Red-Line Dwarf Cichlid
Native Location: South America, Orinoco river basin
Size: 6cm (2.4 Inches)
Temperament: Can be territorial
Temperature Range: 23-29℃ (73.4-84.2℉)
Preferred pH Range: 5.5-7.0
Minimum Aquarium Size: 45cm x 30cm x 30cm
Potential Tankmates: Cardinal Tetra, Yellow Acara, Anduzi's pencilfish
Care Level: Moderate
The Red-Line Dwarf Cichlid are an excellent fish for fishkeepers from all levels of experience. As long as a few simple care requirements are met, you can enjoy observing all the fascinating behaviours that make a cichlid so interesting - without the added aggression usually present in its larger cousins.
In the wild, you can spot these fish cohabiting areas of the Orinoco river basin among aquatic plants such as Bacopa and Tonina. These can be substituted for such species as various Cryptocoryne or Anubias plants due to their ability to grow in low light.
The ideal aquarium would consist of a soft sandy substrate with a variety of leaf litter and various botanicals scattered around. This provides a natural environment for beneficial bacteria to grow while the tannic acids released by the decaying leaves has additional health benefits. These fish do enjoy the availability of several hiding places which can be created using roots and branches. Alternatively, you can simulate this by using plastic tubing or ceramic pots etc.
Although relatively placid, these little cichlids still like to be a little territorial so it is advised that you either keep them in an aquarium as a pair only or with small differ fish that remain swimming in the middle to top of the aquarium water only.
When it comes to food the Apistogramma hongsloi is not too fussy. With a diet primarily consisting of insects and crustaceans in the wild, this is simple to replicate in the home aquarium with a variety of high protein flake or pellets plus live foods like Daphnia, brinesrhimp or mosquito larvae.
The red-Line Dwarf Cichlid is an excellent species if you are looking for a breeding project. With the ideal setup being a harem (one male with 3 females), your aquarium can consist of several individual spawning sites with a single female in each one. The male will defend all spawning sites and can become aggressive during this time so the only fish outside of the breeding group should be species that remain at the higher levels of water only. Although, Corydoras generally are accepted within the breeding aquarium without cause for alarm.
Breeding can be encouraged by increasing the temperature to the higher end of the range with more love foods being provided. Eggs will be laid on the roof of hiding places and for the best chances, provide several ceramic pots on their side, spaced out with plants between each spawning site.
It is the females that guard their individual site with the male defending the general harem territory. After 4 days eggs should have hatched and after 2-3 days you will begin to see free swimming fry following mum out of the cave. At this point, the females will be overly defensive of their new babies but this can be reduced by providing adequate hiding places and vegetation for them to feel safe. Free swimming fry will require a suitable food source by now so the provision of crushed up flake food is sufficient.
Great fish, wonderful condition 😀👍🏻