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Apistogramma fish

maintenance, care, compatibility


One of the most popular fish in our aquariums is Ramirezi’s Apistogram. Rumor has it that it is this small, beautiful cichlid that became the prototype of a goldfish from the m / f “About the Fisherman and the Fish”.

The extraordinary beauty and small size of the fish, the peaceful disposition make it possible to keep them both in herbalists and in tsikhlidnik, both professionals and beginners.

Well, let’s take a closer look at this amazing inhabitant of our aquariums.

Latin name: Apistogramma ramirezi, also wore Papiliochromis ramirezi, modern correct Microgeophagus ramirezi.

Russian synonyms: Ramirezi apistogram, Ramirez apistogram, Ramirez apistogram, butterfly apistogramm, chromis butterfly, ramirezki, ramrezi apistogram.

Foreign names: Ramirezi, Ramirezi Dwarf cichlid, Butterfly cichlid Ram cichlid, Sudamerikanischer Schmetterlingsbuntbars, Sommerfuglecichlide.

Order, family: Perciformes (Perciformes), cichlids, cichlids (Cichlidae).

Comfortable water temperature: 25-30 ° C.

Ph acidity: 6-8.

Stiffness dH: It does not matter, preferably up to 15 °.

Water for breeding: dH up to 10 °; pH 6.5-7.0; temperature 25-27 ° C and above. kH is minimal.

Aggressiveness: not aggressive 10%.

The complexity of the content: easy

Compatibility of apistogram ramiresi: although they are cichlids, but not aggressive. Favorable attitude even to small, peaceful fish and even to vivipartes. As neighbors, we can recommend: red swordtails, ternets, tetras, neons, danios, all peaceful catfish, gourami and lyalius, parrots, other non-aggressive cichlids and even discus and scalar.

Chromis-butterflies get along with virtually all small or peaceful fish. Moreover, they are favorably related to aquarium plants – they do not pinch, do not dig and do not uproot them.

Of course, this property allows you to contain ramirezok even in elegant herbalists.

At the same time, one should not forget that Ramirezi’s apistogram is a cichlid, a sort of micro predator. And like all tsikhlovymi, it is characterized by territorial, intraspecific aggression.

See the article – compatibility of aquarium fish.

Not compatible: The butterfly apistogram is unequivocally incompatible with large and aggressive fish – cichlids and catfish, piranhas and other aggressors. Not compatible with the whole family of goldfish.

How many live: Ramires apistogram is not aquarium long-liver and can live for about 4 years in cool water – 25 degrees. And 2-3 years in warm water 27-30 degrees.

At the same time, it is worth noting that these fish are thermophilic, they feel good in warm water, which, in fact, allows them to be kept with the same thermophilic fish like discus. And, in the cold water, ramirezka is uncomfortable, they often start to get sick. According to my own observations, I can say that this is the way it is – just that the apistograms of semolina butterflies))) Warm water is comfortable for these fish and as is well known, Ichthyophthyriosis is not comfortable.

Find out how much other fish live IN THIS ARTICLE!

The minimum volume of the aquarium for Ramirezi’s histogram: from 30 l., in such an aquarium, you can put a couple + small catfish and small neighbors. Under good conditions and in large aquariums, they sometimes grow to 6-7 cm.

About how much you can keep fish in X liters of aquarium, see HERE (at the bottom of the article there are links to aquariums of all volumes).

Requirements for the care and conditions of Ramirezi’s histogram

Breeding and sexual characteristics of the Ramirezi apistogram

The natural habitat of these representatives of the cichlid family are the Amazon and Orinoco river basins (in the western part) in South America. Also these fish were acclimatized in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

You can meet them in lakes, ponds and rivers with very slow or completely absent flow. The bottom of these reservoirs lines the mud, and the plants form whole thickets.

“Wild” apistograms find food both in the ground and on the surface of the water and in its thickness. They eat small insects and vegetation.

This species was first described by Manuel Vincent Ramirez, a collector and importer of species for the aquarium trade, after whom the fish were named. And George Meyers published a description in the magazine “Aquarium”, published in Philadelphia in 1948.

The size. These are relatively small fish. In the sale of the most common 1.5-2 centimeter butterflies.

The final size of an adult individual depends on the size of the capacity in which it will live (3 cm in small and 5-7 cm in large), the quality of the conditions and nutrition, heredity. These apistograms live for about 2-4 years.

Body they have an oval. The tail does not have a notch.

Fins are high. In males, those that are located on the back and abdomen are longer than in females.

The second and third rays of the dorsal fin are longer than the others, black. Anal – rounded.

Colors bright and elegant.

  • The tan body has a reddish orange tint. In males who are ready to spawn, it “flashes” fiery red.
  • The head, back of the body and fins cover the greenish-blue spangles. On the sides there are spots of black.
  • The fins on the chest are transparent, while the others are orange with a red border and blue specks.
  • Eyes with red irises crossed by a vertical black stripe.

Females can be distinguished by pink or raspberry belly. In males who have reached puberty, the nose becomes saturated red.

Additionally, artificial forms such as gold, albino with red eyes, voiley, neon, balloon, blue neon, electric blue, etc. are bred by breeding. However, these brighter species also have a downside – a very weak immunity and tendency to diseases.

Ramires apistograms do not spoil the appearance of the aquarium, as they do not tinker the soil and do not pluck the plants. They are peaceful, not grumpy and very tolerant.

Their attacks on other fishes (more often on males of their own species), if they happen, occur rather with the purpose of frightening, not attacking, and only in the event of an invasion of their personal territory.

They contain butterflies one by one, in pairs or in several pairs (only in a spacious container with shelters). You can lodge them in common aquariums.

For the neighborhood are suitable small peace fish:

  • viviparous (guppy, swordtail, petilia, mollies),
  • haracin (neon, rassom, erythrosonus, rhodostomus),
  • There are also cases of successful content with barbs, cockerels, angelfish and iris.

Undesirable is the neighborhood with shrimp. The apistogram may not touch large individuals, and small ones will easily eat. And it’s absolutely impossible to keep the Venezuelan butterflies together with large, aggressive and fish that prefer cold water.

These fish are omnivorous and prone to overeating. For them, it is better to choose foods enriched with proteins.

Live and frozen food can be given enough, and dry (especially flakes) should not get carried away.

You can feed the bloodworm, the pipe worker, the worm, Artemia, Daphnia, Cyclops. Herbal supplements also will not be superfluous.

The diet should be varied, meals two or three times, and small portions.

It is not so easy. Ramicese apistograms are considered reproducible at the age of 4-7 months. Forced pair to form will not work.

You need to first grow together 6-10 fish. Inside this flock, they will choose a partner for themselves.

Such pairs are very stable.

These cichlids are considered diligent and caring parents. However, sometimes in their “program” fails, and they eat or throw their eggs.

Scientists explain this by the fact that for many years in captivity, the fish simply lost their parental instinct.

For breeding is better to use spawning. This will reduce the anxiety and aggressiveness of the fish in this period. Its recommended volume is at least 15 liters. The water temperature in it should be a couple of degrees higher than in the general aquarium.

Spawning can be stimulated by daily addition of a small amount of fresh soft water. It does not need to be aerated.

Fish eggs can be laid on a flat stone, a wide leaf of a plant, the inner surface of a pot, or even the wall of an aquarium. It is oval and light, and the number can be from 100 to 400.

Both parents care for her, but the male is more – he removes the dead calf, guards, carries the eggs to the best place.

After 2-4 days fry appear. After that, the temperature of the water begins to gradually decrease. The male digs holes in the ground and carries fry there.

After another 3-5 days, they will sail. The female is better to remove.

