15 Best Tank-Mates for a Blue Acara

Blue Acara are small freshwater fish that come from South America. They are beautiful with their amazing flash of colour. But which other fish make the best tank mates? Let’s find out!

Although a Cichlid, the Blue Acara is a fairly peaceful fish. For this reason, there is a good choice of potential tank mates available. Some of the best tank mates for a Blue Acara include Plecos, Cory Catfish, Rainbow Cichlid and Harlequin Rasbora.

With that being said, let’s take a look at 15 of the best tank mates that would be ideal for the Blue Acara.

Rainbow Cichlid

The Rainbow Cichlid are found throughout Central America but their natural habitat is Lake Nicaragua. They are highly adaptable and have evolved to survive in many different habitats due to their strong adaptive skills.

They are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. This diet can include anything from algae to snails to fish fry.

Rainbow Cichlids are social creatures and so are good companions in the aquarium environment. They grow to a maximum of about 7 inches and are quite peaceful despite Cichlids reputation for being aggressive fish.

These fish need hiding places in the tank and are quite easy to care for and tolerant of a range of water conditions. Be sure to keep your water clean though!

Convict Cichlid

The convict cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) | Source: Deposit Photos

They are attractive because of their bright colors. It displays variable patterns of black, blue, and white. The Convict Cichlid can grow up to 7 inches in length and weigh about 2 pounds. It has a lifespan of approximately 5-6 years in captivity.

Be careful as they can be aggressive. They are territorial and can benefit from a cave to hide in. The best fish to put them in with are other Cichlids that are sufficiently aggressive to give as good as they get.

They occupy the middle level of the tank and need about 30 gallons of water. Like the Blue Acara they are omnivores eating the same sort of mixture of smaller live foods and vegetation as well as pellets.

Firemouth Cichlid

Firemouth Cichlid or Firemouth Meeki, thorichthys meeki | Source: Deposit Photos

The Firemouth Cichlid is a freshwater fish that is native to Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. The Firemouth Cichlid gets its name from the red coloring on its throat area.

The Firemouth Cichlid can grow to be anywhere from five to fifteen inches in length and is often found in schools of about thirty individuals. In the tank, 7 inches is quite normal. They are large fish and can weigh anywhere from two to eight pounds.

Another attraction of this fish is their active and entertaining behaviour as well as their stunning colours. These fish may live as long as 8-10 years in this environment.

Mexican Fire Mouth (Thorichthys ellioti) – Male | Source: Deposit Photos

As for their behaviour, they are semi-aggressive and need to be kept happy in order to be good companions with other fish. Give them material at the bottom of the tank to dig into. Don’t give them too many other bottom dwelling fish to compete with and make sure you put them together with your Blue Acara in a sizeable tank.

Cory Catfish

School of Bronze corydoras swimming in aquarium tank,Corydoras aeneus | Source: Deposit Photos

Are curious and active at times, but at other times can be quite quiet. They are very peaceful fish. They can survive in quite small tanks of as little as 10 gallons but will appreciate more space too. If you do consider getting one of these as a tank mate for your Blue Acara, perhaps two might be better as these are fairly social creatures and will be happiest with another of their own kind.

Cory Catfish range in size from 1 to about 2.5 inches long. They will be mostly on the bottom of the tank, so make sure to have at least a couple of inches of substrate and interesting plants and objects for your Cory to investigate.

This Catfish can thrive in the same conditions as most South American Cichlids, temperature ranges of 72-78F and a PH of 7-8 is ideal. Food requirements are quite general from flakes and pellets, some live foods and they also like to scavenge at the bottom of the tank.

Before adding Cory Catfish, check what other fish make good tank mates for them.

Pleco

L400 Pleco | ID 118660049 © Logan | Dreamstime.com

They are also popular in the aquarium because they eat algae and other debris which can help to keep the environment clean.

Pleco fish are freshwater fish belonging to the family Loricariidae. They are native to Central America, but have been introduced to other continents in recent years.

Pleco fish are usually brown, but they can also be green, blue, or black. They are usually around two inches in length. They feed on algae and small invertebrates that live on rocks or plants underwater.

