วันพุธที่ 19 กันยายน พ.ศ. 2555

Fish Data : Agassizs Cichlid

    The lectotype originates from Lake Manacapurú in Amazonas state, northwestern Brazil, just upstream from the city of Manaus and fed by the main Amazon river channel. The remainder of the type series was collected variously from the municipality of Codajás (Amazonas state), Curupira, near Barcelos municipality (Amazonas), Lake Maximo near Parintins city (Amazonas) and the rio Poti, a tributary of the rio Parnaíba (Piauí state).

    It's currently-accepted to range throughout much of the Amazon/Solimões basin from its upper section in the Río Ucayali, Peru through Brazil with the Capim River, a tributary of the rio Guamá which flows into the rio Pará at the city of Belém in the Amazon delta region, representing its eastern limit. Body colouration and patterning can vary considerably with locality.

    The Agassizi Cichlid is a small colorful fish. Color variations are dependant on the area where it is caught, or if it is captive bred for coloring. The male is more colorful with the upper back being red and the lower back is green. There is a horizontal black band that runs from the nose straight to the tip of the tail fin. It runs below and parallel to the green of the lower back. Coloration below the black band can run from blue to green to yellow. The belly is usually yellow. The face has gold or green marks and the forehead is yellow. The dorsal fin is an orangish red color with a sharp point at the end. The caudal fin has lines in white, light blue to blue, and comes to a point at the end. Other fins are green to blue. Females do not have the longer fins or the intense color of the males, but have a yellow coloring and similar markings. They can live up to 5 years.
    Wild caught Agassizi Cichlids are more colorful than the captive strains but are also more sensitive. Red, gold and blue are the color varieties that are available. Breeding a wild caught with a captive bred helps to keep the lines healthier.
    All cichlids share a common feature that some saltwater fish such as wrasses and parrotfish have and that is a well-developed pharyngeal set of teeth that are in the throat, along with their regular teeth. Cichlids have spiny rays in the back parts of the anal, dorsal, pectoral, and pelvic fins to help discourage predators. The front part of these fins are soft and perfect for precise positions and effortless movements in the water as opposed to fast swimming.

    Cichlids have one nostril on each side while other fish have 2 sets. To sense "smells" in the water, they suck water in and expel the water right back out after being "sampled" for a short or longer time, depending on how much the cichlid needs to "smell" the water. This feature is shared by saltwater damselfish and cichlids are thought to be closely related.

   Other Informations

Species name: Apistogramma agassizii

Synonym: Apistogramma agassizi; Apistogramma parva; Geophagus agassizii

Common name: Agassiz' Dwarf Cichlid

Family: Cichlidae

Order: Perciformes

Class: Actinopterygii

Maximum size: 8 cm / 3 inches

Environment: freshwater

Origin: South America

Temperament: Peaceful

Company: Apistogramma agassizii (Agassiz' Dwarf Cichlid ) is best kept with other small species.

Water parameters: Ttemperature 26-29°C / 79-84°F; pH 5.0 – 7.0

     Provided adequate cover and structure is available this species is unfussy with regards to décor with ceramic flowerpots, lengths of plastic piping and other artificial materials all useful additions. A more natural-looking arrangement might consist of a soft, sandy substrate with wood roots and branches placed such a way that plenty of shady spots and caves are formed.

    The addition of dried leaf litter (beech, oak or Ketapang almond leaves are all suitable) would further emphasise the natural feel and with it bring the growth of beneficial microbe colonies as decomposition occurs. These can provide a valuable secondary food source for fry, whilst most populations will appreciate the tannins and other chemicals released by the decaying leaves. Leaves can be left in the tank to break down fully or removed and replaced every few weeks. If maintaining a blackwater population a net bag filled with aquarium-safe peat can also be added to the filter or suspended over the edge of the tank.

    Fairly dim lighting is recommended and plant species from genera such as Microsorum, Taxiphyllum, Cryptocoryne and Anubias are arguably best since they will grow under such conditions. A few patches of floating vegetation to diffuse the light even further may also prove effective. Filtration, or at least water flow, should not be very strong and very large water changes are best avoided with 10-15% weekly adequate provided the tank is lightly-stocked.

Care and Feeding

     Care and feeding: The Agassizi Cichlid is primarily a carnivore that can be fed newly hatched baby brine, frozen brine shrimp, crustaceans, insects, insect larvae, and some may eat flakes and pelleted foods. Feed 2 to 5 small pinches of food a day in smaller amounts rather than a large quantity once a day. This will keep the water quality higher over a longer time. All fish benefit from vitamins and supplements added to their foods.

