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Apistogrammoides pucallpaensis

Apistogrammoides pucallpaensis

Above Apistogrammoides pucallpaensis Male. Photo by Mario Toromanovic. Video below.

General

Apistogrammoides pucallpaensis is the lone species in the Apistogrammoides genus and is closely related to genus Apistogramma. Apistogrammoides pucallpaensis was first described by Meinken in 1965.

In 1986 Kullander offered remarks on Meinken's work and both scientists agreed that there are four main differences that separate the Apistogrammoides and Apistogramma genuses. Among four differences, the most important is number of spines in the anal fin. Apistogrammoides has eight spines while Apistogramma typically have only three.

Apistogrammoides pucallpaensis is often called the T-bar cichlid in older aquarium literature. The common name comes from the dark lateral line forming a perpendicular with a vertical line at the caudal peduncle.

Etimology: Apisto = irregular or unreliable + gramma = line, means the lateral line which is often reduced. I suspect that the lateral line is formed weakly or irregularly + oides = similar, shall refer to the close relationship. pucallpaensis = after the locality, a stream in the surroundings of the city of Pucaullpa in Peru.

Habitat

Apistogrammoides pucallpaensis is fround near the the town of Pucallpa in Peru. It is also found along the Rio Ucayali and the Rio Amazonas to Leticia, Colombia. Habitats vary from small streams, to stagnant water, and the fish are usually found under cover of submersed plants and dead leaves.

Care

Prior to receiving new, wild caught specimens of Apistogrammoides pucallpaensis, I prepared my tanks to mimic water from their natural habitat. Unlike many Apistogramma species, Apistogrammoides pucallpaensis doesn’t need “extremely soft” water. Most of the water in their natural habitat is from Soft to Neutral range pH 7.0. With this in mind, I mixed prepared a mix of 50% regular tap water and 50% RO (reverse osmosis) water for the tank. Water parameters were pH 6.8, TDS between 70 to 150 ppm (parts per million), which is consider soft and I maintained temperature in the tank at around 79°F.

Feeding

Getting wild caught fish to eat is always a concern. I was very lucky that my wild caught Apistogrammoides pucallpaensis were already transitioned and readily accepted prepared food, such as flakes and pellets. They loved frozen food such as daphnia and brine shrimp. I also enjoyed watching them purse live black worms and small baby brine shrimp in the tank.

Breeding

I obtained two wild caught pairs of Apistogrammoides pucallpaensis from Ted Judy at TedsFishroom.com. Ted had imported many rare and hard to find fish from Peru at that time, and I was so happy to obtain new Apistogramma species. I placed both pairs in ten gallon heavily planted tank which contained numerous caves and hiding spaces. At first, I was not impressed with the fish. The fish exhibited no color, and all four of them were hid most of the time. After about two months, I noticed that my female had turned yellow and black. A male colored up as well and began chasing away the two other fish. At this point, I moved newly formed pair to five gallon tank with similar furnishings and water parameters.

About two weeks later, the pair of Apistogrammoides pucallpaensis spawned. The female selected a secluded spot under a piece of driftwood and deposited 60-70 eggs. The female guarded the eggs for three days, and then once they hatched, moved the wigglers to nearby cave. Four days hence, I observed a batch of tiny fry near the entrance to the cave, closely guarded by the female. Although the male stayed at least two inches from the brood, he was still protective, chasing away Endler’s livebearers which I employ as dither fish.

I began feeding the fry with New Life Spectrum Small Fry food which is a finely powdered food for very small fry. I also introduced newly hatched baby brine shrimp and a few days later completely transitioned the fry to baby brine. The parents kept the fry in a tight group for about four weeks before they allowed the fry to venture out on their own. I was very impressed with parental care exhibited by both parents.

Retail Price

Apistogrammoides pucallpaensis is not a striking fish, but the parental care of this dwarf cichlid means this fish has a charm on its own. I don’t think you will find these fish in pet shops, and you will not even find it easily on the internet. If you do find it, expect to pay $25 to $30 for pairs or $7 to $10 for juveniles. I would recommend this fish for more experienced breeders, especially those with experience working with Apistos.

Video

 

Report April 2015 by Mario Toromanovic

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bloonguy's Avatar
bloonguy replied the topic: #35077 3 years 4 months ago
For those that missed it, the latest Chatter has been up for about a week.
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scubadiver replied the topic: #34663 3 years 9 months ago
Bump for latest chatter
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Mugwump replied the topic: #34359 4 years 2 weeks ago

madeto wrote: Must read: "The 10 Things That Make Every Fish Keeper the SAME!" by Bob Chirempes.
Very, very funny and so true.


