when adding new members.

Should You Get a Uaru Cichlid for Your Aquarium?

Getting a Uaru Cichlid for your aquarium can be a wonderful addition. Their peaceful temperament, fascinating behaviors, and striking appearance make them standout aquarium residents.

However, their size and specific care requirements make them better suited for experienced aquarists.

If you’re willing to invest the time and effort needed to maintain a suitable environment for these majestic creatures, the Uaru Cichlid might just be the perfect new addition to your aquatic family!

Conservation Status

The Uaru Cichlid, like many other tropical fish, faces threats from habitat destruction and pollution. However, as of my knowledge, The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has not assessed the Uaru Cichlid’s conservation status.

It’s always beneficial to opt for captive-bred fish whenever possible, as this supports sustainable practices in the pet trade and aids in the conservation of wild fish populations.

Availability and Pricing

Uaru Cichlids are fairly common in the aquarium trade, but they may not be available in all pet stores due to their size and specialized care needs.

Many aquarists prefer to purchase them from reputable online breeders or local fish shows.

As for pricing, Uaru Cichlids usually range between $20 to $40 each, although prices can vary depending on the size and health of the fish.

Frequently Asked Questions About Uaru Cichlid

Q – How Big Do Uaru Cichlids Get?

Ans – Uaru Cichlids can grow up to 10-12 inches in length in a well-maintained aquarium.

Q – What Do Uaru Cichlids Eat?

Ans – They are omnivorous but prefer a vegetable-based diet. Feed them high-quality cichlid pellets, supplemented with fresh greens and occasional protein.

Q – Are Uaru Cichlids Aggressive?

Ans – Generally, they are peaceful but can display territorial behaviors, especially during breeding.

Q – Can Uaru Cichlids Live with Other Fish?

Ans – Yes, they can live with other similarly sized, peaceful fish. It’s important to monitor their behavior to ensure compatibility.


In the world of aquariums, Uaru Cichlids are a unique gem. Their distinct appearance, coupled with their intriguing behavior, make them a fascinating addition to any large freshwater tank.

While they require specific care and attention to thrive, the rewards are undeniably worth it.

If you’re up for the challenge and have the proper space, Uaru Cichlids could be a perfect new resident for your aquarium!