Native Location: Slow moving tributaries of the Amazon river in Peru, Brazil & Colombia
Size: Males reach 7.5cm & females reach 5.5cm
Temperament: Community with care
Temperature Range: 22-29℃ (71.6-84.2℉)
Preferred pH Range: 4.5-7.0
Minimum Aquarium Size: 60cm x 30cm x 30cm for a single pair. A group will require much more space.
Potential Tankmates: pencilfish, Cardinals, Rummy-nose Tetra etc
Care Level: Moderate
The Two-Stripped Apisto is a fairly new species of dwarf cichlid having only first been discovered in 1980. Additionally, it is common to find slightly different coloured strains in local fish shops. This actually related to the location of wild fish. Some areas have populations that have a faint yellow, red, orange or blue colouration which just adds a little bit more to this already very nice fish.
Setting up an aquarium at home for these draws cichlids is not too challenging as long as you pay attention to the above water parameters with a focus on stability. Creating the best environment is the fun part. Their natural habitat is covered with lots of leaf litter and botanicals, wood etc which release tannic acids, turning the water dark. The use of a soft silica sand and some aquatic plants that do not require high light will provide them with everything they need to thrive.
As mentioned above, the Two-Stripped Apisto is primarily a carnivore. In the wild, they will consume small insects, crustaceans that live among the leaf litter and branches. You can simulate this in the home aquarium easily by providing live foods like daphnia, artemia and bloodworm. There are lots of dry foods that contain insect meal and larvae which can be introduced to provide a balanced diet.
To breed these dwarf cichlids, a slight increase in temperature and feeding will condition your pair for spawning. As a substrate egg layer, the female will prepare an area, usually between leaves or branches on the substrate. She will also take charge of there care before the fry hatch. As soon as her fry are free swimming, her aggression will spike and at that point, the male should be removed for his own safety.
Notes: The Apistogramma genus consists of over 70 species and many more still to be subscribed.