The “Giant Apistogramma” caused a flurry of excitement when it was discovered in 2009 during an expedition to the Serra do Cachimbo (Pará, Brazil). The discoverers, J. L. O. Birindelli and M. Sabaj Perez, reported on this great fish in various journals, initially under the name A. sp. “Gigas”. Then in 2014, Varella and Sabaj Perez formally described it as Apistogramma kullanderi.
The breeding coloration of adults is very beautiful and impressive. With a good 8 cm standard length, i.e. without tail fin, A. kullanderi in the male sex is twice as large as the many, many other Apistogramma species usually are, which after all are not called dwarf cichlids without reason. The import of A. kullanderi turned out to be a bumpy affair, because in the same area (upper Rio Curua) there is a second still undescribed Apistogramma species, which does not occur together with A. kullanderi, but looks darn similar when young. When importing young animals one buys the famous (expensive) pig in a poke and the disappointment was regularly big, when the hoped for A. kullanderi turned out to be the gray mice of the second species after a few weeks.
In the meantime there are well established breeding strains of the “real” A. kullanderi and for the first time we have German offspring available in wholesale. The animals still show only a hint of their later beauty, but we present them here anyway. The photographed pair will grow in our show facility and we hope to be able to provide pictures of adult animals in their full splendor and glory in about half a year.
For our customers: the fish have code 623443 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer