Showing posts with label Apistogramma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Apistogramma. Show all posts


Tips on RAM CICHLIDS - Care and Spawning

The Ram cichlid or Microgeophagus ramirezi belongs to the family Cichlidae more commonly referred to as cichlids. They are endemic to Orinoco River basin in Venezuela and Columbia. The aquarium industry markets rams under several trade names including; Ram, Blue ram, German blue ram, Asian ram, butterfly cichlid, dwarf butterfly and Ramirez's dwarf cichlid. The Ramirez's dwarf cichlid is a hybrid originally bred by fish enthusiast Manuel Ramirez.

Ram Cichlid - Photo  by   boscosami  (cc)
Rams are arguably the most peace loving of the entire cichlid family. This makes them very popular with aquarium owners. They make wonderful community tank fish provided they are surrounded by equally docile tank-mates. They mix exceedingly well with tetras. Another aspect of their popularity is their size. They only grow to about 2.5 inches unlike their cousin the angelfish that can grow to up to 6 inches in diameter. This makes them perfect for smaller aquariums such as desktop models. They are most at home in well planted aquariums.

Ram Cichlids thrive in slightly acidic water. A pH of 6.8 with a water temperature range between 72- 78°F is the ideal environment for keeping rams. Under premium conditions you can expect your ram cichlids to live for up to four years.

Rams are omnivorous. They can survive just fine on common variety tropical fish flakes. But supplementing their diet with live food such as brine shrimp, frozen or freeze dried food will help insure their vigor.

Distinguishing males from females isn't difficult. This species is sexually dimorphic, males being larger than females. Males typically possess longer spines on the front of their dorsal fin. Females have rounder abdomens than males. This trait is quite apparent when they are carrying eggs.
Breeding Ram Cichlids

Both the male and the female typically become more colorful when its time to breed. The abdomen of a females' body turns reddish or pinkish when she enters into her spawning cycle. A slightly acid water and warmer water temperatures will help induce spawning.
You will want to place the pair in a breeding tank. Males can become territorial when they enter their breeding cycle.

You will know your rams are about to spawn when the expectant parents begin to clean a flat surface to deposit their eggs on. Cichlids rarely deposit their eggs on barren substrate when a more suitable nursery is available.

    The latest trend among Saltwater Tank enthusiasts is raising pet jellyfish. Jellyfish need specially designed Jellyfish Fish Tank Aquariums. Jellyfish tanks are easier to maintain than traditional saltwater setups. Moon Jellies are the most popular jellyfish among home aquarists both for their exotic beauty and their ease of care. They have become so popular that two US based websites are now tank raising them to meet the growing demand. Pet Moon Jellyfish look absolutely incredible under a fading LED lighting system.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


APISTOGRAMA, Dwarf Cichlids in the Aquarium

The real apistogramma's come from southern America, they all have the same characteristics, like a complex breeding behavior, as their large relatives, only their size is different. Besides the apistogramma group there are also some relatively popular dwarf cichlids from Africa, like the Pelvicachromis group. From this group the most widespread cichlid is the Pelvicachromis pulcher, also known as the Kribensis or Purple cichlid.

Apistogramma hongsloi
Flickr Photo by Britzke

Generally the cichlids from the apistogramma group are more fragile and harder to maintain, and breed, for a longer period of time. In my opinion apistogramma's are not real beginner species. They are more likely to get diseases if not all the environmental variables are properly taken care of. They need soft and acidic water with a low PH value, a PH of 5.5 to 6 is preferable. They hardly eat dry foods, best is to feed them live foods or frozen food, like bloodworms, brine shrimp and mosquito larvae. Apistogramma species can be kept in a large tropical community aquarium, but be sure the other fish are not too small, they can defend their territory very fiercely, and can be quite aggressive when they are breeding. In my opinion it is best to keep the apistogramma's on their own, in a larger aquarium you could combine two apistogramma variants together, maybe supplemented with a small group of other fish, like some livebearers or betta's. They also can be kept together with discus or angel fish. I always have a harem of apisto's in my discus tanks, just to populate the lower areas of the aquarium and I really like these small dwarfs with a big attitude.

The cichlids from the Pelvicachromis group are much more tolerant when it comes to water values and feeding, I do consider these cichlids a good beginner species. They are hardened, beautiful colored and eat almost anything. The Pelvicachromis pulcher is maybe one of the most easy to breed cichlids as well. If you have an adult couple they will reproduce, in a community tank, a special species tank or in a pond, some people like to breed them in their pond during summer.

Actually some of the biggest and nicest colored Pelvicachromis pulcher were pond bred and raised. The only thing to keep in mind with these cichlids is that they are capable of redesigning your aquarium, they can make huge holes and are real little bulldozers. So if you have, or want to setup, a subtile planted tank, don't add a couple of Pelvicachromis to your aquarium.

The last dwarf cichlid I want to mention is the Microgeophagus ramirezi, or Ram cichlid. Their behavior and care are roughly the same as the apistogramma's but they are more tolerant when it comes to water values, and in my experience they are easier to keep in good condition. Unlike the apistos they have to be kept as a couple, not a harem but that's the only breeding experience I have. I have tried several couples, have a couple in a breeding tank right now, but I have never even had a clutch of eggs. I know from other breeders that they are kind of hard to get going, but if they do they never stop.

    By Auke Veenstra
    Auke Veenstra is keeping and breeding tropical aquarium fish, and dendrobatea, for years. He shares his experiences on the TinkerFish website.
    Tropical aquarium fish []

    Article Source: EzineArticles



Highly prized by many hobbyists, Apistogramma is a genus of as many as 250 identified species of fish from the family Cichlidae distributed in the tropical areas of South America's small streams, oxbow lakes, Amazon basin and Venezuela. Most species are strongly sexually dimorphic, with males generally larger (up to 9 cm) in its small adult size and dramatically more coloured to the females. Male Apistogramma has elaborate or extended fins while the female Apistogramma generally has gray to brown colour.

Umbrella cichlid, Apistogramma hongsloi
Umbrella cichlid, Apistogramma hongsloi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All Apistogramma species are micropredators, with their main diet consisting of insect larvae, fish fry and other invertebrates. Live foods such as Brine Shrimp , Cyclops , Daphnia , Bloodworms , mosquito larvae, Tubifex can be fed. They may also accept flakes.

Apistogramma are quite peaceful, popular aquarium residents, making them ideal for inclusion in any community or planted aquariums with plenty of cover such as plants and driftwood. Apistogramma thrives in soft acidic water in its original habitat and are very sensitive to changes in the water chemistry. Recommended values for the water are a pH value range between 5.5-6.8, a water hardness from 0-8 dH, and a temperature from 75-84°F (24-29°C). Peat filtration will help in improving the water chemistry. Dim lighting or partial cover of floating plants should be considered as these species thrive in shaded areas. In the home aquarium, there should be little water movement created by filter. The substrate bottom preferably should be a darker tone.

During breeding and brood care, the female Apistogramma will have a shade of yellow colour. As in most Cichlidae, brood care is highly developed where all Apistogramma species spawn under rocks, in caves, or in holes in branches or sunken logs. A number of breeding strategies exist. Some species breed in polygynous harems, while other species form monogamous pairs. 

In most instances, the female is usually more highly involved with brood care, while the male defends the surrounding territory against predators. Development of the sex of the fry is largely affected by the water conditions, with warmer and softer water favoring more males to females. The eggs usually hatch in 2-5 days and the young will be free-swimming about 4-6 days later. The delicate fry can be raised on small Daphnia , Artemia nauplii, and roftiers.