Feed the young you can nauplii Cyclops, Artemia, ciliates. Sometimes after the fry swam, you can observe how the male “cleans” them: takes it in the mouth, rinses, and then spits it back out.

The main difficulty in breeding butterflies is to keep the water clean and with stable parameters.

These are quite tender and painful fishes. Adaptation to a new place is quite slow and difficult for them.

In no case can not often carry them from place to place.

Butterfly chromises are very dependent on water temperature. Lowering it to 26 degrees and less leads to lethargy and weakness of fish.

In this case, they rise to the surface, gasp for air, the body swells under the gills.

The most frequent diseases:

  • Hexamitosis and ichthyothirius. Their cause is parasites.
  • Lymphocystic or cellular hypertrophy. Their cause is viruses. Gray nodules and black specks appear on the body of the fish. The disease is not treated.
  • Tuberculosis or dropsy. The main symptom is bulging eyes.
  • Gastrointestinal inflammation caused by overeating.
  • Stress.

Accurately identified diseases are treated with drugs (the addition of special preparations) or surgical (removal of the affected parts) by. Diseases from overeating are treated by fasting for several days.

Poor health for no apparent reason, in most cases, can be corrected by simply increasing the temperature of the water in the aquarium.

In conclusion, it remains to say that the butterfly apistogram is probably the best cichlid for those who decided to tackle them for the first time. It is small, very bright and spectacular, it has a peaceful nature and interesting behavior.

There are, of course, some difficulties in its maintenance and reproduction, but they are completely surmountable. “A fly in the ointment” is the fact that many weakened fish are now being sold, dying in the first year of life.

Video: butterfly apistogram behavior in an aquarium:

Ramirezi’s apistogram is an amazing aquarium fish that combines a colorful color, calm disposition, small size and peaceful existence with other inhabitants of the aquarium. That is why these fish have gained wide popularity not only among novice aquarists, but also are favorites in the waters of professionals.

In addition, the Ramisres apistogram, due to its monotonous temperament, can easily get along in both tsikhlidniki and ordinary herbalists, is quite unpretentious, and is unlikely to bring its owner a lot of trouble. And the unusual appearance of the fish looks amazingly beautiful against the backdrop of marine scenery.

The aquarium pets apistogram ramirezi have many names, as in some sources these cute fish call the apistogram butterfly because of the beautiful color, veil, ramirezka, chromis butterfly or just apistogram. And all due to the fact that initially this fish was credited to the subspecies of apistograms, which after some time were renamed microgeophaguses, and later pseudogeophaguses and patliochromis.

In the end, even today, many people do not know how to properly call this type of cichlids, but the most common version of the name of this small fish is the ramiresi apistogram.

In their natural habitat, these aquarium inhabitants inhabit the tropical and subtropical parts of South America. Namely, the Columbia and Venezuela rivers, which in turn belong to the Orinoco basin. As a rule, they are kept in tributaries of deep-water rivers, but only in the part where there is practically no current, and the bottom is soft and silty.

The water temperature in these regions reaches 30 ° С, and the high temperature index is kept in winter time and makes up 22-26 ° С. In addition to the high temperature, water has a low hardness index, up to about 2 °, and the acid index is 6.5 pN.

It is these hydrological indicators that should be followed when keeping and breeding this fish.

But, despite the natural preferences, the ramiresi apistogram can easily adapt to a wider range of the listed natural requirements. Well accustomed to moderate temperature extremes and high rates of water hardness.

That is why professionals have attributed this species of cichlids to the category of unpretentious fish, which in keeping and breeding are ideal for novice aquarists.

Look at these beauties.

The content of this species is not too different from the habitat conditions characteristic of the whole family of apistograms. However, for normal development it is necessary to adhere to certain rules.

