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Fire red agassizi - breeding plan

Sam Oplinger

New Member
Pretty sure I got 2 females, a young male and a mature male fire red in this 55g. My plan was to wait for clear preference and remove a breeding pair to this 10g with some neons for a dither fish. One of the females disappeared for two days and looks healthier, so I think she’s been keeping eggs. The other got a little fin nipped by the apisto bitaneata female in the 55 tank. Best I can guess, the bigger male would be daddy and the not-nipped female is his choice. I haven’t seen harem behavior in any of the five species of apisto I’ve kept, but rather a pairing-off that I’m calling preference. It’s weird that the two males (or what I think are) don’t fight. The adult is usually gently pursuing the little male. Not seeing the meanness with this lot that I see with my Cacatuides. Thoughts? That last photo is the 10g I have to put the pair I see form.


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Mike Wise

Staff member
5 Year Member
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
I agree with you. I don't see agassizii-like species being as aggressive/territorial as cacatuoides-group species. That being said, aggies are polygamous when given the chance. The male often has a favorite female (and the dominant female might even drive any less dominant females out of the males territory). Still, if the opportunity is there, the male will serially breed with any receptive female in his territory. Note that it is not the male that initiates courtship; it is the female.

As for your proposed breeding tank, It is unsuitable in many ways, although possible by experienced apisto breeders:

The small size (10 gallon) enhances the chance of loss of a female if she is not ready to breed.

Then, the small size enhances the chance of loss of the male by a female protecting eggs/fry. She definitely doesn't want a large gaudy male attracting attention to her or her offspring by predators. In the wild (or really large tanks) the male is typically busy patrolling the borders of his territory or courting/breeding another female. He rarely comes close to a brooding female's brood territory.

Neon Tetras are known fry predators. In a 10 as open as yours there is little chance that one apisto female can drive off an entire school of Neons - and the male doesn't care, he's got other things on his primitive mind.

Sam Oplinger

New Member
Wow, thanks for the super thorough response, Mike!

I wonder if it’d change anything with a “staffing change” plan. 1. Add a likely pair (not both females for the reasons you outlined and so they don’t end up vying for the same limited real estate in the event that we get two clutches - heaping helping of optimism there) and remove all snails 2. Once I see female behavior indicating a spawning site was selected or even eggs, remove all fish except the pair. 3. Once I see fry, remove the male. 4. Once mommy stops herding and they’re free swimming, remove her too. This is what I’ve been doing with my cacs. Well. It worked twice, which is my whole resume of successes with them, so far. :D Think the risk of stress from catching/removing would be too high?

Honestly, I’m still leaning toward attempting this 10g breeding idea, in some form. Maybe I won’t get any babies. What I really don’t want to risk is losing my pair in the attempt. If a real pro could do it, I’m not gonna shy away because I’m not experienced. Gotta do stuff to get experienced, right? Unless the experiment is just really dumb/risky.


Active Member
The real problem is with the 10g is one is likely to kill the other; though you could keep them sep until they are ready to breed; then put them together and then remove the male after they breed.
I have had success with a. pucallpaensis in a 10 but the female allows the male near the frys and the male is not overly aggressive to the female when she is not ready (I'm not sure if this is just my pair or general for the species because one article i read suggested they were hyper aggressive).

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mikishuhoo wrote on Apistoguy52's profile.

Do you still have Apistogramma diplotaenia pairs available to sell? Please advise. Thanks.

I'm clueless. If I say something you can safely ignore it.
Apistomaster wrote on anewbie's profile.
I see that The Wet Spot Tropical Fish currently has the fire red A. agassizi you are looking for. Here is the link:
I've always had good experiences buying from them on line.
I am Hanzle from Holland and keep apistoos for 40 years. Had my own aquarium shop from 1984 till 1988. Always s great fan from apistoos and hyphessobrycon which is s great combination in a Community Aquarium. Perhaps.....in the near future I start breeding apistoos again. Have a 400 liters Community aquarium for hyphessobrycon wadai and apistogramma biteaniata.
I want to get a 55 gallon slightly planted tank with many caves and I am thinking of getting 2 electric blue acaras, 3 blue rams, a apistogramma, 3 angelfish, and some corrydoras. Will that work if I keep the temperature at about and 80 or less?