Practical Information About Keeping, Breeding and Buying Dwarf Cichlids
Apistogramma XinguApistogramma Xingu (A37) is a seldom seen species from the Rio Xingu in Eastern Brazil. A.xingu is placed in the Xingu complex of the Regani group. For more information about A numbers and Apistogramma groups see the info in our section on Apistogrammas.
There are a few forms of Apistogramma that are found in the Rio Xingu however, the relationships are still poorly understood.The form of the species in the photos was originally introduced as "red lobes Rio Xingu", however, it is likely that it is just a color variant of Xingu. This color form is sometimes referred to as "golden nugget".
The various species of Apistogramma that comprise the Xingu group share many common characteristics and the collecting that has been done is poorly documented. Some believe that the various forms may ultimately all be considered Xingu while others believe the different forms are unique enough to deserve species status. There needs to be a lot more collecting to sort out the confusion that exists in this species group.
Apistogramma xingu is a great aquarium fish. They are not too aggressive provided they are provided lots of complex habitat as described here Good Habitat. The males are generally a silver base color with a yellow head area. In some specimens the anal fin exhibits a blue color and many males have red markings on the upper, lower, or both lobes of their tails. The red color is highly variable and I'm sure that with a concerted breeding effort males with very red tails could be produced. However, I am careful not to select for brightly colored males as I maintain this fish as I want to maintain this strain as close to wild appearance as possible.
I have noticed that the red in the tails seems to be expressed a lot more if they are kept in subdued light. I have found that they will really color up a lot more when I give them supplemental feedings of Tetra's MicroCrabs. In my experience these fish form a fairly strong pair bond and work well together to raise the fry. I have had spawns of more than 100 but usually only 40 - 50. The fry grow quickly but it is very difficult to tell males and females apart until they reach maturity.
Apistogramma xingu is a little known species from a group of fish that is poorly understood. If you ever have the opportunity to obtain these fish you will find them a great addition to a community aquarium or to a specialist's tanks.