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March 01, 2013

I remember shortly after I started working here we received a batch of South American cichlids that I was told would require great attention due to how sensitive they can be. You see back when I was just a guppy here I used to take care of the fish that would come in new. The task was quite challenging, and it did take a little bit of an iron heart to deal with losses when fish first arrive.

So when the I assigned to take of care of something hard to handle I immediately asked the boss what he wanted to do with the Uaru amphiacanthoides “Triangle Cichlid” that had arrived. He explained to me what the best way to care for them would be, and I quickly learned what a “sensitive” fish really was. Though a few of the fish had perished, I still felt rewarded when the group was found schooling around their aquarium a few days after they arrival. Once the fish were all healthy and ready for sale they didn’t last long in the shop. Uaru are really hard to find in most shops after all. This isn’t really because of how rare they are in nature, but because most pet stores can be afraid to carry them. Wild imports are seldom, and tank raised fish are even more scarce. Well, we at The Spot prefer a challenge, so when the opportunity arose for us to order the other known member in the family we were more than eager to order some up….

Uaru fernandezyepezi

The young Uaru fernandezyepezi “Panda Uaru” is quite attractive when juvenile. The body of the fish is covered with little white dots with a dull grey color. Their colors may be subtle as adults, but with the two dark bands near the back half of the body, the black ventral fins, and an eye that is blood red in color they extremely sought after by experienced hobbyists. The breeding form of these fish is quite stunning from what I’ve read, but no literature states what the fish look like. The name “Uaru” derives from the word for “toad” in the native tongue of the peoples South America. These cichlids can grow to almost 8” in nature, and this can easily be obtained in an aquarium if kept in ideal conditions. Panda Uaru are a schooling fish that will need to be kept in a group. Keeping just one will end in a fish that will be extremely shy, and I’ve read reports of the fish starving themselves to death because of this. The diet consists mainly of vegetable matter, so if you were thinking of having them in your planted tank you may take a second to think about that before you find that wonderful lotus you were just about to bloom become the cichlids next snack.

Uaru fernandezyepezi

It’s not our first time with the mythical “Panda Uaru”. These cichlids can be just as hard to keep as the Triangle Cichlid at first, but with a little bit of patience and care are considered to be a hobbyist’s dream boat. There isn’t much written about them, but it is known that they come from the Río Atabapo near the Colombian-Venezuelan border. There aren’t many collectors who venture to the remote location where they are found which is why they are often seen for top dollar prices. It would seem that they prefer more acidic water with a pH around the mid 5’s. The water is often very warm and should be kept never be lower than 82°.

Uaru fernandezyepezi

It’s been about three weeks now since we were able to import in these wild caught Panda Uaru from Colombia. I’ve never seen them come in so small, but they are extremely cute with their pale spots covering their pan shaped bodies. The quarantine period is over with, and we are more than 100% confident that a group could go right into your home aquarium. Remember though, it’s always a good idea to have a quarantine tank on hand – especially with sensitive fish.

Don’t forget to look under the “South American Cichlids” section found in our fish list, you’ll find these and several other great looking fish. Like always, be sure to contact me with any questions you may have. Oh, and don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook!


Anthony Perry

Sales Manager