Blue Panda Apistogramma (Apistogramma panduro, Apistogramma pandurini) Species Profile & Care Guide
Blue Panda Apistos are recommended for the general community aquarium. Ideal tank mates for these fish include Pencilfish, Corydoras Catfish, small Tetras, Hatchetfish and Suckermouth Catfish. Like many of the Apistogramma species, the Blue Panda Apisto cannot tolerate a high nitrate level.
Ideally, it would be best if you did not mix them with other Apistogramma as they can be pretty aggressive towards their kind or with larger aggressive fish. You will require a massive tank to house a group. Furthermore, once pairs form, they often remain monogamous, meaning there is no need to maintain a harem of females alongside a male.
It is essential that you have many visual barriers within the tank; these will be used as safe zones for your fish but will also be used by the females when breeding to form their territories.
The Blue Panda Apisto has a torpedo-shaped body and is also quite slim when viewed from the front or above.
Adult males have a pale silvery-blue colour across their entire body, with each scale outlined clearly with a charcoal-coloured base. The adult male's head has light brown colouring above his mouth and on his lower jaw, and his lips are thick.
The females colour is usually very different from the males, especially when her breeding colours develop as they are much more vivid. She displays distinct black areas on her body and the eyes, under the abdomen and covering the gill plates and running halfway along her body. Otherwise, her body tends to be yellow and bright yellow when spawning.
|Scientific Name||Apistogramma panduro, Apistogramma pandurini|
|Other Names||Blue Panda Dwarf Cichlid, Blue Panda Apisto, Panduros apisto, A 183, Sky Blue Apisto|
|Aquarium Level||Bottom - Middle|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Pairs|
|Lifespan||5 - 10 years|
|Temperature||71 - 84 ℉ (21.7 - 28.9 ℃)|
|PH||4.0 - 6.5|
|GH||2 - 8|
|TDS||0 - 90|
Natural Habitat of the Blue Panda Apistogramma
The Blue Panda Apisto can be found in isolated blackwater tributaries of the Ucayali River, Maranon River, Napo River and Nanay River of Peru in the western Amazon region. These waters are typically softer and more acidic. These fish prefer low-speed branching waterways that are usually shaded due to increased light distribution into the water by leaves and other shade sources. Their habitats have sandy substrate.
Other Cichlids of interest
Blue Panda Apistogrammas are mainly carnivorous and feed primarily on the animals and plants living on or at the bottom of their habitats in nature. It would be best if you offered them live and frozen fare in the aquarium, such as daphnia, artemia, and bloodworms frequently. However, most species will also learn to accept dried alternatives, although these fish seem to prefer pelleted products instead of flake food.
Sexing the Blue Panda Apistogramma
It is very challenging to differentiate males from female Blue Panda Apistogramma when they are juveniles; however, males are larger, more colourful, and develop more extended fins than females when they mature.
Breeding the Blue Panda Apistogramma
Blue Panda Apistos are substrate spawners that usually lay their eggs in cavities or crevices among the decor. The female is responsible for looking after the eggs and fry post-spawning, and in smaller aquariums, you may need to remove the male as she may become hyper-aggressive.
If you are planning to breed a pair of Blue Panda Apistos, the best method is to buy them as juveniles and allow them to choose their own partner in your aquarium. When your couple reaches maturity, breeding can be accomplished. You can condition the breeding pair with a variety of live, frozen meaty foods a well as flake food.
An ideal breeding aquarium would include moderate lighting, sand, rocks, caves, and live plants. Java Moss would be suitable as it holds plenty of infusoria, which is the fry's first food. Once the fry grows big enough, they can eat newly hatched brine shrimp and microworms. However, you must complete a water change after feeding live food to ensure good water quality.