Max Size: 7.5cm

Blue Panda Apistogramma (Apistogramma panduro, Apistogramma pandurini)

The Blue Panda Apistogramma, Apistogramma panduro, makes a stunning addition to a well-researched community aquarium. When breeding, these Apistogrammas can become territorial even though they are generally peaceful. If you have a larger aquarium, you can house one male with several females since they will form a harem. However, to allow the females to establish their own territories, the tank must have a lot of visual barriers.

Corydoras Catfish, small Tetras, Hatchetfish, Pencilfish, and Suckermouth Catfish are good tankmates for Blue Panda Apistogrammas. However, it is best to avoid keeping them in aquariums that are too small with large, aggressive fish. Keeping these fish together with different species of Apistogramma is also not recommended.

An established soft and acidic water source, a dark substrate, and dense planting would be ideal for these Apistos. For these fish to form territories, they will also need many hiding places among rocks and driftwood. As a final option, you could use a floating plant to help dim the aquarium's lighting. The Blue Panda Apisto cannot tolerate high levels of nitrate, like many Apistogramma species.

It is possible to create ideal conditions by adding dried Indian Almond Leaves and peat filtration. However, the best way to keep nitrate levels low is to filter your water effectively, move the water gently, and change the water periodically. Also, you'll need a tight-fitting aquarium lid since these fish are capable of jumping.

There is a unique colouration and patterning to Blue Panda Apistogrammas. Males develop a distinctive sky blue sheen throughout their body, yellow colouration on some fins, and a bright red margin along their caudal fin. Mature females generally have bright yellow and black colouration but still might display the bright red colouration at the end of the caudal fin.


Blue Panda Apistogramma
Quick Facts
Scientific NameApistogramma panduro, Apistogramma pandurini
Year Described1997
Other NamesBlue Panda Dwarf Cichlid, Blue Panda Apisto, Panduros apisto, A 183, Sky Blue Apisto
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asPairs
Lifespan5 - 10 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.0 - 6.5
GH2 - 8
TDS0 - 90
71 - 84℉
21.7 - 28.9℃

Natural Habitat

Marañón River
Ucayali River


In the home aquarium, the Blue Panda Apistogramma will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively simple to differentiate between the male and female Blue Panda Apistogramma. Males have a pale silvery-blue body colour, with each scale outlined with a charcoal base and have light brown colouring above their mouths and lower jaw; they also have thick lips. In contrast, females have a more yellowish colouration.

Other Cichlids of interest

African Butterfly Cichlid(Anomalochromis thomasi)
Banded Apistogramma(Apistogramma bitaeniata)
Bolivian Ram Cichlid(Mikrogeophagus altispinosus)
Checkerboard Cichlid(Dicrossus filamentosus)
Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid(Apistogramma cacatuoides)
Convict Cichlid(Amatitlania nigrofasciata)
View all Cichlids
Date Added: 30/03/2021 - Updated: 23/08/2022 12:43:35