Apistogramma gephyra

Apistogramma gephyra is a peaceful dwarf cichlid that can be kept as a pair or in a harem.


Apistogramma gephyra

Apistogramma gephyra was described by Kullander in 1980. Some still believe that it is only a variant of the Apistogramma agassizii and others really see it as a separate species. The two species can be distinguished from each other because Apistogramma gephyra has a thin red border at the top of the dorsal fin that is missing from the Apistogramma agassizii.


Apistogramma gephyra is a peaceful dwarf cichlid that can be kept as a couple. However, It is better to keep one male with several females in an aquarium of 100 centimeters. The females have a territory within the territory of the male. For a composition that is as natural as possible, an aquarium of 1.50 meter is ideal, where at least 3 males with about twice as many females are kept. They can be kept together with other tropical species, Nannostomus species are ideal, since they are found in the wild together with Apistogramma gephyra. This species can grow to a total length of six centimeters.


These fish require an aquarium of at least 80 centimeters, decorate the aquarium with dense planting, wood, stones and half coconuts so that there are sufficient burrows and shelters. Use floating plants for subdued lighting, the soil must consist of sand. Leaves of oak and beech on the bottom provide a natural appearance that the fish likes to roam between. The leaves can be replaced when they decay, but they can also remain to build up a detritus layer (see nutrition).




Temperature: 23-30 degrees Celsius.
pH: 5.5 – 6.5
GH: 0-4

In nature, fish have to deal with fluctuating temperatures. Keeping the minimum or maximum temperature for a long time is not always desirable and can shorten the average lifespan of the animals.


Small live food such as mosquito larvae, artemia, water fleas or cyclops can be given as food. Make sure there is enough variety. Apistogramma feed on detritus in the wild, they take small bites of detritus and filter out the edible parts.

Breeding Apistogramma gephyra

For breeding the water must be very soft and acidic, the eggs are laid in a hole and fertilized. The female takes care of and monitors the nest, the male defends the territory. If the fry swim freely, the male also shows breeding care. The young can be raised with newly hatched brine shrimp.



John de Lange

Copyright images

F. Ingemann Hansen – Akvariefotografen.com



Additional information








Minimum aquarium length in cm

Length maximum in cm

Temperature minimum

Temperature maximum

pH minimum

pH maximum

GH maximum

Social Behaviour

Breeding behaviour




Sub Family



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