Macmaster's Dwarf Cichlid 'Rotschulter' (Apistogramma macmasteri var Rotschulter)

Imported European Fish

3 reviews Write a Review


Apistogramma macmasteri is a beautiful dwarf cichlid species that was collected first from a drainage of the rio Meta in the eastern Andes in Colombia, and was later discovered in two other collection points further upstream in that same river. The “rotschulter”, or “red-shouldered” variant is a man made color pattern. Rather than the blue wash of the natural variant, this color form is known to have an extremely dense, large red blotch on its shoulder, where the pectoral fins are connected. The red extends beyond the operculum into the face, which has a blue and red pattern, much like an inverted borellii “opal”. Not only is there a dense red blotch in the shoulder, the red in the finnage becomes much more stark as well. The females are still a golden yellow, just like the wild variant, but they often also have a dense red blotch just like the males.

When this species was first described in 1979, they would have been much more fickle to keep, requiring soft, acidic water that is stained with tannins. The ph would be stably acidic, and there would be almost undetectable water hardness. In the case of our fish, which have been tank bred for generations, they are much less particular about the ph and hardness, really only requiring a well cycled filter which keeps the water clean. These fish do also appreciate the addition of the botanicals and branches in order to give them more places to hide in and will give any smaller fish something to pick food off of if they are unable to compete as well for food.

When considering tankmates for these little fish, there are many options. You could even keep these apistogrammas in a species only aquarium, and just watch how they interact with each other. If you’d like to put them into a community aquarium, then select some peaceful tankmates that will not go after or compete with the apistogrammas. A wonderful choice for a fish that stays at the top of the aquarium is any variety of hatchet, as their strange shape makes for an interesting addition, and their tendency to stick to the top makes it unlikely for the two different species to interact badly. This is a very peaceful, small-mouthed cichlid that will add some nice color to any setting you give them! These fish ship individually bagged.

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Extra Information

Imported European Fish

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    3 Reviews

  • Posted by John on Sep 11th 2023


    Excellent fish!

    Arrived with good color and settled into their tank right away. Full color next day and have been active and exploring their new home!

  • Posted by Paul Roy on Jul 22nd 2023


    Excellent Quality / Excellent Support

    My Apistogramma’s arrived bright and healthy even after an extra day in shipping due to weather. Colors are beautiful and they’ve already claimed their area in the tank. Even better was the amazing support and guidance from Jason! I had numerous questions and concerns as these were my first cichlids. Jason took lots of time to guide me to success! Definitely 5 star fish and support. Very happy

  • Posted by Christie G on Jul 16th 2023



    The packaging was excellent. The pair I received were healthy and colored up within hours. They have decided on the area in the tank to make home and seem really active. Very happy with the purchase and the seller.