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Apistogramma Agassizi Double Red


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The pretty and vibrant coloring of the Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid Apistogramma agassizii is one of their feature attractions and helps make them one of the most popular choices for many aquarists. They come in many color forms including red, gold, and blue and, depedning upon where they originate geographically may have considerably varying colors and patterning. They are also known as Agassizi Cichlid and Agassiz's Apisto, along with other more descriptive names for individual types associated with their coloring and/or distribution points.

These are slender dwarf cichilds reaching only about 3 inches or so in length. This small size means they can be more manageable than many of the other cichlid species. These are delicate cichlids, but a great choice for a more advanced enthusiast who has limited space and cannot provide a large aquarium. The wild Agassizi Cichlid is more colorful than the captive strains but is also  more sensitive and susceptible to medical issues. Breeding a wild caught with a captive bred helps to keep the lines healthier.

This cichlid is considered a community fish that can be kept with other non-cichlids. Fish that are not large and aggressive will make the best tank mates. Provide a substrate of fine dark sand along with rocks and pots to create plenty of caves, one for each female's territory. They do enjoy densely planted aquariums and floating plants will help to diffuse the lighting. Make areas for them to "defend" by having natural divisions in the aquascaping.

The Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid is moderate to difficult to care for since water changes must be performed frequently and diligently. In addition, they are susceptible to toxins such as nitrate and a lack of oxygen. They are also sensitive to some medications, especially those used to fight hydra infestations. This fish does well in acidic water. It requires a low nitrate level and the pH level must be kept within the correct parameters. If water quality is ignored, as with all cichlids, disease and death can occur. Just a little dedication will reap pleasurable results from this little fish.

  • Size of fish - inches: 3.5 inches (8.89 cm) - The male grows to a length of about 3.5 " (8.9 cm) or slightly larger, females are smaller reaching about 2.5" (6 cm).
  • Lifespan: 5 years - These fish commonly live up to 5 years in captivity, though they have been known to live as long as 12 years.


Fish Keeping Difficulty

This species of cichlid is a great fish for intermediate fish keepers with some experience in keeping cichlids. They are on the smaller side and are not overly aggressive. They are easy to feed and generally easy to maintain aside from fairly frequent water changes and diligently maintaining water levels.  If the water is properly maintained and they are feed a variety of foods this fish will thrive.

  • Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate


Foods and Feeding

The Agassizi Cichlid is an omnivore, but with a strongly carnivorous diet in the wild, feeding mostly on benthic invertebrates. In the aquarium they can be fed newly hatched baby brine, frozen brine shrimp, crustaceans, insects, insect larvae, and some may eat flakes and pelleted foods. Feed 2 to 5 small pinches of food a day in smaller amounts rather than a large quantity once a day. This will keep the water quality higher over a longer time. All fish benefit from vitamins and supplements added to their foods.

  • Diet Type: Omnivore
  • Flake Food: Yes
  • Tablet / Pellet: Yes
  • Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet
  • Vegetable Food: Some of Diet
  • Meaty Food: Some of Diet
  • Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day - To avoid negatively impacting the water quality, feed smaller amounts of food multiple times a day instead of one large feeding.