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Borelli’s apistogram: how to keep and breed in an aquarium

Hello dear aquarists. I apologize for the long absence, but I had a move to a new place of residence and all the time I was busy with this issue. But the transfers are over, spent the Internet and it’s time to get to work.

In today’s article we will get acquainted with another great aquarium fish called the Borelli Apistogram. In nature, this cichlid lives in the central part of the Paraguay River basin.

The body of the Borelli Apistogram is slightly elongated and there are clearly visible dark stripes on the sides of the head that run from the eyes to the lower part of the gill covers. The main color of the body of the fish is yellow. The back is painted in olive color, which has a bluish tint.

Head and chest has a lemon-yellow hue. Under good conditions, the sides of the fish are cast in blue. Scales have a dark edge.

The longitudinal and transverse stripes on the sides form a changeable pattern, in contrast to the strips on the head.

The base at the fins is gray-blue, and the edges can be both orange and yellow. Near the base of the caudal fin, you can see a couple of dark spots that go to the body of the fish. During the care of their offspring and during the spawning period, males and females become the same color, with the exception of intensity.

In females, the color will be brighter than in males. The maximum length of the male in aquarium conditions is 7-8 centimeters, the size of the females is slightly smaller. In the case of excessive excitation or spawning, the female may become lemon yellow, and the stripes on the head become intensely black.

On the blog, I have already considered some types of apistograms, namely Ramirezi, Panduro, Kakadu and Flare. Who wants to read the material, you can follow the links and study.

The Borelli apistogram tries to stay in the lower and middle layers of the aquarium. As observations have shown, Borelli gets along well with moving aquarium fish of small and medium size, which prefer to stay in the upper and middle layers of the aquarium. For apistograms, you can try to hook up ornatus, minors, Sumatran barbs (with barbs, it is advisable to be neater, as they like to nibble the fins and tails of other inactive fish).

Since tsikhlovye territorial fish, the presence of moving neighbors will contribute to the development of the instinct to protect their offspring.

Before spawning, a female apistogram captures a piece of territory from some shelter. If you have a group of fish from several females and one male in your tank, the male will patrol the entire “Female” territory.

In order for the females not to drive the male, the entire territory to be patrolled must be larger than the one that the females have chosen for themselves. If you keep a group of fish in a small aquarium and there are several males in it, then the probability of injury in men increases.

The length of the aquarium with a group of fish with one male and two or three females should be at least 50 centimeters. In addition, since cichlids like various shelters, your bank should have stones, ceramic pots, coconuts, caves and pile-ups of snags.

When keeping cichlids, remember one thing: the number of shelters in the aquarium should exceed the number of females. Since the Borelli Apistogram does not shovel the soil in the aquarium on a global scale, it is advisable to plant hard-leaved aquarium plants.

The temperature of the water in the aquarium should be within 23-26 degrees Celsius, hardness within 2-20 degrees, but preferably not more than 10, and the active reaction of the environment close to neutral 6.5-7.0 pH.

Keep your aquarium clean, as Borelli is sensitive enough to various contaminants. Do not forget about the regular water changes to fresh.

It is desirable to feed your pets with live food, but you can also use high-quality substitutes.

Borelli’s apistograms become sexually mature at the age of 8-10 months. The fish reproduces both in a separate spawning chamber and in a common bank.

Spawning volume should be at least 50 liters for a pair of fish. In the spawning aquarium also organized various shelters of ceramic tubes and pots, as well as from the thickets of aquarium plants.

Some seasoned tsikhlidniki cover the bottom of a spawning aquarium with soil where aquatic plants bushes are planted (Wendt cryptocoryne, anubias barter), but most aquarists do without soil.

Aquarium water in spawning should have the following parameters:

  • Stiffness: 2-6 dH;
  • Acidity: 6.5-6.8 pH;
  • Temperature: 25-26 degrees.

For spawning, the female can sweep away about 100 eggs. Caviar masonry is made on a wide sheet of aquarium plants, a flat stone or a shelter. After 4-6 days, the larvae will hatch from the eggs, and after another 5 days, the fry are already able to swim independently.

You can feed fry from the start with infusoria and rotifers.


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