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Acará - açu

Astronotus ocellatus  (Agassiz, 1831)

Astronotus ocellatus

(Agassiz, 1831)


Popular Names: Carauaçu, Oscar,

Size: Medium size, can reach up to 40 cm.

  They are omnivorous fish, with a strong tendency towards carnivores. Its diet is based on small fish, insects, crustaceans, fruits and seeds. They are not migratory fish.
  They reach sexual maturity around 10 to 12 months and spawn about three times a year, with approximately 1,500 to 2,000 eggs per clutch. They form couples during the breeding season and look for places among the rocks to protect the offspring.


  They have vertical and irregular dark spots on the body and a large eye spot on the upper part of the caudal-fin peduncle. The eyespots are dark in the central region and orange around. Sometimes they have a reddish color on the flanks and belly.


  The Acará-açu inhabits floodplain lakes and oxbow lakes, adapts to still and shallow waters. It is a kind of bottom and half water (benthopelagic), freshwater and tropical climate. Optimal temperature range from 22 to 25º C and pH from 6.0 to 8.0.

Astronotus ocellatus  (Agassiz, 1831)

Geographic distribution

  It occurs in South America, in the countries: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. In Brazil, it is found in the Amazon basin, Araguaia-Tocantins and Prata.

potential for cultivation
  It is a very tasty species, frequent in places of sale, being appreciated as food. This species also has potential in aquarism, as it is highly appreciated due to the exuberance of its colors and for being a docile fish. There are already cultivations of it in reservoirs in the Northeast.
considered the largest of the Brazilian acarás. Known for its impressive intelligence, when in an aquarium, it is able to recognize its handler and capture food in its hand or even jump out of the aquarium to catch it. He also usually lets them caress his back.

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