Apistogramma panduro is a South American dwarf cichlid native to Amazon Rive basin in Peru. It is also known as Apistogramma pandurini and its common names in English are Blue Panda Apisto and Panduros' apisto. If you want to breed this species, a 15 gallon breeding aquarium will be enough for one couple. The easiest way of obtaining a compatible couple is to purchase a group of juveniles and let them grow up together in a larger aquarium. This way, they will do their own pairing. Apistogramma panduro appreciates an aquarium with plenty of rocks, caves and live plants. The ideal aquarium substrate is fine sand and the lighting should be moderate. Vigorous water movements are not a good idea.
Getting Apistogramma panduro to spawn
Once you have moved your Apistogramma panduro couple to their own aquarium, start using rain water for the water changes. The water in the aquarium should gradually be exchanged for soft rain water with a lower pH-value that the other water. Some couples need to have the pH-value lowered down to pH 5.5 before they commence spawning. Provide your couple with plenty of live and frozen meaty foods, ideally combined with a high-quality flake food to ensure a varied diet. Place a suitable spawning site in the aquarium, e.g. a flower pot. You should also include a live plant, e.g. Java moss, since the plant will serve as a home for infusoria that can be used as first food for newly hatched Apistogramma panduro fry.
Caring for eggs and fry
If you remove the male from the breeding aquarium, you can let the eggs stay since the female is a devoted parent. If you want to raise the eggs without the female, acriflavin should be added to the water to discourage fungi growth. When the eggs have hatch, it can take up to a week before the fry are free swimming.
Microworms and newly hatched brine shrimp are suitable foods for Apistogramma panduro fry when they are big enough to need something more than infusoria. They are also known to appreciate vinegar eels. When feeding live food, it is important to carry out water change after each feeding to and remove any left over food to keep the water quality up. When given a nutritious diet, their length can exceed 9 mm within five weeks. You can then start giving them adult food, e.g. large brine shrimp, chopped earth worms and high-quality flake food. By this time, carrying out water changes twice a week will normally be enough. Expect your young fish to be at least 12 mm at two months of age.
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