Apistogramme gephyra is a colorful dwarf cichlid from the Rio Negro and is one of Project Piabas featured fishes. There are many related species of dwarf cichlids that look similar, however gephyra is distinguished by a subtle yet striking red fringe on the dorsal fin. They exhibit typical “hide and seek” dwarf cichlid behavior and dart in and out of cracks, crevices in various hiding spaces to find their favorites. Because of this behavior, they benefit from having a well decorated tank complete with craggy spaces from driftwood, nuts, halved coconut shells, leaf litter or live plants, and you also get the benefit of watching their busy behavior in these hidey-holes. These fish are found in both clearwater and blackwater- but their coloration may appear more vibrant in blackwater. A pair or trio are appropriate for a tank as small as 20 gallons, but more fish will require more space and more hidey-holes. They are generally compatible with other dwarf cichlids (given that they have enough space) and most peaceful tetras, but they may be outcompeted by more aggressive fishes. If given enough space they can be kept with angelfish and discus, especially if there are multiple feeding stations in the tank and there are plenty of hideaway spaces. They take readily to flakes and pellets, but also benefit from live and frozen foods such as blackworms, bloodworms and daphnia. Consider these awesome fish for your Rio Negro natural tank.

Photo Credit: Mark Breeze