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Apistogramma cruzi


  1. A. cruzi?
    by Jota Melgar <76644.2370/> (Wed, 21 Jan 1998)
  2. Substrate- was A. cruzi?
    by Jota Melgar <76644.2370/> (Wed, 21 Jan 1998)
  3. Mating behavior? (A.cruzi)
    by raychah/ (Charles H. Ray, Jr.) (Mon, 23 Feb 1998)
  4. First spawn
    by Lilia Stepanova <ls691035/> (Sun, 12 Apr 1998)
  5. A.cruzi, et. al.
    by Jota Melgar <jsmelgar/> (Wed, 17 Mar 1999)
  6. A. cruzi spawn
    by Paul Evans <pm_evans/> (Fri, 9 Apr 1999)





Photo by Erik Olson

A. cruzi?

by Jota Melgar <76644.2370/>
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998
To: "INTERNET:apisto/" <apisto/>

Lilia Stepanova wrote:

> What are the best conditions for keeping and breeding A.cruzi?
> Why they are not so popular - do they have some negative trait what makes

> them undesirable?

This fish comes from a rather small area near Iquitos (Pintuyacu) and from
the Rio Napo, Peru. It is not so popular because the only other species
found with A. cruzi are some Rivulus killis, which believe or not exporters
do not care for, A. cacatuoides, and Aequidens species, both also found
closer to Iquitos.

I was surprised to find out the the water measured a pH of 7.6 to 7.8.
However, this species will tolerate and breed at a much lower pH.
Conductivity, GH, and KH  were all fairly high for Apisto standards. I
wouldn't worry about changing your water. 

This species if often confused with A. eunotus. The easiest way to tell the
difference is by looking for the presence of 3 abdominal bands which are
absent in A. eunotus. 

Julio Melgar

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Substrate- was A. cruzi?

by Jota Melgar <76644.2370/>
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998
To: "INTERNET:apisto/" <apisto/>

Bob wrote:

> Can anyone shed some light on the details of
> the common collection sites of this species?

Typical Apisto habitat: small creeks with leaf litter and sunken wood, in
other words dark bottom.

Interestingly, a friend of mine has also recently spawned this species in a
white silica gravel substrate with no problems. The odd thing is that after
2 weeks the father decided that he would take care of the fry and would not
let the Mom any where near them. That's it, it's an Apisto conspiracy!!!.

Julio Melgar

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Mating behavior? (A.cruzi)

by raychah/ (Charles H. Ray, Jr.)
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998
To: apisto/

>>> My pair of A.cruzi has spawned twice in the last 2.5 weeks, but both times
>>> there were no fry. Female is guarding the eggs, but on the third day they
>>> all turn whitish and dead. Female looks kind of embarassed for the second
>>> time in a row.
>>> What can I do to prevent it from happening again? Lots of plants, pH 5.7,
>>> soft (dont know how soft, 80% RO), 81 F, lots of hiding places.
>Just give them some time. Sounds like they are inexperienced. Good luck.
>Cruzi look like nice fish, hopefully you'll get some going to distribute to
>your friends on the  apisto list :>
>- Steve Waldron
A. cruzi have successfully spawned for me several times in pH near 7 water
as well as pH 6.5.  I don't remember why, but when I first set these up to
breed, I added some crushed oyster shells to the tank so water was probably
harder than what you're working with.  However, the last spawn, also
successful, was in pure RO.  I've never had a problem with egg hatch but
the female killed the first two males she spawned with.  For Steve, I have
about 50 A. cruzi which can be acquired as pairs or juveniles.

