Threadfin acara

Threadfin Acara (Acarichthys heckelii)

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to the Threadfin Acara, scientifically known as Acarichthys heckelii. If you’re an aquarium enthusiast looking to add a splash of color and personality to your tank, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about caring for this stunning freshwater fish, from their unique characteristics and habitat requirements to tips for ensuring their health and happiness in your aquarium. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced aquarist, join us as we explore the captivating world of the Threadfin Acara and uncover the secrets to successful care and maintenance.

Size and appearance

The Threadfin Acara exhibits a graceful demeanor with an elongated body that reaches lengths of 12-15 centimeters (4.7-5.9 inches). Its most distinguishing feature is its elongated dorsal and anal fins, which resemble delicate threads, lending the fish its common name. With vibrant hues of blue, green, and red adorning its body, the Threadfin Acara showcases a captivating coloration that captivates onlookers.


Originating from the freshwater rivers and tributaries of South America, particularly in the Amazon basin, the Threadfin Acara thrives in warm, tropical climates. It is commonly found in slow-moving waters with dense vegetation, where it seeks shelter among submerged roots and aquatic plants.


Threadfin Acaras are known for their peaceful temperament, making them suitable additions to community aquariums. They exhibit social behaviors and can be observed forming hierarchies within their group. Despite their relatively docile nature, they may display territorial behaviors, particularly during breeding periods.


In their natural habitat, Threadfin Acaras are omnivorous, feeding on a varied diet of small invertebrates, crustaceans, and plant matter. In captivity, they readily accept a diverse diet consisting of high-quality pellets, live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and chopped vegetables. Providing a balanced diet ensures optimal health and vibrant coloration.

How to keep the Threadfin Acara at home

To provide an optimal environment for Threadfin Acaras, consider the following care requirements:

Tank size: Opt for a spacious aquarium with a minimum capacity of 150 liters (40 gallons) to accommodate a small group of Threadfin Acaras. Provide ample hiding spots, such as caves, driftwood, and plants, to mimic their natural habitat.
Water parameters: Maintain a stable water temperature between 24-28 °C (75-82 °F) and a pH level of 6.5-7.5. Regular water changes and filtration are essential to maintain water quality and prevent nitrate and phosphate buildup.
Tank setup: Create a naturalistic aquascape with soft, sandy substrate, and densely planted areas. Incorporate driftwood and rocks to provide hiding spots and territorial boundaries for the Threadfin Acaras.
Tank mates: Choose tank mates carefully, opting for peaceful species that share similar water parameters. Avoid housing Threadfin Acaras with aggressive or overly territorial fish that may intimidate them.

The Threadfin Acara, with its elegant appearance and peaceful demeanor, offers aquarists a captivating glimpse into the diverse world of freshwater aquariums. By understanding their natural habitat and specific care requirements, you can create a thriving aquatic environment that showcases the beauty and charm of these enchanting fish. Embrace the opportunity to care for Threadfin Acaras, and you’ll be rewarded with a dynamic and visually stunning addition to your home aquarium.

Scientific nameAcarichthys heckelii
Type of aquariumFreshwater
Size12-15 cm (4.7-5.9 inches)
RegionSouth America, Amazon basin
Ideal tank size150 liters (40 gallons) or more
Ideal water temperature24-28 °C (75-82 °F)
DietOmnivorous; pellets, live/frozen foods, vegetables
ReproductionBreeds in pairs, egg layers
Life spanVaries, typically 5-8 years
SchoolingGenerally solitary; peaceful with proper tank mates.

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