Practical Information About Keeping, Breeding and Buying Dwarf Cichlids

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

West African 

  Please help!
Your contribution of any amount will help support the site.

Buying Dwarf Cichlids - Pet Stores

      Not very many pet stores consistently stock Apistogrammas or other dwarf cichlids. I know because I have made a point of visiting as many shops in as many places as possible. There are few things I like better than visiting those rare pet stores that feature less common fishes. Although dwarf cichlids are my passion I am interested in all types of fish and I am always on the lookout for shops that I would make a point of visiting again. I would like to share with you some of the shops that I have discovered that normally make an effort to stock Apistogrammas and other dwarf cichlids.

         I make no guarantees about any of these shops.  For now, I am only going to feature shops that I have personally visited. However, if there is interest I will consider adding shops reviewed by others. For the shops I am listing now, some I have visited only once and others more than that. Some I have been to recently and others not for some time. As with all of life, things change! So, call before you travel a long ways. If you have an experience contrary to mine please let me know.

        I always look for new shops when I travel so I will update this when I can. If you would like to comment on a shop I have reviewed, or, if you would like to suggest a shop to me please contact me.

(Listed Alphabetical by state and city)


Update - June 2008
    I had a disappointing visit to this shop recently. It has been a couple of years since I have been here and had a bad feeling when I discovered that they now feature fish and video games as their products. Although they are still physically the same their selection of fish was much poorer than during my last visit. The only dwarf cichlids they offered were Bolivian and Blue Rams. Since they at least had these dwarfs I continue to list them but I would strongly recommend calling before you visit if you are hoping to find dwarf cichlids here.
Fort Collins
       Denizens of the Deep

      4112 S. College Ave #112
      Ft. Collins, CO  80525
           I have visited this shop a few times as I travel to Colorado occasionally. Each time I have visited they have had at least a few dwarfs offered. Once they had an excellent selection and the manager told me they were trying to build the business but a couple of years later they had a much thinner selection. However, they did have a few Nanochromis, a couple of Laetacara a a lone Apisto. They have lots of other fishes and tanks. This is the only store I have found from the Denver metro area and North that reliably has any dwarfs in stock.

New Baltimore
    Anchor Bay Aquarium

    36457 Alfred
    New Baltimore, MI  43047
             Located in New Baltimore, Michigan, just 30 miles NE of Detroit, Anchor Bay Aquarium has more than 200 aquariums full of quality freshwater and marine fish. Casey O'Hearn has been a dependable source of fish for nearly 30 years. The shop always has an assortment of  South American and West African dwarf cichlids in addition to many other rare fish.

                                                                       User Submitted Review!
      House of Tropicals
      7389-F Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd.
      Glen Burnie, MD  21061
        Jim in Rochester, NY has asked us to include this shop in our listings. Here is what Jim has to say:    If you are ever in the Baltimore area, check out House of Tropicals in Glen Burnie, MD. They have a whole row of Apistogrammas and many Rams as well.
       Coincidentally, Jim contacted me a couple of days after I had visited Baltimore. Before I left I had been checking out shops in the area and had decided that the House of Tropicals was a good possibility as a shop to visit. Unfortunately, my work commitments never allowed me to make the visit so this shop remains on my "to do" list. If you have been to this shop (or any other good dwarf cichlid shop) and would like to add your comments let me know.

     World Of Fish

    1516 E. 66th Street
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    (612) 866-2026
           I have visited this shop a couple of times many years apart. My most recent visit was in 2004 and they had a good assortment of dwarfs. They had five or six different Apistogramma species and two Pelvicachromis. However, for a couple of the apistos they only had one sex. I got the strong impression that this was just because they had sold out of the others.
      This is not a chain store with uniform acrylic tanks. Instead, it gave me more of an impression of visiting someones fish room.  This shop is only a couple of miles from the Mall of America (in fact, I walked from there the last time I visited but I don't recommend this to others!). The shop is also close to the Minneapolis airport and they advertise that you have time to visit if you have a long layover.
        If you are in the Twin Cities you are almost certain to find dwarf cichlids at this fine shop.

