The dwarf cichlid Apistogramma agassizii has a distribution area that extends through practically the entire Amazon. With many of its genus comrades it is completely different, they often occur only locally and form then also location variants. Agassiz’ dwarf cichlid has so far successfully resisted all attempts to divide it. It is true that some particularly striking colorings are known – for example the “Tefe” with its zigzag pattern or the red-backed “Santarem”. But it is shown again and again that even with these extremes only relatively few males correspond to the ideal picture and with a larger number of wild-caught there are always also normally colored males. And the females all look the same anyway….
The matter does not get easier if you consider that almost every Apistogramma species in nature shows polychromatism (= multicolorism) of the males. So there are males with e.g. a higher proportion of red, those with a higher proportion of blue, etc. Under aquarium conditions one can select for the desired color within a few generations and then get uniform looking strains. But in nature it is not like that.
We have very pretty wild-caught Apistogramma agassizii from Peru, i.e. the upper reaches of the Amazon, in the stock right now. As is usual with wild-caught fish, they are about 30% smaller than their cousins that grew up in the aquarium when they reach sexual maturity. In the wild, there just isn’t as abundant food. But the coloration of the „wild ones“ is really very, very pretty, both the animals with more red and the animals with more blue in the tail fin.
For our customers: the fish have code 614073 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
There are many colour varieties of Apistigramma agassizii. The species – as it is currently understood – occurs in the complete Amazon river area in Colombia, Peru, and Brazil. The most wanted variety is probably the „Tefé“ variety. It is, however, not really proven that this variety really comes from the Rio Tefé, a right hand tributary of the Amazon in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. The trade name „Tefé“ was created at a time when a lot of money was payed for these fish and the people who collected them were not interested at all to share their knowledge about the collecting sites. The only thing that can be taken for granted in the Tefé-Agassizii ist that it is a blackwater form.
The Tefé-Agassizii is as variable in coloration as any other A. agassizii. A. agassizii is a polychromatic species. In the Tefé-Agassizii this polychromatism appears mainly in the individually changing content of orange or yellow in the fins and the neck. But all males of the Tefé-Agassizii have the typical zigzag-pattern on the belly. The females look almost like all females of A. agassizii, but can be recognized by the orange-red seam along the dorsal fin.
For our custimers: the animals have code 614833 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Since its scientific description in 1980 this dwarf cichlid is subject of an ongoing debate among keepers and breeders of Apistogramma. Some think that A. gephyra is a mere variety of A. agassizii, others defend its status quo as a separate species. Most likely both parties are right. There can be no doubt that A. gephyra and A. agassizii are very closely related forms that parted from a common ancestor only quite recently. If they already represent different species or still the same is finally a question of personal taste.
Here in the wholesale trade we use a quite simple coloration-feature to tell both species apart, because this feature has proofed to be very reliable: only A. gephyra has a red seam along the dorsal fin edge. Mid-january we obained a shipment of young, about 1,5 cm long Apistogramma from Brazil. They showed a peculiar feature that we had observed so far (at least knowingly) only in one species from the Rio Negro, namely Apistogramma elizabethae: under stress the longitudinal stripe vanishes and a double-spot becomes visible in the first third of the body. In all other known species from the Rio Negro there is only one spot or a totally different pattern.
However, our new imports did not really look like A. elizabethae. So we decided to wait a bit. In mid-february, the largest males showed their mating colours. They are in fact Apistogramma gephyra!
For our customers: the fish have code 629502 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. As they fish are still quite small we cannot exclude the possibility that other species of Apistogramma are mixed in as bycatch.