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Goldeneye Cichlid (Nannacara Anomala) Care Guide

Level of CareEasy to moderate
TemperamentPeaceful in group. Females are territorial when spawning
AppearanceBeautiful neon blue coloration across the body
Life Expectancy5-8 years
Size5.6 centimetres (2.2 in)
Tank SizeMin. 60 – 100 cm
Tank EnvironmentAquarium with a sandy substrate and plenty of hiding places and shades such as clay pots, driftwood, and rock formations
Tank MatesOther small, peaceful fish

If you want to beautify your community tank, you might be looking for the best tank mates for the existing fish. Or perhaps, you have just purchased a tank and wonder what kind of fish you’d like to add to your tank.

You might have heard that the dwarf cichlid is one of the most peaceful kinds that can be striven in the community tank. It can also be a great breeding project for beginners and experts. But there are many kinds of them.

In this post, I’d focus on a particular type named goldeneye cichlid. There are good reasons why I would recommend this fish type to you.

Top Reasons to Choose

Goldeneye cichlids have the mesmerizing coloration of neon blue in males and females, with the exception that females will turn into a checkered pattern when they are spawning.

The neon blue is particularly astonishing, especially if you want to create such a unique appeal in your community aquarium.

These are very hardy and have a lot of interesting personalities.

They are peaceful fish that can live together with other peaceful tank mates. There are a bunch of other fish species that are suitable to live in the same tank as this fish.

As long as you have a more spacious tank, you can add more groups of fish to your aquarium.

If you love to add ornamental plants to your tank, you can have peace of mind since these fish are not tempted to ruin the plants.

Species Overview

The golden dwarf cichlid is one of the most peaceful species in the community tank. Not only with the same species, but also with other species from different families.

The blue neon color is one of its most powerful selling points.

When the males reach adult age, their iridescent blue color with yellow fins is fantastic. It is hard to resist the beauty of these fish. The females are more yellowish.

When they spawn, they will perform a fascinating checkerboard pattern.

In my entire life as an aquarist, I’ve never been amazed by the uniqueness of this species. Add more specimens to your larger tank, and you will have more colorful and vibrant entertainment daily.

Natural Habitat

The fish are spread around Suriname and Guyana. However, commercial farming of fish has been prevalent from the east to eastern Europe.

In their natural habitat, they are often found in the flooded grassland in the coastal areas. But farmers have nailed the most effective ways to breed them fast and maintain the quality of the breeds.

It is now much easier to take a look at the fish and grab a group of specimens to enrich your aquascape.

Behavior & Temperament

It will be fun every time you see the hordes of neon blue fish traveling around the spaces in your aquarium. They have such a cheerful and peaceful personality. If you provide more space for them, they won’t hesitate to explore the aquarium.

You will want to be ready to handle their aggression during the spawning season.

They could become more territorial because they need to protect their eggs. The females will become aggressive towards the males and other fish.

If you don’t want to breed them, you could just keep the group of males instead. Their iridescent neon blue color is unbeatable.

Closeup of a male goldeneye cichlid

Goldeneye Cichlid Care and Tank Guide

The key to the best coloration, longevity, and wellness of your goldeneye cichlid depends on the tank environment, decoration, setup, as well as condition of the water.

  • Temperature: 72°-77° F (22°-25° C)
  • pH: 6.0-7.5,
  • KH: 0-10 KH
  • Minimum Tank Size: 15-20 gallons

The pH level is more prevalent for tank-breed specimens. They are more tolerant of pH level differences.

The tank size is around 15 to 20 gallons. It seems a bit small, but it is for a group of trios. You will need a larger aquarium if you want to add more specimens to your tank community.

Always provide more space, especially if you add other tank mates to the aquarium.


The best way to make your goldeneye cichlid happy and healthy is to replicate the aquarium with a sandy substrate and plenty of shade and hiding places.

Consider adding pots, driftwood, as well as rock formations, so that the horde will be able to wait and settle there.

You could also add plants. In many cases, the goldeneye cichlid can work well in a planted aquarium. But you will need to get the right proportion between the plants and the other objects.

The cichlid buddies are also demanding open space for their swimming and other activities.

The peaceful fish can maintain their great endeavors as long as they have plenty of space to use.

Tank Mates

These fish love the spacious tanks to swim in and conduct their daily activities. You will want to make sure that the tanks come up with open areas for swimming.

They are peaceful as long as they have the freedom to enjoy their time.

The stress-free environment will be your primary concern to make them stay together with the other specimens.

The peaceful dwarf cichlid is a great community tank mate with other peaceful fish of the same size.

It is important to stick to an adequate size. It would be much safer to add the same-sized tank mates to keep a peaceful environment.

If the tank mates are too small, there’s a risk that your goldeneye cichlid groups will bully the weaker and slower ones. If the tank mates are too large, your fish could be eaten.

Different cichlid species can also be the tank mates of your goldeneye types. Since most of these species are schooling, you might want to expand the size of your tanks if you want to add some groups.

The other cichlids that you could add to the same community tank are kribensis, rams, as well as patios.

Live plants are essential tank mates for your goldeneye dwarf fish. The dense planting can help them to hide and rest.

It is a great idea to add more dense plants to the caves, shades, as well as passages. Shade and shelter are relevant to the floating plants. You could add more of them to improve the shades.

Food & Diet

Female goldeneyed cichlid with fry in a coconut cave
A female goldeneye cichlid with fry

The goldeneye cichlid buddies are the real predators. I know. They are cute little things. But they are beasts on the inside. They love to eat meaty foods like insects, worms, and other invertebrates. That’s why I suggest you don’t add dwarf shrimp, little snails, or other invertebrates since they can be food for your fish.

The meaty commercial pellets can also be a great option if finding live foods in your area is difficult.

You could give them dry foods daily and they won’t protest.

Make sure to supply them with the veggies as well. Since they are small, you’d want to cut the food into smaller chunks so that your pets can take them.

If you don’t have live foods, you could also replace them with frozen foods. Choose brine shrimp or blood worms and they will be okay.

You can also find your cichlid commercial foods in popular department stores. Many online pet shops offer the same.

Breeding & Reproduction

Differ the male and female goldeneye cichlids first. The male is much bigger. Their coloration is pale blue and red. Meanwhile, the female tends to be smaller and has dominant yellow coloration with a black line on the flank.

I suggest preparing the breeding tank for this purpose. But if you have larger tanks, the females usually claim their territories at the bottom of the tank.

They will lay eggs in the most strategic places.

But it is much safer to separate them from the breeding tank.

The temperature of the water should be around 25 to 28° Celsius. The pH level needs to be reduced to slightly acidic.

Consider feeding the parents with live foods to give them great nutrition. After laying eggs, females become very protective. Males can be their enemies.

You don’t have to remove the males unless their lives are threatened by the females. Eggs hatch in 3 days.

The females will then move the fry to a new hole for 5 days until the fry can swim. If the males are still there, they can also take care of their fry.