  • The small size and peaceful nature allows you to keep the fish in the aquarium from 25 to 30 liters, and placing a couple with other civilians.
  • The optimum water temperature should be around 22 – 28 ° C. Water hardness is about 12dGH, and acidity is from 5.5 to 7.5. But when buying them at a pet store, it is worth wondering what conditions the fish contained. After all, a young ramisise apistogram easily tolerates any changes in the composition of the water, and an adult individual is unlikely to adapt to a new habitat. This also applies to the hardness of the water; for a long time the fish that was in soft water should be kept in such water and vice versa. Professionals advise when buying to ask for a little water, in which the fish lived earlier, this allows gradually adoptopti them to a new place of residence.
  • Lighting is not pretentious, but it is recommended to use artificial lighting with a lack of natural light flux. And in order to admire the full wealth of the color of the apistogram, it is worthwhile to install a special lamp in the aquarium cover that enhances the color of the fish.
  • It is necessary to take care of aeration and filtration of the reservoir, not forgetting to replace weekly a certain amount of water, approximately 1/4 of the total volume of the aquarium.
  • It is not necessary to cover the aquarium, as the fish are calm and do not jump out of the pond.
  • Ramirezi is unpretentious and in food, which is why you can use conventional artificial food for cichlids or use live food. You need to feed several times a day. However, it is worth knowing that it is better not to give large fish moths or pipe workers, as some aquarium individuals may overestimate their capabilities, and as a result, the fish die.
  • Ramiszy apistogram likes to swim and hide in some kind of shelter. To do this, it is necessary to equip small thickets of aquatic plants in an aquarium, to pile up the bottom with stones, snags, caves and all sorts of shelters. But do not forget that these aquarium residents need space for swimming.

See how the butterfly looks for food at the bottom.

Butterfly apistogram is one of the most peaceful fish that gets along well with any neighbors, does not spoil the plants and the ground. For her, large numbers of plants are ideal, an aquarium, the total volume of which should be more than 20 liters (for more than one fish).

It is also worth remembering the ideal parameters of water in which butterfly apistograms will feel best:

  • acidity – pH;
  • stiffness dH – 11 degrees;
  • temperature is not less than 23 and not more than 31 degrees.

In this case, it is worth paying attention to the fact that this species of fish loves high temperatures more, which is due to their proximity to the discus. Butterfly apistograms are very susceptible to water quality. For them, running water would be ideal, but if there is no such possibility, then you need to change 40 percent once a week, or 20 percent of the water in the aquarium once a day.

In any case, the water that you add to it, for butterflies, should be settled for at least three to four days. This is explained by the fact that they are very susceptible to chlorine and it is he who can later become the cause of most diseases.

Aerating and filtering water is a must. Food for fish of this species must be saturated with proteins, since in essence they are carnivorous.

And because of the tendency to overeating, food must be chosen in ice cream or live form.

Compatibility with other species is the one question that will worry the hosts of butterfly apistograms least of all. This species, despite its carnivorous nature, has a small size, therefore rarely show aggression towards its neighbors.

Moreover, with good nutrition, they will not even try to destroy their cohabitants, as the primary instinct of their love for meat is not self-preservation and protection of the territory, but satisfaction of hunger.

Apistogramm butterfly is resistant to diseases, because diseases that can occur due to improper care of the aquarium, most often, quickly pass without outside intervention.

Fish ripen by the sixth or eighth month, usually by this time it reaches three centimeters in length. For spawning, it is necessary to adhere to the specified parameters of water, it must be soft and warm and sour, or the larvae will not hatch from the eggs. An apistogram of a blue usually spawns every 10–15 days; the older a fish is, the number of spawning decreases.

The female lays her eggs in a dug hole or on a large flat-shaped stone; she often uses this to realize this goal; you need large-sized plant leaves. After some time (several days) fry appear, which must be fed at least four times a day with dust.

After five days, the fry can be fed with infusoria, dust and artemia.

Look at the spawning of the ramiresi apistogram.

