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Apistogramma Breeding Strategies


New Member
So I'd thought I'd make a post to see how others have raised their apistos. I've never found a "right way" to raise them, however I'd like to see how everyone else gets highest survival rates. on the 2nd-3rd day of incubation I remove the dad from the breeding tank. I wait till fry are free swimming and then I let the mom carry her fry around the tank for about 2-3 weeks while feeding fry vinegar eels. After this time the mom begins to loose interest and I move them to either a breeding box (hob) or a grow out. This depends on fry development. If I feel they aren't quite strong enough for full move I keep them in the breeder box where I can really spot feed the fry. Once large enough I switch to black worms and then slowly ween them off of live foods to pellet and gel. I should specify this method is about cactuoides and fry were hatched and live first few weeks in a 20 long with lots of moss and leave litter. Let me know thoughts and how you raise your fry! All species welcome!

Bart Hazes

Active Member
I have bred something like 8-10 species with 10 spawns growing up at the moment. I've never removed the male and in only one species, A. sp. Melgar, did the male not 'get with the program' from day one. Often that meant completely ignoring the spawn in other cases he would patrol the outer perimeter of the 'fry zone'. A. rubrolineatus males have probably contributed the most among the species I've kept.
My fry stay with the parents between 1 and 6 months, and I've not seen parents turn on their fry. I currently have a pair of A. baenschi raising two consecutive spawns in a 20 gallon tank. Initially they kept the older fry away but now it is one big happy family. However, this is an exception and normally if I don't remove the fry they won't start spawning again.
My fry typically grows fast the first 4 to 8 weeks when they eat whatever they find between leaves, plants, sand etc, plus 2 helpings of baby brine shrimp for the first 3 weeks or so. After that I add grindal worms to the mix and, if they take it, dry pellet food. Often their growth slows down when they need to start competing with dithers, parents and siblings for larger food items and I now have put up a 180x60x25cm fry growout tank with movable dividers. I have had it only a few weeks but can notice faster growth.
My primary focus is not maximizing production but apistogrammas are hard to get for my fellow aquarists in Canada so I do like to raise the fry and spread the love for dwarf cichlids.

central tanks

Active Member
Dallas, Tx
I have far less experience then both of you. Iv only breed A. Agazii, and have only really had 1 successful spawn. My female took 3 spawns before eggs made it to hatching. The amount that did hatch was only about 5 fry(ya disappointing). After they got to free swimming my female killed my male( there in a 20 gallon long). I fed baby brine shrimp 2 times a day for probably about 2-3 months. Then started feeding frozen brine shrimp as this is what I primarily feed the adults. I kept them with mom for 6 weeks before I noticed she was now chasing them and they were spread out throughout the tank hiding. Managed to siphin them out into a breeder box. There now about 6 months old, I moved them to a 10 gallon at about 2-3 months old. Was hoping one was a male so I wouldn't have to buy a new male. Turns out there all females. Just now starting the dry food introduction and they seam to play with it and reluctantly eat it. Still have much to learn but am ready for another male to get some more spawns. Plan on bringing in micro worms as a food source as making BBS was kinda a pain, will still use BBS for the first few weeks then would switch to micro worms.

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