Apistogramma agassizii

Aquarium fish: Apistogramma agassizii (Apistogramma agassizii)
Size: 7.5 cm
Origin: South America
Water temperature: 22-29 ° C
Aquarium volume: 70 l

Apistogramma agassizii (Apistogramma agassizii) – one of the most active small cichlids, it swims in the middle parts of the aquarium.


Apistogramma agassizii comes from South America. First of all, it lives in calm rivers, streams, lagoons and forest wetlands in the Amazon basin.

Characteristics and disposition

Males grow up to 8 cm, are larger and more intensely colored than females, and have slightly longer fins. Females are about 5 cm long.

A dark band runs along the body of the fish. The fish are quite gentle, but show a strong territorial instinct.

Nutrition and feeding

They require a varied diet. They eagerly eat both frozen and live foods, such as artemia, daphnia, and bloodworm larvae. Dry foods can be supplemented.


The recommended aquarium is about 70 liters, not too brightly lit, densely planted, well-filtered, with a soft sandy substrate and numerous hiding places made of stones, on which the nurses could also lay their eggs. Water current not very strong. They are sensitive to water quality, but the changes should not be too large (about 10-15%). Keeping with other cichlids is not recommended. In a general aquarium, they can live with small, gentle fish with similar environmental requirements.


Agassiz’s nurses are bred in pairs or harems predominantly female. In well-kept aquariums, spawning usually takes place without our participation. The water should be still (mature), the water level low, i.e. 10-20 cm. We raise the temperature to about 28–29 ° C.

We feed the fish abundantly with live or frozen food. Agassiz’s cliques reproduce in a visible, plant-free place on a stone, hard substrate or large leaf. An additional hole is prepared in the sandy ground near the spawning site. After the female lays yellowish-gray eggs, the male fertilizes them. 1 mm of roe is taken care of mostly by the female.

It fans the roe with its fins, providing a supply of fresh, oxygenated water. In smaller reservoirs, it may be necessary to isolate the male, as it can be very aggressive during this period. The fry appear after 3-4 days. The parents help the young larvae free themselves from the egg covers. Then they transfer the larvae to a previously prepared well, where they stay for the next few days, until the content of the yolk sac is consumed.

Then the fry begin their independent journeys in search of food. From then on, the young fish should be fed with the smallest possible food: larvae of brine shrimp (brine shrimp), grindala (Enchytraeus buchholzi), copepods. The parents, on the other hand, will help us in this by grinding too much food in their mouths.


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