Nannacara anomala - Golden Dwarf Cichlid
Nannacara anomala -  Golden Dwarf Cichlid

Nannacara anomala - Golden Dwarf Cichlid

Nannacara anomala -  Golden Dwarf Cichlid
Nannacara anomala pair - Copyright

Common Name: Golden Dwarf Cichlid
Scientific Name: Nannacara anomala
Max.size: 8 cm / 3 inch
Temperature: 24-25˚ C / 75-77 ˚F
pH: 6.0 - 8.0
dH: 5.0 - 19.0

The golden dwarf cichlid (Nannacara anomala) is a very nice little cichlid that is suitable for beginners who want to keep their first cichlid. The species is native to South America where it is found in Guyana and Surinam. These cichlids are mainly found in rivers and creeks.  Their scientific name literally means the “extraordinary little Acara (cichlid)”. This species has earlier been called Acara punctulata and Nannacara taenia and is still sometimes sold under these names. The golden dwarf cichlid is a friendly little cichlid that is suitable for community aquariums with other small and friendly species. They can be somewhat aggressive when protecting eggs and fry but as long as the aquarium isn't too small this shouldn't really be a problem. One male can be kept with several females.

Nannacara anomala aquarium

The aquarium should be at least 20 gallon / 90 L to keep this species. A smaller tank might be okay as a breeding aquarium. The aquarium where you keep Golden dwarf cichlids should be decorated with dense vegetation, caves and rocks. Caves can be created out of small clay pots or coconuts. The aquarium should also feature open areas where the fish can swim around freely.

This is a hardy species that can tolerate a wide variety of water conditions but they prefer if the pH is kept between 6-8 and the temperature around 24-25˚ C / 75-77 ˚F. Good water quality is highly recommended even if this species can tolerate less than optimal conditions. Avoid exceedingly strong circulation in the tank; a turnover of about 2-3 times the water volume each hour is usually sufficient but this also depends on how much fish you keep in the aquarium and which other species you keep in it.

Feeding Nannacara anomala, Golden dwarf cichlid

This species is usually easy to feed and can be thought to accept most food types. They can however sometimes be very picky and some individuals are hard to get to accept anything but live food. These individuals are usually wild caught and aquarium bred fish seldom show this problem. Don't try to get a fish that only take live food to accept flake food right away. Start by trying to get it to accept frozen food, then proceed to freeze-dried food, and then finally try to make it accept flake food. I have fed mine a variety of frozen foods and flake food. It is important to give them a varied diet.


This species is very easy to sex. Males are larger and much more colorful than the females. Females are small and colorless.

Breeding Nannacara anomala, Golden dwarf cichlid

This species is easy to breed as long as some basic demands are meet. They prefer slightly acidic water to breed and a temperature slightly higher than the temperature they are normally kept in. A good varied diet and regular water changes are important to get this species to breed. They also need to be provided with a suitable cave to spawn in. Once they have spawned the female takes care of the eggs and fry herself and can become very aggressive towards the male. If breed in a small aquarium, it is highly recommended to move the male from the aquarium because the female might kill him. Each spawning usually result in 50-300 eggs. The eggs hatch after 2-3 days depending on water temperature and are free swimming a few days later. The fry is hardy and easy to raise. They grow quickly and can be fed newly hatched brine shrimp from day one.