Borelli's Pantanal Dwarf Cichlid (Apistogramma borellii Pantanal)

Imported European Fish

5 reviews Write a Review


This diminutive dwarf cichlid is somewhat rarely found in the hobby because the larger 'Opal' variety (which is a man-made variety) had become more popular. The males of the species are certainly larger and more colorful than are the females, and this fish is best described as having gorgeous pastel colors. The head is a soft yellow hue with an intricate face mask of bright neon blue and in some specimens, flecks of red. The body of the fish becomes a gradient of muted neon blue with dark blue cross-hatching between scale rows. The males have larger yellow finnage than do the females, generally ending in tipped points forming a cape-like appearance.

This fish occurs naturally only in the Paraguay River, however this river and its tributaries are responsible for feeding the “Pantanal” which is a low-altitude alluvial plain. This plain is seasonally flooded and drained by the river, making it an extremely rich natural ecosystem. Indeed, many precious species coveted in the hobby come from the Pantanal, including many plants used by aquascapers. The fish we have on offer were bred in Europe, and originally come from wild stock which were collected from the Pantanal.

The water which these fish are found in will have negligible levels of carbonate hardness and in general would be considered rather poor water conditions due to the lack of minerals, however these fish are uniquely adapted to these conditions. The tank-bred fish we have on offer are far more tolerant of a range of water conditions when compared to their wild cousins, but they will do best in soft water. There is no aggression in these fish, aside from bickering over food and nesting caves which is typical of many fish species. These fish will only breed in very soft water, and they like to breed in caves and crevices. Breeding these tiny jewel-like fish is best done in pairs. The female and male will lay their eggs on the walls of caves and stay close to the eggs until they hatch. It is best to remove the male once there are baby fry, and simply let the mother care for her young. The young will forage and eat tiny organisms they find but most often, newly hatched baby brine shrimp are fed to them because the high fat content causes them to grow very rapidly. These fish ship individually bagged.

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Extra Information

Imported European Fish

Warranty Information

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    5 Reviews

  • Posted by Luanne Ricciardi on Aug 8th 2023


    Borelli's Pantanal Cichlid

    Beautiful, Healthy. RFBF has healthy beautiful fish with an owner willing to make his client very happy!

  • Posted by David Sanchez on Aug 6th 2023


    Stunning fish

    Out of this world quality! Superb packing. So pleased with my fish!

  • Posted by Chris on Jun 15th 2023



    Fishes came in great shape. They spawned only two weeks after adding them to their new home and mom is doing a great job raising them thus far. If yours spawn, make sure to separate the male out asap. The female will see him as a threat to the fry. That's been my experience at least.

  • Posted by John on May 26th 2023



    Beautiful fish, super healthy

  • Posted by Gil Schoux on May 21st 2023


    Borelli’s Cichlid

    I ordered the male female option. Both came in beautiful condition. The male is a stunning specimen.