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Library > Cichlids > General Articles > Taxonomy of Cichlids > Sub Family cichlasomatiene > Genera Aequidens> Aequidens pallidus
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Species Aequidens pallidus  
Scientific classification
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Actinopterygii
Order : Perciformes
Suborder : Labroidei
Family : Cichlidae
Sub Family : cichlasomatiene
Genus : Aequidens
Scientific Name : Aequidens pallidus
Common Name : Double Spot Acara
Geo Origin : AMERICA, South America, Amazon River basin, in the middle and lower Negro River, Uatumã, Preto da Eva, and Puraquequara rivers.
Diet : Carnivore
Gender Differences : Dimorphic
Breeding : Substrate Spawner
Temperament : Peacefull
Con specific Temperament : Mildy aggressive
Standard Length : 6.0"
Total Length: 8"
Water Hardness: Soft, dh range 3-9
Difficulty ; 3


It is a moderately large fish of about 6 " found in Rivers Negro,Amazonas, and Prague, in Brazil, South America.


It was first described by Heckel in 1840 and was named as Acara pallidus, Later on the classification was revised and has now been placed in Genus Aequidens and subfamily Cichlasomatinae.

The Genus "Aequidens" is derived from Latin words, equips+equal+dens(teeth), which roughly translates to "Fish with equal teeth".

The Species name is derived from latin word pallidus, which means "faded", referring to its colors.

Distribution & Habitat:

It is found in South america, Middle and lower Rio Negro, Rio Preto da Eva, Rio Puraquequara and Rio Uatumã drainage.

A. pallidus has been collected from both running water and still streams but is mostly restricted to black and clearwaters.

It is benthopelagic or swims above river/stream bed at depths of about 1-3 m in black water rivers.


It is a carnivorous in nature, and eats small fish, deitrus .

Hence it should be given similar diet in aquariums.



It is somewhat moderately large fish with standard length(from tip of snout to begriming of tail fin) about 8 ".

A. pallidus has a typical tri serial pre dorsal arrangement of scales of its Aequidens with E1 scales 25 or 26.

The pectoral fin is large, 36-46% of SL(standard length).

It is somewhat similar to A. tubicen having a wide light spot anterior(before) caudal spot, Lateral band is high on the side, mid spot is positioned towards posterior(back) and vertebral count is high at 27.
However it can be differentiated from A. tubicen as

  • it has a supra orbital spot( just above eye) which is absent in A. tubicen
  • a normal cheek spot whereas A. tubicen has a spot on preopercular (near nostril).
  • The posterior part of lateral band is continuous unlike A. tubicen where it is divided into blotches.

A. pallidus is also similar to A. diadema, and can be distinguished by having more scales, E1 scale row count is 25-26 instead of 24, dark margin on dorsal flank scales are narrower, mid lateral spot is placed more posterior (behind).

It is known to live for 8-10 years.


Water Parameters:

It is found in running waters of Rivers Negro,Amazonas, and Puraquequara in Brazil with a ph of 4.5-6 and dh range 3-9.

Tank Size and setup:

A. Pallidus are moderately large sized fish and should be kept in a aquarium of about 300 liters with good filtration.

A sand bed of fine sand and many shelters with rocks and driftwood are ideal for this fish.

Tank Mates:

They are not very aggressive but can be very aggressive to others of same species. At breeding time the aggression increases.

Small fish should not be kept with them as it will be eaten.

They can be kept with Oscars, Rocio etc.


A. pallidus are dimorphic, and reach sexual maturity in about 9-11 months.

They lay eggs on flat surfaces and practice brood care. Both parents take care of eggs and larvae.

The females are smaller and will clean a piece of flat rock and lay 500-600 eggs.

The eggs will hatch after 2-3 days and fry will be free swimming within a week.

Fry can be fed brine shrimp. The pair will be ready to breed again if the fry are removed early.





  Sandeep Raghuvanshi
Picture Credits   Wikipdeia and other sources which have releases under GNU, unless specifically credited
Citations/Further Reading  

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2011.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication., ( 10/2013 )

Kullander, S. O., 2003. Cichlidae (Cichlids). p. 605-654. In R. E. Regis, S. O. Kullander and C. J. Ferraris, Jar. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America.

A new Aequidens species from the Rio Trombetas, Brasil, and redescription of Aequidens pallidus (Teleostei, Cichlidae) 1. SVEN O. KULLANDER1, 2. EFREM J. G. FERREIRA2