Borelli's Dwarf Cichlid (Apistogramma borellii)

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Borelli's Dwarf Cichlid

Steel Blue.JPG
Male "Steel-Blue" A. Borellii

Apistogramma borellii

38 Litres (10 US G.)

5.1-7.9cm (2-3.1 ")




6 - 8.0

10 -27 °C (50-80.6°F)

8-18 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

3-5 years



Additional names

Banded Dwarf Cichlid, Borelli's Dwarf Cichlid, Yellow Dwarf Cichlid, Umbrella Cichlid

Additional scientific names

Apistogramma aequipinnis, Apistogramma borelli, Apistogramma reitzigi, Heterogramma borellii, Heterogramma ritense, Heterogramma rondoni

Origin[edit | edit source]

Leaf litter of the Mato Groso and Rio Paraguay. These habitats are not in the tropics and thus A. borellii is more cold tolerant than most cichlids; it has been collected in water as cold as 6 celsius!

Sexing[edit | edit source]

Males have more vibrant colouration than females, being blue with (in many populations) a brightly colored head.

Breeding[edit | edit source]

Soft water and live food encourages breeding. Like most Apistos, borellii are harem breeders; one male spreads his time between multiple females. This fish is a cave breeder; the female may lay from 50-100 eggs on the roof of a cave, which the male then fertilizes. Female will guard eggs and subsequent fry, while male will defend entire territory. Fry can be delicate.

Tank compatibility[edit | edit source]

Considered to be peaceful and a good community fish. Males are territorial, and if more then one male is kept in the same tank, much space and cover must be provided to allow for the creation of each male's territory.

Diet[edit | edit source]

Good quality flake food, but should be supplemented with frozen, freeze dried and/or live food. Mosquito larva, tubifex worms, blood worms, water fleas, brine shrimp and Cyclops are all excellent additions to their diet.

Feeding regime[edit | edit source]

Feed once or twice a day, no more than can be consumed in a few minutes.

Environment specifics[edit | edit source]

Provide with hiding places/caves made from driftwood and unglazed ceramic pots. In order to give them the best quality of life and enjoy the fullest display of natural behaviour, a well-planted tank should be provided. Their cold tolerance means they can be kept in a container pond during the summer in many areas.

Behaviour[edit | edit source]

Typical cichlid when breeding. Males can be territorial, while females sometimes become hyper aggressive while guarding fry.

Identification[edit | edit source]

The body is typical in shape of other South American Dwarf Cichlids. The colouration across the body and into the fins is yellow, of varying shades, with a black band running vertically down the head and through the eye. The first few spines of the dorsal and pelvic fins also have black markings. There is also a blue colour morph and a blue with yellow head colour morph.

Pictures[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]