It had me cracking up too.....somewhere there should also be....the old forgot to take a net( extra bags) to the swap meet trick(s).... :evil:
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dakwas1940 replied the topic: #34358 4 years 2 weeks ago
:P Great job.
madeto's Avatar
madeto replied the topic: #34356 4 years 2 weeks ago
Must read: "The 10 Things That Make Every Fish Keeper the SAME!" by Bob Chirempes.
Very, very funny and so true.
scubadiver's Avatar
scubadiver replied the topic: #34355 4 years 2 weeks ago
Check out the new chatter

Ptychochromis oligacanthus "Nosy Be"

Ptychochromis oligacanthus

Above: Ptychochromis oligacanthus with fry.Photo by Mario Toromanovic. See video below.

General

Ptychochromis oligacanthus, also known as the Nosy Be Cichlid, gets its common name from the collection point of Nosy Be island on the island of Madagascar (also Nossi-bé in Malagasy language).  The fish was first described in 1868 by Bleeker as Tilapia oligacanthus nossibeensis. The species was later revised as Ptychochromis oligacanthus by Stiassny & Sparks in 2006.                  

Males Nosy Be’s are larger than females. Males can get up to 10 inches while females stay a couple of inches smaller.                                                                                                                                   

Ptychochromis oligacanthus is not the best looking fish. They are grey to dark grey with black blotches extending thru the body. Males may have a longer anal and dorsal fins which turn red while he is courting the female. Males also have a blue upper lip and a more robust head profile. Both males and females take on a black breeding dress when courting.

Etymology

  • Ptychochromisptyx = fold + chromis = a fish, perhaps a perch
  • oligacanthus =  oligo = reduced + acanthus = spines ( Latin )  = reduced; in reference to the number of dorsal-fin spines.

Habitat

Restricted to freshwater habitats of northwestern Madagascar, from the Sambirano River northward to the Mananjeba drainage (Andranomaloto River), and including the crater lakes of Nosy Be island. 

Care

Ptychochromis oligacanthus does not present many difficulties (outside of being an aggressive fish). The waters in which they are found include a wide range of water parameters, with pH between 6.5 and 7.5 and temperature between 75º and 82ºF. My pair did just fine in our Lake Michigan water at the temperature of 80º F and pH 7.6. 

Feeding

Ptychochromis oligacanthus are omnivorous. In the wild, they feed on insects and crustaceans and in my tank they did fine on the diet of flake and pellet food, frozen Mysis and brine shrimp, with the occasional treat of live black worms. 

Breeding

I purchased eight juvenile fish at the American Cichlid Association Convention held in Indianapolis in July 2012.  At the time I bought the fish, they were probably about 5 -6 months old and approaching two inches in length. Over the next eight months, I moved the fish from tank to tank but due to the aggressive nature of this fish the group was became just two fish. Fortunately, the two remaining fish were a pair, finally settling in twenty gallon tall tank. At this point, I noticed that bigger male fish  was aggressively beating on the smaller one, so I separated tank with plastic egg crate louver. I modified the egg crate to include hole out fashioned from PVC pipe which just big enough to allow the female to pass through to the male’s side of the tank. The separation strategy worked perfectly. The female stayed on her side, and moved to male’s side, when he was calm. A few weeks later, after heavy feeding and large water changes (50% every 3-4 days) I noticed both fish turn very dark, a not uncommon color change in Central American species.

I knew these fish were substrate spawners, so I placed few terracotta flower pot saucers in the tank and the next day they spawned. Both the male and a female guarded the eggs. The eggs hatched three days later and then the parents moved the wrigglers immediately to a pleco cave nearby. Interestingly, the parents moved the babies several times before night day post hatch when the fry were free swimming.  I immediately introduced the fry to their first food, live baby brine shrimp. Ptychochromis oligacanthus are excellent parents, even fierce parents. In fact, the male jumped out of the tank trying to grab my hand, while I was feeding them!

Ptychochromis oligacanthus

Retail Price

Ptychochromis oligacanthus is not a fish you would find at your local pet shop. They are pretty aggressive and they are not very colorful,so they are kept by only a few dedicated cichlid hobbyists. They are not bred commercially, but juveniles are available from hobbyists in the $8-$10 range.

Video

Video by Mario Toromanovic

Report December 2013 by Mario Toromanovic

 

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