Practical Information About Keeping, Breeding and Buying Dwarf Cichlids

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Apistogramma gibbiceps

Apistogramma gibbiceps    This Apistogramma gibbiceps male has a rather colorful anal fin, some color in its caudal and has little coloration on its face. These colorations are all highly variable and individuals from the same spawn will have a wide range of different adult colorations.

        Apistogramma gibbiceps (A209) is a slender bodied Apisto that is the type species for the Apistogramma gibbiceps group (for more information on A numbers and Apistogramma groups see Apistogramma.)  Apistogramma gibbiceps was first described by Meinken in 1969. Unfortunately, it seems that the fish that he used for the original description were deformed from being maintained in an aquarium for some period of time before the description was made. The fish that Meinken used for his description had a very prominent skull deformities that caused him to give them the species name gibbiceps that means "rams head" or "hump head".Apistogramma gibbiceps

        Today Apisto gibbiceps is readily recognized but there is still some naming confusion, particularly concerning the status of A. roraimae (A210) which may very well be nothing more than a variant of A. gibbiceps. Additionally, there is disagreement as to whether the fish that Uwe Romer described as A. personata are actually A. gibbiceps. Only additional field collection and lab studies will yield the answers.Male Apistogramma gibbiceps

        Apistogramma gibbiceps are found throughout the upper and middle Rio Negro. This is a vast area and within it there are found a lot of variability in the coloration of the fish and some forms are spectacular. Their native waters are generally very soft, acid and clear. They are not generally found in the extreme blackwater habitats but are highly adaptable. They adapt well to most dwarf cichlid aquarium conditions. It has been noted that they adapt well to cooler waters but I cannot personally confirm this.

        Apistogramma gibbiceps are actually fairly commonly offered by Brazilian exporters. However, they are rarely sought out by dealers so very few seem to actually arrive in the US. Part of the problem stems from the fact that they are usually not brilliantly colored with vivid colors. Rather they need to become established in a well designed tank before their true beauty begins to emerge. In my experience they can be aggressive with each other and a complex habitat is highly recommended for this species.

Apistogramma gibbiceps male
            As I have already mentioned, A. gibbiceps appear on exporter lists fairly often and if you are persistent you might be able to get an independent shop to try and order them for you. However, it is more likely that you will need to seek out a source that can ship them to you. I rarely see them offered by hobbyist breeders but again keep looking and you might find them. Check out the sources in our Buying Fish section as well. If you have the chance to get A. gibbiceps you will find them to be an interesting and slightly challenging fish to keep.

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