     A minimum 20 gallon tank is suggested. They prefer slow to moderate moving water along with good efficient filtration. The aquarium should have a cover and low to moderate lighting. Provide a substrate of fine dark sand along with rocks and pots to create plenty of caves, one for each female's territory. Caves formed from rockwork or including synthetics like coconuts or clay pots, will provide a refuge for the fish as well as a place for breeding. They do enjoy densely planted aquariums. Floating plants help to diffuse lighting. If using live plants, dense plantings that will provide shade for your fish do need time to grow out. Amazon Swordplants, Vallisneria, and other acidic tolerating plants work great, as can Wisteria. Make areas for them to "defend" by having natural divisions in the aquascaping.

    The Agassizi Cichlid is a rewarding specimen for the more experienced aquarist but is susceptible to medication, toxins such as nitrate, and a lack of oxygen. It can be moderate to difficult to care for since water changes must be performed frequently with a good water conditioner added. It does well in acidic water, needs the nitrate levels low, and the pH level must be kept within the correct parameters. A mature tank with soft water and a pH of acidic to neutral is best. Keep track of nitrates. Also, oxygen levels must be maintained for best color and health. When using substrate or rocks, be sure they do not leach into the water and affect the pH. Substrates such as limestone can increase the pH level, you would not use sand that is for marine tanks. Driftwood is a big help in keeping pH low and contributes to the "tea stained" coloring of the Amazon River.
Do water changes of 10% to 20% biweekly or weekly, more or less depending on stocking numbers. If water quality is ignored, as with all cichlids, disease and death can occur. One common problem is Ich. It can be treated with the elevation of the tank temperature to 86° F (30° C) for 3 days.

    The wild Agassizi Cichlid is more colorful than the captive strains but are more sensitive. If purchasing a wild caught Agassizi Cichlid, quarantine procedures should be followed. Be aware of the following diseases that are found in the Amazon (per fishbase.org):

          - White spot Disease, Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
- Costia Disease, Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
- Turbidity of the Skin (Freshwater fish), Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
-  Bacterial Infections (general), Bacterial diseases
-  Cestoda infestation, Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
-  Ichthyobodo Infection, Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
-  Metacercaria Infection (Flatworms), Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom: These fish will swim in the middle and bottom areas of the aquarium.

Agassizs Dwarf Cichlids are carnivorous and prefer live and frozen foods. They will accept flakes in an aquarium but should be provided a good variety of nutrition.

Social Behaviors:
The Agassizi Cichlid is a community fish that can be kept with fish that are not large and aggressive. South American cichlids tend to be less aggressive than their African cousins, but space is very important. Some acceptable tank mates are Cardinal Tetras, Otocinclus Catfish, Julii Cory, Three-Line Pencilfish, Glowlight Rasbora (Hengel's), Dwarf Gourami, Kuhli Loach, and Dwarf Rainbowfish (Neon).
They can be kept in harems of one male with 3 or 4 females. More than one male may be kept if aquarium is large

Sexing : The males have brighter, more vibrant colors and they also tend to be slightly larger than females. Males also tend to have extended, flowing fins. The females are drab in coloration, ranging from grey to a dull yellow.

Breeding/Reproduction: The Agassizi Cichlids are cave spawners. They appreciate upturned flowerpots, fake "coconut caves," bogwood, and broad leafed plants for cover and as spawning sites. They do need to have a pH of 6.0 to 6.5, a water hardness of 5 - 8 dH, and a temperature of 79° to 84° F (26° - 29° C) with frequent water changes. The eggs are prone to fungus and this can be a hard to breed fish.

    Get 6 juveniles and let them grow up together. Once they are of breeding size they will form a harem of one male with several females. The female will approach the male, curve her body, and display to catch his attention. When he sees her, he will then "dance" by flashing his fins. The female will lay up to 150 oval eggs on the roof surface of her cave. The male will fertilize them and then promptly leave the cave to patrol on the outside. The female will care for the eggs which will hatch in for 3 to 4 days depending on water temperature. She will then take the fry over to a pit in the substrate until they are free swimming 4 to 6 days later. The female attracts her young by the movements of her body.
    The fry can initially be fed liquid foods and rotifers. In a week or two feed artemia nauplii 3 times a day. They can also be fed live freshly hatched baby brine shrimp 3 times a day. Sexing is pretty easy since males have longer fins and are larger than the females.
   What works for the Cockatoo Cichlid may be true for the Agassizi Cichlid as well. It has been stated that for the Cockatoo Cichlid if the water temperature is low (68° F or 20° C) most of the fry will be females, while with higher temperatures (86° F or 30° C) the fry will mostly be male. pH also plays a role in the sex of the fry, but to a much less extent. These conditions must also be kept constant for the first 3 weeks to be effective.

The Agassizs Dwarf Cichlid can live for approximately 6 years.

This South American Cichlid can be found in countries such as Brazil and Peru. More specifically, they are native to the Amazon, Negro and Ucayali Rivers.