Practical Information About Keeping, Breeding and Buying Dwarf Cichlids

Fish Profiles & Photos
South American  
    sp. "Abacaxis"
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Apistogramma cf. pertensis

      The high raised dorsal fin of the male Apistogramma cf. pertensis is the most diagnostic feature of the species. Here a male displays to a receptive female. There are a number of different recognized forms of A. pertensis which is to be expected given the huge native arrange of this species.
     Apistogramma cf. pertensis (A146 - A152) was described in 1911 by the ichthyologist Haseman. The name means "to assert oneself" but there is no record of the significance of this name and no characteristics of the species would seem to explain the name. Although Apistogramma pertensis is a very easily identified slender fish with a very high and prominent dorsal fin, it turns out that there are a number of fish that are identical in all features except the height of the dorsal fin. In the past some of these forms have been given names of their own, including Apistogramma cf. meinkeni, A. sp. pimental and A. sp. "orangesaum". However, these have all now been included as forms of A. pertnesis.

     Apistogramma cf. pertensis is in the pertensis group of Apistogrammas. they are a slender bodied fish with few distinguishing markings. They have a tall dorsal fin which is their most distinctive feature. A. pertensis was first imported into the hobby around the turn of the century. They have a wide range of distribution in the middle Amazon area. included in their range is virtually all of the Rio Negro basin except for the Rio Uaupes.
Apistogramma pertensis female
      Although this wild female Apistogramma cf. pertensis has a tattered tail, it soon regrew to be fine. This female is in a neutral mood and exhibits a dark lateral line on a silvery body.

     Being found across such a wide geographic range it is no surprise that they are found in a variety of water types. However, they are always associated with soft acid waters. pH values in their native waters have been reported in a wide range from pH 4.8 - 7.0. Their natural habitats are typically  thick with leaves and the species will reach very high densities in these complex habitats. Dr. Uwe Romer wries of counting as many as 475 individual fish in a square meter. It is important to realize that this square meter is not just an open area of flat ground. Rather it is covered in a thick layer of leaves that create infinite nooks, crannies and hiding places. We can all take a lesson from this as much conventional thinking holds that Apistos need large areas for territories and, at least in this case, it is not true. Romer also reports that this species undertakes some sort of seasonal migration and at times they form into very large schools.

     In the aquarium Apistogramma cf. pertensis is normally an undemanding species. Although they are smaller than some species they can be just as combative so be sure that you provide a complex habitat with plenty of hiding places. I usually find that this species does better in fairly acid conditions. I thin that somewhere in the 5-5 - 6.0 range is good. As with all Apistos, there is a lot of variation in the personality of individual fish. Some tend to pair more than others who much prefer harem conditions. Give them good food, high quality water and a good habitat and they will be a great species for you.   

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