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Cockatoo Cichlid


The Cockatoo Cichlid, which you might also know as the incredible cockatoo dwarf cichlid, or even the technical name of the Apistogramma cacatuoides, is one great catch.

It comes from the A. cacatuoides species and can even grow up to 8 cm, if it’s a male, in terms of overall body length. The female version of it is quite smaller and can only achieve a maximum body length of 5 cm, at best.

With elongated hard rays, and clear ventral fins, this fish was made for the waters. It’s always ready for action! But where did it first come from, you might ask?


This fish originated first in South America but can now be found in just about any place in the world, of course. An interesting initial fact that was discovered about it was that captivity is one of its best breeding grounds — yes, you read that right.

In other words, it breeds best when it’s in confined, captive spaces (such as your tank). Make sure the pH water levels stand at somewhere between pH 6.5-pH 8.0, all in all, as those are the conditions it comes from and does best in. And fish health & longevity are crucial!


The diet it eats, you want to know? Well, keep in mind : This fish is solely carnivorous and has always been — that’s what it has become most accustomed to, in its original habitat, and we all know how hard it can be for anyone to break an old habit.

Think a few insects, some good worms, and even a nice group of larvae (though, when captive, it eats not as well as it breeds and will be far less of a picky eater, when it comes down to it). Flakes and pellets work just fine, but don’t forget to pack in the protein as well!

Good ‘Roommates’

The best roommate for this kind would be those like itself, but that is not to say this fish cannot enter a community tank and prosper there as well (which it certainly can, without any usual issues that other fish face).

This fish knows both how to be solitary and how to share its space, all in all, so you shouldn’t have too many issues placing it. Cardinal Tetras are one good option for a tank mate, since these fish are also equally peaceful and don’t lean towards aggressive tendencies (and share their space with others).

Other Facts to Keep in Mind

On another note, some males of this kind may be territorial, but it all depends on the habit and roommates as well. Each case tends to be different. An even more interesting fact is this : Did you know that this fish can easily handle numerous changes in water chemistry?

It’s not as picky or vulnerable as others, in this regard, and can truly adapt itself to the climate surrounding it. That’s one thing I love the most about this particular breed, since I’ve always worried about having fish die from this (but not with these — so buy yours at the store today).