Synonyms: Apistogramma reitzigi, A. ritense, A. aequipinnis, Heterogrammas borellii
Physical description: A laterally compressed cichlid that has a stockier, less elongated body than A. agassizi. The caudal fin is fan-shaped with in the male, the dorsal and anal fins meet at a point. The head and the area just behind the gill cover are golden-yellow. The belly and the very top of the back may also be golden-yellow in color. The middle area of the body is pale blue as are the dorsal, pelvic, and front parts of the anal fins. The dorsal and pelvic fins are gold-tipped. The caudal fin and most of the anal fin is golden-yellow. Often a red area develops on the caudal penuncle. When a fish is excited, several transverse marking develop on the sides of the fish. A short, black stripe extend through the eye and to the snout.
Size/Length: Males to 2.8" (7 cm), female to 2" (5 cm)
Similar species: None
Habitat: Found in shallow swampy regions along rivers. South America; the Rio Paraguay and the Pantanal (Matto Grosso).
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: A tank measuring 24" (61 cm) with a volume of 20 gallons (75 L) will do. Follow the recommendations under A. agassizi.
Water chemistry: pH 5-7 (6.5), 1-10 dH (4), 77-81°F (25-27°C).
Social behavior: A peaceful, although territorial fish that can be combined with other Apistogramma species, catfish, and small characins of the upper swimming levels. Keep one male with several females. This species will not harm plants.
Suggested companions: Corydoras , tetras, pencilfish, hatchetfish, Loricarids, Apistogramma.
FOOD: Live; crustaceans, insects, insect larvae; flakes; pellets; tablets; finely chopped meat.
SEX: Males are more colorful, larger, and have elongated anal and dorsal fins.
Breeding techniques: Follow suggestions for A. agassizi. Fewer eggs (40-70) are laid than A. agassizi . The fry are carefully paraded around the tank. In cases where the eggs fail to hatch, the female is said to collect a shoal of Daphnia to protect as if they were her own brood.
Breeding potential: 8. A. borellii is a difficult fish to breed.
Remarks: This species is sensitive to medications, disease, and poorly maintained water. Make frequent partial water changes. Recently this fish has begun being bred in Singapore for export.
Difficulty of care: 7. A delicate species that is only recommended for those aquariasts wanting a challenge.