Golden Nugget Pleco | ID 49682161 © Mirkorosenau | Dreamstime.com

Pleco fish are known for their ability to survive in a wide range of water conditions. This is because they are born with the ability to adjust their gills to ensure that they can breathe in different water environments. They should have no problem living in an aquarium with adequate care.

Pleco are peaceful and get on with their own business without disturbing other fish much. In this regard, they would go well with your Blue Acara and probably contribute to the health of the tank.

Bristlenose pleco are a good choice here, but others will work as well.

Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasboras | Source: Deposit Photos

The Harlequin Rasbora is a small fish that has a bright and colorful body. They can grow up to 2 inches in size and live for up to 8 years, but 5 is an average.

This is a type of fish that enjoys being in schools with other Harlequin Rasboras, so you might consider adding more than one to your tank community.

These fish are relatively easy to look after. However, they are more sensitive than other species to their environment, so care is required. They are tolerant of fluctuating temperatures, unlike many other fish.

School of Harlequin Rasbora | Source: Deposit Photos

The Harlequin Rasbora likes to be in a school and about 10 gallons is enough for one and if in a small group you need to consider a tank of about 30 gallons to keep them happy. Ideal water conditions include a temperature from 72 to 78F and a PH from 6-7.8 so fairly typical of the conditions needed for your Blue Acara and other Cichlids from South America.

Live plants are a good idea to provide cover for this fish if they wish to hide and this is also true for some of the other fish we have already mentioned as possible tank mates for the Blue Acara.

I have a list here of what fish make good tank mates for Rasbora.

Angelfish

ID 167914917 © Bari Paramarta | Dreamstime.com

The next fish on our list is the beautiful Angelfish. They are one of the most popular types of fish because they can be found in so many colors and shapes. They are, like the Blue Acara, from the tropical waters of South America and so enjoy a similar water environment. They like slightly warmer water, say, 78 to 84F. PH range should be between 6.8 and 7.8.

Angelfish require room to swim and a tank size of about 55 gallons is ideal. They will eat smaller fish, but with fish their own size or bigger they are quite peaceful. They also enjoy sharing their tank with many of the fish on this list, making them a good choice as a companion fish for your Blue Acara.

Mollies

Sailfin Molly | Source: Deposit Photos

A molly is a type of fish that inhabits the Gulf of Mexico, typically found in salt water or brackish water. They are well-known for their vibrant coloration and usually have two prominent fins, one on each side of their body. Mollies are also often bred in captivity to create different color varieties.

The lifespan range for these fish is 2-5 years in the wild but can be much longer in captivity with proper care.

The water conditions they like are in line with most of the tropical fish already listed here and is in a similar range as for the Blue Acara. Temperature should be 72-78F and PH level should be 6.7 to 8.5.

Generally these fish should not be kept with aggressive fish and prefer to be kept in shoals.

Jaguar Cichlid

Jaguar Cichlid | Source: Deposit Photos

The Jaguar Cichlid is a freshwater fish that is native to the Amazon Basin in South America. They are omnivores that feed on algae, plants, insects, other small invertebrates, and smaller fishes. The Jaguar Cichlid can grow up to 12 inches long and weigh up to 1.1 pounds. Their coloration ranges from red, yellow or brown to black with dark spots or stripes.

These fish can be a bit aggressive, so good mates for them are other larger Cichlids. They also grow quickly reaching full size in about a year.

Denisons Barb

Denison’s Barbs (Puntius Denisonii) | Source: Deposit Photos

Denisons Barb fish is a small, blue-green freshwater fish from the Amazonian region of South America. They typically grow to about six inches long, but they can live for up to 5 years with proper care.

In the wild the Denisons Barb is moderately aggressive and territorial, but when kept as a pet it becomes more docile and will accept other tank mates if its space has been established by the owner.

The barb fish is well-known for their ability to change colors depending on the environment they live in. They are active fish and rather sensitive to water changes, so adequate care is important. For a small group of these, a 55 gallon tank is needed to give them room.

Denison’s Barb (Puntius Denisonii)

A wide range of water temperature from 60-78F makes them ideal partners for the aquarium suitable for Cichlid and other tropical freshwater fish.

