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Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > The Cichlids > Uaru
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This page will give a completely detailed profile of the selected fish, from A to Z. The profiled fish will be chosen randomly by Badman, and will come from the complete genre of tropical fish. New profiles are added on a regular basis. If you would like to submit a profile for the site please contact me. Don't forget to let us know you experiences with this fish by filling out the

South america



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:

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    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.


      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.


    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.




Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Zoe
I have 2 of these guys 6" and 8" they are bossy fish. They get nippy at feeding time. I keep them with severums and they get a long for the most part they have little power struggles. But no one gets hurt. These are very entertaining fish. They are always doing something. Mine like to bite the wood and always swim around. They are great fish but not as peaceful as some say.

From: Sarah
I got two 5" uaru for free they were in bad shape fin rot bad HITH. I did daily wc fed them good food and made sure they got their veggies. They are now healing up well. These guys are shy at first once they adjust and get to know you they come out and greet you. They take time to warm up to people. The uaru is a smart fish that loves to eat plants or anything green. Mine also go nuts for frozen blood worms. They really need to be kept with a buddy the more the better. I have only 2 and they are always together. Never have I seen cichlids get a long so well. These guys might look dull but they are very smart and really interesting fish. They are a large fish that's good for a community tank.





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