New York

Fairport - (Rochester area)

    A B C Pet City                                                                        User Submitted Review!
    6720 Pitts ford Palmyra Rd
    Fairport, NY 14450
         John in Rochester, NY has asked us to include this shop in our listings. Here is what John has to say:
    "I live in Rochester, NY. There is a store, ABC Pets, in Fairport, NY. (15 minutes east). It seems that every time I go there they always have at least one very interesting species of dwarfs in stock. Over the past two months my girlfriend and I have purchased Bolivians, curviceps, keyholes, cockatoos, blues, longfinned golds, and another variety that I can't remember at the moment. They always have a very
pleasant surprise.
    They also are willing to accommodate special orders and keep a large variety of live plants. Very nice family owned store. They even pulled some java moss out of a breeder tank for me. They also almost always have some of the rarer rainbowfish in stock as well as zebra loaches (personal favorite). It is truly a gem of a fish store for any true enthusiast. If you're ever in the area I recommend that you check them out."

    -  Portland is home to several great fish stores as it is one of just a few Fish & Wildlife Service import stations for fish.

    The Wet Spot
    4310 NE Hancock
    Portland, OR  97213

         I have known of this store for a number of years and visited for the first time in 2006.  The Wet Spot has an operational relationship with a well known Portland cichlid wholesaler. This means that the store will often have a selection of  dwarfs from both South American and West Africa. The store is an absolute delight for cichlid lovers (although they have lots of other great fish!). When I was there they had multiple species of Apistogramma, Pelvicachromis, and Nanochromis in addition to Dicrossus filamentosus. I only had an hour and I spent so long selecting dwarfs that I never ventured into the African cichlid room. I am sure I missed an amazing display as they are most widely known for their Africans. If you are ever in the Portland area be sure to check this one out!

    World of Wet Pets
    8542SW Apple Way
    Portland, OR
           This shop is usually an excellent place to find dwarf cichlids in stock. This is a fish only store that features a well laid out design featuring long rows of clean aquaria. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly and they have lots of unusual fish. The last time I was there I picked up 4 different Apistogramma species and passed on several others. All were wild fish that were well acclimated and did great for me. The only complaint I have about this store is that it is way too far away from my home! I will never skip this shop when I am in Oregon.


 All Oddball Aquatics         Note: This shop changed hands in early 2007 and I do not know if it is the same
    262 Joseph Street                  as in the past
    Pittsburgh, PA  15227
          I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this fine shop. It is set back from the street on a less than major highway but is a true delight to the serious fish keeper. The main shop features hundreds of large tanks set in long rows. The overhead lighting is poor but the friendly staff will quickly offer you a flashlight for closer inspection of the fish. their is a great variety of unusual fishes as the owner is an avid breeder. In fact, if you ask nicely and get lucky you might be allowed to visit the upstairs breeding facility. Here you will find hundreds of additional tanks in a working breeding facility. The shop seems to focus on cory cats but they had a good assortment of unusual African cichlids, rainbow fish, killie fish and dwarf cichlids. Dwarfs are not there specialty but they usually have a few species. They also had a wonderful selection of live plants and had a very knowledgeable staff.
    This shop can be hard to find. Although they are in Pittsburgh they are actually in Renton. I visited with a native who had a little difficulty finding the store. I would call ahead for directions if I were on my own!   

Washington State

 (Seattle Area)
    Fish Gallery & Pets
    601 S Grady Way
    Renton, WA 98055 
    425 - 226-3215
          I visited this shop in the Spring of 2004 and was very pleased. I had spent parts of the previous two days visiting a number of shops in the Greater Seattle area and this was the only place where I found a significant assortment. They had about five different Apistogramma species, although they were pretty short of most of them. However, I did manage to find a couple of pairs to take home!
      This shop is a little hard to find so I recommend that you call ahead to get directions. It is a quality shop with a lot of tanks and a lot of neat fish.


    The Fish Store Seattle
    6109 Roosevelt Way N.E.
    Seattle, WA, 98115 USA
         This small shop is located very close to the U. of Washington. It is a fun place to visit as, in addition to some unusual fish, they also stock a wide variety of New Guinea Tribal Arts that lend to the atmosphere. They had a host of unusual fishes here including a few dwarfs. There were two different Apistogrammas, two Pelvicachromis and Nanochromis transvestitus. This was also one of the few shops I found that stocked a few rarer killies. They are a specialized  shop and I would expect that they would have dwarfs most of the time. As always, if you want to be sure you should call ahead.

Copyright This website and all contents and design, including images, are protected under U.S. Copyright 2006 by Montana Exotic Tropicals. All rights reserved worldwide. Dwarfcichlid.com is for your personal and noncommercial use. No one may modify, copy, distribute, transmit, 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.