Uaru cf. amphiacanthoides

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Heiko Bleher reports on a new species of cichlid he discovered in the Rio Jari river system in Brazil.

Origin: in Igarape Miguel, a tributary stream to the Rio Jari in the Rio Purus basin.

Water: Blackwater, pH 5.7, GH <1, 28.2°C/82.8°F.

Habitat: In small groups near the estuary and found among driftwood and submerged fallen trees in water about 1-3m/3’3”-10’ deep over white sand with accumulated sediment. The water flows strongly and there is no aquatic vegetation. Habitat within dense, high and untouched tropical forest.

Aquarium: Aquarium at least 250 l/55 gal necessary as these fish can reach 25cm/10” in length. They should be kept in groups in a tank containing bogwood and fine white sand. The species breeds in sand nests and appreciates flowing water.

Notes: Currently only two described species of Uaru: U. amphiacanthoides from the Rio Negro, and to the west from the Japura basin, a left arm of the Rio Solimoes, to the Tapajos, a right-bank tributary of the Amazon in the east, and U. fernandezyepezi, which is currently only known from the Rio Atabapo, an upper Orinoco tributary.

The large black spot on this Uaru species is very different to that of amphiacanthoides. It also has a golden yellow base colour and an orange eye.  All specimens in the area shared this colour pattern.

This item was first published in the October 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.