The Albino Threadfin Acara, also referred to as the Heckelii Cichlid, is a color form of the standard Threadfin Acara. Albino animals lack melanins (i.e., brown and black pigments) which give them a unique appearance compared to the common-type including a red pupil. Albino threadfin acara are uncommon in nature, so individuals that are offered within the aquarium trade are likely a result of selective breeding for this color form on a commercial basis in order to meet supply and demand. Nevertheless, these cichlids do originate from river basins and drainages of the northern Amazon Basin across Brazil, Colombia and Peru. Closely related to the genus Geophagus, however Albino threadfin acara do not seem to sift through the sand as rigorously and will spend a considerable amount of time hovering in the middle water column. Unless a pair of Albino threadfin acara are breeding, they are a rather peaceful cichlid and will not predate on even very small fish. Albino threadfin acara are social, preferring to be kept in groups of 5 to 8 individuals but even more are encouraged. This is important because Albino threadfin acara form a heirarchal dominance structure. Too few of individuals can result in weaker specimens as the target of constant antagonism by dominant individuals, or the group may behave more nervously and fail to settle in. Both male and females will have a yellow and white base coloration with a spectacular “gem” like appearance across their bodies, and can develop elaborate red filaments off of the dorsal and caudal fins. Females are described to be more robust and thicker-bodied when they reach sexual maturity; this can take a minimum of 2 to 3 years. Most specimens offered are juveniles, lacking both color and fin filaments typically. An adult Albino threadfin acara can reach a size of approximately 7″.