Opal Dwarf Cichlid (Apistogramma borellii sp. Opal)

Imported European Fish

12 reviews Write a Review


Apistogramma borellii is a beautiful dwarf cichlid which originates from many different collection points all across the South American continent. It has been collected from the upper rio Paraguai, the rio Cuiabá, and along the entire river up to where it flows into the rio Paraná into the north of Argentina. This species of nano fish has many different color forms from both its collection points in South America, as well as in part to selective breeding by aquarists. This color form is known as “opal”, and shows almost none of the yellow that is typically on the body. The males’ blue wash no longer fades into the belly, and is completely stretched across the entirety of its body. These scales have an opalescent hue, sometimes appearing green and turquoise in different angles of the lighting. The face patterns are no longer a base yellow with blue streaks, instead the streaks go across the entire face, and in between metallic blue, there is a fiery red. The fins are still its signature umbrella shaped enormous dorsal, and the tips of its dorsal and anal fins are yellow, as well as the tail.

This fish would typically be found in acidic water that is very soft in the wild, but our tank bred specimens are capable of handling much different water parameters as well. You will want to keep these fish in water that is acidic to slightly alkaline, and keep the hardness below 300ppm. This fish handles cooler water very well, since it is found quite far south in the continent, and although not forever, the air temperature where they have been collected has been recorded as low as 1C, which definitely influences the water they are collected from, being slow moving and relatively shallow. While these tank bred specimens will not handle temperatures nearly that low, they are able to handle cooler temperatures than many fish, especially from their genus! Apart from the water conditions, you will want to add branches and leaf litter into the tank, both to give these fish a place to hide and to give them something to passively graze on and stay well fed. These will also contribute to much more natural behavior from the fish.

When considering tankmates for this fish, you may want to keep them with peaceful small tetras. Some ember tetras or rummynose tetras might be a great choice, as they are small and would offset the colors of the brilliant cichlids very well. Any other fish that can go in a densely planted community aquarium would be a great choice for these fish, and a schooling fish of some sort would work very well in a naturalistic setup. These fish ship individually bagged.

Please Note: Live Animals delivered with UPS and FedEx are 100% covered by our Dead-On-Arrival Guarantee Coverage as disclosed in our Terms & Conditions. Live Animals delivered with USPS are not covered by our Dead-On-Arrival Guarantee Coverage. For complete details, please read our Terms & Conditions prior to ordering.

Extra Information

Imported European Fish

Warranty Information

Please see our Terms & Conditions for all Warranty and DOA Guarantee Coverage Information

    12 Reviews

  • Posted by Jenna on Sep 13th 2023


    Beautiful and healthy!

    The male is a little jewel in my aquarium! Both the male and female came in very healthy and are slowly but surely getting more comfortable in the tank. I don't think they'll ever be super social, but I love when I catch a glimpse of them. The male is definitely a little braver. A+++ for shipping - even though the shipment was delayed in transit, both fish were completely fine.

  • Posted by John on Sep 11th 2023


    Excellent fish!

    Getting more color everyday, already have their home picked and have seen some breeding behavior.

  • Posted by Laura Ward on Sep 2nd 2023


    Very nice fish!

    Came very well packaged, healthy and beautiful. Will definitely order from again

  • Posted by Laura on Aug 29th 2023


    Very nice fish!

    Beautiful fish, look healthy and they are settling in well. Definitely will purchase from again. Well packaged too.

  • Posted by Helaina on Aug 21st 2023


    Beautiful fish!

    They arrived happy and healthy and their color perked up very quickly!

  • Posted by Brian on Aug 7th 2023


    Healthy, active and eating upon delivery

    I purchased a male and female pair of these fish and they arrived so active and alert! Eating within 10 minutes of acclimation to my aquarium. They have already started to “color-up” from shipping (which was across the country by the way). Beautiful, healthy fish I look forward to watching grow up in my planted aquarium. Will be a repeat customer for sure!

  • Posted by Fred Gerard on Jun 5th 2023


    Opal Apisto

    Absolutely amazing. The Opal Apisto is one of my favorite, you will be not disappointed by the vibrant colors..

  • Posted by John on May 26th 2023


    Borellii opal

    Spectacular fish, super healthy

  • Posted by Stephen Lally on Oct 27th 2022


    Great service

    Fish came right on time looking great and super healthy very satisfied. Would definitely order from this site again