Max Size: 6cm

Redbreasted Acara (Laetacara dorsigera)

Unless they are in breeding condition, Red-Breasted Acaras, Laetacara dorsigera, have a relatively peaceful temperament. Their hardiness and adaptability make them suitable for both beginners and experienced aquarists.

It would be best if you kept these Cichlids with peaceful tankmates who are small to medium in size, large enough not to eat but not too large to disturb them. For example, Corydoras Catfish, Hatchetfish, and Tetras would make excellent companions. As long as you provide sufficient territory and spawning areas, you can combine them with other Dwarf Cichlids such as Apistogrammas.

It is best to keep these fish in an established aquarium with soft to neutral conditions. Provide a dark sand substrate and plenty of hiding spots or broken lines of sight among driftwood, caves, and dense plantings. Diffusing light can also be achieved with floating plants. The filtration process should be efficient, but the water movement should be relatively gentle. If nitrate levels are to be kept under control, frequent partial water changes are recommended.

Red-breasted Acaras are typically cream, yellow, or brown in colour. Furthermore, their lateral stripes can vary from reddish-brown to blues and purples, depending on their mood. Across the lower half of their flanks, they run through the top lip just below their "white smile." These Cichlids exhibit iridescent blue spots on their body and fins and are named for their red chest colouring.


Redbreasted Acara
Redbreasted Acara
Redbreasted Acara
Quick Facts
Scientific NameLaetacara dorsigera
Year Described1840
Other NamesRed-breasted Flag Cichlid
OriginsArgentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asPairs
Lifespan3 - 8 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.0 - 7.5
GH1 - 20
TDS36 - 268
68 - 82℉
20 - 27.8℃


In the home aquarium, the Redbreasted Acara will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is pretty challenging to differentiate between male and female Red-Breasted Acaras as their differences are very subtle. Both sexes have a dorsal spot, though the female's dot is often more prominent. Males are usually slightly larger, heavier, have a higher dorsal fin and a more intense belly colour than females. In contrast, females are plumper and have duller abdomens. Both sexes perform significant colour changes at will or in response to a physical condition.

Other Cichlids of interest

African Butterfly Cichlid(Anomalochromis thomasi)
Banded Apistogramma(Apistogramma bitaeniata)
Blue Panda Apistogramma(Apistogramma panduro, Apistogramma pandurini)
Bolivian Ram Cichlid(Mikrogeophagus altispinosus)
Checkerboard Cichlid(Dicrossus filamentosus)
Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid(Apistogramma cacatuoides)
View all Cichlids
Date Added: 28/06/2021 13:56:14 - Updated: 31/08/2022 14:08:50