Goldeneye Cichlid Care: Complete Guide for Beginners

Ready to learn about Goldeneye Cichlid care? This article serves as your complete guide, helping you understand and fulfill these unique creatures’ needs as a beginner. Expect detailed instructions on tank setup, dietary requirements, and comprehensive advice on maintaining your cichlid’s health.

goldeneye cichlid

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Goldeneye Cichlid Species Profile and Identification

The Goldeneye Cichlid, scientifically known as Nannacara anomala, is a freshwater species native to South America. It is predominantly found in the Aruka River in Guyana, stretching east to the lower Marowijne River in Suriname. Recognizing this colorful dwarf cichlid is a breeze as it possesses distinctive features.

  • Size and Color: Males measure up to 2.2 inches (5.6 cm) and display a green tinge under acidic conditions. They often show a metallic blue on the head and flanks, with elongated unpaired fins. Females are smaller, turning black with a faint line running from their face to mid-tail, and bright yellow on the stomach during breeding periods.
  • Juvenile Appearance: Young Goldeneye Cichlids are trickier to discern. Juveniles, regardless of gender, share similar colorations, with the only telling difference being an extension at the back of the male’s dorsal fin.
  • Feeding Habits: This cichlid’s diet mainly consists of crustaceans, insects, and other small animals. Diversity in meals ensures it maintains vibrant colors.

Goldeneye Cichlids are no doubt intriguing pets, but your journey to understanding them has just begun. These initial identification traits should prove beneficial in distinguishing them within a diverse tank population.

Goldeneye Cichlid Supplies

Here, we’ll discuss the key supplies you need for setting up an ideal environment for your Goldeneye Cichlid.

Firstly, an appropriate aquarium is necessary. Goldeneye Cichlids thrive in tanks measuring at least 20 gallons (76 liters). A larger tank offers more room for the fish and simulates their natural environment better.

Next, a good-quality filter is a must-have. It maintains the cleanliness of the tank and removes unnecessary elements from the water. Opt for a filter that regulates both mechanical and biological filtration. A powerful filter helps mimic the strong currents these fish naturally live in.

Configuring the aquarium’s temperature is also crucial. You will need a reliable heater and a thermometer. Maintain the water temperature between 72-77°F (22-25°C).

To resemble their natural habitat, invest in some substrate. Goldeneye Cichlids favor fine sand on the bottom of their tank.

Consider adding decorations, like rocks, caves, and plants. They provide the cichlids with places to shelter and replicate their wild home.

Lastly, don’t forget about lighting. Goldeneye Cichlids have no specific lighting requirements, but a moderate amount of light helps display their vibrant colors.

Here’s a simple checklist:

  • A 20-gallon (or larger) tank
  • High-quality filter
  • Reliable heater and thermometer
  • Appropriate substrate (fine sand)
  • Decorations (rocks, caves, plants)
  • Suitable aquarium lighting

Ensure you have all of these supplies before bringing home your Goldeneye Cichlid. It guarantees a comfortable and healthy environment for your fish right from the start.

Goldeneye Cichlid Tank Setup

To ensure your Goldeneye Cichlid thrives, deliberate tank setup is necessary. Firstly, a tank size of a minimum of 20 gallons should be your target. This size is adequate because your fish will grow to roughly 2.2 inches, or 5.6 cm in mature size.

For substrate, fine sand is best as they love to burrow. It also replicates their native habitat. More so, provide numerous hiding spots with caves, rocks, and driftwood. This guarantees a stress-free environment as the fish feel secure.

  • Tank Size: 20 gallons minimum
  • Substrate: Fine sand
  • Decor: Caves, rocks, and driftwood

Plants are an essential part of the tank because they provide additional hiding places. Goldeneye Cichlids accept various plant types but ensure they are sturdy to prevent uprooting. Keep in mind, your fish prefers landscapes resembling their native habitats, so aim for that when setting up.

Temperature regulation is crucial. Use water heaters to maintain a temperature between 72-77°F (22-25°C). Couple this with a pH level around 6.0-7.2 and a hardness of up to 8 dH. The water should ideally simulate slightly acidic, soft water conditions found in their natural habitat. Regularly monitor these parameters for consistency.

  • Temperature: 72-77°F (22-25°C)
  • pH Level: 6.0-7.2
  • Hardness: up to 8 dH

Lastly, lighting doesn’t have special requirements. Standard aquarium lighting is just fine. The Goldeneye Cichlid is quite adaptive and will work well with typical lighting conditions in most home aquariums.

