Apistogramma cacatuoides Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid is a widespread species of cichlid that originated from the tributaries and Amazon river basin of Colombia and Tabatinga in Peru.
These days, Apistogramma cacatuoides are very popular with most aquarists worldwide and commonly bred in captivity.
The male Apistogramma cacatuoides have an average size of 8 centimeters in length, and their female counterparts are considerably smaller, with a usual size of 5 centimeters.
They have an elongated body and have a relatively big mouth with thick lips. The male cockatoo dwarf cichlid has a more vibrant color than the female. They both have a dorsal and caudal fin that has a usual shade of red/orange.
The female Apistogramma cacatuoides have normal dull coloration with a clear black line that runs along her flanks. Her background color is light yellow that turns brighter when mating or brood protecting.
These fishes have several colorations that form naturally in the wild such as yellow, blue, and red.
Primarily, Apistogramma cacatuoides are carnivores, and in the wild, the food of their choice are benthic invertebrates.
Here are the food that you could offer them
The cockatoo dwarf will thrive the most in a planted aquarium. The males are highly territorial, and because of that, it is ideal for keeping them in a group of three (1 male with two females) or on a harem situation (1 male with multiple females).
They should have peaceful tankmates like tetras and must be kept on a tank with a capacity of at least 20 gallons.
Branches and wood roots are a great addition to your tank since they can provide a space for your fish to hide and play. You can also add some soft and sandy subtrate to achieve a more natural appearance.
Temperature: 22 – 29 °C
PH level: 5.0 - 6.0
Hardiness: 0 – 268 ppm, depending on the origin
There is some South American dwarf cichlid that can tolerate alkaline water.
Apistogramma cacatuoides lay their eggs on caves, crevices, under a leaf or cavities among the decors. Females are responsible for taking care of the eggs while the male ones guard the territory.
Monitor the fish once in a while since the females have a tendency of becoming hyper-aggressive. In that situation, the males should be transferred to a separate tank.