Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: No
General Description: The Acei Cichlid is endemic to the western side of Lake Malawi along rocky and sandy shorelines. Acei may be referred to as a ‘mbuna’, which is a general term to characterize various Malawian cichlid species that share a similar body shape and belligerent temperament. However, the Acei is rather mild-mannered compared to other mbunas, making this fish an ideal cichlid for beginner hobbyists in addition to its undemanding care requirements. Acei are slender bodied, with a predominance of blue coloration and some yellow in their fins that can vary among individuals. Most African cichlids do best in a somewhat overcrowded tank to spread out or reduce aggression. There are few diagnosable differences between male and female Acei, as females can also develop “eggspots” on the anal fin. Behavior is a better indicator of sex in this species, in that males will chase more as they try to establish or defend a territory. An adult Acei can reach a size of approximately 5″.
Diet Requirements: Acei are primarily herbivorous and such foods should make up a large portion of their diet. Various high quality vegetable and spirulina based flake foods and sinking pellet foods are ideal. Frozen spirulina brine shrimp can be fed in moderation. Blanched vegetables are excellent options. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish. Acei should not be fed a diet high in protein, and avoid beef heart altogether, as this disturbs their digestive system.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 55 gallon aquarium is ideal for Acei. Biweekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters up to standard (Nitrates < 30 ppm). The aquarium should be aquascaped generously with stacked rocks to create many hiding spaces and caves, but some unobstructed and open swimming space should also be provided. A sandy or fine substrate is preferred and the aquarium needs to be well oxygenated. African cichlid specific substrates, or even marine Aragonite substrate, are great choices because they will buffer the pH and alkalinity to levels characteristic of Lake Malawi. Acei will do well with other Malawian cichlids that are not overly pugnacious. Recommended water conditions, 74-80° F, KH 10-25, pH 7.5-8.5.
Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/2” to 2”, Medium: 2” to 3”, Large: 3” to 4”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.