Goldeneye Cichlid Water Requirements

Goldeneye Cichlids thrive in soft, slightly acidic water. The ideal PH is between 6.0 and 7.2. The hardness of the water should not exceed 8 degrees dH. Fulfilling these parameters results in a happy, healthy fish.

  • Temperature: A key aspect of water conditions is the temperature. The Goldeneye Cichlid prefers water temperatures between 22-25°C (71.6-77°F).
  • Water Cleanliness: Consistent clean water is crucial for this species. Establish a routine of changing 10%-20% of the tank’s water weekly. This practice prevents the accumulation of toxins that may harm the fish.

Make sure the tank is cycled correctly before introducing the Goldeneye Cichlid. Regular testing of nitrate, nitrite and ammonia levels is recommended. Always remember, being sensitive to changes, sudden shifts in water conditions can stress these aquarium jewels.

Daily monitoring is a must, keeping a close eye on the water conditions is the key to maintaining their well-being. Just like the right water parameters, meeting the Goldeneye Cichlid’s feeding requirements and providing them with a suitable environment can go a long way in ensuring their health and longevity.

Goldeneye Cichlid Diet and Feeding

As with any pet, ensuring a proper and balanced diet is key to the health of your Goldeneye Cichlid. This fish species has a robust appetite and enjoys a diverse menu.

  • Primarily Omnivorous: These little swimmers are hungry for a diet that includes not just a single type of food, but a mixture. They savour a diverse diet which can include crustaceans, insects, and other small animals.
  • Provision of Variety: To keep your Goldeneye Cichlid happy and healthy, provide them with a variety of foods. You can alternate between flake foods, granules and frozen foods. Variety not only ensures a well-rounded diet, but it also keeps the life of your fish interesting.
  • Feeding Schedule: Goldeneye Cichlids, generally, should be fed once or twice a day. Always try to maintain a consistent feeding schedule as it supports the well-being of your pet fish. Remember, overfeeding can lead to health issues.
  • Food for Fry: The fry (baby fish) are quite autonomous in finding their food. However, you can give them a boost by preparing them infusoria as well as crushed flakes.

The Goldeneye Cichlid is not a picky eater, making them rather easy to care for when it comes to their diet. The key is variety and balance – and, of course, a dose of love with each feeding.

Goldeneye Cichlid Care Schedule

Weekly Water Tests: Ensuring the health of your Goldeneye Cichlid begins with regular testing of your aquarium water. Test for parameters such as pH, hardness, and temperature at least once a week. Keep these conditions stable as sudden shifts can be stressful, resulting in disease or even death.

Weekly Partial Water Changes: Carry out partial water changes every 7-10 days, replacing 15-25% of the tank’s water. This helps maintain optimal water quality. Be sure the new water matches the temperature of the tank to prevent shock.

Feeding Routine: Goldeneye Cichlids thrive on a diet of flake, granules, and frozen foods. Feed them once or twice daily, providing only as much as they can consume in 2-3 minutes. A balanced diet helps achieve brighter colors, greater activity and healthier reproduction.

Monthly Equipment Checks: Regularly inspect your tank’s equipment – including the filter, heater, and lighting. Ensure they are functioning correctly as malfunctioning equipment disrupts the healthy environment. Regular maintenance reduces the risk of sudden system failures that can be lethal.

Six Month Health Check-Ups: Monitor your Goldeneye Cichlids for signs of poor health every six months. Look for signs of disease such as loss of appetite, changes in color or behavior, and signs of physical damage like cuts or sores. Early intervention is key to successful treatment.

Annual Full Tank Clean: A comprehensive, from-the-ground-up cleaning should be performed annually. This includes a complete water change, substrate vacuuming, and deep cleaning of decorations and equipment. Remember, avoid using harsh chemicals as they can fatally harm your fish.

Overall, creating a regular care schedule helps maintain your Goldeneye Cichlid’s environment, increasing their lifespan and overall wellness.

Goldeneye Cichlid Health Problems

Like all fish, goldeneye cichlids can encounter various health issues throughout their lives. As a beginner aquarist, it’s essential to be aware of these potential problems to keep their health in check.

The most widespread health issue with goldeneye cichlid is Ich— a highly contagious parasite that presents as white spots on the fish’s skin. This condition usually happens due to a sudden drop in water temperature. However, it can be remedied by gradually increasing the water temperature to approximately 86°F (30°C) for about three days.