Charles Ray

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First spawn

by Lilia Stepanova <ls691035/>
Date: Sun, 12 Apr 1998
To: apisto/

Hi all,

Some time ago I posted a question about unsuccessful spawning of my 
apisto A.cruzi. Female spawned several times, but all eggs became bad.  
General suggestion was to give the pair some time. Here is a progress 
report on these A.cruzi.
Originally a pair of them was in 10g planted tank. Male was always 
chasing female, she always had shredded fins. They had 3 caves (coconut 
shell and 2 clay pots), male was living in the shell, female -  in the 
central pot. After 5 unsucessful spawns I decided to try another female, 
and in she went. She was bigger then the first one, and old pair abused 
her, so most of the time she was hiding behind a filter. More, she 
disturbed the spawning cycle of small female, and she did not spawn by 
After looking on this for a week, I convinced my husband that 
the problem was small volume, and we bought 26g, and moved our apistos in 
there. Small female immediately occupied now central coconut shell, male 
- the whole tank and big female - all space behind filter. At this stage 
I started to suspect she has sort of mental problem, and I was wrong! 
Small female was so happy she spawned next day and couple of days later 
all eggs were gone. I put fine gravel into the new tank and before the 
spawn small female started to barricade herself in the shell. She was 
taking gravel from inside the shell, untill it had almost bare glass 
floor, and moved it to the entrance, untill the entry was 0.25 of an inch. 
She could slide in only on her side, and male could not slide at all!
While she was busy building, big female occupied 1/3 of the tank - close 
to the filter, and with one clay pot. Anyway, the spawn was unsucessful 
again (6th one), and I decided it was a time to follow one wise advise to 
change male (my personal thanks to Olson's family). I called the shop and 
they agreed to exchange the male, and I was ready to do so, then started 
to work all-male  conspiracy. My husband, usually very reluctant to any 
fish addition, agreed to ADD another male, not exchange them.
OK, in went another male. Level of agression between males immediately 
came up, and new male stayed in the top inch of the tank in the darkest 
end of it. I did not like it, and old male went into 10g guppy tank.Next 
day new male decided he can go out and so he did. 
Boy, only then I understood fish really can have individuality! First of 
all, he was different in appearance. He has very thick lips (trait I did 
not like very much), and very red tail, he also has a thin red line 
around eyes, and blue speckles on cheeks, like other cruzi. He does not 
show any agression at all, and all females' fins are fine now, he is 
guarding the perimeter of the tank, visiting both females equally 
frequently (about every half an hour), looking and helping in females' 
barricade activity (bigger one also builded an inch high barrier in front 
of her cave), and moving this gravel around in the tank in his mouth. His 
appearance also subdued female-female agression, both females show 
breeding colors and this friday both have spawned! I checked the eggs the 
next day and only one was bad. Male continues to visit females' caves. 
Females tried to block his way in the beginning, but he ignored them 
completely, and now they do not even try to chase him away! The first 
male was beaten up pretty badly after each spawn.
Now I have a happy family of three, today small female moved her eggs into 
another cave and in the evening they all turned wrigglers!! It is about 
30 of 
them, and I saw ~60 eggs, she probably left some in the shell, because 
she is visiting both places. Bigger female is also doing great with her 
~60 eggs, they are all fine and I expect them to be wrigglers tomorrow! 
(Her spawn was half a day later). Male is allowed to visit caves under 
strict supervision of females, and all the tetras are chased away by all 
three! None of females suffered a loss of an appetite after spawn and 
they are eating like little pigs (lot and messy).
This is my first good spawn ever! A lot of work ahead for little moms and 
dad! I have infuzoria and cyclop culture for little ones and ready to 
start baby BS tomorrow. Wish me luck!
26g has pH 6.0, soft water (95% RO, 5% of "solid rock" of tap water), 
temperature during spawns was 80F, now 84F. What male/female ratio should 
I expect? Apisto's companions - 6 pristellas and 4 neons. Lots of light 
and plants.

My 4 yo kid has her own guppy tank. Originally (2 months ago) it was with 
only couple of fancy tail guppys, and now we have more then 30 of them, 
and female is pregnant again. Lots of ghost shrimps are also in the tank, 
with some babies and they are fun to watch!

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A.cruzi, et. al.

by Jota Melgar <jsmelgar/>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999
To: "INTERNET:apisto/" <apisto/>

Paul Evans wrote:

>1.  Do they breed in pair, trios, or both?

Either one will work given enough space. For a trio I wouldn't use anything
smaller than a 20L.

>2.  According to Mayland and Bork their natural
>water is not all that soft and around neutral
>ph.  What water conditions have you bred them

We've collected them along the Iquitos-Nauta Hwy near Pintuyacu. The water
values vary from pH 6.4 to 8.2. The last value was taken near Paujil at a
Gamitana (Pacu) farm that had entrapped some A. cruzi and A. cacatuoides.
Here the water temperature was also extremely high, reaching 93.4F at noon.
That's right 93.4F!!! Interestingly most were males.

>Mayland and Bork also state the A. cruzi
>is amoung the easier to breed, do you agree?

The above data shows that this species is not particular about water
parameters. In Aquaria we have bred them in soft, slightly acidic water and
also in moderately hard ph 7.6 water.

Good luck,


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A. cruzi spawn

by Paul Evans <pm_evans/>
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999
To: apisto list <apisto/>

Hi all,

when I got home from work tonight, I found
60ish free swimming fry being guided by 
their mother.  

I am very surprised since when I looked where
I thought she was brooding there was nothing 
there.  She has been swimming around the tank
for about three days and not hanging out in
any one place or bothering the male when he
got close.

Anyway she is garding them now.  The problem
is, when I was convinced there was no brood
I stopped the bbs.  I will start some now.
What should I feed in the meantime.  I 
have liquifry and the tetra baby fish food.
I think I will mix some of the tetra stuff
with water and squirt it from an syringe.
I also have some tetra bits that I could
crush up.  

Thanks in advance for any advice.  I guess
this explains why the female bit my finger
when I was following Helen's advice and putting
some small 1.5 and 2" flower pot in.

Paul Evans

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