This rare Apistogramma is easily one of the most colorful and uniquely adorned dwarf cichlids available today. This is one of the more recently discovered apistogramma species that is available in the hobby. We have obtained some German-bred specimens from a line which is quite a bit more adaptable to standard water parameters than their wild caught relatives. A member of the agassizii complex, these fish have some of the most brilliant coloring, straight from the wild. This species is known to have a deep purple mouth and throat, which often extends further into the head, almost reaching the gill plate in spectacular individuals. The males have a lateral line that is reminiscent of the standard agassizii in shape, but is bordered with blue, yellow, and sometimes purple on the scales, with black cross hatching in between. Their rounded tails are a brilliant orange, which is ringed in a black crescent which almost looks like an outline, further popping the fish out from its surroundings. Their fins are also yellow and blue, and the seam of them is the same brilliant orange as the fill of its tail fin, and brilliant yellow-orange bellies which fade gradually into purple in front, and blue behind. The females of this species are not the most spectacular, but sometimes have small black dots all over their bodies which make for an interesting and beautiful identifying pattern.
Because these fish have not been bred in the hobby for very long, do note that they will be a bit more finicky with water parameters than some of the other options that we are offering on our site. They are quite happy living in water that is acidic to neutral, and water hardness is not really an issue, except when trying to rear eggs. These fish are noticeably more outgoing when they are in tannin stained water, as well as when they are more dimly lit. These fish also become much more outgoing when they have plenty of structures to hide in and behind, as well as some plants which also contribute to hiding spots, as well as to the filtration and oxygenation of the aquarium. If trying to breed these fish, it is even more important to have the botanicals in the water, both to soften the water as well as to feed fry once they are born.
We would highly recommend keeping these fish in either a species only setting, or with some very peaceful tankmates that would definitely not bother them. Smaller tetras like the ember or ruby tetra might be great options, or maybe some microrasboras such as Boraras brigittae or Sundadanio axelrodi. With the addition of tiny dither fish, these apistogrammas will be more enticed to come out and look for food, as well as be a bit more interactive with you when you approach the tank, although this is an especially shy species of apistogramma, maybe less so with each new generation of tank bred babies. These fish ship individually bagged.
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