Fin Rot is another possible ailment. If you see your fish suffering from tattered fins or discolouration at the fin’s edges, it’s likely suffering from Fin Rot. This disease typically stems from poor water conditions and can be treated using antibacterial treatments suitable for fin and tail rot.

Lastly, we have Dropsy, a disease caused by a bacterial infection in the fish’s abdomen. If your fish has a bloated body with scales sticking out, it might be Dropsy. Seek immediate help from a fish health professional as this is often a symptom of severe disease.

Here’s a summary table for quick overview:

Disease Symptoms Cause Treatment
Ich White spots Sudden temperature drop Increase water temperature
Fin Rot Tattered fins, Discolouration Poor water conditions Antibacterial treatments
Dropsy Bloating, scales sticking out Bacterial infection Consult a fish health professional

Remember, prevention is always easier than cure. Keeping your tank clean and maintaining its parameters are your golden keys to disease prevention. Regular water changes and monitoring of water parameters can go a long way in preventing such issues.

Goldeneye Cichlid Tank Mates

Selecting tank mates for your Goldeneye Cichlid requires a careful approach. Remember, the golden rule is compatibility.

Goldeneye Cichlids are territorial, particularly when they are breeding. Thus, they should only be selected as tank mates for non-aggressive fish of similar size. Species such as the Guppy, Platies, and Dwarf Gourami make a safe bet.

One approach is to choose tank mates that occupy different levels of the water column. Tetras or Barbs make excellent mid to upper-level swimmers, reducing the chance of confrontation with your bottom-dwelling cichlids.

It’s also worth noting that during the breeding period, female Goldeneye Cichlids get rather territorial. Hence, if you’re breeding them, it’s best to have a separate tank for the couple.

Avoid putting two male Goldeneye Cichlids in the same aquarium. Rival males will continually fight, causing potential harm and a lot of stress.

Here’s a list of potential tank mates:

  • Tetras (mid to upper level swimmers)
  • Barbs (mid to upper level swimmers)
  • Guppy (peaceful mate)
  • Platy (easy-going mate)
  • Dwarf Gourami (compatible size)

Prepare a suitable environment for any pet. Remember, you’re responsible for their well-being. Don’t forget to consider the specific needs of each species before introducing them in a shared tank. Mixing the wrong species can result in stress, sickness, or even death. Make sure you pick tank mates wisely to ensure a peaceful environment for your Goldeneye Cichlids!

Finally, always observe your fish, as individual temperaments can vary.

Goldeneye Cichlid Breeding

Goldeneye Cichlid breeding is a straightforward process; the fish are known for their breeding ease within aquariums. Notably, sexual dimorphism is unmistakable in these species, making it simpler for hobbyists to identify the right breeding pair, with the males generally larger and possessing vibrant colors compared to the females.

To facilitate spawning, make sure to increase your tank’s temperature to 82°F (28°C). This setup, alongside a diet involving fresh and varied food, can effectively stimulate your goldeneye cichlids towards breeding.

Goldeneye Cichlids are also oviparous, demonstrating a preference for laying eggs in hidden locations or on rocks. Thereby, incorporating this kind of decor in your aquarium could motivate spawning. A single spawn could contain an impressive amount, sometimes reaching around 150 eggs.

The female, meanwhile, exhibits aggression post-spawning, necessitating temporary isolation within the aquarium. This step could depend on your tank’s size, number of tank mates, and the environment’s general condition.

Imperatively, post-spawning triggers color changes in the female, with square-shaped patterns arising on its body. Its demeanor also veers towards aggression, protecting the eggs even from the male cichlid.

Egg incubation typically lasts up to ten days, with the fry beginning to swim freely after an additional five days. The females exhibit paternal duties by grouping and safeguarding the fry. This process is a magnificent sight and a testament to these cichlids’ diligent care of their offspring.

Refrain from interference with the fry, as they are autonomous in finding their food. You may, however, offer infusoria and gently crushed flakes as dietary supplements. Remember, the larger your aquarium, the less aggressive the female cichlid will be towards other fish during this breeding process.


Caring for Goldeneye Cichlids is a rewarding experience that both beginner and experienced aquarists can enjoy. By following this guide, you can create a suitable habitat for these exotic creatures. Let us know about your experiences, tips or any queries in the comments below!

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