Practical Information About Keeping, Breeding and Buying Dwarf Cichlids
Apistogramma macmasteriApistogramma macmasteri (A120 - A121) is a robust dwarf cichlid that has been kept by aquarists for many years. They are in the macmasteri group of Apistogrammas (for more information on A numbers and Apistogramma groups see our section on Apistogramma). Most wild A. macmasteri do not exhibit the intense colors that are found in some aquarium strains. It is likely that A. macmasteri has been interbred with Apistogramma viejita to produce these very colorful fish. Often colorful hybrids are also sold as A. viejita but are actually much closer to macmasteri than viejita. It seems that true viejita are rarely imported.
It is not unusual for Apistogramma macmasteri to show up on the lists of importers and specialty dealers. The highly colorful aquarium forms are widely available as European imports as well as from domestic breeders. Wild A. macmasteri are offered to shops on occasion. The actual fish that arrive can be any of a large group of species that includes A. sp. rotpunkt and A. alacrina as well as A. macmasteri. Each of these other species are excellent dwarfs in their own right but this is common mix-up.
Wild macmasteri are occasionally available and the beautiful aquarium forms that are highly line bred make excellent aquarium residents provided you satisfy their needs. They can be aggressive so lots of cover is recommended. I have seen macmasteri form very strong pair bonds that last through multiple spawnings. However, I have also seen lots of pairs with a very shaky relationship. In fact, on one occasion I had a male eliminate the female before the fry became free swimming. After the female was gone he took over the larval fry and became an excellent parent raising the fry until I separated them. He raised nearly 50 fry in that spawn and later proved to be an excellent pair-bonded father with a different female.
Apistogramma macmasteri is a robust dwarf cichlid that and full grown males can reach nearly 4 inches in length. Females are correspondingly large and mature females can be larger than adult males of some Apisto species. They are generally easy to feed and are relatively undemanding. Follow the basic instructions in our Aquarium Care