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Maximum size : 7.5 cm

Blue Panda Apistogramma - Apistogramma panduro, Apistogramma pandurini : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Blue Panda Apistogramma (Apistogramma panduro) is a visually stunning fish that can make a wonderful addition to a well-planned community aquarium. However, when breeding, these Apistogrammas can become territorial even though they are generally peaceful. To keep them in a group, 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 make 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. For these Apistos, an established soft and acidic water source, a dark substrate, and dense planting would be ideal. They will also need many hiding places among rocks and driftwood to create territories. You can even add a floating plant to help dim the aquarium's lighting. However, like many Apistogramma species, the Blue Panda Apisto cannot tolerate high nitrate levels. To create the ideal conditions, you can add dried Indian Almond Leaves and peat filtration. The best way to keep nitrate levels low is to filter your water effectively, move the water gently, and change the water periodically. Additionally, you'll need a tight-fitting aquarium lid since these fish are capable of jumping. The Blue Panda Apistogramma has a unique colouration and patterning that is sure to stand out in any aquarium. 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 Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

The Blue Panda Apistogramma is a sexually dimorphic species, and distinguishing between males and females is relatively straightforward. Males display a distinctive pale silvery-blue body colour, accentuated by each scale's charcoal outline, and exhibit light brown pigmentation above their mouths and lower jaw, along with plump, thick lips. On the other hand, females possess a more subdued yellowish hue.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameApistogramma panduro, Apistogramma pandurini
Year Described1997
Other NamesBlue Panda Dwarf Cichlid, Blue Panda Apisto, Panduros apisto, A 183, Sky Blue Apisto
Max Size7.5 cm
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

The Blue Panda Apisto is a fascinating fish that calls the remote blackwater tributaries of the Ucayali River, Maranon River, Napo River, and Nanay River in Peru it's home. These waters are known for their softness and acidity, providing the perfect environment for these unique fish to thrive. In their natural habitat, you can find these fish in low-speed, branching waterways that are often shaded by leaves and other sources of shade. Their sandy substrate offers the perfect place for them to forage and scavenge for food. If you want to create a biotope aquarium, the Blue Panda Apisto would be an excellent choice to represent the fascinating and unique aquatic ecosystems in the western Amazon region.
 Ucayali River - Peru
Peru Flag
 Marañón River - Peru
Peru Flag


Blue Panda Apistogramma, a beautiful and popular species among aquarists, is known to be substrate spawners. They tend to lay their eggs in crevices or cavities among the aquarium's decor. After spawning, the female takes charge of the eggs and fry, and in smaller tanks, it may be necessary to remove the male to prevent aggression towards the young. If you plan to breed Blue Panda Apistos, purchasing a group of juveniles is recommended and allowing them to select their own partner as they reach maturity. In addition, you can condition the breeding pair with a varied diet of live and frozen meaty foods and flake food to encourage breeding behavior. To create an optimal breeding environment, a well-lit aquarium with sand, rocks, caves, and live plants are recommended. Java Moss is a suitable option as it provides a source of infusoria, which is the fry's first food. Once they grow larger, newly hatched brine shrimp and microworms can be introduced. However, it is essential to complete a water change after feeding live food to maintain good water quality.

Diet & feeding

Blue Panda Apistogrammas are primarily carnivorous, and in their natural habitat, they feed on the plants and animals living at the bottom of their habitats. To keep them healthy in your aquarium, offering them a varied diet is essential. You can provide them with live and frozen food such as daphnia, artemia, and bloodworms, which they will happily consume. While they may also accept dried food, they prefer pelleted products over flake food. By offering them a diverse range of food, you can ensure they receive all the nutrients required to stay healthy and thrive in your aquarium.\r\n

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