Albino Threadfin Acara Cichlid (Acarichthys heckelii)

Albino Threadfin Acara Cichlid Acarichthys heckelii, also known as the threadfin acara or heckel's cichlid, is a distinctive and increasingly popular large cichlid species endemic to the Amazon River basin in South America. As the sole member of the genus Acarichthys, this fish displays unique adaptations like thread-like extensions on its fins. Acarichthys heckelii thrive in soft, acidic waters, growing up to 14 inches long in the wild. Mature males develop pronounced forehead humps while females take on pink bellies when breeding. While young fish make lively additions to community tanks, adults require ample space given their eventual size and aggressive tendencies. Experienced aquarists appreciate A. heckelii for their predatory behaviors, bubbly personalities, and bonding between mated pairs. When provided with an appropriate environment, these magnificent Peruvian and Brazilian natives captivate with their size, colors, intelligence, and behaviors.

A new variety of selectively bred or naturally occurring form of Acaricthys heckelii
These Red and White Albino Threadfin Acara or Threadfin Eartheater are vibrantly colored variant, displaying red eyes and with a white body which increases with age, especially on males. Known to be hardy and relatively peaceful South American cichlid, they will mix well with other eartheaters or large-sized peaceful cichlids.

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Acarichthys heckelii species profile


Acarichthys heckelii is also known by the synonyms Acara heckelii and Astronotus heckelii.


The genus name Acarichthys comes from the Greek "akari" meaning mite and "ichthys" meaning fish. The species name heckelii honors the Austrian botanist Johann Heckel.


Acarichthys heckelii is classified in the cichlid family Cichlidae. It is the only member of the genus Acarichthys.


Acarichthys heckelii is native to South America where it is found in the Amazon River basin in Peru and Brazil.


These cichlids inhabit slow moving waters including lakes, flooded forests, swamps, and tributaries in the Amazon region.

Maximum Standard Length

In the wild, Acarichthys heckelii can reach about 35 cm (14 inches) maximum standard length. In aquariums, they average 15-20 cm (6-8 inches).

Aquarium Size

Due to their large adult size, Acarichthys heckelii require a tank of at least 90 gallons with ample open swimming space.


Weekly partial water changes of 25-30% and tank cleanings are needed to maintain water quality for Acarichthys heckelii given their heavy bio loads. Proper filtration is essential.

Water Conditions

Ideal water parameters are pH of 6.0-7.0, temperature of 23-28°C (73-82°F) and soft to medium hardness. Flow should be moderate.


Acarichthys heckelii are primarily carnivorous, feeding on insects, worms, crustaceans and small fish in the wild. Quality pellets, frozen and live foods should be offered in captivity.

Behaviour and Compatibility

Acarichthys heckelii can be aggressive towards tankmates, especially conspecifics. Some compatible options include larger tetras, catfish, and South American cichlids.

Sexual Dimorphism

Males of the species develop humps on their head as they mature. Females exhibit pink bellies when ready to breed.


Breeding pairs form monogamous bonds. Fry are guarded by the parents. Commercial breeding is limited.

Endangered List

Acarichthys heckelii has a wide distribution and stable population. It is not considered endangered or threatened.