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A real suprize today?.......

Hi to all,
I just have to share this with everyone as it's my first Apisto spawn! I normally breed wild-type livebearing fishes.
I was setting up for a water change today in a 16 gallon bow-front I had set up for my other half. I started syphoning out some water and adding in new R.O. water. I started cleaning off the bow-front part of the glass as my new L.E.D. light is growing algee like a plant farm!
I saw some unusual movement on the right side of the tank just above one coconut shell on right side (there are 2 in the tank) amongst live plants.
I said ,OH my god I've got free swimming fry! Around 25+
Wow,,, I'm in shock and utter disbelief!
I just added 2 Apisto steel blue fish 1 at 2 week intervolds. I have done a lot of research on these controversial X's from Singapore and realized females are almost impossible to find!
I had purchased the last 3 fish in the store 4 months ago labeled as "Apisto borelli " but knew better and started looking on-line for what they might be.

A big thanks to Tom & Martin's Apistogramma site!!! See their Borelli page.

Since then the 3 turned out to be all males. I just revisited that LFS and asked to see if they had any more of these. A clerk I know well took me over and said I see one in this tank but let me look in the tank next to it...
She moved the decor and out came a smaller paler fish now in fright mode! We both agreed it could be a female! Much smaller, less colored up (before she dove in with the net and fed her a few black worms!) on the cheeks as the males are. These are sold as adult fish as well.
I said "bag her up!" That was back on 6-7-14.
I put her in that 16 gallon bow-front and the males I had were in there own tank in my shop. This supposid female was added to 2 young Hongsloi's I added this male steel blue 2 weeks later. I never expected was was to come.... Now she will chase everyone into the left side of the tank including her mate! No tails/fins torn as of yet but,,, the question is,,,,

Who should I remove???

This hen is half the size of that male and the Hongsloi's are just as small as her (1.5") or (3.8 cm) As the fry grow bigger will he start to help her defend them?
Should I remove him instead???

As for food, these fry were probably free swimming as of yesterday, but was not home when the adults were fed. Their little bellies are bulging with algee and I added lots of Banana worms. I saw them eating these readily! I don't raise brine shrimp as it's a pain and is a messy affair. I have one eggs on hand either. I do have green water though.
Just thought I'd share this unusual experience with a lab created fish. I think they're pretty cool fish with additudes!, easy to feed, and now breed if you can get a female & will take all type's of foods too.
Livebearer lady
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Congrats on your first spawn!

It all depends how aggressive she is being with them. I always try keep the parents together and let the bring up the fry naturally unless the aggression is really bad. It's not just the nipped fins you need to watch for but also the stress levels caused by being trapped in her territory and attacked can make them more vulnerable to diseases etc so keep an eye on it.

It'd be great to see if you can get some pics of the mum and dad as it could be a cross breed with a male steel blue and a female something else?

Enjoy watching the fry grow!


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
I was wondering that too as I read through the post. My LFS has certain tanks where Apistos usually get put, and there may be remnant fish from a previous shipment (other species) when the new shipment gets added.

... as it could be a cross breed with a male steel blue and a female something else?