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Maximum size : 7.5 cm

Redline Apistogramma - Apistogramma hongsloi : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Prepare to be captivated by the mesmerizing beauty of Redline Apistogrammas (Apistogramma hongsloi). These remarkable creatures, known for their peaceful nature, are a perfect addition to both community aquariums and species-only tanks. However, beware of their territorial tendencies during the breeding season. To ensure harmony, keeping a single pair of these magnificent fish in a smaller aquarium is recommended. However, if you have a larger setup, you can indulge in the captivating sight of a harem by housing one male with multiple females while providing ample visual barriers to establish individual territories.

When it comes to tankmates, let your creativity soar. Barbs, Danios, Tetras, Guppies, and other Livebearers can share the aquatic canvas with Redline Apistogrammas, along with the elegance of Dwarf Cichlids, smaller Gouramis, Catfish, and Loaches. But remember, in smaller aquariums, avoid the company of larger, more aggressive species. Furthermore, keep the harmony intact by not introducing different Apistogramma species to the same aquarium.

Their preferences are surprisingly flexible when setting the stage for these charismatic Apistos. First, enhance their environment with ceramic flowerpots, plastic piping, and other artificial materials, creating a fascinating underwater landscape. Alternatively, embrace the allure of nature with a soft sandy substrate, strategically placed branches, and wood roots that form hidden nooks and crannies. Finally, the dried leaves will elevate the authenticity of their habitat, nurturing beneficial microbe colonies.

To illuminate their world, strike a delicate balance between light and shade. Redline Apistogrammas thrive in dimly lit tanks, making aquatic plants like Microsorum, Taxiphyllum, Cryptocoryne, and Anubias the perfect companions as they flourish in such conditions. To further scatter the light, introduce patches of floating vegetation, enchanting your aquarium with an ethereal ambience.

Maintaining their environment requires finesse. Filtration should be gentle, avoiding powerful water flow, while significant water changes should be cautiously approached. Embrace the subtle intricacies of their ecosystem and revel in the splendour of these creatures.

As you gaze upon Redline Apistogrammas, their slender, torpedo-shaped bodies beckon your admiration. The adult male boasts a striking grey-black zig-zag stripe that gracefully adorns his spine, complemented by a mesmerizing blend of silver and reddish-pink hues on his head. Notice the lips, dark grey and thickened, adding a touch of mystique to his allure. The female, in contrast, captivates with her pale yellow body, which transforms into vibrant splendour during the beautiful ritual of spawning. A distinctive greyish-black stripe spans her body from behind the gill plates to the caudal peduncle's edge, accompanied by a broken black line that adds a touch of intrigue. The stark contrast between these two individuals only deepens the fascination they evoke.

Redline Apistogramma Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Redline Apistogrammas is a relatively straightforward task. Observable differences in size, fin morphology, and colouration set the two genders apart. Males showcase a larger physique, accompanied by elongated and pointed fins that are beautiful adornments. Their vibrant hues contribute to their striking appearance, stunning onlookers with glorious colours.

Females, on the other hand, exhibit a more petite stature compared to their male counterparts. When in breeding conditions, their transformation is truly remarkable. A radiant yellow hue envelopes their bodies, accompanied by contrasting black fins, presenting a captivating display of nature's artistry. Such distinct visual cues provide a clear distinction between the males and females of the Redline Apistogramma species.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameApistogramma hongsloi
Year Described1979
Other NamesNone
OriginsColombia Venezuela
Max Size7.5 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asPairs
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.0
GH1 - 6
TDS18 - 268
73 - 84
22 - 28

Natural Habitat

Redline Apistogrammas are indigenous to the captivating waters of the Rio Vichada and middle Rio Meta Basins in Colombia, as well as the mesmerizing middle section of the Orinoco system in Venezuela, South America. These remarkable fish are found in enchanting habitats characterized by slender, unhurried currents that nearly come to a standstill. They gracefully navigate through the gentle flow of blackwater streams, tributaries, and creeks, where the substrate is adorned with a bountiful carpet of submerged leaf litter, intertwined roots, and alluring caves. In this harmonious environment, the Redline Apistogrammas find solace and fulfilment.

 Orinoco - Venezuela
Venezuela Flag


Embark on the exhilarating journey of breeding Redline Apistogrammas in the comfort of your home aquarium, but brace yourself for the challenges it presents. Creating an optimal environment for their reproduction requires careful attention to detail. 

The key to successfully breeding Redline Apistogrammas is crafting the perfect aquatic habitat. Their delicate nature demands very soft and acidic water, with temperatures elevated to the upper limits of their preferred range. Provide the females with suitable spawning sites, such as carefully arranged pipes or flower pots within the tank. Fascinatingly, these remarkable Apistos may even choose the undersides of broad-leaved plants as their preferred egg-laying location. With meticulous precision, the female will gracefully deposit a clutch of 40 to 60 eggs on the ceiling of the chosen cave or plant surface.

Once the eggs are laid, the male assumes his vital role. He will diligently swim over the eggs with grace and purpose, ensuring their fertilization. This dance of life is repeated until the female has exhausted her egg-laying endeavours. Throughout this process, the female proudly stands guard, fiercely protecting her precious offspring, while the male assumes the honourable duty of defending their territory.

Days pass, and the anticipation builds as you observe the gradual progression of life within the aquarium. Two to four days later, the eggs will hatch, awakening the tank with the emergence of the delicate fry. It is during this pivotal moment that the maternal instinct of the female shines brightest. She continues her vigilant guardianship, guiding the fry out of the cave's confines a few days later. But beware, for the female's combative spirit intensifies as she fends off any potential threats to her brood.

Witness the extraordinary nurturing abilities of the female Apisto, a testament to her role as a perfect parent. Rest assured, she will not prey upon her own young. However, it is essential to acknowledge that stress, particularly during the first batch of eggs, can drive the female to consume her own offspring. Therefore, vigilance is key to maintaining a supportive environment for their successful development.

In smaller aquariums, an additional precautionary measure becomes necessary. Once the eggs have been laid, remove the male from the tank, as the female's aggression can escalate in his presence. Protect the harmony and well-being of your aquatic community as you navigate the intricacies of breeding these magnificent creatures.

As the fry transition from their dormant state, sustained by their yolk sacs, an exciting new phase awaits. Embrace their journey towards independence by providing them with nourishment. Infusoria, baby brine shrimp, and microworms are suitable sustenance, fueling their growth and development. Then, as they mature and outgrow the vulnerability of their early days, you can confidently introduce them into the community tank, where they can thrive among their fellow aquatic companions.

Embarking on the path of breeding Redline Apistogrammas demands unwavering dedication and a keen understanding of their unique requirements. Delve into the depths of this extraordinary experience, where life unfolds before your eyes, and the wonders of nature are magnified within the boundaries of your own aquatic sanctuary.

Diet & feeding

Redline Apistogrammas exhibit a predominantly carnivorous nature, displaying a preference for live food in their natural habitat, where they actively seek out various invertebrates. In the controlled environment of an aquarium, it is advisable to offer them a diet that closely resembles their natural feeding habits. Providing a combination of live or frozen foods such as Artemia, Bloodworm, Tubifex worms, and Daphnia will fulfil their dietary requirements. Supplementing their diet with high-quality pelleted and flake food ensures a well-rounded nutritional intake. These fish, characterized by their bottom-dwelling tendencies, will actively forage through the substrate in search of their sustenance.

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