Apistogramma erythrura is a subtle beauty amongst dwarf cichlids. The males of this species of beautiful little fish have a pale yellow to off white wash, with a stark black lateral line which fades to almost nonexistent towards the head. The entirety of the body is covered in iridescent pale blue, which extends into the fins top and bottom. The dorsal fin is tipped in red with long extensions, and the round tail fin is completely red as well. Typically there is also a red spot on the operculum, but in some individuals it may be hidden in the secondary folds underneath as well. The females are yellow, with the lateral line often shrinking into a dot, and some nicer ones may have an orange tail as well. This fish is collected in the lower rio Mamoré in the province of Beni in Bolivia. Originally this fish was imported as “Apistogramma trifasciata ‘maciliensis’” as well as “Apistogramma sp. ‘Mamore’” and you might know it under these names as well.
This fish is typically found in slow-moving tannic waters which have a lot of rotting leaves and branches in them. The water would be acidic from the rotting organic matter, and would be stained some degree of brown from the botanicals, causing the water hardness to be nearly nonexistent. Our tank bred specimens will be able to handle a wider range of water parameters than this, but you will still want to keep them in a slightly acidic to neutral aquarium, with water hardness never going above 300 ppm or so. While these fish are able to tolerate a wider range of parameters, you still must ensure that your filter is well seasoned and ready to handle the fish, as cichlids tend to be messy eaters. They will appreciate a densely planted tank, as well as the addition of branches and leaves to simulate their natural environment and encourage more natural behavior and coloration.
When considering tank mates for this nano fish, you might add them in with most peaceful schooling fish, with smaller tetras being an excellent choice. Alternatively, you might want to consider keeping these fish in a species only setup, as they can be fairly reclusive, and sometimes spook easily. These fish tend to take to harem breeding very well, so it can also be very rewarding to see a large number of fry being bustled around the tank by their mothers. Whatever you decide, these fish are quite a different addition to your aquarium! These fish ship individually bagged.
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