Apistogramma hongsloi is a beautiful dwarf cichlid which comes from Colombia, specifically the rio Meta and the rio Vichada, which drain into the rio Orinoco in Venezuela, and seem to be the extent of this small fish’s natural range. The base color of both the males and the females are a pale yellow, which are intensified when they are ready to breed. The males have variable coloration, depending on their collection points and individual pattern, the posterior body of the fish can be anything from a striking red fringed in blue, to a powdery metallic blue, and often a pink wash on top of it all. The fins on this fish are red with blue streaks running through them. The fin streamers on the anal and dorsal fins are particularly impressive, typically extending far beyond the tip of the tails.
Because this fish is typically found in South American waters, which are filled with rotting leaves and branches that stain it brown and bring the ph down while simultaneously softening the water. As such, there is negligible hardness in the water where these fish are collected, and the ph will also typically sit around 6. Our fish are tank bred in the Czech republic, and are able to handle much more variable conditions than their wild counterparts. Try to keep the water slightly acidic to neutral, and try to keep your tds below 200ppm, and these fish should thrive no problem. Do make sure that your filter is fully cycled and ready for fish, since they definitely do need clean water in order to do well. Some wood and leaf litter is also a very natural addition to the tank, as these will create natural caves and crevices for fish to hide from each other, as well as for any fry to both feed off of and hide from any potential predators. The addition of plants to the tank will also contribute more hiding places for fish, and both these fish and most plants will thrive in water conditions that are the same.
A great addition to any nano community aquarium, this little apisto will add a pop of color to whatever you add it to. Able to handle peaceful as well as nippier tank mates. Do note that the fin streamers may not always be full length if they are kept with quick community fish that might take some fins off. Some examples of fish you could keep with them would be the classic neon tetra or cardinal tetra, or maybe some pencilfish or hatchetfish that tend to stay at the surface and would not compete with the cichlids down below. Another choice might be guppies if you are looking for other fish that have great finnage and gorgeous color. These fish ship individually bagged.
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