Apastogram Agassizca, Apistogram flare (Apistogramma agassizi) Steindachner, 1875
This is one of the most beautiful apistograms, which is distinguished by a peculiar tail-like candle flame. There are several color variations of A. agassizi.
Fish are common in the narrow channels of the upper reaches of South American rivers, the Amazon River basin south to Bolivia and southern Brazil.
Color and body color may vary significantly depending on location.
As a rule, they inhabit slower flowing tributaries, creeks and streams in places where fallen leaves accumulate, and they can be in black, white or clear water, depending on the area or in some cases of the year. The soil in their habitats is soft.
The body is somewhat elongated, flattened laterally. The lateral line is broken, the upper part is very close to the back.
Mouth final. Dark stripes that are more or less clearly visible are typical, going from the eye to the mouth and to the lower edge of the operculum, as well as to the caudal fin.
Color varies depending on the place of origin.
In most cases, the body is from blue to greenish, sometimes yellow-brown, the back is olive-brown, the belly is yellowish-pink to orange. From the eye to the root of the tail is a dark stripe, which can be interrupted or completely disappear.
The dorsal fin at the base is dark, above orange or green-blue with a red border.
In the male, the end of the dorsal and anal fin is much more sharply pointed than in the female. Females are smaller than males. The male tail-shaped spear fin, rounded at the female.
During the care of offspring, the female becomes, in most cases, yellow with rich black longitudinal stripes.
The length of the males is up to 8 cm, the females are smaller than about 5 cm.
Fishes are territorial. During the period of spawning and care for the offspring that the female produces, they become very aggressive. Each female captures the territory around the shelter.
These areas form a common, which protects the male. But, it should be more territories of all females, because otherwise, the females pursue the male, guarding their offspring.
With the maintenance of several males, if the area of the aquarium is small, then fights take place between them.
Fish are kept in the lower and middle layers of water. You can keep in the general aquarium together with small very mobile fishes occupying the upper and middle layers of water, which will play the role of a hostile factor, prompting females to protect their offspring.
In places, there are overgrown plants and various shelters – caves, a pile of bogs, and the number of shelters should slightly exceed the number of females. In a large aquarium, you can contain pairs of apistograms of different species.
Basic dimensions of 50 * 30 cm and more are acceptable for one pair, large volumes are required for the group.
Keeping these apistograms is a snap. Aquarium volume from 45 liters per pair; it is desirable that it combines dense thickets of plants and free places for swimming.
The number of shelters should exceed the number of fish. The optimum temperature of the content is 25-27 ° C, although the temperature range that these fish can withstand is quite wide – from 22 to 29-30 degrees.
In nature, this species is found in reservoirs with black, white and clear water, with a pH value of 5-7 and dGH 0-12 °.
When keeping and breeding, one should always take into account the territoriality of the males and females guarding the offspring. According to the observations, in the general aquarium, the males of A. agassizii are aggressive to other species of fish, and rather actively drive away anyone from the borders of their territory.
In addition, this species is also characterized by intraspecific aggression, and the peaceful existence in a small volume of two males is simply impossible.
Temperature: 22 – 29 ° C;
pH: 5-7, commercially diluted fish is relatively unassuming, but some wild populations may require values of just 3.0 – 4.0 for breeding.
Stiffness: 0 – 12 ° GH, again, somewhat dependent on the origin, and lower values are required for wild fish.
A weekly substitution of 1/10 of the volume of the aquarium not only has a beneficial effect on the general health of the fish, but also often stimulates spawning.
There are no problems with nutrition.
Mostly carnivores, apparently in nature, feed mainly on benthic invertebrates. Live and frozen food such as artemia, daphnia, tubule and chironomid larvae (bloodworm) should be regularly offered in an aquarium, although most individuals are happy to eat high-quality dry food.
Males are larger, more colorful and have more elongated / long fins than females. Females are smaller and more modestly painted.
For breeding, it is better to purchase a dozen young fish, placing them for joint cultivation in an aquarium with optimal conditions for maintenance and feeding. If possible, separated vapors should not be separated.
To improve the fertilization conditions of caviar, it is desirable to soften the water.
Spawning both in general and in the spawning aquarium, which must be at least 15 liters for a couple, with soil, a bush of plants and a cave. The temperature is raised by 2-4 ° С, daily 1/5 of the volume of water is replaced with softer and sour water.
After spawning, the male is removed. The incubation period is 3-6 days.
Fry swim in 4-7 days. Starter feed: live dust.
G.R. Axelrod, W. Vordeinkler in the book “Aquarist Encyclopedia” describe the spawning of these apistograms in the following way:
For spawning, they need a temperature of 25.5–26.5 ° C (except for some special cases), but in the pre-spawning period it is best to slightly reduce it, for example, to 24 ° C. Plant the spawning well, it will give the fish a feeling of security, put a few stones and a small flower pot, choosing the darkest corner for it. Turn the pot by the neck from the light, and perhaps the cichlids will choose this place for spawning.
Under the pot, the male is busy digging a hole in advance, spitting out all the small pieces of gravel until he manages to put things in order. Then he chooses a female, and woe to her if she is not yet ready to spawn!
Therefore, noticing the preparation of the male for spawning, check the condition of the female, if necessary, transfer it to another aquarium and feed it properly, until it has a belly belly, otherwise the poor creature will get a strong hold of a partner. Matured females soon allow them to adjust themselves to the spawning grounds and toss a handful of eggs, which the male fertilizes immediately.
But as soon as the spawning is over, amazing changes take place with the female: from a modest, timid creature, she turns into a real tigress, chasing and biting almost twice as large spouse until he turns to flight. Staying at this time in the company of his wife, he risks a lot.
Left to itself, the female usually cares about the eggs and larvae, but sometimes, especially in a very restless environment, she suddenly comes to the conclusion that this is a tasty dish, and begins to eat them. Consequently, in this case, you can get a normal breed, only artificially growing juveniles. As in the breeding of large cichlids, the eggs are removed from the spawning ground (or parents are rejected) and a constant, weak current of air passing along but not affecting the eggs is connected.
After 4–5 days helplessly wriggling larvae appear at the bottom. Another three days go to emptying their yolk sacs, then they begin to eat infusoria or, in the worst case, powder food, after a few days of infusor diets they begin to give nauplii artemia.
When the larvae begin to grow, all further is not difficult; at six months of age, the fish begin to look for couples to create their own families.