As they swim very fast, don’t mix them with slow fish or problems can arise. The Blue Acara should be compatible with this fish.

Jack Dempsey

The Jack Dempsey (Rocio octofasciata) | Source: Deposit Photos

Jack Dempsey fish are a freshwater fish that are found in South America. The name of this fish comes from its resemblance to heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey who was famous for his aggressive fighting style.

These fish are considered to be quite aggressive and they require a lot of space to live in. They also need careful monitoring if they are to live in an aquarium with other types of fishes. Despite this, it is a good choice as a tank mate for the Blue Acara.

It grows to an average of about 7 inches and due to its aggressive nature should only be kept with other fish of the same size or slightly larger. (Here are some good options.) It can thrive in water between 72-86F and of PH 6.5 – 7.5 so it is well suited to live in any tropical freshwater tank with the Blue Acara.

This fish will enjoy a bigger tank of about 50 gallons and needs clean water.

Pictus Catfish

Spotted Pimelodus or Pictus Catfish, pimelodus pictus | Source: Deposit Photos

The Pictus Catfish is a predatory fish native to South America and is also found in North America.

The Pictus Catfish is a carnivorous freshwater fish that resembles an eel and they usually live from 4 to 8 years. They can grow to a length of 5-8 inches.

The water temperature and PH is very similar to most of the Cichlids and other fish mentioned so far, so it will be at home in the tank with your Blue Acara. It does need a tank of about 50 gallons though.

The Pictus Catfish will probably be hiding during most of the day and so it can get along with other fish that are not going to disturb it.

Yellow Lab Cichlid

lemon yellow lab cichlid | Source: Deposit Photos

This freshwater fish thrives in temperatures around 72 degrees Fahrenheit and normally lives in fresh water, such as swamps, marshes, streams, ponds, and lakes. The Yellow Lab Cichlid are very social creatures and therefore suitable for a community tank.

They prefer eating algae or aquatic plants as their main food source, but they will also eat small invertebrates such as worms or insects if necessary. They can also eat flakes and pellets, in common with many other fish.

Jewel Cichlid

Hemichromis lifalili Blood red jewel cichlid | Source: Deposit Photos

Jewel Cichlids are a freshwater fish that originate from Central America. They can be found in varying colors and shapes depending on the environment they grow up in.

Jewel Cichlids grow up to 2 inches and can live for 5 years in captivity and up to 20 years in the wild.

They can be quite aggressive so care must be taken if they share with other fish. It is a good idea to try putting them in a tank of at least 40 gallons and, if you add more, then make that 50 gallons to avoid unnecessary stress. Cramped Jewel Cichlids can get more aggressive.

African Jewelfish, Jewel Cichlid, Hemichromis Letourneuxi | Source: Deposit Photos

The water needs to be kept at a temperature between 22°C and 27°C with a pH of 7-8.

These fish may also dig around at the bottom off the tank so consider how this might affect which fish you try putting into your tank.

Consider a Jewel Cichlid but do keep an eye on them because they may nip or even fight with other fish when mating or if stressed.

OK, so that’s it! Hope you enjoyed this guide to the best tank mates for a Blue Acara. Hopefully, you can make an informed choice now, but do remember that all fish have their own personalities and behaviours.

Tips for Choosing Tank Mates

Blue Acaras are easy to breed and care for. However, as with many other types of fish, when they are breeding they can be more aggressive.

The Blue Acara can live between 8-10 years and even longer in the wild. They grow to about 6 or 7 inches in length which is quite manageable. One Acara will need at least a 30 gallon tank and two would need approximately 45 gallons. So a fair sized aquarium is necessary to keep these fish happy and healthy.

Depending on what tank mates you want, you may need to upgrade the size of your aquarium above this recommendation.

The Blue Acara needs its share of hiding places in the aquarium and they may also like to dig in the substrate of the tank, so bear this in mind when designing the environment they will live in and share with other tank mates.

In order to create a balanced and natural environment, the factors that should be taken into consideration while choosing a tank mate for your Blue Acara are its:

  • Size
  • Coloration
  • Habitat
  • Behavior
  • Aggressiveness
  • Food needs

Good luck filling out your aquarium!