Practical Information About Keeping, Breeding and Buying Dwarf Cichlids

Fish Profiles & Photos
South American  
    sp. "Abacaxis"
    sp. "Putumayo"
    sp. "Steel Blue"

West African 

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Apistogramma rubrolineata 

    Apistogramma rubrolineata (A18, A19) is a relatively new species having been first discovered in 2001and described in  2002.  They were first discovered in the Rio Beni river drainage in NW Bolivia.  A second population was subsequently discovered near Puerto Maldonado in Peru's Rio Manuripi. Each of these locations produced a trade name for the is fish as they were known as both Apistogramma sp. "Beni" and Apistogramma sp. "Manu". Although there are slight differences in these populations  they are undoubtedly the same fish.  This fish is so new and distinctive that it is not yet placed into a group within the Apistogrammas.

       Apistogramma rubrolineata
are very distinctive fish as they are one of the few apistos that exhibit a pattern of horizontal striping on their bodies.  Other species such as A. tucurui and A. sp "Vielfleck/Multi-spot have rows of horizontal spots but none are as pronounced as those of A. rubrolineata.  While the rows of spots appear to be red in color, closer examination shows them to be a rusty brown color.  However, the markings on their faces are a brilliant red color.
Apistogramma rubrolineata maleApistogramma rubrolineata male

       I was fortunate enough to find a tank of  wild A. rubrolineata at a pet shop in Portland, Oregon in the spring of 2007.  There were about 50 healthy looking fish but it appeared that most of the fish were males.  I purchased the one fish that I was quite confident was a female and added three males and have had great success with them.

       I have mostly kept them in smaller sized tanks where they have displayed no unusual aggression. I have kept the single female with a male and the other two males inhabit a tank together.  The pair interacts much like every other apisto. Most of the time the female is the boss.  Whether she has fry or not, she adopts her bright yellow brood care colors and constantly batts herself at the male when he approaches.  This all gets changed around when she begins to ripen for a spawn. At this time she looses her brilliant yellow colors and turns a dull yellow coloration.  When she is in this state the male is the undisputed ruler of the tank and he will display moderate aggression towards the female. This all changes within days as she will be inside a cave guarding a new spawn of bright red eggs.

Apistogramma rubrolineata male
      Although my A. rubrolineata have been great spawners, they have not been great parents.  The female seems to want to rush each batch of fry.  She is a great and attentive parent until about the third day post hatch.  At this point she moves the larval fry out of the cave and tries to lead them around the tank.  Of course, they are days away from being free swimming and the female seems to lose interest in them and they quickly vanish.  This has happened repeatedly in tanks of different sizes and different set ups.

      Fortunately, I have plenty of young fish as a next generation.  Soon after getting several failed spawns I pulled a batch of eggs and hatchedthem artificially.  The young juveniles I got from this batch are doing great as are the others that I carefully siphoned away from the mother after she brought them out of the cave far too early.  

      Apistogramma rubrolineata is a great fish that should gain in popularity as they become more widely distributed.  They are quite hardy and adapt to standard dwarf cichlid husbandry techniques.  Their distinctive striping give them a look that is unique among Apistogrammas and they are a great addition to any fish room.

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mit, display, or publish any materials contained in dwarf cichlid.com without prior written permission. dwarf cichlid.com is a registered service mark and may not be used without permission.