Two-Stripe Dwarf Cichlid Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: December 17, 2022

The Two-Stripe Dwarf Cichlid is a peaceful and beautiful freshwater fish that’s perfect for beginner aquarists.

This little guy is easy to care for, doesn’t need a lot of space, and is a great addition to any community tank.

They’re also very active and love to play, so they’re sure to provide you with hours of enjoyment.

In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about Two-Stripe Dwarf Cichlid care. You’ll learn about their diet, tank mates, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

The Two-Stripe Dwarf Cichlid (Nannacara anomala) is a freshwater fish that’s native to the rivers of Guyana and Suriname.

They are found in slow-moving waters with a lot of vegetation. This is something to keep in mind when setting up their tank because they’ll need a lot of plants to hide in.

The Two-Stripe Dwarf Cichlid is a peaceful fish that can be kept with a wide variety of tank mates. They are known to be particularly compatible with other dwarf cichlids.

These fish are very popular in the aquarium scene because of their bright colors andpatterns. They are also very easy to care for, which makes them a great choice for beginner fish keepers.


Two-Stripe Dwarf Cichlid

As the name implies, this species of cichlid has two prominent stripes running down the length of their body. The background color of these fish can be a pale yellow, white, or tan.

The stripes themselves are a dark brown or black. The first stripe begins right behind the gill plate and extends all the way to the base of the caudal fin.

The second stripe is a bit thinner and starts right before the anal fin and extends to the end of the tail.

The dorsal fin of these fish is tall and triangular in shape. It starts about two-thirds of the way back on the body and extends all the way to the end of the tail.

The anal fin is also tall and triangular and starts just before the tail.

The caudal fin is forked and symmetrical.

The pectoral fins are small and located on the sides of the fish, just behind the gill plates.

The ventral fins are also small and located on the underside of the fish, just behind the pectoral fins.

Two-Stripe Dwarf Cichlids have large eyes that are located on the sides of their head.

Their mouths are small and located at the bottom of the head.


The lifespan of a Two-Stripe Dwarf Cichlid is typically between 5 and 8 years. As with any other animal, there are a number of factors that can impact their life expectancy.

For example, if these fish are kept in poor water conditions then their lifespan will be significantly shorter. Conversely, if they’re kept in ideal conditions and receive great care, they can live towards the upper end of this range.


Two-Stripe Dwarf Cichlids only grow to be about 2 inches in length. They are one of the smaller species of freshwater aquarium fish.


Tank Size

The minimum tank size for two-stripe dwarf cichlids is 20 gallons. If you want to keep more than one fish, you should add an additional 5 to 10 gallons for each fish.

These fish are relatively small and won’t need a lot of space to swim. However, they are very active and like to move around a lot. They also prefer to have a lot of hiding places and plants in their tanks.

Water Parameters

The water parameters you need to maintain for a two-stripe dwarf cichlid are very generous. This makes them a great freshwater fish for a beginner since there’s a lot of room for error.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to their water parameters is consistency. Even though these are very hardy fish, they can be sensitive to sudden changes just like any other freshwater species.

Even though they’re still a bit more durable in this regard, you should use this as practice. Challenge yourself to see how consistent you can keep the water parameters and how easily you can make an adjustment if needed. These skills will come in handy with other species you keep in the future!

  • Water Temperature: 50°F to 78°F
  • pH Levels: 7 to 8
  • Water Hardness: Mildly soft to very hard
  • Alkalinity Levels: 2-12 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

Two-Stripe Dwarf Cichlids are a species of freshwater fish that originates from South America.

In the wild, they can be found in slow-moving rivers and streams. Their diet consists of small invertebrates and algae.

When it comes to setting up an aquarium for these fish, we recommend a few key things.

The first is to use a sandy substrate. This will help to protect their delicate fins and also allow them to sift through it for food.

The second is to include some plants in their tank. We recommend using fast-growing plants like hornwort or water wisteria. These will help to provide some cover for the fish and also help to keep the water quality high.

Finally, we recommend including some driftwood or rocks in their tank. These can provide some hiding places for the fish and also help to break up the line of sight. This will make the fish feel more comfortable and less stressed.

Common Diseases

The Two-Stripe Dwarf Cichlid is a pretty hardy fish. They’re not immune to disease, but they don’t seem to be as susceptible as some other freshwater species.

The most common illness that these fish experience is ich. This is a parasitic infection that will cause white spots to appear on the body of your fish.

If left untreated, ich can be fatal. However, it’s usually fairly easy to treat with medication (you can find ich medication at most pet stores).

The best way to prevent your fish from getting sick is to maintain a clean and stable tank. Dirty water and poor water conditions are a breeding ground for disease, so it’s important to do regular water changes and keep an eye on your water parameters.

If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your fish, don’t hesitate to consult a vet. The sooner you act, the better the chance is that your fish will make a full recovery.

Behavior & Temperament

The two-stripe dwarf cichlid is a peaceful little fish that is perfect for beginner aquarists. These fish are social creatures that do best in groups. They are also relatively easy to care for, which makes them a great option for those just starting out.

When it comes to temperament, the two-stripe dwarf cichlid is a relatively peaceful fish. It is important to note, however, that these fish can be a bit nippy. They are known to nip at the fins of other fish in the tank. This is usually only done out of curiosity and is not meant to be harmful.

It is also important to note that these fish are known to be escape artists. They are very good at jumping out of tanks. So, it is important to make sure that your tank is covered.

Other than that, the two-stripe dwarf cichlid is a great fish for beginner aquarists. They are relatively easy to care for and make a great addition to any tank.

Tank Mates

There are a few things to consider when choosing tank mates for two-stripe dwarf cichlids.

First, these fish are small. They only grow to be about two inches long. As a result, they can’t really be paired with much larger fish.

Secondly, two-stripe dwarf cichlids are semi-aggressive. They’re not the most aggressive cichlids out there, but they can hold their own in a fight.

You’ll also want to avoid fish that are too mellow. Two-stripe dwarf cichlids are active and need tank mates that can keep up with their energy.

With all that in mind, here are some compatible tank mates for two-stripe dwarf cichlids:


The Two-Stripe Dwarf Cichlid is a fairly easy fish to breed in captivity. These fish are mouthbrooders, which means that the female will carry the eggs in her mouth until they hatch.

To start the breeding process, you’ll need to set up a breeding tank. It should be at least 20 gallons and have plenty of hiding places. These cichlids like to have a lot of places to hide.

Then, you’ll need to add a group of cichlids to the tank. It’s best to have at least six, but more is better. You’ll need a ratio of two females to every male.

Once the cichlids are in the tank, you’ll need to do a water change. This will trigger spawning. The female will lay her eggs in a cave or other hiding place.

Once the eggs are laid, the male will fertilize them. Then, the female will pick them up in her mouth and carry them around.

The eggs will hatch in about two weeks. Once they hatch, the fry will stay in the mother’s mouth for another week or so. After that, they’ll be ready to start eating on their own.

You can feed them baby brine shrimp or other small live foods. Once they’re big enough, you can start giving them crushed-up flake food.


The Two-Stripe Dwarf Cichlid is a great fish for beginner aquarists. They’re not too difficult to care for and they’re very peaceful, which makes them a good fit for community tanks.

They’re also very pretty fish, which is always a bonus.

If you’re thinking about getting a Two-Stripe Dwarf Cichlid, we say go for it! You won’t be disappointed.