The Apistogramma cacatuoides is commonly known as the Double Full Red Cockatoo Cichlid, Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid or Big Mouth Apistogramma.
The Apistogramma originates in the streams and backwaters of South America. This strain has been selectively bred for its brilliant red and black colouration. The body of these fish is elongated, with a prominent dorsal fin.
The dorsal fin as well as the tail, has a striking red and black coloration. The Double Full Red Cockatoo Cichlid should be kept in an aquarium that is 150 litres minimum, with densely planted groupings.
They require plenty of open swimming areas but also need hiding places. A fine gravel to sand substrate is recommended.
Although a semi-aggressive fish, the Apistogramma is also timid and should not be housed with large, aggressive fish. They require good water conditions, and regular water changes are a must.
The Double Full Red Cockatoo Cichlid is an egg layer that prefers to spawn in caves. Once the female has laid her eggs, the male will follow to fertilize them.
After fertilization, the male then leaves the brood for the female to tend to. The fry will be free swimming within seven to ten days, at which time they should be fed newly hatched brine shrimp.
They are a fast growing species, and the fry will reach sexual maturity in about five months.
The Double Full Red Cockatoo Cichlid is a carnivore, and will consume a wide variety of foods.
Freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, flake food, and both frozen and live brine shrimp and worms will make excellent food for these fish.