The Uaru Cichlid has a laterally compressed body shape and can grow to a size of around 25-30 centimeters (10-12 inches) in length. Its body is oval-shaped and slightly elongated, with a high dorsal fin and a rounded anal fin. The distinguishing feature of the Uaru Cichlid is its large forehead or nuchal hump, which is more prominent in males during breeding periods. They have a base coloration that ranges from light gray to dark green or brown, and their scales often display a metallic or pearlescent sheen.
One notable characteristic of Uaru Cichlids is their ability to change their coloration. Depending on their mood, stress level, or breeding condition, their color intensity and patterns can vary. They can display darker or lighter hues, and their patterns may become more pronounced or fade.
Uaru Cichlids are generally peaceful and sociable, making them suitable for community aquariums with other non-aggressive fish species. However, they can become territorial during breeding periods, so providing adequate space and hiding spots is important. They enjoy having plenty of plants, rocks, and driftwood in their environment, creating a natural and secure habitat for them.
In terms of water parameters, Uaru Cichlids prefer soft and slightly acidic water conditions. The ideal temperature range for them is around 25-28°C (77-82°F), and the pH level should be maintained between 6.0-7.0. It is recommended to perform regular water changes and ensure efficient filtration to maintain good water quality.
Uaru Cichlids are primarily herbivorous but will also consume small amounts of animal-based foods. In their natural habitat, they feed on algae, plant matter, fruits, and small invertebrates. In an aquarium, their diet should consist of a variety of high-quality pellets, flakes, and fresh vegetables. It's important to supplement their diet with algae-based foods or provide them with blanched vegetables like spinach or zucchini.
Breeding Uaru Cichlids can be challenging in captivity, as they require specific conditions to stimulate their natural breeding behaviors. Providing a large, well-maintained aquarium with suitable water parameters and plenty of hiding spots can encourage their breeding behavior. During breeding, the female will lay eggs on a flat surface, and both parents will care for the eggs and later the fry.
In summary, the Uaru Cichlid is a captivating and peaceful freshwater fish species originating from the Amazon River basin. With their distinct appearance, including a prominent nuchal hump and color-changing abilities, they can be a beautiful addition to a well-maintained aquarium. Providing a spacious environment, suitable tankmates, and a balanced diet will contribute to the overall health and well-being of Uaru Cichlids.