AGASSIZI DWARF CICHLID for sale | Splashy Fish

We have a lot to talk about this cool dwarf cichlid, from the impressive appearance to its interesting characteristics. 

Agassizi Cichlid (scientific name: Apistogramma agassizii) is a tropical fish which inhabits Amazon River basin from Peru to the Capim River Basin. There, the water is clear, still or slow-moving, and leaf-littered. Interestingly, it is believed that wild habitat somehow impact Agassizi cichlids’ coloration. Although selective breeding significantly contributes to varying this feature, you may easily encounter many colorful wild Agassizi Cichlid from red, gold, blue to the more intense hues. The pretty and vibrant appearance helps Agassizi Cichlid capture many fish keepers' hearts making them one of the most sought species in the aquarium trade.

Of all, Red agassizi cichlids (scientific name: Apistogramma cf. agassizii Red) are commonly in high demand. They feature themselves with the shimmering silver body and a long black band running horizontally from its nose to the red tail. The upper fin is slightly green while the lower ones appear to be blue or orange-red. Males tend to exhibit an intense coloration in contrast to females, those possessing a mere duller and smaller body. Other well-known variations of this Red cichlid that you may often see are Double Red or Fire Red Agassizi.

As popular as it is, the slender cichlid turns out not to be an easy-going species in terms of care. Like their cousins, Agassizi Cichlid is prone to shifts in water conditions. They need a hand of a more moderate to high-skilled aquarium expert, or at least those who have had experience in keeping cichlids rather than the beginning hobbyists. 

Considering the size (up to 3 inches in length), a pair of Agassizi Cichlids normally finds it comfortable in a tank of 20 gallons, provided plenty of live freshwater plants and certain rocks or pots formations are available. This can be prepared without difficulty by planting cichlids’ preferable tropical species such as amazon sword, vallisneria, or wisteria in the fish tank. These floating plants together with other decorative materials such as rock caves, driftwood, pot formations will create perfect refuges (especially breeding period) for the fish to thrive, as well as imitate the wild habitats which somehow encourages the Agassizi cichlids to be more active. Furthermore, floating plants can create relatively-dim lighting conditions which are these dwarf species’ favorites and also benefit them in many aspects. That said, Agassizi cichlid appreciates a fair amount of open space to swim and hang around. When arranging the aquascape for your aquarium, you should leave some free areas so that the fish are able to splash contentedly.

Agassizi cichlids don’t have any special requirements when it comes to substrate. If forced to choose, it is highly likely a fine dark sand. A combination of soft, sandy substrate with live aquatic plants and rocks, driftwood formations gives a mere natural-looking landscape for your aquarium. Not only that, it pleases and calms your mind whenever you turn your eyes toward the fish tank. 

Nevertheless, be careful of using substrate and driftwood as they could alter the pH levels. For example, limestone substrates can increase the levels of pH while driftwood would keep it in lower points. Driftwoods can further produce the "tea stained" color which is similar to that of the Amazon River. Such effect adds a homelike atmosphere for the cichlids as well as the highlight for your aquarium. The addition of dried leaf litter is worth considering as a good replaceable choice which brings about not only the similar feeling but also the growth of beneficial microbe colonies (valuable food source for the frys) via decomposition process.

Filtration system is necessary for an Agassizi Cichlid’s tank but needs monitoring to generate slow-moving water flows. Speaking of water, Agassizi Cichlids thrive in soft and acidic environments with low nitrate levels. As they are unable to tolerate any fluctuations, water quality should be strictly kept in good conditions and tested frequently to ensure it is always under control. Besides, be careful of medications and stuff you put into your fish tank as they may potentially contain contaminants which easily cause harm to your dwarf cichlids. Generally, Agassizi prefers the following parameters:

Ammonia and Nitrite: 0 ppm

Nitrate: less than 20 ppm

GH: 1 – 10 dGH

KH: 2 – 15 dKH 

pH: 5 – 7  

Water change: 10% - 15% once a week provided the fish tank is lightly-stocked.

Oxygen should also be well-maintained for the fish’s best color and health. Another important indicator that could not be ignored is temperature. Agassizi Cichlids are contented with the range from 72° to 84°F (22° - 29°C). However, if you want them to breed, you can increase the numbers since warmer environments easily encourage the mating to happen.

agassizi cichlid swimming in a densely planted tank

(Image of agassizi cichlid swimming in a densely planted tank)

It could be said that Agassizi Cichlids are fussy in the matter of care but no one claims the same when talking of diet. Agassizi cichlids are omnivores, yet with a strongly carnivorous diet, particularly in the wild. They accept various types of food including dry, frozen, and live foods. You can provide them with baby brine, frozen brine shrimp, crustaceans, insects, insect larvae, or flakes and pelleted foods. Feed your cichlids once or twice a day and follow a good rule of thumb is giving a small amount sufficient for the fish to consume within 2-3 minutes, then removing all leftover food after that time. This helps maintain the good quality of the water as well as not overfeed your Agassizi. Try to spread the food over the water surface when feeding to ensure your fish approach their meal, especially if they are kept in community tanks.

On a further note, it is highly recommended that you rotate the fish’s diet to avoid them losing appetite and use high-quality food to maintain the optimal health and coloration of the Agassizi.

Your fish will definitely be happy and healthy if you can guarantee the above mentioned. Like other creatures, appropriate living conditions and diet are the key factors to strengthen Agassizi Cichlids’ immunity system against major diseases. If your fish are unfortunately susceptible to illness, they are likely the common freshwater health issues, such as Ich and parasitic infections which result from poor quality and oxygenation of water. In such cases, along with medicine treatments, performing regular water changes and keeping the parameters in track should be conducted diligently. 

It would be a big mistake if we end this article without mentioning the very cool personality of Agassizi Cichlid – the species is a community fish. This means they can live in harmony with other fishes and won’t cause any troubles like their other cichlid relatives. The freshwater fish is not totally peaceful but not overly aggressive. If you observe such temperament, it is typically parental behaviors to protect their babies during spawning seasons. 

Given the facts, choosing tank mates for Agassizi is not difficult. So long as your tank is large enough, you can pair them with potential candidates like cardinal tetras, otocinclus, pencil fish, kuhli loach, dwarf rainbowfish, etc. Avoid housing Agassizi with any super aggressive or tiny little invertebrates/ fish; or else, the whole community will be in danger.

Agassizi Cichlid can live with the same-species. If you wish so, you could rely on the ratio applied by many aquarists is one male to three or four females. In case you own a big fish tank, you can keep two males with four females or more.

Four to six years are the average lifespan of an Agassizi Cichlid. Some reports even proved it can live longer up to 12 years given appropriate conditions and diet are provided. 

With a lot of useful information above, we cannot believe you could resist falling in love with Agassizi. Don't hesitate to visit our Splashy Fish Store and find the surprise is waiting for you. Here, we supply a wide range of Agassizi Cichlids which come from reliable sources. We further guarantee that all of our cichlids will go through the quarantine process for a period of 14-day before sale as we care about the quality and strive to provide you the best we can.