From Wikipedia’s article on Laetacara:

Laetacara is a small genus of cichlids native to soft, acidic freshwater habitats in South America. The genus is also collectively known as the smiling acaras. The range of the genus extends from the upper Orinoco River in Venezuela to the Paraná River in Paraguay. Like all cichlids, Laetacara species have well-developed brood care.

My Fish:

Pictures and video of the four fish that I picked up from Top Shelf Aquatics in Cincinnati Ohio and possibly a two pairs are forming.


The Laetacara are considered a beginners fish, which is OK, because the colors and size make it a great choice for hobbyist with limited resources. I keep my fish as I do all South Americans, with a tank temp of 78 – 80 Fahrenheit and a pH between 6.5 with Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrates are all kept around zero by performing large water changes using a mix of 50/50 RO and tap water. Most water companies provide analysis and Kentucky American is no exception. Lexington KY water analysis.

Description and care:

Tropical Fish Hobbyist information page.

Common Names:

Smiling acara, flag acara, flag cichlid, curviceps, dwarf flag cichlid, sheepshead acara, blunt-head cichlid, etc.


7–9 cm (2¾–3½ inches), males larger than females.


Highly variable, with several distinct geographical races, which have been blended in captive stocks. These cichlids can change color and pattern very quickly. Some individuals show considerable color, especially blue in the body and red in the fins. Breeding fish take on particularly intense coloration. A dark spot in the middle of the dorsal fin is often present.



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