Practical Information About Keeping, Breeding and Buying Dwarf Cichlids

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Apistogramma hongsloi

Apistogramma hongsloi male
Click to enlarge
     This male Apistogramma Hongsloi is from a highly domesticated strain.
         Apistogramma Hongsloi (A 110 - A 115) are fairly robust dwarf cichlids from the tropical lowlands in the eastern parts of Columbia. The most popular color strains of A. Hongsloi are among the most colorful of all freshwater fish.  These strains are entirely domestic and are the result of extensive line breeding. It is also possible that specialized foods are utilized to attain the brilliant reds and yellows. It has been reported that the most colorful imports have been raised on a diet of cyclops, a tiny crustacean and rich in color enhancing pigments.

       Wild forms of Apistogramma Hongsloi are not nearly as colorful
Apistogramma hongsloi male
click to enlarge
    Another view of the same male Apistogramma Hongsloi. Highly colorful strains such as this are often not available for ready purchase.
as the domesticated strains. The wild forms are rarely imported and there is some confusion as to the exact nature of the various color
Apistogramma hongsloi male, wild form
Wild form male Apistogramma Hongsloi
forms that exist. However, it is generally agreed that A. Hongsloi is the type for the Hongsloi complex of the macmasteri group of Apistogrammas. exist. For a number of years this species was known as Apistogramma sp. rostrich. However, in 1979 it was formally described by Dr. Sven Kullander. Today, Apistogramma Hongsloi is occasionally imported from European breeders by a few specialty importers. They distribute the fish to specialty retailers and this species is often offered for sale. (Please note that this "often" is by Apisto standards and you might have to search hard for a period of time and be willing to pay the price if you want these beauties)
     Wild Apistogramma Hongsloi are imported only rarely. Like many species, it seems that some years there are none and in others they are offered. There are several different forms that come from different waters and any given batch
Apistogramma hongsloi group
        This group of young adult Apistogramma Hongsloi are from a wild strain. They do not exhibit many of the colors found in the domestic forms. However, the yellow head and blue sheen can be distinguished.
of wild A. Hongsloi can be of a variety of colorations.

       Apistogramma Hongsloi are generally easy to care for and require no extraordinary conditions.  Pairs are usually good parents and typical Apistogramma breeding techniques are generally successful. Read our  Apistogramma Hongsloi breeding report below for a  lot more info on keeping and breeding these great Apistos. If you ever have the opportunity you will likely find Apistogramma Hongsloi to be a great addition to your tank.

Apistogramma Hongsloi - breeding report

A. hongsloi male
Click to enlarge photo
     This male Apistogramma Hongsloi is of unknown origin. There are many different variants of this species and there is much still to be learned about the different forms. This strain has coloration and markings that are similar to the forms found in the Rio Capanaparo (A 111) but there are some differences. 
        In late December 2006 I placed a pair of A. Hongsloi of unknown parentage in a homemade breeding tank of about 7 gallons. The tank measures about 23"L x 7"W x 8"H so it is quite long in relation to wide. I placed about 3/4" of fine sand on the bottom and place several broken pots for caves along with several large rocks placed to divide the sight lines in the tank. I added several water sprite plants anchored with small stones and several clumps of java moss. Finally I added a couple of handfuls of Oak leaves.

        It didn't take long for the pair to settle in and within a couple of days the female had nearly sealed herself into one of the caves. The male seemed oblivious and enjoyed the tank. After 8 days the female began to bring the fry out  of the cave. The first day they were still living on their yolk sacs and did very little swimming and made no attempt to feed. However by the second day mother was sheparding the fry around the tank under the close supervision of the male. He was an active partner in brood care and the female welcomed him into the shoal of fry. After several weeks the female began to make a few courtship displays to the male but never was their any aggression between them.

A. hongsloi female with fry
     At two days, the fry stay in a close batch surrounding the female. At this size they can be seen picking at rocks and plants gathering the microscopic food items that get them off to a great start.
     On the first day they emerged the fry were not truly free swimming. They never moved far from the mouth of the cave and they made no attempts to swim or feed.
Apistogramma hongsloi fry
     Two day old A. Hongsloi fry. At this stage they have begun to actively explore their environment and are eagerly taking live baby brine shrimp and micro worms.
5 day old fry
click to enlarge
     At five days the fry are obviously growing rapidly. These fish were being fed twice a day; alternating baby brine shrimp and micro worms.

7 week old fry     At 7 weeks the fry have been separated from the parents and are becoming very independent. They are already skirmishing to establish a pecking order.  

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