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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 and Dwarf Cichlids in the Aquarium

Apistogrammas For Sale - 2021
Apistogramma cacatuoides "double red" pairs   $28.00
Apistogramma cacatuoides "orange flash" pairs   $28.00
Apistogramma panduro                           pairs   $28.00

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 News - October 28, 2008
    I have posted a list of Apistogrammas for sale that are now ready for shipping. I am a little late in the year to be doing fall shipping but I will plan on shipping until mid - late November.

     Tom Christofferson is at it again. After sharing his tale of searching for the true Apistogramma cruzi (see below) he now has given us a  near real time glimpse of another collecting trip. This time he and Mike Wise are collecting together and Tom has quickly put together this page to share some of their experiences. Collecting Río Tamshiyacu

    For a great look at collecting Apistogrammas read Tom Christoffersen's story of The hunt for the true Apistogramma cruzi This is a fascinating tale of his search for a rarely if ever seen Apistogramma. that will give you a good idea of what it might be like to explore remote areas of the Amazon.
    Noted aquarium fish collector and author Heiko Bleher was arrested in Brazil and charged with illegally exporting preserved fish. Brazil has very strict laws concerning fish export and apparently authorities were targeting Bleher. Bleher has subsequently been released more  and is relating his story here and here   

    Recently I've been asked about Apistogramma ortmanni which is a species I have never kept. I put together this page with info about this rarely if ever seen Apistogramma

    If you like the site and are planning to buy a dwarf cichlid book or a magazine subscription please buy it through my links as I will make a few percent on the sale - Thanks!
     You can also help by posting links to this site in other sites you visit but please don't post a link directly to an enlarged photo just to the page it is found on.

    As always, I welcome your comments so please

From the In-Box
October 14, 2008
Question:  I recently added some Bolivian rams to my tank and I like them so much I would like to a pair of some other dwarf cichlids. I was wondering if I could keep Microgeophagus' with Apistogrammas. Also can you keep blues and Bolivians together?
    Answer:  Many people keep both blue and Bolivian rams with other dwarf cichlid species. There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind though. Be sure to create a habitat that offers territories for each species. For the rams this means having a couple of open areas with a flat rock or two in each. For other species be sure to have caves and hiding areas.
           If you look at the top photo here and you will see a tank set up for blue rams and Apistogramma cacatuoides. Personally I avoid mixing the two species of rams.   Continued Here

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New Fish News
October 15, 2008
    .A new article has recently been published about the Pipe Expedition which was a fish collection that explored some very rarely sampled waters. They report finding a new Apistogramma they call Apistogramma sp. "gigas". The photos of this striking fish have triggered quite a debate as it has differences from other Apistogrammas

      Heiko Bleher, the legendary fish collector, has created a page on his web site where he has posted photos of several new Apistogramma species or forms that he has discovered. He reports that several of these are currently being bred in Europe so it is possible that we could see them in the hobby at some point. Check out these fish here. Heiko has collected more waters than anyone alive and I have followed his exploits for many years in the pages of the popular magazines. It is dedicated collectors like him that continue to provide us with new species.

      Few aquarium fish inspire more passion than Apistogrammas and other dwarf cichlids. Apistogrammas are the most popular dwarf cichlids but all are great aquarium fish that come in a rainbow of colors, exhibit fascinating behavior and can usually be kept in a community aquarium.
Male Apistogramma sp. Red Lobes Rio Xingu
click photo to enlarge
Male Apistogramma Xingu

      There is no strict definition of what a dwarf cichlid is but there are a number of fishes that are commonly considered dwarfs. These are the dwarf cichlids like Apistogramma that are found  in South America and West Africa.

      South American dwarf cichlids include Apistogramma, Apistogrammoides, Biotoecus, Crenicara,  Dicrossus, Laetacara, Nannacara, Microgeophagus and Taeniacara. There are more species of Apistogrammas than the others combined but the Blue Ram cichlid, Microgeophagus ramerizi,  is not only the most popular and widely kept dwarf cichlid but an all time favorite among all tropical fish.

      Pelvicachromis and Nanochromis are the two most popular West African Dwarf Cichlids. The different Pelvicachromis species are generally more available than the Nanochromis.
The ever popular krib or kribensis, Pelvicachromis pulcher, has long been a popular tropical fish and cichlid lovers have kept them in their aquariums for many years. If you have never kept dwarf cichlids Kribs are a great first choice.

       The information in keeping and breeding Apistogrammas and other dwarf cichlids includes sections on foods & feeding, aquarium set up, aquarium maintenance, aquarium plants, fish health and much more.

      One of the biggest problems with Apistogrammas and other dwarf cichlids is finding them! Check out our Buying Fish section for information on where to find these exotic tropical fish. 

        You can find a lot of information about Rams, Kribs, Apistogrammas and other dwarf cichlids on the Internet. However, I strongly recommend that you purchase one or more of the books available. Visit our book reviews to learn about the books that are available.

male Apistogramma cacatoides
Apistogramma cacatuoides male

        Finally, several times a month I get a smile when I check my mail and discover a new issue of one of my favorite aquarium magazines has arrived. Reading these great magazines each month helps to keep me energized and inspired. If you want to enjoy your hobby more I strongly recommend subscribing to one of the excellent publications available. You can read my thoughts about them in our magazine reviews. Most of the magazines have Apistogramma articles at times and general dwarf cichlid information is frequently presented.

        Take some time to explore our site. We hope to be your source for quality information about all aspects of enjoying Apistogramma and other dwarf cichlids in your own aquarium. If you have any questions, comments or criticisms please 
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Dwarfcichlid.com - practical advice about keeping, breeding and buying Apistogramma, Microgeophagus and other dwarf cichlids.