The ramisise apistogram grows slowly, reaches the size of about three centimeters at the age of five months. The color of the fry in the first month of life is gray; closer to two months, they acquire their color, but not as bright as in adulthood.

At what age they acquire their final brightness, is unknown. In the process of analytical observation, it was noted that even in individuals from one brood the acquisition of their brightness occurred during different time intervals.

The adult Blue Bleeding Apistogram feeds on any live food, such as Cyclops, Artemia, bloodworm, pipe-keeper, and substitutes. It is necessary to feed the fish a couple of times a day in small portions.

Overfeeding fish is not necessary, since in the case of overeating, they float to the surface of the water, and after a small amount of time, die. In general, the causes of death of this representative of cichlids are not yet fully understood.

The ramisise apistogram is very sensitive to abrupt water changes in large quantities, and if you change the water by more than 20%, the whole flock may die. The average lifespan of a fish is three years.


Cockatoo Apistogram

In this article we will talk about one of the representatives of the extensive group of “dwarf cichlids” originally from South America – the cockatoo apistogram. The cohort of “dwarf cichlids” can also be attributed apistogram: Ramirezi, Agassintsa, Bolivian, Widget, and many others.

Cockatoo Apistogram – simple to keep and bright cichlid. Like all dwarf cichlids, the cockatoo is well suited for keeping in a common aquarium. The fish is small, non-aggressive, so it can be safely kept with small and peaceful fish.

At the same time, yet do not forget that this is a cichlid: it will hunt fry and shrimp.

The apistogram of the cockatoo was first described in 1951. Its habitat is Brazil and Bolivia, tributaries of the Amazon, Ukali, Solimos.

These fish prefer to keep places with minimal flow or even in stagnant water – various creeks, tributaries, streams, in which the bottom is usually covered with a dense layer of fallen leaves. Depending on the season, the parameters in such bodies of water may differ significantly, as the fallen leaves, rotting, make the water more acidic and soft.

Squad: Perciformes;

Family: Cyclic;

Rod: Apistogram;

Comfortable water temperature: 26-28 degrees;

PH Acidity: 6.5-7.0, but can adapt to 8;

How many live: up to 5-7 years. About how many other fish live see here.

Cockatoo Apistogram Compatibility: Due to their peaceful disposition, these fish can be combined even with viviparous fish: pezily, swordtails and mollies. Good neighbors will be angelfish, since the parameters of water for their content are similar, and the scalar prefer the middle and upper water layer, and all apistograms, including cockatoo, stay closer to the bottom.

See also the article. “Compatibility of aquarium fish.”

The complexity of the content: average;

Aggressiveness: In most cases, non-aggressive.

Unlike most other apistograms, which have a slightly barrel-shaped, powerful and short body, the cockatoo is elongated. Their body is slightly flattened laterally, muscular. The mouth is large, almost always ajar.

Also, these fish have a powerful lower jaw resembling a bulldog, which somewhat spoils the impression of the type of fish. The dorsal fin is ridge-shaped, with elongated rays, very bright, resembles a tuft, therefore these fish were nicknamed the cockatoo.

Coloring can be varied. The size of an adult male is up to 7 cm, the females are smaller.

Sex differences and reproduction of the cockatoo apistogram

Beautiful photos with apistogrammy cockatoo

Unusual beauty aquarium fish, resulting from the efforts of breeders. In fact, this is another form of dwarf cichlids widely loved by aquarists.

These fishes are painted in bright orange or lemon color, small blue specks are scattered on each side. The tail and anal fin are purple, with blue spots on them too.

Black eyes are surrounded by a bright red ring. The golden apistogram is a small fish: the length of the males reaches 6 cm, and the females 5 cm.

This breed is very well differentiated by sex. In addition to the fact that even the shape of the body in males and females is different, in males the dorsal fin is orange, smoothly turning into red.

The females are paler, have a lemon-yellow color, and in their mature age their tummy becomes purple.

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