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Apistogramma ortmanni


  1. A.ortmanni
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/> (Mon, 30 Nov 1998)
  2. A. ortmanni (long)
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/> (Sun, 17 Oct 1999)


by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/>
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998
To: apisto/


A. ortmanni isn't especially common in the hobby because it is found from the
eastern Venezuela/Guyana border to Surinam. This region is a hot bed for aquarium
fish exports, at least not like it was in the 60s and 70s.

A. ortmanni is a member of the regani-group (regani-complex) and is very similar
to A. regani.  A. ortmanni is slightly more slender bodied than A. regani. Both
species tend to show their vertical bars most of the time and both have abdominal
stripes and a barred tail fin. Those of A. regani are more conspicuous. The bars
on A. ortmanni's tail fin are typically more faint and don't extend to the outer
edges of the tail fin. The major difference between the two is that A. ortmanni
has an oval caudal peduncle spot that covers 2/3 of the height of the caudal
peduncle, while A. regani as a caudal peduncle stripe that crosses the entire
height of the caudal peduncle. Koslowski's book (Die Buntbarsche der Neuen Welt -
Zwergcichliden, p. 76-77) shows two excellent photos of this fish, plus one of A.
regani for comparison. Schaefer's book (Erfolg mit Zwergcichliden, p. 41) has
photos of the same two species plus A. gossei that you can compare, too. The
photos of A. ortmanni in the Aqualog book, p.54, are questionable at best. They
may all be photos of A. ortmanni, but are definitely not good examples of this
species. The top photos (row 2, right, S03755-3; row 3, S03755-4) looks more like
A. gossei to me (no tail bands). The bottom photo of A. cf. ortmanni (row 4,
left, S03760-4) looks more like the true A. ortmanni, but I don't see any banding
on the tail. Even the line drawing of A. ortmanni in Linke & Staeck's book isn't
accurate because it shows the c.p. spot as a stripe like in A. regani.  Richter's
book, (Complete Book of Dwarf Cichlids, p. 115) has a photo of A. ortmanni, too.
Unfortunately it shows a male in broadside display colors, so the vertical bars
and abdominal stripes aren't visible. Compare the caudal peduncle spot with that
of the two photos of A. regani below it. Probably the most recently published
photo of A. ortmanni can be found in Mayland & Bork's book (p. 99 in the English
version). It accurately shows the c.p. spot (rounder than in other photos) and
tail bands.

A. ortmanni is not a true black water species, but can be found in clear water
streams. It should be easier to breed than the black water A. regani. Still it
would be best to start with soft (<5º dGH), acid (~pH 6.0) water.

Hope this helps.

Mike Wise

Geo/Len wrote:

> Good evening to everyone
> Just pick up today at the local auction, 8  A.ortmanni fry`s (1/4 inch)
> Not much info on them in the tetra book and so far on the internet.
> Does anybody have any info on them and a picture of them would be great
> Thanks
> George
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A. ortmanni (long)

by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/>
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999
To: apisto/

Tim Kastelle/Nancy Pachana wrote:

> Hello Everyone-
> So  here are my questions:
> 1.      Does this sound like A. ortmanni?

Yes, for the most part. The photo in Richter, p 115 top left, is a good
representation of a laterally displaying male A. ortmanni

> What are the other options to consider?

A. regani, maybe A. gossei, A. geisleri, A. sp. Smaragd, A. sp. Sao Gabriel/Alto
Negro, A. sp. New Blue/Blue/Steel Blue (a probable hybrid).

> 2.      If the are ortmanni, what are the odds of them showing up in
> New Zealand?? (rhetorical)

Surprising but not impossible, but most fish sold commercially as A. ortmanni are
actually A. steindachneri. Yours don't sound like it, however, since they have a
long caudal spot while steindachneri has an oval spot that usually doesn't cover
more than the center 1/3 of the caudal peduncle height.

> 3.      How do I sex them? The resources that I have at my disposal
> (L & S, Richter and the internet) have pretty much nothing on this topic.
> In the fish store, I used the characters for A. regani as the closest
> proxy I could come up with. If this works, it appears as though there
> was only 1 female out of 7 fish there, as only one had a rounded tip
> to the anal fin.

Regani-group species are rather isomorphic. Once they are fully mature the males
have more color and normally have pointed tips on the caudal and anal fins. The
ventral fins are larger on males and the front edge is black on females.

> 4.      In our 40 gallon tank we now have 6 Rummy-nosed tetras, 8
> rams and the 3 apistos. Based on the level of aggression that we have
> had since putting the apistos in, I suspect that while our bioload is fine,
> we may have too many cichlids in the tank. Does this seem to be the
> case?

Probably. I'd remove about 1/2 of the rams and see how it works out. It's a good
excuse for buying another tank!

> 5.      Our total hardness is about 5 degrees, and the pH is about
> 6.8. Once the tank gets a little more settled, I intend to bring the pH
> down some more. Any suggestions on water parameters?

Hardness & pH should be OK for maintenance. I'd lower the KH to 1 or 2º if it is
above this range (I doubt it is on you volcanic island home). A pH in the low 6
range would be better for breeding purposes.

> 6.      Any other suggestions in general?

Grow the up and enjoy them.

> They are absolutely beautiful fish. I hope that we are able to provide them
> with good living conditions.
> Thanks for the help.
> -Tim
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> This is the apistogramma mailing list,
> For instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe or get help,
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