Agassiz’s dwarf cichlid

General key data

The Agassiz Dwarf Cichlid, Dwarf Cichlid or Red-tailed Agassiz D warf Cichlid is a much sought-after aquarium fish because of its splendid colours. It grows up to 10 cm, lives in fresh water and can live up to 4 years.

What makes Agassiz dwarf cichlids stand out?

His home is the black and white water biotopes in the Amazon region. It is adaptable and lives in both slow-flowing and standing waters. There it likes to hide under stones, roots and leaves.

The males surround themselves with harem groups. While the females take care of the brood, the male guards the territory and acts aggressively against any intruder.

The appearance of Agassiz dwarf cichlids

Apistogramma Agassizii
© Mirko Rosenau / Apistogramma Agassizii

The bodies of these fish are elongated and slightly dented at the sides. The heads with the bulging lips are typical for perches.
The species is easily recognized by a black line running from the tip of the mouth to the tail fin. Another black line runs from the corner of the mouth, under the eye, in an arc downwards. This second line is not so distinct.

On the back the animals are coloured brown/yellow to blue-green. On the sides the colour goes from yellow-orange on the head to blue-green on the caudal fin. The dorsal fin is black at the base, blue-green in front and grey marbled in the back. The hem and the extended tip are red. The ventral fins are sabre-shaped and shine in orange-red with black rays. The pectoral fins are transparent and colourless.

Wild catches are generally more intensively coloured than offspring from the aquarium.
In the meantime Agssiz dwarf cichlids have been bred in different colours. They are available with a reddish, yellow or green base colour.

Keeping conditions

The aquarium keeping of this perch is somewhat more demanding.

  • Swarm attitude, one male with several females.
  • Socialization with smaller characins or catfish, which are more at the water surface or in the middle of the pool area, is possible.
  • The fish react sensitively to unsuitable water values or chemicals in the water.

Gender differences

Male Agassiz dwarf cichlids are larger and more intensely colored than the females. Males are easily recognized by their lancet-shaped extended caudal fins. The black longitudinal stripe is more distinct in the males.

Water values for Agassiz dwarf cichlids

The water for your Agassiz dwarf cichlids must be soft and slightly acidic.

  • Temperature: 22 to 28 degrees
  • pH value: 5.6 to 6.9
  • GH: 7 to 14° dGH
  • KH: 3 to 8° dKH

Food and nutrition for Agassiz dwarf cichlids

The Agassiz dwarf cichlid is an omnivore and not choosy when it comes to its food.

  • They prefer to eat live food, such as small crabs, tubifex and mosquito larvae.
  • Frozen food
  • Dried fodder
]Don't feed too much. The fish tend to overeat.

The ideal aquarium for Agassiz dwarf cichlids

The tank should be at least 100 x 40 x 40 cm for a male with his harem group. Each female must have her own territory including cave.
The animals need many stones, caves, clay pipes, roots and the like as hiding places. Some areas of the aquarium should be darkened more. Add leaves and alder cones to the water. Cover the bottom with a layer of sand, you may use dark sand.

The dwarf cichlids love richly planted pools. Place the plants mainly in the background. A good peat filter is suitable as a filter.

Characteristics of Agassiz dwarf cichlids

If the Agassiz dwarf cichlid is kept in a tank with larger fish, its beautiful colouring fades.

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